Douglas R. Brown passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 14, in his home surrounded by family. He will be greatly missed, but the family takes comfort in the fact that he has joined his wife and three sons.
Doug was born on November 19, 1920 in Twin Falls to Claude and Bertha Brown. He was the second of four sons. His father started Claude Brown’s Music Company in 1919, so Doug worked there during the summers and school breaks. He graduated from Twin Falls High School and then attended Utah State Agricultural College (USU).
Doug met his sweetheart, Laura Marie Brown, at a church dance in 1938. Laura had come to the dance with another date, but when Doug saw her, he immediately fell in love. He offered to take them home after the dance because the other boy didn’t have a car, and it really bothered Doug to watch the other boy walk Laura to the front door and tell her good night. He decided right then that Laura was his girl and the rest was history. They fell in love and were married on July 11, 1940 in the LDS Logan temple. After they were married, Doug worked in the family business full time.
Doug and Laura moved to their current residence on Filer Avenue in 1942. It was a working farm outside of the city limits with ten out buildings and a hired hand house. They had four chicken coups full of laying chickens that Laura took care of. They also had milking cows that Doug would milk before going to work at the family business and then again once he returned home in the evening. Doug raised a steer to butcher for meat that the older sons named Puff. One day Puff came up missing, and the boys wondered where he was. When Doug explained to the boys, at the dinner table, that they were eating Puff, the boys wouldn’t eat their dinner.
During the war, business at the family store slowed down so much that Doug just worked the farm. He ended up leaving Laura in Twin Falls and going to Seattle to work in a defense plant making electrical switches. He did this for about six months. Upon returning home, he was worried that he would be drafted, so he joined the Air Force to become a pilot. At this time, the war was winding down and they had too many pilots, so Doug was trained as a gunner on a bomber. He went to Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City for training, and then to Wichita Falls, Texas.
After his service, Doug returned home to work in the family store. The milk barn burned down, so he no longer milked cows. Twin Falls was growing, so they gave up the farm and started selling off lots. At this time, they were incorporated into the city limits. After four additions, their little log house on the farm outside the city limits, became their family home right in the middle of town. They lived there for 77 years. Doug and Laura were fortunate to raise six children in their home, five sons, Doug Jr., Jim, Bob, Dick, Keith, and then finally a little girl, Sherri. They actually had six boys, but their first son died at birth.
The home on Filer Avenue was Doug and Laura’s pride and joy. They worked hard together and created one of the most beautiful yards in the neighborhood. Another pride and joy of Doug’s was his cars. He loved a clean shiny car. Most Saturday nights you would find him in his garage washing and sometimes waxing his cars before joining Laura to watch Lawrence Welk.
Doug was an avid exerciser throughout his entire life. He was always buying the newest exercise equipment and faithfully used them. He is famous on You Tube for “Grandpa Does the Wheel” which is an abdominal exercise you do on your knees. His abs were so strong that he did it on his toes with a grandchild sitting on his back. He also had a stationary bike that he rode every day. The last time he rode it was the day before he passed.
Doug worked with his father and then alongside his brothers at the family furniture store. As the years passed, his sons and son-in-law joined him in the business. Doug gave his life to the store. In the 60’s, he would drive to Salt Lake City every week to pick up carpet they had sold. He loved his 1967 Ford truck that is just a few thousand miles short of one million miles. He tried to retire one time, but missed it too much, so returned to full time. He finally retired when he was 95 to stay home with Laura, but they would often spend the afternoon at the store together. After Laura passed in 2018, Doug started going to the store again three days a week for the afternoon. When he wasn’t there, he would always ask how things were going. Claude Brown’s Home Furnishings was Doug’s life, and he was so happy that he lived to celebrate the business’s 100 year celebration this past June.
Doug was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints and held many church callings. In 1956 he was called to be a stake missionary. He was ordained a High Priest by Henry D. Taylor in February of 1961 and made bishop of the 6th Ward. Soon after, the 8th Ward was formed, and Doug became the first Bishop of that ward. He was very involved in raising money for the new church building on Harrison Street. After he was Bishop, he was on the High Council for a number of years.
Doug will be remembered for his total unselfishness. He was always willing to help someone in need and often put others needs before his own. Doug and Laura never had the desire to travel much. They were very content to stay home and take care of their family, their home, and the store. Those were the most important things in their lives.
Doug is survived by his children; Robert C. (Cathy), Richard R. (Jacque), Keith (Debbie), Sherri (Dean) Johns all of Twin Falls; one daughter-in-law, Georgia, of Austin, Texas; 22 grandchildren; 52 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Doug was preceded in death by his wife of 77 years, his parents; three brothers, Claude Jr., Mark, Karl; three sons, Baby Brown, Doug Jr., James Stanley; two grandsons, Matthew Brown and Toby Morrison; and two great-grandchildren, Christina Bybee and Daniel David Miller.
The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 21, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, 667 Harrison Street, in Twin Falls. Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday, September 20, at Rosenau Funeral Home, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Saturday preceding the service at the church.