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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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August 13, 2020

7/10/2020 7:29:00 AM
Rev. William Edward Brown

On Thursday, July 2, 2020, the Reverend William Edward Brown, loving husband and father of two children, entered eternal life at the age of 78. 

Bill was born on March 29, 1942, in Milwaukee, to George and Lenore Brown.

After high school and two tours of duty in the U.S. Army,  Bill graduated from the University of Wisconsin and later from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. 

On June 8, 1969 Bill was ordained to the ministry at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee where he served several years as a youth pastor. 

On May 23,1970 Bill and Vickie Lynn Laber were united in marriage in Oakland, Iowa. Together with love they raised two children, Julie Lynn and Christopher Andrew.

Bill was creative, artistic, deeply spiritual, with a quiet manner and a ready smile.  All of these traits were fueled with a love of science, architecture, music and preaching. 

Bill's dream of completing a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home was fulfilled by the time he reached retirement from full time ministry in 2007. He enjoyed many years at "Aerie" on Kentuck Lake near Eagle River both before and after retirement.

Bill spent his life as a dedicated pastor to Presbyterian congregations, serving 38 years in full time ministry, in Milwaukee; Brighton, Mich.; Jackson, Mich.; Des Moines, Iowa, and Macomb, Ill. 

After retirement Bill served as interim pastor to four WI UCC churches located in St. Germain, Rhinelander, Neillsville, and Three Lakes. 

Bill was preceded in death by his beloved grandmother, Jeannie Liston, and loving parents, George and Lenore Brown. 

He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Vickie; his children, Julie Lynn Pryor (Corey Pryor) of Jackson, Mich. and Christopher Andrew Brown of California; four grandchildren, Jaelynn Ringer, Cierra Pryor, Corey Pryor ll, and Nolan A. Brown; brother Thomas Brown of Oconomowoc; many loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.  

The family would like to thank Dr. Koeppl, the caregivers at Milestone Senior Living, Pastime staff, dear friends Marty Rosenthal and Ed Stoever, and St. Matthias Episcopal Church friends and priest Dr. Erin Kirby for caregiving, regular visits and support.

We would also like to thank our friends and family far and wide for their kindness and support.

A Zoom Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 1 p.m.

If you would like to be included in this Zoom Memorial Service please email Kay Norton at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to McCormick Theological Seminary at or Seminary Relations and Development McCormick Theological Seminary  5460 S. University  Chicago, IL 60615.

Bolger Cremation and Funeral Services is assisting the family, 715-356-3200 or visit to share condolences.

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