H. Dale Brown
Born Jan. 17, 1927, in Hoopeston, he was the son of Herman W. and Mable E. Roberts Brown.
On March 21, 1948, he married the former Darlene Kissack at the United Methodist Church in Hoopeston. She preceded him in death on Nov. 30, 1998.
He was a graduate of John Greer High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in World War II aboard the USS Markab. He is a graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science and was employed for 21 years by Hamilton-Orr Funeral Home in Hoopeston.
In 1978 he became a partner with Robert Alkire in the Brown-Alkire Funeral Home in Hoopeston, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. Dale was a licensed Funeral Director in the State of Illinois for over 50 years. His compassion and dedication to serving the community of Hoopeston at their most difficult times was the most important thing to him. He had a smile and a handshake for everyone he met and went out of his way to make all those he came in contact with feel comfortable and cared about.
Dale was born and raised in Hoopeston and lived there until his retirement in 1979, when he and Darlene moved to Danville. However, he always considered Hoopeston home.
He was a member of the First Christian Church in Hoopeston for over 70 years. He served as chairman of the Board several times as well as board secretary, a Deacon and Elder. When the church was destroyed by fire on Dec. 17, 1953, he was the one who discovered the fire, called for help and got everyone out of the building safely. He served on the board and as clerk for the rebuilding of the present church building.
He was a life member of American Legion Post 384 and VFW Post 4826 of Hoopeston. He was a longtime member of Star Lodge 709 of Hoopeston, where he had served all offices including Worshipful Master and District Deputy Grand Master for the 8th Eastern District and Illinois Grand Lodge Endowment Committee. He was a Life Member of the Danville Scottish Rite and served as their Commander-in-Chief and as Sovereign Prince of Walter A. Stevens Council Prince of Jerusalem and the organizer and chairman for the Fraternal Relations Committee. He was also the chairman for the Museum Library in Lexington, Mass., for the Valley of Danville Scottish Rite. On Sept. 25, 1977, in Pittsburgh, Pa., he received Masonry's highest honor, the 33rd Degree, presented by the Sovereign Grand Commander. Dale was also a member of Ansar Shrine of Springfield and the Eastern Illinois Shrine Club of Danville, where he helped transport to Shrine Hospitals in St. Louis, Mo., Chicago and Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1971 he was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by the Kentucky governor, Louis B. Nunn. He was a former Boy Scout leader of Troop 37 and along with his wife, Darlene, was a leader of Job's Daughters Bethel 99 in Hoopeston. He was a member of the Hoopeston Lions Club and served several years as secretary. He also served as chairman of the Hoopeston Police Department Board and several other city committees.
Dale had a devilish sense of humor, often telling tall tales so convincingly even his children couldn't quite tell if he was fibbing or telling the truth.
He delighted in his family and his community. He was devoted to his Masonic endeavors and was always there to help a friend or even someone he did not know. During the years that he and Darlene traveled to Florida for the winters he rarely went anywhere where he didn't see someone he knew. He was never a man for hobbies but he attempted to take up golf … that resulted in a lot of laughs and a whole lot of frustration. His special friend, Lois Bury, showed enormous patience with his attempts at the game.
He took great pleasure playing with his daughter's pets, Chipper, Buster, Sadie and Sarah. They always brought a smile to his face.
Survivors include two daughters, Janice (Steve) Voyles of Jacksonville, Fla., and Jill (Marlin) Palmer of Danville. He is also survived by his sister, Marie Brown Lockhart of the Hoopeston Nursing Home, Hoopeston, and one nephew, Randy Lockhart of Milford; five grandchildren, Sara (Paul) Massey of Fleming Island, Fla., Melanie (Kenneth) Schultz of Peoria, Jeffrey Dale Voyles of Jacksonville, Fla., Stephanie (Wayne) Henderson of Urbana and Dustan Long of Sturtevant, Wis. He had 11 great-grandchildren, Samantha, Ian, and Abigail Darlene Massey, Austin, Jacob and Emma Schultz, Katlynn (Samuel) Vires, Konner and Kaleb Long and Andon and Sydnee Long.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct, 1, at Brown-Alkire Funeral Home with Masonic rites at 7:30 p.m. and one hour prior to services at the church. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, at First Christian Church in Hoopeston with the Rev. Rick Branaman officiating. Burial will be at Floral Hill Cemetery in Hoopeston with military rites by American Legion Post 382 and VFW Post 4826. The family requests memorials be made to First Christian Church or Shriner's Hospital, St. Louis, Mo.