Kenneth Ray Brown, Age :70

Sep 22,1949---Mar 03,2020

 

Kenneth Ray Brown was called home to be with the Lord on

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at the age of 70 after a long, hard-fought

battle with cancer. Ken was born in Lubbock, Texas, on

September 22, 1949. He was the oldest of five children, four of

which were placed in an orphanage when he was 6 years old.

There he and his brother met and were adopted by his parents,

W.H. and Joyce Brown of Levelland, Texas. He grew up in

Levelland where he met the love of his life, Marilyn Diane

Wellborn, on the first day of first grade. They were great friends  

all through school, dated off and on starting in junior high, and

eventually married after high school in June of 1969. To his dying

day he would say that was the best decision he ever made.

Throughout his childhood he excelled at sports playing baseball,

basketball and football, but his real passion was music. He was

interim song leader at Trinity Baptist Church, played in the school

marching band, and even was in his own little garage band. His

talent as a cornet player got him selected as one of the top 100 high

school musicians in the entire country. As such, he was able to

travel with the All-Student USA band to Europe where he spent six

weeks playing across more than 20 countries during the summer

after graduation. He also got to play for dignitaries at the embassy

in Vietnam during his tour of duty there as well as in England

during his time stationed there. He attended South Plains Junior

College for a short time after high school with the plan to study

pharmacology, but he felt the call to serve his country and joined

the United States Air Force in February of 1969 where he proudly

served for more than 23 years or, as he put it, “23 years, 4 months,

17 days, and 7 hours, but who’s counting.” He took pride in being

a Vietnam Veteran and wore his cap almost every day. His time in

the Air Force allowed him and Diane to live in many places they

otherwise never would have seen, as well as meet many people

who would become true, life-long friends. They expanded their

family as they went with son, Steven Ray, born in Mountain

Home, Idaho, daughter, Sherri Lanette, born at RAF Lakenheath,

England, and son, Darrell Wayne, born in Las Vegas, Nevada.

They also “picked up strays,” as he called it, everywhere they

went. If there was anyone working for him that didn’t have any

family around or couldn’t make it home for the holidays, they were

all openly invited to join his family. Ken retired at Kirtland Air

Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July of 1992. He then

went on to work with Sandia National Laboratories until December

of 2018. He was a very strong, hard-working man all of his life

even fighting through two battles with cancer, going through

chemotherapy and radiation yet never missing a day of work. He

was proud of his military service and proud of his very strong work

ethic and accomplishments at work, but what he was most proud of

was his family. He loved his God and he loved his country, but he

loved his family above all. His happiest times were those spent

with his wife and kids and especially with the grandkids. Until his

dying day, he always claimed that his marriage was his greatest

achievement in life and all he needed was “his woman” by his side.

He promised her when they married that her job was to take care of

his home and his kids and his was to take care of her for the rest of

his life, and that is exactly what he did. Anyone who ever knew

him knows that he was a “grown-ass man” who lived his life as he

saw fit and died the same way.

Ken is preceded in death by his parents, W.H. Brown Jr and Joyce

Day Brown. He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years,

Marilyn Diane Brown, of Albuquerque; son Steven Brown of

Albuquerque and children Jessica, Jarryn, Kurik and Jordan;

daughter Sherri Medley and husband Martin of Albuquerque and

children Chelsea, Makayla, Michele, Tyler, Arianna, and Dalton;

son Darrell Brown of Albuquerque; 3 brothers: Sam Brown and

wife Anna of Azle, Texas, Mac Brown and wife Tammy of Azle,

Texas, and Bill Brown and wife Renee of Dallas, Texas; 4 sisters:

Susan Morris and husband Bill of White Hall, Arkansas,

DianaKaye of Arizona, Janet Van Vliet, and Sarah Setzer and

husband Wes of Missouri; brother-in-law and best friend Anthony

Wellborn and wife Kathy of Marietta, Texas; a handful of great-

grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews as well as a large

number of “other kids and grandkids” and friends that he and

Diane “adopted” along the way and included as family. He was

very well loved and admired, and he will be greatly missed until

we see him again.

The family would like to express our extreme gratitude to those

who helped us all so much in these final weeks including the care

team at the VA Hospice Center; Elaine, Victoria and Patrick

Adams; Andy Herran; Tony Wellborn; and Gary Seale. We are

also so grateful that his sister, Susan, was able to be here and spend

this quality time with him. She was such a great help to us all. You

all have been so wonderful in making this very difficult time a

little bit less difficult.'

 

Arrangements Entrusted to

Riverside Funeral Home of Albuquerque

225 San Mateo Blvd. NE

(505) 764-9663