Donald Brown, a 26-year resident of Duarte, California, passed away peacefully in his sleep in his home on March 5, 2013. At his side was his loving wife of 67 years, Grace Brown. Until just a few months ago, Don had been in good health, traveling, spending time with his family, and enjoying golf five days a week with his buddies at Rancho Duarte Golf Course (where he’s had 3 holes-in-one). In addition to golf, Don enjoyed sports and remained a lifetime loyal Trojan alum and an avid supporter of anything USC. He loved the Los Angeles Dodgers and never missed a game if he was around a TV.
Don’s favorite pastime in life was spending time with his adoring family. He and Grace brought two beautiful daughters into the world, Patricia (Tish) Burnett and Pamela Walker, both of Bakersfield, California where they live with their husbands, Mike Burnett and Neil Walker. There are five loving grandchildren: Cindy Vesper Burnett of Silver Lake, Chris Walker of Santa Monica, Ryan Burnett and his wife, Vanessa, of Glendale, Amy Burnett of San Diego, and Chad Walker of Bakersfield.
Don was born on September 7, 1924 in Hamburg, Iowa, to parents Frank and Myrtle Brown. He had three siblings who preceded him in death: brothers, Loren and Harold Brown and sister, Francis Shaffer.
Immediately after graduating from high school, Don enlisted and served honorably in the U.S. Navy during World War II mostly aboard the ship LST 460. The ship tragically was sunk on December 21, 1944 in the Pacific off Mindoro, Philippines after a kamikaze airplane attack. Don lost many close friends and shipmates in the attack. He often reminded his family that LST (Landing Ship Tank) actually meant “Long Slow Target.” Many of the ship’s surviving sailors have been holding reunions for over 30 years which Don has been faithfully attending. The 2012 reunion was held in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
In 2011, the men met in Peoria, Illinois where Don and his shipmates thoroughly enjoyed a cruise down the Illinois River on the refurbished LST 325. In 2010, he was escorted by daughter Pam on an Honor Flight to Washington DC to visit the World War II Monument.
After Don was discharged from the Navy in 1945, he married his sweetheart, Grace Schauer, whom he had met just over a year earlier on a blind date in Los Angeles while he was on leave. They settled in Compton and he was admitted to USC’s School of Engineering graduating in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Don’s first job was with Morehouse Industries in L.A. He had worked there for 20 years when he took a position with Myers Engineering in Bell, CA where he retired in 1998. Don was instrumental in designing and developing an industrial sized mixer with prototypes still being used today in many different types of industries.
Page 2 of 2 - Don was a member of Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene until he and Grace moved to Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene where they remain members. Don held many leadership roles in the church including multi- ple terms on the board. In addition to his church involvement, he belonged to many different organizations including the Boy Scouts where he was a scout leader.
He is described by most who knew him as a gentleman’s gentleman with a giving heart. His kind and unassuming manner endeared him to all of his family and friends and the example he set was an inspiration to many in the next generation.
A Memorial service will be held at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena, 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, CA at 3:00 P.M. on Friday,March15,2013. A reception will be held immediately afterward in Gilmore Hall on the church’s campus. In lieu of flowers, the fam-ily requests donations be made to the P. F. Bresee Foundation, 184 South Bimini Place, Los Angeles, California 90004.