Obituary: Gerald Brown

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Gerald Brown, age 91, of Hanceville, Alabama passed away on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024. Gerald was born on Aug. 1932, to Samuel Harma Brown and Gertrude Williamson Brown in Oakman, Alabama where he grew up. He attended Oakman High School and joined the Army at the age of seventeen. Upon completion of basic training, he was assigned to the 453rd Engineer Battalion (Construction) and promptly deployed to Korea at the age of eighteen and earned the honor to wear the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to units for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy.

After a short break in service, he once again answered the call to duty and served two tours in Vietnam from 1966-1968 with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion – 10 (Seabees) earning the Naval and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for actions during the Tet Offensive. Gerald has served in many capacities with the Army, Navy, and Air Force both Active, Reserve and National Guard for a combined total of 32 years for retirement as a Master Sergeant and was awarded the Veteran of the Year for the state of Alabama.

In addition to his military service, he was a Master Mechanic and operator for heavy equipment and served in various senior positions throughout the Southeast and a stint in Iran before the fall. Gerald was a faithful member of the Masons earning 32nd Degree Mason status and was a dedicated supporter of the Shriners Hospital.  

Through all his travels and adventures, his greatest joy was getting to spend time with family. The big family gatherings were his favorite. He so enjoyed watching all the kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, playing and having a fun time. He was a loving husband, dad, papa, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and a caring neighbor and friend. We celebrate his life and his accomplishments and will treasure the memories he created for his family and friends and find comfort in knowing he had a personal relationship with the Lord.

Survivors include his daughter Dianne (Jim) Cornelius; son Raymond (Judy) Brown; son Randy (Lynn) Brown; brother Kenneth (Linda) Brown; sister Colleen Combs; sister Ann Franks; sister Faye Asmus; sister Linda (Phillip) Smith. Grandchildren Christi (Curt) Ballard; Jamie (Josh) Warmack; Dustin Kretzschmar; Kelley (Michael) Kretzschmar; Stephanie (Matt) Hardiman; Michael (Beth) Brown. Great Grandchildren: Jack and Annalee Ballard; Rowan, Silas and Finlee Warmack; Cassidy Kretzschmar; Elaina Tomas; Axl and Gage Brown.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; wife of 48 years Nell (Schmidt) Brown; daughter Gail (Brown) Kretzschmar; brothers Earl, Roger, and Larry Brown.

A visitation for Gerald will be on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at Hanceville Funeral Home from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. with the service officiated by Pastor and Nephew Jeremy Brown beginning at 12 p.m. in the Chapel. A brief graveside service with military honors will be at Walker Memorial Gardens in Jasper, Alabama following the service.