Artie Martin "Wayne" Brown, age 76, of Ashley, MI, passed away on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at Sparrow Hospital after battling a short term illness.
Memorial Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI, on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Jeff Reser officiating. Interment of ashes will take place at Ford Cemetery, Gratiot County, MI with immediate family present. Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2020 from 2-8 P.M. at the funeral home.
Wayne was born in Manila, Arkansas on October 8, 1943, son of Sylver and Maxine (Miley) Brown. His family moved to Michigan when he was seven years old.
Wayne graduated from Ashley Schools in 1962. On June 20, 1964, he married Shirley Elaine Evans in Ashley, MI. They first met in grade school when they would play checkers with each other. Years later, on their senior trip, love started to blossom, and the rest was history. They were married for 56 years.
He was drafted into the army from October 1966 until October 1969. He spent one of those years in Vietnam as an Airframe Repairman, repairing sheet metal on helicopters. His rank was a Specialist 5.
Wayne worked for GM for 31 years. He worked initially at Fisher-Body and in the last few years, was a supervisor at Oldsmobile. He retired in 1993 at age 50. After retiring from GM, he worked on his own installing furnaces and air-conditioners. He also helped installing wood stoves.
One of the many things he enjoyed was camping. He, Shirley and their two children have camped several different places throughout the years. There were many happy camping trips spent at Jellystone Parks. Wayne especially liked camping at Sault Ste. Marie watching the big freighters at the Soo Locks.
One of his favorite hobbies was tractor pulling. He built several pulling tractors with car engines, motorcycle engines and lawn & garden tractors. His top three were “Blu By U”, “Tasmanian Devil” and “Wildhorse.” He won several blue ribbons and trophies. He really enjoyed it even more when his son, Lonnie, and his grandchildren, Faith and Conner also pulled tractors. They formed the Brown Pulling Team.
Wayne enjoyed music and liked to sing and play his bass guitar. He sang with different singing groups over the years that performed at churches, festivals and nursing homes. Wayne also took pleasure in working on his puzzle books, watching Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and laughed heartily at Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry. He enjoyed attending his grandkids’ band concerts, soccer games and dance recitals. He loved all animals but was especially fond of his daughter’s rabbits and labrador retriever.
Wayne is survived by his wife Shirley of Ashley, MI; his children: Lonnie (Lisa) Brown of St. Johns, MI, and Lori Brown of Ashley, MI; his grandchildren: Faith Brown and Conner Brown of St. Johns, MI and his special granddog Lily. Other surviving family members are his siblings: Loyd Brown, Floyd (Carla) Brown, and Ron (Carol) Brown; his extended family: Alyce (Maynard) Moon, Ron (Joanne) Evans, Roger (Cara) Evans and Dee (Don) Nelson. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, cousins and close friends. Wayne was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents Sylver & Maxine Brown, sisters: Kathy Edel and Joyce Polash, brother Troy Brown, nephews: David Brown and Scott Bashore, in-laws William and Helen Evans, sister-in-law Beverly Brown, and brother-in-law Larry Howland.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences can be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Elsie, MI.