W.D. Brown, Jr., of Waco, Texas, went home to be with Jesus on March 14th at the age of 83 at Providence Hospice Place.
W.D. was born at home in Hubbard, Texas, to William Doyle Brown and Jodie Addice Collier Brown. W.D. graduated from Hubbard High School in 1953 and married his high school sweetheart, Sondra Holmes. After borrowing $25 from his in-laws to purchase a TV tube tester, W.D. and his bride moved to Dallas where he attended TV Technician School. After school, the couple moved to Waco where he was employed by Bates TV Repair. In 1963, he was hired by Sears, Roebuck and Company, and over the years his skills grew to keep pace with the change of technology and he retired from Sears in 1993 as an Electronics Technician.
In 1988, W.D. married Frankie. The pair enjoyed all things flight, and built upon relationships with their extended families. W.D. and Opal met while caring for Frankie. They later married and spent the last thirteen years of his life together. Experimental aircraft was W.D.’s passion. He and his brother, Don Brown, were charter members of Waco’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Chapter 59. For years, he attended the EAA annual fly-in, even in the days it was held in Rockford, Illinois, before it moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Many of his days were filled with adventures of flight, including a minor test crash or two, but mostly a love of the hobby he shared with the people he had come to know and respect. After retirement, W.D. expanded his interests to gardening. He went back to school at McClennan Community College to learn organic gardening and enjoyed growing all things vegetable.
W.D. is survived by his wife, Opal, his daughter, Shira Zippe and her husband Kirk of Pflugerville, Texas, his grandsons, Justin Brown and wife Jennifer of Lincoln, Nebraska, Brandon Zippe and wife Melanie of Austin, Auggie Zippe of Pflugerville, his granddaughter, Ashley Welch and husband Josh of Brownwood, Texas, his step-children, Joy Leathers, Bryan Plagens, R.J. Warren, Jr., Charlsey Whitney, Randall Mattlage, Kevin Mattlage, his brother, Jan Brown and wife Linda of Burleson, Texas, his brother, Tommy Brown and wife Lisa of Austin, Texas, his great-grandchildren Garytt, Westyn Dean, Clint and Larkyn, as well as six nieces and nephews.
W.D. was preceded in death by his daughter Sonna Dea, his son Alvah Dwain, his granddaughter Courtney Gail Brown, his wife Frankie Brown, his brother Don Brown, his parents and step-son Steven Plagens.
Visitation will be Friday, March 23rd from 5:00-7:00pm at Bellmead Funeral Home, 809 LaClede Street.Funeral service will be on Saturday, March 24, at 10:00am at Sparks Memorial United Methodist Church, 900 Maxfield Street, Waco. Graveside services and EAA Fly-over will be in the afternoon at 1:00pm at Rosemound Cemetery 3201 South 12th Street in Waco.
Founded in 1959, W.D. Brown was a charter member of the Experimental Aircraft Association - Chapter 59. In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations may be made to the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 59 (501c3) through this site.