Joseph Irwin Brown

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph Irwin Brown on the morning of April 19th after a long battle with coronary heart disease. Joe was born on January 29th, 1926, in the town of Earl Grey, Saskatchewan. In 1943, he joined the war effort with the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, transferring to the Royal Canadian Air Force as an air gunner. After the war, Joe returned to Saskatchewan where he joined the R.C.M.P. and began a very successful career in the force. He was stationed in many detachments in the North Battleford subdivision, Prince Rupert, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Langley, Agassiz, and finally, Vernon.

Longtime Vernon residents will remember Joe as Staff Sargeant Brown, in his years as the head of the local detachment, but many others will remember him for his involvement in many community organizations, including the United Church, the Boy Scouts, and the Venture Training Centre. Joe was an active member of the Legion, the Lions Club, Masonic Lodge (Kalamalka), the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the RCMP Veterans Association – Okanagan division (past president and lifetime member). He also served two terms as a Vernon alderman. In 1998, Joe was honoured with the Governor General’s “Caring Canadian” award in recognition of his many years of “outstanding contributions to his community and Canada.”

Joe enjoyed sports throughout his life. In his adult years, he coached minor hockey, umpired softball, curled, lawn bowled and played golf. Although in later years he was restricted to enjoying these on television, he still loved to get out for a game of pool with his buddies at the Halina Centre.

Joe loved to reminisce. He had a sharp memory and a great sense of humour, and he loved telling stories about his days in the RCMP. He will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered by his wife Gwen, children Jim (Marg), Dan (Heather), and Kathryn (Harry), as well as his 11 grandchildren, extended family and many friends.

A celebration of life will be held at Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Drive, on Saturday, April 28th, at 11:00 a.m. Vernon Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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