February 16, 1927 - February 14, 2016
EDWARD RUSSEL BROWN 1927-2016 The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us that there is nothing sadder or more magnificent than generations changing hands. On the evening of February 14, 2016, another of America’s ‘greatest generation’ passed from this life into the next. Edward Russel Brown entered peacefully into rest at home in Lynnwood, Washington after suffering a major stroke. Born in the ‘old” Barrett hospital in Dillon on February 16, 1927 , Ed was the son of John Jackson “Jack” Brown and May E. (Marchesseau) Brown. Ed had two stepbrothers, James “Jim” Brown and Emerson “Joe” Brown. Known as Russel growing up in Dillon, Bannack, and the Grasshopper, Ed was the grandchild of Beaverhead pioneers Edmund and Elizabeth Marchesseau, who had 12 children. Ed’s mother May was their fourth, orn in the Grasshopper in 1893. May attended Polaris school, graduated from Montana State Normal School (now UMWestern) and taught school in Kidd and Dell before she married Jack at St. James’s Church in Dillon in 1919. In the 1920s, Jack and his sons built the Elkhorn Lodge and Hot Springs in Polaris and also built the longgone Pipe Organ Lodge near Armstead, now under Clark Canyon Reservoir. Jack worked the gold mine in Bannack for a time in the 1930s. May worked as a real estate agent and teacher. Jack and his sons also built houses and barns and other structures that can still be seen in the Grasshopper. In his later years, Ed enjoyed sharing stories about growing up in Beaverhead County in the 1930s and 40s with all the dozens of members of the extended Marchesseau family around. He was especially close to his first cousin Erwin “Bud” Marchesseau, and his great aunt, Mary “Mame” Shepherd. Ed attended grade school in Bannack and the Bagley school in Dillon. He, along with most of the other boys in the BCHS class of 1945, volunteered to fight in WWII, enlisting in the United States Navy. He served in the Naval Air Corps, with a rank of ARM3 (E4), and was honorably discharged in late 1946. After his discharge from active duty, he served four years in the Navy Reserve. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he attended Western Montana College for a year before attending the University of Washington in Seattle, graduating in 1950 with a degree in Russian. Edward obtained a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Montana in 1951. At the suggestion of his brother Jim, then a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard, Edward moved to Washington D.C. This move resulted in three major life events. First, he became a lifelong Baltimore Colts Fan. He never adjusted to the Colts moving to Indianapolis, or to the loss to the Jets in Super Bowl III. Second, as a result of a blind date, Edward was introduced to Reba Jo Guy, originally of Welch, West Virginia. Reba and Ed married in Washington on April 5, 1952. Out of this union were born Cynthia (Brown) Plenert, Russel John Brown, and James Edward Brown. Oldest son Kevin Brown, was adopted from an orphanage in Tehran, Iran. Ed and Reba divorced in 1987, and Reba made Dillon her home until her death in 2007. Third, in 1952 Edward was hired by a new federal agency known as the Central Intelligence Agency. Edward spent almost thirty years with CIA, primarily in the area of covert operations. Edward was truly a ‘cold warrior’ in every sense of the term. During his time in the agency, Ed served in Greece, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal. During his career, he received high level recognition for his service on behalf of the United States and the American people during the Cold War. As well as Russian, Ed spoke Farsi and Turkish. He enjoyed history and talked extensively about the gift of being able to visit personally the battlefields of ancient places and persons such as Alexander the Great, Sparta, Rome, and Genghis Khan. From his earliest days, Edward had a love of learning and a love for travel. Both interests were satisfied many times over, thanks to his work in the Foreign Service and his travels across the world – visiting every continent except Antarctica. He said his biggest regret was never being able to visit Russia and to see Red Square in person, not surprising for a man whose professional career centered around countering the influence of the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. Edward truly had a remarkable, active, and memorable life. Although Edward was not a man of many words and rarely spoke of his work in the CIA, on occasion, and when his children were lucky enough to hear it, Edward enjoyed telling stories about the many interesting characters he encountered during his military and government service. After retirement from federal service, Ed worked for a time with his brothers in business in Seattle before settling into a life of peaceful retirement, where he pursued his interests in reading, history, and caring for his cats, a species for which Edward had a long and abiding love – even though he was allergic to them! His favorite time of the day was mornings, where he could drink coffee, pet his cat, and read the newspaper. . In 1991, Ed married Beli Lama, and the two settled in Lynnwood. While married to Beli, Edward helped raise two of her Nepalese nieces, Sarah and Parvati, providing them with a college education and a home in this country. During the last years of his life, Edward became very bonded to TejTamang, Beli’s nephew – who served as his caretaker and close friend during the period of Ed’s declining health. Ed is survived by his survived by his second wife, Beli, along with his children, Kevin (Dawn) Brown of Dillon, Cindy (Jack) Plenert of Dillon, Russel Brown of Maryland, and James Brown of Helena, and by four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Now that these words have been written, Edward’s children want to convey the following: If life is nothing more than a collection of memories, then our father blessed us with a lifetime’s worth. Our father truly introduced us to the wonders of this magnificent world. Our father would often repeat his mother’s saying that “life is sweet”. While the book of Ecclesiastes also teaches us that the former generations are not remembered; we respectfully disagree. We will never forget time spent together in such far flung places as Kabul, Afghanistan or Karachi, Pakistan or in places closer to home such as Yellowstone Park, Disneyland, or the museums of Washington D.C. Our father was a remarkable man, we are thankful to him for giving us the gift of life, and we were and are honored to call him ‘Dad’. Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Brundage Funeral Home in Dillon followed with full military honors at Mountain View Cemetery.
EDWARD RUSSEL BROWN 1927-2016 The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us that there is nothing sadder or more magnificent than generations changing hands. On the evening of February 14, 2016, another of America’s ‘greatest generation’... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
EDWARD RUSSEL BROWN
The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches...
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Brown family.Send Flowers