On Wednesday, February 28 2018, Thomas William Brown (Brownie), of Buffalo City, WI died peacefully at Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire following a stroke.
Tom was born in Winona, MN on November 19, 1934, the fifth son of George and Gladys (Weber) Brown. Tom grew up in a wild and rambunctious house with 7 brothers and a saint for a mother where he learned the value of coming when you were called for dinner. Tom attended school in Winona and graduated from Winona High in 1953. Tom loved playing and watching hockey and was a member of the only Winona High School hockey team to make it to State tournament in 1952. Following graduation from Winona Senior High, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served on a search and rescue team in Japan during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged and returned to Winona to attend Winona State College where he earned a degree in Education. Tom worked as an art teacher for several schools and school districts throughout his career, most notably Central Junior High now known as South Middle School in Eau Claire. Students loved Mr. Brown and to this day the family hears from previous students of the positive impact he had on their lives. Tom loved education and the students he taught. He retired after serving in the Eau Claire School District for 30 years.
Tom married the love of his life, Mary Therese Burbach on October 24, 1959 at St. Stanislaus Kosta Church in Winona, MN. Unbeknownst to Tom and Mary, their paths had crossed previously after Mary was hit in the arm with an errant hockey puck during a hockey scrimmage, (unknown until after the engagement that Tom actually was the man that hit her.) She had vowed whoever had slapped her in the arm with that hockey puck was going to pay! He always said he’s been paying ever since and we know he loved every minute of it! Tom and Mary lived in small towns along the Mississippi River before moving to Eau Claire where they raised their family. Even though they moved to Wisconsin, Tom never lost faith that Minnesota Vikings would one year win the Super Bowl. Maybe now with another fan in Heaven, the Vikings will have a winning season!
Following his retirement, Tom and Mary moved to Buffalo City where Tom continued shared his love for the Mississippi River with his family. While Mary never much cared for the water, together they enjoyed camping, boating and fishing with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tom believed in teaching respect and love for the waters from a very young age. He also loved ice fishing and of course golfing.
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Mary, his daughter Debbie (John) Odegard of Mondovi and their children Toni (Jason) McGee of Mondovi and their daughter Emily; Cassie (Jordan) Bursaw of Mondovi; Nicky Odegard of Chippewa Falls, Sami (Cody Minx) Odegard of Mondovi, James (McKenzie Fifer) Odegard and Jarrod Odegard of Mondovi. His daughter Erin (Bryant) Schoenick of Menomonie and her children Harrison (Tara Calkins) Green of Eau Claire and Melissa (Tyler Odegard) Green of Mondovi. His daughter Michelle (Chuck Bauer) Brown of Mondovi and her children William (Cheyenne Tollefson) Mallett-Brown of Fall Creek, Gabi (Blake) Gustafson of Eau Claire and Grace (Zachary Hasbrouck) Grambort of Eau Claire.
Also by brothers Robert (Betty) Brown of Buffalo City, WI, Richard Brown of Winona, MN and John (Joan) Brown of Minnesota City, MN, his in laws Loretta Burbach, John Burbach, Patty (Bill) Steinhoff, Kathy (Jerry) Rolbiecki, Patrick Burbach and former son in laws David Grambort and Terry Green, many nieces, nephews, friends and 2 future great grandchildren.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, his mother and father in law Cletus and Agnes Burbach whom he cherished, his brothers Don (Jackie), Jim, George (Carol) and Roger, Brother-in-laws Cletus F Burbach, Jack Berg and sister-in-laws Julaine Burbach and Rosie Brown.
A memorial service will be held at Talbot Family Funeral Homes, Alma Chapel on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11:30 am with a time for visitation beginning at 9:30 am.