Wayne V. Brown, age 80, departed his earthly home near Woodland and entered Heaven on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. He left behind his wife of 56 years, Polly, and his two precious daughters, Kari Yonkers-Perry and Jamie Knoertzer. Born the fifth child of Virgil and Hilda Brown on December 12, 1939, Wayne grew up in Midland, Michigan. He met Polly at Central Michigan University, and the love that quickly grew between them lasted for life. Wayne was a gentle, loving man who spent his life uplifting others. He was a history teacher and guidance counselor at Lakewood High School until he retired in 1993. Throughout his career he advocated for the troubled, the outcasts, the misfits, the rebels, as well as the successful. He encouraged all his students without judging or criticizing them, and he brought out the best in them. Wayne loved primitive camping and trout fishing with his family, and his signature canvas-shrouded backwoods latrine was legendary. He thought first of the needs of his family, then his own, and prime evening fishing usually gave way to driving the trails looking for elk because his daughters loved to do so. Wayne moved his family to a three-acre home in the country in 1972. There he valiantly tried to become a farmer, embracing a small herd of goats, various horses, cows, pigs, barn cats, and an amazing and diverse number of ducks, geese, and chickens, hatched in incubators in the basement. He and Polly loved their rural retreat, and their daughters grew to adulthood surrounded by the peace and security of country living. Throughout Wayne's life he struggled with kidney disease, and it took its toll in his later years. In 2000 God graciously allowed a match between Polly and him, and he spent the final 20 years on earth sharing one of her kidneys. His declining health prevented him from being the active father and grandfather he wanted to be, and it was an ache in his heart that he could not participate more actively in their lives. But his love for them flowed beyond these limitations, and all of them knew how much they were loved. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Janet, Victor, and Vernadine, and his son-in-law, Chris. He is survived by his wife, Polly, daughters Kari (Eric) and their nine children, Anna, Christian, Isaac, Lydia, Levi, Derick, Hannah, Jake, and Jon, and Jamie (Kurt) and their children Jordan and TK, one sister Yvonne Cobb, and many nieces and nephews. He leaves them a legacy of integrity, devotion, service and love. His imprint is deep and precious, and he will be missed.
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