Kenneth LaVerne Brown 1933 - 2021

Kenneth LaVerne Brown was born June 16, 1933, in Gove County, Kansas, to Cecil Smith Brown and Ethel (Langley) Brown. With older brother Gerald, the family moved to Colorado and eventually to Oregon, settling in McMinnville in 1940. His family built and owned a grocery store and gas station named the G & L Market (named for Gerald and LaVerne) on Highway 99 in McMinnville, and ran it for many years. Known as LaVerne much of his youth, he began calling himself Kenneth, “Ken,” after graduation from high school.

He enrolled at the University of Portland for two years and transferred to the University of Oregon. Ken graduated early in 1956. Marrying Laverne Beyerle later that year, he began working in the Regional Management Program with the JCPenney Company. The Browns located to Lebanon, Oregon, and in 1960 were transferred to Bend, Oregon, remaining until 1966 when Ken was transferred to Chelan, Washington. In 1968, with three children, the family transferred to Healdsburg, California. Kenneth remained manager until 1974, when he retired and purchased Weller-Hopkins Furniture Company in Petaluma.

In 1984, Ken was ordained as Minister of Pastoral Care at Petaluma Christian Church and sold the stocks in the store. Ken worked with seniors, taking them on monthly outings and teaching Bible studies, visiting rest homes for old-fashioned sing-a-longs. Finally retiring in 2000, Ken and Laverne moved to Montague, California, closer to family in Oregon. The Browns were active in their church there and volunteered for the Montague History and Railroad Museums. Over the years, Ken was a Boy Scout leader, a member of the Rotary Club and helped with the Warm Springs 4-H Club. Ken was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his 30s, but always remained active, traveling and working. He and Laverne traveled to many places in the world, as they loved to travel and do volunteer work. He suffered the last few years with dementia, impacting his mobility and active lifestyle. Ken was predeceased by his parents and brother. He is succeeded by his wife of 64 years, Laverne; daughter, Patty (Steve Kray ); sons, Curtis (Laurie) and Bill (Karen); grandchildren, Shawn Morrison, Devin (Sarah) and Alan Brown, Ian and Megan Brown; as well as two great-grandsons, Sawyer and Zachary Morrison. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews and cousins. Ken passed two days shy of his 88th birthday on June 14, 2021.

Ken taught Sunday school at many levels over the years, from kindergarten through senior adults. His love of God, family and friends was lifelong, and his faithfulness to his Christian beliefs will remain a legacy to them.

A private burial was held with family on Friday, June 18, 2021, at Cypress Hill Memorial Park, Petaluma.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Petaluma Valley Baptist Church, 580 Sonoma Mountain Pkwy., Petaluma, CA.
Directors: Parent-Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory, Petaluma, CA.


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