ROCKFORD — Benjamin Burton Brown, 82, went home to be with the Lord on Jan. 15, 2013. Born on Feb. 25, 1930, in Grand Rapids, he was the son of the late Robert and Ila Brown.
Benjamin married his wife, Joan (predeceased on Dec. 10, 2000), on Feb. 26, 1951. They enjoyed nearly 50 years of loving marriage together.
In 1947 Benjamin enlisted in the United States Army. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Benjamin was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars with a "V" for valor and numerous other medals. He was at Inchon Landing, the Battle of Seoul, the Chosen Reservoir Winter Battle of 1951 and the Evacuation of Hung Nam.
Benjamin was a member of The Chosen Few for the survivors of The Chosen Reservoir. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for more than 50 years. He was fourth degree, past Faithful Navigator and a past Grand Knight. Over the years Benjamin was a member of the Creston VFW Post 3023, the Civil Air Patrol and volunteered as an EMT with the rescue squad in Northport.
Benjamin is survived by his children; a daughter, Cindi Mass and her husband, Henry Mass, of Holland; a son, Joseph Brown and his wife, Sara Brown, of Wyoming, Mich.; a daughter, Delores Nieboer and her husband, David Nieboer, of Greenville, S.C.; a daughter, MaryJo Davis and her husband, Ralph Davis, of Asheville, N.C.; a son, Robert Brown, of Rockford; a daughter-in-law, Reathel Brown, of Wyoming, Mich.; grandchildren, Brandon Mass, Shylah Negovan, Jamee Brown Franklin, Benjamin Brown and twins, Clay and Connor Davis; great-grandchildren, Winter Rose Estes, Dylan Bodker and Isabel Mae Franklin; three step-grandchildren, Dylan Maddox, Matthew Prado and Nicholas Cain; his sister, Delores Hall; a brother, John Brown; a sister, Lynn Van Leeuwen; and two sisters-in-law, Mary Brown and Carol Brown.
Benjamin was preceded in death by his wife, Joan Brown; a brother, Robert Brown; a brother, Arthur Brown; and a sister, Ardis Jacobs.
"In his final days our Dad talked about seeing his beautiful wife again. He held on to her picture and smiled. We grieve the loss, but find comfort in knowing that our parents have been reunited in Heaven for eternity. We love you, Dad - Your Children".
The Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Brown will be offered on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church. The family will receive friends at Pederson Funeral Home on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., with the rosary being prayed at 8 p.m. Interment with military honors will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, at 11 a.m.
Flowers are appreciated. Memorials in honor of Benjamin may be made to Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods, Development Office, 2100 Raybrook St. SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
Arrangements are by The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford; www.pedersonfuneralhome.com.