Melvin “Mel” Walter Brown of Johnstown died on April 24 at Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorado in Greeley. He was 83.
He was born July 3, 1925 to Robert and Cora (Niven) Brown, on the family farm southwest of Johnstown.
His father died in August 1941 of injuries sustained from a runaway team of horses, and his family moved into town after that. Brown graduated from Johnstown High School in 1943 and joined the Marine Corps several months later. His mother, along with brothers Harold and Robert, all entered military service during that time. Brown served in the Pacific Arena until 1946.
On New Year’s Eve in 1946, he met Nadean Putnam on a blind date. They were wed August 24, 1947 at the Edgewater Methodist Church and were married almost 60 years at the time of her death June 3, 2007.
Brown graduated from the University of Denver in 1950 with a degree in business administration, and minors in business law and accounting. He was recalled into the Marine Corps in 1950 because of the Korean War, and served at Camp Pendleton in California until 1952.
The couple was blessed with daughter Bonnie in 1950 and son Martin in 1954. The family lived in California for 20 years before moving to Waco, Texas, in 1969, then returning to Johnstown in 1972. He worked in the insurance business for many years and, upon returning to Johnstown, established Mel Brown Farm Supply. He operated the business until his death, which will be continued on by his family.
Faith in Jesus Christ was central to the Browns’ lives, and they served in various ways in the church, most notably in the Lay Witness Ministry of the United Methodist Church. In that ministry, he served as regional coordinator for a 10-state area from 1970 to 1999. While working within the Methodist denomination, he became aware of the group Concerned Methodists, which is dedicated to renewal within that denomination. He became active in Concerned Methodists in 1992 and was honored by them last October for his service. He attended Grace Community Church of Johnstown.
Brown was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at DU, was a Cub Scout master for seven years in California, and served three times as chairman of the Weld County Board of Health. He was a member of Colorado Young Farmers, receiving the Educational Association Award two years ago.
He was a Mason for almost 35 years, serving as Past Master of the Johnstown Lodge five times, was a Master Mason, and took the 32nd degree in Masonry in Cheyenne. He also belonged to the El Jebel Shrine in Denver, was area coordinator for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and was a member of York Rite Masonic Order of Greeley.
Faith, family and friends were very important to him.
He was excited to take part in the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. last September. He enjoyed his coffee drinking buddies at 3Js coffee house and was a supporter of 3Js.
He is survived by his daughter Bonnie Snell and husband George of Amarillo, Texas, and son Martin W. Brown of Johnstown; grandchildren Lucas Brown and wife Lindsey of Loveland, Beth Brown of Fort Collins, Clair Brown of Loveland, and Grant Snell and wife Jenna of Montana, as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Nadean, his parents, and brothers Robert and Harold.
Cremation has been conducted by Northern Colorado Crematory in Greeley. His wish is that his ashes be spread at the farm where he was raised and in the always-planted family garden.
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, May 2, at 10 a.m. at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church, Johnstown, with Pastor Bob Weber of Grace Community Church officiating.
Memorials may be made to Grace Community Church, 6497 Highway 60, Johnstown, CO 80534.