LeRoy G. Browen, age 87, of Cambridge passed away May 1, 2008 at his home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, May 5, 2008 at Karmel Covenant Church. Visitiation will be held from 4:00 – 8:00 P.M. on Sunday, May 4th at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel and also 1 hour prior to the funeral Monday at the church. Interment will be in the church cemetery.
LeRoy George Browen was born on July 8th, 1920 in Emery, South Dakota to Engelbert and Gertrude Browen; the second of eleven children. A World War II veteran, Roy joined the Army in 1942 and served both stateside and in foreign campaigns. After the war, Roy returned to South Dakota where he owned and operated a farm implement in Alexandria. He met his wife, Bernetta, at a local restaurant where she worked as a waitress. They were married on June 14th, 1951. Roy and Bernetta moved to Isanti County in 1952 where they purchased their Springvale Township farm.
Roy retired at age 52 when doctors told him that he needed to stop farming due to heart disease. This reality began nearly 35 years of Roy and Bernetta’s passion for serving the community and others through volunteering. A passion second only to the time spent with their family.
In 2003, Roy was named Minnesota’s Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year and was honored at ceremonies at the Minnesota State Fair. This award celebrated his many years of service with Seven County Senior Federation, Isanti County Commission on Aging, Senior Partners Care Program, Senior Dining Site Council, Senior Activity Center (SACs), One More Time Clothing Center, Veteran’s Administration studies on coronary artery disease and angina, Foster Grandparents,and many other volunteer activities.
Roy passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 1st, 2008 at his home surrounded by his family at the age of 87 years, 9 months and 23 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, Engelbert and Gertrude Browen, and his brothers, Lawrence, Raymond, Myron, Harold, and Luverne Browen.
Roy is survived by his wife Bernetta; children Diane Thompson (Mike) of Princeton MN, Gary Browen (Cheryl) of Andover MN, Donna Auth (Jeff) of Cambridge MN, Greg Browen (Luanne) of Dalbo MN, Dale Browen (Patty) of Becker MN, and Julie Weeks-Freedman (Dave) of Maple Grove MN; 21 grandchildren (Amy Dronen (Marc), Jenna Thompson, Matthew Thompson (Leah), Brian Thompson (Angela), Melissa Harper (Jason), Heather Fenwick (Dustin), Justin Browen, Tim Browen (Amy), Mandy Kazmerzak (Paul), Tony Browen, Chelsea Browen, Danett Manders (Jay), Nathan Schleicher, Kevin Auth, Craig Browen (Julie), Derek Browen, Ethan Weeks, Kally Weeks, Sydney Weeks, Nicole Freedman, and Avery Freedman); 16 great-grandchildren (Emerson, Adyson, Isaac, Levi, Ava, Rakayla, Kathryn, Kaylie, Cody, Ridge, Peyton, Alexis, Cade, Dillon, Kira, and Madden). Also survived by his sisters, Bernice Fluth of Cambridge MN, Fern Hanssen of Emery SD, Delores Klinger of Sioux Falls SD, and Eldora Burmeister of WA; brother, Bob Browen of Salem SD; and many other relatives and friends.
Special thanks to the Veterans Administration Medical Center staff and volunteers for their many years of wonderful care and to the staff at Fairview Lakes HomeCaring & Hospice for their understanding, care and guidance in recent days.
His family will miss most the twinkle in his eye, the tiny smirk on his face, his love of humor and pranks and, most of all, the love and support that he showed each of us in every aspect of our lives.
He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland