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Witzke Funeral Homes Inc.

5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD

A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

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OBITUARY

Donald Sidney Brown Jr.

September 7, 1939September 14, 2020
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USAF Lt. Colonel Donald S. Brown, Jr., Ret., joined God's Ranks in the early hours of September 14th, 2020. Born in Point of Rocks, MD on Sept.7th, 1939, he was an only child to Donald and Kathleen Brown. Donnie, as they called him growing up, was the absolute light of his parent’s life. No parent was ever more proud of their son. He attended Frederick High School in Maryland where he was an avid athlete but his focus and strength was as the first baseman on The Frederick High baseball team where he played all four years as a FHS Cadet. His love for the game started years before he attended Frederick High, playing in local leagues and clubs. Little did he know that his biggest fan was watching him play from the stands. That fan would soon become his one true love for the next 68 years of his life. With one wink of his blue eyes, Frances Lucinda Smith was hooked. Donnie and Linda started dating in high school and have been together ever since. Don went on to attend the University of Maryland for the next 4 years where he continued to play baseball as the 1st baseman on the MD Terrapin baseball team. He received his credit as a baseball contender when he made the All Atlantic Coast Conference team in 1960 and 1961. Even though his dream of becoming a major league baseball player did not come true, his love for the game and his dedication to the MD Terps continued for years as Don and Linda became members of the Terrapin Club. Many weekends were spent and more memories made tailgating with family and friends at the MD Terps football games. Even though he said many times, "If I get one more turtle as a gift...", he was always a true Terp through and through. After graduating college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Don immediately joined the United States Air Force. On August 11th, 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Linda. The two started their life in the military, and next to his family, this was his greatest source of pride. He was a true patriot who served in the Vietnam War and gave 23 years of his life in service to his country, retiring as USAF Lt. Colonel Donald S. Brown, Jr. His illustrious career in the USAF took him overseas to Thailand and Guam, and moved him to 6 different military bases in the states. He was a quiet man who didn't talk much about his military career or his time spent in Vietnam but those who knew him, knew of his love for his country and how he was most proud of his service and dedication to the USAF. Don raised two beautiful daughters, Julie Melinda and Jennifer Lynn, with his beautiful wife Linda of 58 years. He was a devoted husband and father who worked very hard to provide a wonderful life for all of them. For a long time it was just the four of them [and the dogs, of course!], traveling from one military base to another. He was a very structured traveler so many times it was as if he was a guide saying, “If you blink you will miss the Grand Canyon to your right”. But he did love taking his family on trips to see such places as the big Redwoods in CA with Paul Bunyan, NYC at Christmas time, Epcot at Walt Disney World, whatever zoo was in the state that they lived in, and to the airshows featuring the USAF Thunderbirds that he was so proud of. In later years, Don and Linda enjoyed traveling to places like Bermuda and had the time of their life on their cruise in Alaska. They also visited their daughter Julie and her family overseas and had the opportunity to travel to places like Paris, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Rome, Scotland, and London. Along with traveling, Don loved to grill, watch his sports, crossword puzzles, and everything military [and of course, the dogs!]. The family took roots in Columbia, MD in 1981. It was here that he retired from the Air Force in 1987 and eventually went to work for Oak Tree Furniture. Linda soon joined him and through many tent sales and deliveries, they worked there together for almost 12 years. The friends they made at Oak Tree became an extended part of the family and remain very close to this day. Their faces were always seen at Don and Linda’s annual after Christmas party along with family and neighbors. Don and Linda looked forward to hosting that party every year. Don started polishing the brass weeks ahead of time and made sure that the guests had every choice of drink possible when he set up his bar. In the last few years, Don enjoyed spending his time outside sitting in the garage watching over the cul-de-sac. The neighbors soon started calling him the mayor of Black Velvet. All was right with the world as long as Don was outside watching over them. When Don wasn’t seen outside as much, the neighbors took notice and rallied around him helping out Linda and his family. They were there to support right up to the very end. Don lived a full life and was loved by many but no love compared to the love that his wife and daughters had for him or the love he had for his wife and daughters. Don was held in the highest regard as a Veteran, Husband and Father. He was a man of few words who carried himself with a calm but intent demeanor backed by his kind heart. Don will be greatly missed by so many. Don is preceded by his father and mother Donald S. Brown, Sr and Kathleen Brown. He leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Linda, daughter Julie and her husband Edward Blanchard, daughter Jennifer and her husband Charles Watson, and his five grandchildren Shane, Abigail, Grayson, Zachary, and Sydney. Please send love and prayers to Don’s family in their time of loss.

Family will receive friends at Witzke Funeral Homes, Inc., 5555 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia, MD 21045 on Wednesday, September, 23, 2020, from 11am to 1pm, where a memorial service will begin at 1pm. Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org

Due to gathering size limits there may be a wait to enter the building. Facemasks will be required.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Memories

Donald Sidney Brown Jr.

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Jamie Yingling

September 22, 2020

We treasure our special friendship and are blessed to have shared many memories; especially tailgating at the MD football games. We are so thankful to have had such a beautiful couple in our lives. Don, you will always be our #1 Terps fan!

With much love,
Jeff and Jamie Yingling

Parti Pfister Shovlin

September 19, 2020

Dear Linda, sending my deepest condolences to you , the girls, and Frankie. Black Velvet won’t be the same without Don holding court from the garage. You took such amazing care of him when he got sick . I know how hard that can be. Hold your memories of Don and a life well-lived close to your heart. I know he will be watching over you and Black Velvet Lane.
Love, Patti

Sara & Ed Rosenbaum

September 19, 2020

Ed joins me in sending our deepest sympathy on Don's passing. Our friendship goes back 57 years when we were stationed together in New York and has been strong from then. He was a good person and good friend
We will miss him.

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