Don Brown was 4 years old when he celebrated the first Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918, at the end of World War I.
He almost made it to the 95th.
Donald Henry Brown, 99, a retired engineer with Lone Star Gas and a decorated veteran of World War II, died Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Decatur.
Brown served in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant under Gen. George Patton. He landed at Utah Beach in Normandy the day after D-Day, on June 7, 1944, and liberated Pont L’Abbe with the Army’s 90th Division.
He was wounded and forced to return to England for medical treatment. By the time he returned to his unit, only a few of the original 200 men were still alive.
He was wounded again, this time by an artillery shell fragment. He displayed that original bullet along with his two Purple Hearts on the wall of his residence at Governor’s Ridge in Decatur.
Don was a member of the Wise County Veterans Group and a mainstay of the coffee group that meets most mornings at the Decatur Chamber of Commerce office.
Funeral was Oct. 25 at the First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Brian Bosworth officiating. Burial followed at Oaklawn Cemetery under the direction of Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Bob Johnson, Eddie Green, Ray Nellis, Joe Goodwin, Dick Chase and Rodney Wooley. Honorary pallbearers were C.B. Hoyl, W.B. Woodruff, Billy Bramlett, J.E. Hayes, J.E. Carson and Sam Renshaw.
Donald was born July 17, 1914, in Decatur to William Weaver and Birdie (Harlan) Brown. He was a graduate of Decatur High School and Decatur Baptist College and received his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M. He married Ruth Duncan in Dallas in 1945, and she preceded him in death in 1964. Several years later, he married Ruth Goodson in 1970 in Dallas, and she preceded him in death in 1996. Donald was also preceded in death by his brother, Harlan Brown.
He is survived by daughters, Linda Cowell and husband, Jim, of Decatur, Carolyn DeGeorge and husband, Gary, of Grapevine and Marilyn Williams of Nashville, Tenn.; granddaughters Vanessa Acker, Susana Acker, Meredith Schneider and Ashley Poling; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.