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James Edward Brown

August 10, 1926~April 23, 2022


James Edward Brown (Jim) was born on August 10, 1926 to Edward A. Brown and Alice (Bowie) Brown in Ft. Madison, IA. He grew up in Ft. Madison where he was active in sports. Upon graduation from high school, he joined the US Navy and became a pilot. He trained at various naval air bases in the Midwest and Pensacola, FL and finally was stationed at Moffett Naval Air Station in California.

On February 9, 1951 he married Beverly Brown, of Ft. Madison, IA and she joined him at Moffett Airfield. During a training mission, his plane lost oil pressure and was forced to make an emergency landing. The plane hit an electric high wire and crashed into a pasture where he sustained extensive burns and a severe head injury. After a lengthy recovery, he retired from the Navy and enrolled at UC Berkley to pursue a career in engineering. Upon graduation, he and Beverly relocated to southern California, first to Northridge and then to Palm Desert, where he continued his career in engineering. Jim also put his engineering skills to use designing a mountain cabin at Camp Nelson where he and Bev entertained many friends and family. In retirement, he volunteered at the Living Desert, propagating plants and cacti for many of the displays. Jim was a health enthusiast who enjoyed exercise well into his 90s.


Shortly after Beverly’s death in 2017, Jim moved to West Des Moines, IA to be closer to relatives. He resided at Arbor Springs until his death. In 2019, Jim was able to go on an Honor Flight to Washington DC. He was treated like a hero and it was truly an honor for him. When anyone thanked him for his service, his reply would be, “My pleasure.”


He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Beverly and his sister and brother-in-law Barbara and Edwin Clark.


He is survived by his nieces Cathy (Ron) Godwin, Panora, IA, Susie (Steve) Howard, Greenwood, IN, Lianne (Ben) Westcot, Solon, IA , Mari (Kyle) Mayborn, Macomb, IL and nephew Richard Clark, Panora, IA.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Interment will be at Iowa Veterans Cemetery, Van Meter.