Carlton Ralph Brown

November 23, 1928August 17, 2017

Carlton Brown

Carlton (Carl) Ralph Brown, of Rienzi, (formally Rockford, Il) died at 1:53 p.m. Thursday, August 17, 2017 in his home following cardiac arrest. Born Nov. 23, 1928, in Zion, IL, son of Mabel (Neal) and Russel Brown, he was raised by his grandparents, Dale and Virginia Neal, of Zion, IL. Carl graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School, and following Army service, 1946-48, he attended Lake Forest College. He married Betty Marlene Studebaker in Zion in 1951, and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism in 1952. He then served two more years as an officer with the Army Signal Corps, his final assignment in Korea. Carl’s first newspaper job was with The Southern Illinoisan at Carbondale. A Rockford resident for 55 years, he was a reporter, editor and columnist for The Rockford Morning Star, The Register-Republic and The Register Star. In the 1980’s, he was among those trained to convert the newspapers to computerization. Carl was a member of the founding board for Rockford’s Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and was among those pounding nails in house number eight. He was a tutor in Rockford’s literacy program for 14 years. He was ordained deacon and elder of Third Presbyterian Church where he taught in the church school. He is survived by his wife, Betty; sons Scott (Kris) Brown and William (Sarah) Brown and daughter Melanie (Edward) Kuligowski; eight grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren: sister Donna (Dave) Jasper of Plano, TX and many nieces and nephews. Grandchildren include; Jillian (Jake) Wolfe, Andrew Brown, RJ Kuligowski, Andrea (Bill) Rose, Karen Jo (Tom) Burbank, Sandra (Tony) Nguyen, Molly Brown and Liam Brown.

Celebration of Life service will be held 1:00 p.m. Sunday at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Biggersville, MS. Condolences can be left at

Arrangements under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home, Corinth, Mississippi.


  • Celebration of Life Service

    Sunday, August 20, 2017


Carlton Ralph Brown

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patrick Conner

January 9, 2018

I saw Carl's name written in the Register Star's year end section. Bill and I were friends growing up in Parker Woods. I remember Carl and Betty always friendly and welcoming me in their home. The day my dad passed away, Carl and Betty came over and gave me a big hug. Wish I could do the same now.

Thoughts and prayers from me, Lynne, and our family are with you Bill, Betty, and all the Brown family.

lisa nyberg

August 22, 2017

Hi: Our condolences to the family of Carl Brown. Lisa and Jeff played with Melanie and Scott in Parker Woods Subdivision. It was a restful, peaceful time and we went to the lake visiting the raft. Carl and Betty along with Dorthie and Dick would watch a lot of kids in those days. We have enjoyed there company. We will miss Carl. Mom and dad spotted Betty and Carl awhile back and had a nice conversation. You all will be in our prayers. God bless everyone. Take care If I could get an address I would love to send a card to Melanie. Thanks. Lise Nyberg, Dorthie, Dick and Jeff

Mary Kaull

August 22, 2017

Every time Carl would leave the Register Star News Tower for his afternoon walk, he would leave directions for the letters page "in case the beer truck hits me." It was part joke but mostly Carl: He had a strong sense of responsibility, loyalty and ownership, and wouldn't want to leave anyone flailing about if he were to suddenly depart this world. Now that Carl has departed, I've had time to reflect on what a fundamentally decent man he was--and so far ahead of his time. I worked alongside Carl on the RRS editorial page when I was barely 30 years old. He never pandered to me; he always listened intently, without judgment. When I was dealing with the stresses of balancing parenthood and work, he was nothing but a cheerleader. I still have a coffee cup he gave me. It says, "National Blab: Incredible Woman of the '90s. Scoop of the Decade! Woman Keeps Family, Home, Job, Life Together and Does it All with Style and Pizzazz!" It's not that I was that great. It's that Carl was that good at encouragement and quietly supporting everyone around him. My prayers are with Betty, RJ and the entire Brown clan. Love you, Carl.

Rev. Murray and Mary Hanson

August 21, 2017

Following the Congregational Meeting when I was elected Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church, I remember Betty and Carl, and Bill, walking up to greet me and welcome me. But they also came to tell me how they would do their very best to support the church and me in our ministry. They encouraged me to remember to ask for help when needed. Repeatedly over the years I asked on behalf of Christ and the church, and always Carl and Betty stepped forward to serve. Carl has been loved and known and respected as a strong example of faithfulness to Christ and service with humility to Third Presbyterian Church of Rockford, and to the Rockford community. Professionally we saw him as a wise and talented writer, author, teacher, mentor, and newsman. Carl and Betty have lived the life of sharing generously and loving and honoring family. Carl, is remembered by so many as a wonderful husband, father, and grandparent. And, as a true friend. Oh, to have been there when Carl was welcomed with the words, Well done, my good and faithful servant!

Kathy (Kelly) Njos

August 20, 2017

My condolences to the Brown family. Carl was always lots of fun. We had a gas when we all got together. I believe he had the pleasure of one of my mom's cherry pies, pits and all! Not to mention the kid's table with food mysteriously ending up in the milk glasses.

Casey Moore

August 19, 2017

You were an amazing man to learn from! A tough cookie of a patient but you always put a smile on my face. I still remember the day we first met. You told me I was a strong person and no one could take away my strength! I wish I could of said one more good bye to you! I know you are no longer in pain and you are up and walking again.
I am so sorry for your loss, I hope you continue to update us on what you are doing somehow. Miss you deeply and loved you both like my own grandparents!

Diana Judd

August 19, 2017

I am going to miss Uncle Carl so very much!! My prayers and love are being sent to all of our family.

Judy Emerson

August 19, 2017

In my time working with Carl on the Editorial Page staff at the Register Star, I came to know him as a talented,dedicated journalist and a kind, compassionate human being. He was committed to Habitat for Humanity, as well as to the Literacy Council. Week after week, he met with the people who were assigned to him and, by teaching them to read, he changed their lives. Most of all, Carl loved Betty and their family. I remember him coming to work on Monday mornings and saying that the "Thundering Kuligowskis" had visited over the weekend and eaten him and Betty out of house and home. Those were the days when we had four full-time people on the Editorial Page -- Carl, Stan Buckles, Chad Brooks and me. When I came on board in 1985, they took me under their wings and taught me the business. It was mostly Carl who brought me along and gave me the best day-to-day instruction about opinion writing. What a sweetheart. Peace to you, Betty, and to the entire family. God bless.


August 19, 2017

My heartfelt sympathy on the passing of
Carlton. Look back with happy memories
on the time you shared with him. I hope
those memories will give you a measure
of comfort at this difficult time.
Pray to God for comfort also. He wants
you to rely on him for help and comfort
during this time of sadness.
Psalm 86:17

John and Sue Gustafson

August 18, 2017

My memories of Carl will always include those of his civility and continual compassion for others. He was the epitome of a gentleman and a truly learned man of letters. Carl's humanity will certainly be one of his lasting legacies. Your journey has not ended, Carl, for it continues in the hearts of those lives you have so gently touched