John "Jack" Browne, 84, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 14, 2009, at his winter home in Rio Verde, Ariz., with his loving wife at his side.
Jack was born Aug. 21, 1925, to William and Frances (Sanschultte) in Wadena. Jack graduated from Wadena High School, and attended St. John's University after World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater in the Army beginning in 1943 until his honorable discharge in 1946. On April 22, 1950, he was united in marriage with Alvida Marie Berg in Minneapolis.
Jack was a prominent businessman in Wadena, joining his father, W.J. Browne, in banking in 1950. He later became the owner and president of the Wadena State Bank, which was sold to his sons in 1995. He was passionately involved in the development and betterment of the community. Jack was instrumental in getting Tri-County hospital built in 1973, and in building the St. Ann's Parish Center in 1996. He and his wife, Alvida, established the Browne Family Foundation in 1999 to benefit the Wadena community. He served 25 years on the Wadena Golf Board, 32 years on the Tri-County Hospital Board, and 30 years as treasurer on the Wadena County Fair Board, along with memberships in the Lions Club, Elks Club and Knights of Columbus. He received the Wadena Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Award in 1975.
In his early years, Jack loved to duck hunt and later became an avid golfer. He enjoyed watching all sporting events, especially basketball. Jack loved spending time with his family and was proud of the accomplishments of his five children.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 21, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wadena, with the Rev. Donald Wagner as celebrant. Honorary pallbearers will be William Anderson, Dr. Duane Ness, John Conzemius, Luther Nervig, Al Wensman, and Jerry Szczech. Pallbearers will be Jack's seven grandsons. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Wadena. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Wadena Area Food Shelf or the Browne Foundation. Arrangements are with the Johnson Memorial Home in Wadena (www.johnsonmemorialhome.com).
Survivors include his wife, Alvida; sons, Christopher "Kip" (Kay), and Jeffrey (Kathy) both of Wadena; daughters, Barbara "Barb" (Ken) Kosovich of Billings, Mont., Rebecca "Becky" (Brit) Miller of Billings, and Sarah (Mike) Montgomery of Orinda, Calif.; and grandchildren Sarah, Ryan and Marissa Browne, Kevin, Matthew and Courtney Kosovich, Wiley and Jeremy Miller, John and Annie Montgomery, and Andrew and Kelsey Browne.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, William and Frances; an infant twin sister; brothers, William Jr. and Donald; sisters, Gertrude Benda, Elizabeth Elkjer, Isabel Winkel, Mary Ann Wruck, and Dorothy Spang.