June 25, 1935 – August 7, 2021
We regretfully and respectfully announce the death of Albert William (Joe) Brown. He was predeceased by his first wife Lillian and is survived by his second wife Elsie Taphorn, his sister Shirley Gerlib (Barry), and children, Dianne Strohm (Chris), Lyn Fraser, Douglas Brown (Shannon).
He is also survived by his grandchildren Shaun, Nathan and Logan Strohm, Sylvie and Elizabeth Fraser, and Katy and Jack Brown and by 8 great grandchildren and numerous extended family and stepfamily members.
Albert and his sister Shirley were born in Nielburg, Saskatchewan to Alice Alexandra and William J. Brown. Albert was born in 1935 and Shirley was born in 1940. His family moved to a farm in Armstrong around 1944.
There were many people living in the house at first as Alice and Bill had family that came with them (Uncle Tom Dickinson, great-uncle Willy Dickinson, Uncle Charlie Brown, and Grandmother Anna Brown). Tom (Alice’s brother) was a carpenter and he and Charlie (Bill’s brother) along with Bill built several buildings -a barn, a large chicken coup, a machine shed and a woodshed. They had Holstein dairy cows for milk and raised grain and alfalfa hay on their fields. They sold eggs from the chickens.
Albert initially attended Armstrong Elementary school. On his first day boarding the school bus, he was too shy to share his name, so the bus driver gave him the nickname Joe and for the rest of Al’s life he was called Joe Brown by many people! He was either called Albert, Al or Joe.
He had some exceptionally good friends in high school. Bob Dodds, Bob Bigsby, Don Moore to name a few. Al and his friends tried to build a helicopter! Uncle Charlie was very worried that he would get hurt! Al and his friends also rode motorcycles for a while; he belonged to a group called the “Dusters”.
Al pursued post secondary Heavy Duty Mechanical training. He married his high-school sweetheart, Lillian Dunne, in 1958 after she completed her nursing training in Victoria. Initially they lived in Vernon, but then built a house on the family farm. Eventually he bought a very old bulldozer and cleared the land to make a large hay field. The three children – Dianne born in 1959, Lyn-1961, and Doug-1963- assisted Al picking rocks and sticks for years to clear the land when they were old enough.
It was a tremendous amount of work. He did switch over to beef cattle instead of dairy cattle so that he could pursue his career as a heavy-duty equipment mechanic. He worked for a variety of Vernon Companies: G.S. Galbraith, Vulcan Equipment and C.A.E. Morse Equipment. He became a service manager.
In 1985 he started his own company to help equipment owners. It was called Brown International Services as he really loved the International Brand of machines. He had Ernie Henderson, Chris Strohm, Barry Gerlib and Russell Cadotte assisting with machinery repairs and Shirley Gerlib assisting with the office tasks.
Al was highly active in in community. He was a member of the Kinsmen club, a volunteer Ambulance driver, and belonged to the Snowmobile club. Some summer weekends were spent at Okanagan Lake in a very rustic cabin.
Al took his family on vacations to visit friends in Seattle, Washington, and Oregon. He also drove with his family across Canada to PEI, drove north to Alaska and to Disneyland. The kids quickly learned not to ask, “when will we get there?” Al and Lil went to Yuma, Arizona for a few months in the winters. Lillian was lost in 2004 to cancer.
Al married Elsie Taphorn in 2006. He and Elsie kept going to Yuma, Arizona for winters. They also traveled to Hawaii, Taiwan, and South Africa. Al loved to chat with people everywhere he went. He loved to attend auctions and bring home treasures that needed a new home. He never really retired; he just became less involved with the business as his health waned. We will miss Al’s generosity, kindness, and his sense of humor.
Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family at www.MyAlternatives.ca
Arrangements entrusted to Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services®
Armstrong 250-546-7237 & Vernon 250-558-0866
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