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  • Kent Casson

Obituary: Brown


Ralph Brown, 67 of Chenoa, left unexpectedly for his last adventure on Friday, December 30, 2022.


Ralph was born on April 29, 1955 in Nuremberg Germany and came to the United States with his parents, Robert and Daniela (Minsberg) Brown when he was 3. He grew up in western Iowa and he graduated from high school in Morton Illinois where he made a name for himself as a wrestler. As a kid, Ralph spent as much time outdoors as possible and became an Eagle Scout. Ralph was stationed in Hawaii and Midway Island as a Seabee in the US Navy, where he gained construction and woodworking skills and fell in love with the ocean.


Ralph was one of the hardest working guys around and was a master woodworker, carpenter, landscaper, fisherman and adventurer. For 40 years he owned and operated Ralph Brown Construction, and took great pride in doing quality building and remodeling work. He loved construction and woodworking and used his skills to build his own home and numerous gifts for family and friends. His yard was also a labor of love, and he spent countless hours with his trees, shrubs and flowers making it a showplace.


Although Ralph was not at all tech savvy, he loved YouTube, where he followed several Florida fishermen. This might explain the Gheenoe that he had big plans to use on many lakes when he retired. His YouTube searches also led him on many travel adventures including Costa Rica, several remote Bahamas Islands, St. Croix and Roatan, Honduras. He loved to snorkel for hours and would use his pole spear to snag fish or lobster for dinner, sometimes racing a shark to shore with his catch.


Ralph and his wife Lana (Drechsel) were married for 41 years and raised two daughters, Daniele (Chris) Schulz, El Paso and Andrea (Austin) Whisker, Gridley. He adored his daughters and loved his sons-in-law because they are just as adventurous as he was, but his greatest joy were his 4 grandbabies, Tyler and Tayleigh Whisker and Gunnersyn and Bowyn Schulz.


Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Mary Stalter, and his father-in-law Arnie Drechsel whom he respected more than anyone else in the world. Survivors also include his siblings DaJana Goddard, Desi Brown and Ken Brown; also his mother-in-law Darlene Drechsel, sisters-in-law Suzanne (Dave) Huston and Cheryl (Ed) Illman, several nieces and nephews, and a seriously wonderful group of friends.


A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at the Lexington Community Center with a visitation from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and a celebration service at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Chenoa 4th of July Committee, Chenoa Fire Dept. or Futures Unlimited, Pontiac. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Chenoa is assisting the family with arrangements.


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