Thomas Lee Brown of Yates Center, passed away Nov. 21, 2020. He was born in Iowa City, Iowa, to Joseph L. Brown and Lydia (Bohr) Brown on July 12, 1951. He was the middle of three children Connie Davis, his older sister, preceded him in death; her son survives. His younger sister, Barbara Leavitt, of Iola, survives as does his niece, nephew, various grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins.
His family moved to Yates Center in the late 1960s where his parents ran the Townsman Motel. He graduated from Yates Center High School in 1969 and joined the United States Army shortly thereafter. He met Diana Lyn Kress, also of Yates Center, and they married in July 1972. Their daughter Candi Lane Brown (now Katherine Schlem) was born in 1973. They spent their early marriage in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They separated in 1976. Diana passed away in 2002. Their daughter, Katherine, Tom’s son-in-law Michael, and his two grandsons, Michael Thomas and Christopher Ward survive.
In the interim years, Tom spent time serving in Germany and Alaska in the military, eventually transitioning to the National Guard. He also served as a peace officer in Katy, Texas, and sold insurance in Chicago, Illinois. He met his second wife, Mary, in the early 1980s. They divorced soon thereafter.
In 1985, Thomas married Patricia Woodard of Wichita. Out of that relationship a daughter, Constance Annette Brown (now Constance Shouse) was born in 1989. They divorced in the 2000s. Constance, a Wichita resident, survives as do her three children, Sophia Elisabeth, Robert David Victor and Vash Alexander.
Tom was always known for being sharp of tongue and witty; his clever repartee was always laced with humor. His favorite phrase was that he felt comfortable being “rude, crude and socially unacceptable.” Though situations may have prevented him from being always present in his daughters’ lives, he loved them fiercely. Health problems later in life prevented him from being the type of grandfather he really wanted to be and his one wish was to hang on long enough to see his grandchildren all graduate from high school.
Though his physical presence is now gone, Tom will live on in the spirit of his daughters, grandsons and granddaughter, and will be missed by so many in the Yates Center community.
Cremation will take place and inurnment will be at the Yates Center Graceland Cemetery. Those plans as well as a memorial service will be planned at a future date when gatherings can be deemed safe for attendees and less dangerous for high risk individuals. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the highly regarded veterans organization, Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675.