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Brown, Leonard 1919-1971


Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 7/25/2007 at 14:25:58


Leonard Brown, 52, a well-known Merrill cattle feeder and grain farmer, drowned near Akron about 5:45 p.m. Monday night while fishing.

Sheriff Ed Guntren said Mr. Brown and Roger Thill, 41, also of Merrill, were fishing and trying out a new flat bottom boat in a farm pond 2 ˝ miles south of Akron near hiway 12 when the boat began taking on water. It is believed the boat belonged to Mr. Brown.

The men were sitting in the boat fishing and when they noticed the boat filling with water Mr. Brown evidently panicked and started to swim to shore, according to the sheriff.

When Mr. Brown jumped from the boat it capsized, Mr. Thill hung onto the boat and yelled for help.

The former sandpit is located on a farm owned by J. H. Earnest and occupied by Ed Beeck, a former LeMars barber.

Dr. Ken Boyd, an Akron veterinarian, was making a call at the Don Boetger farm nearby. Dr. Boyd and Mr. Boetger heard Mr. Beeck shouting for help for Mr. Thill.

According to the sheriff, the three men did some fast rescue work and got Mr. Thill to shore.

He was taken to the Akron hospital by Akron police and treated as an outpatient. Mr. Thill and his wife Kay own and operate the Midway Lounge at Merrill.

The Sioux City Diving Club was called to aid in the search for Mr. Brown’s body. In the meantime, members of the fire and rescue department from Akron began dropping hooks and recovered the body about 7:30 p.m.

The diving club members were telephoned and had not left Sioux City by the time the body had been recovered.

It is reported that the sandpit is very deep and there is a possibility the plug in the bottom of the boat popped out, allowing the water to enter the boat.

Mr. Brown’s body was taken to the Akron hospital by Luken-Johnson ambulance and then to Mauer funeral home at LeMars.

Investigating officers included sheriff Guntren, Akron police, highway patrolman William Wruck and conservation officer, Larry Ford.

Mr. Brown was a lifelong Plymouth Count and rural Merrill resident.

Funeral services will be Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Adaville United Methodist Church, rural Merrill, with Rev. J. Larry Vallery officiating.

Burial will be in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Adaville, under the direction of the Mauer funeral home.

Mr. Brown was born Aug. 10, 1919, at rural Merrill, a son of the late Wesley and Lillian Mary Berger Brown.

He graduated from Liberty township high school and married Virginia Anderson Aug. 28, 1964, at Omaha.

He was a member of the board of directors of the National Livestock Feeders Assn. and a member of Giblem Masonic lodge, 322 A.F.A.M., Abu Bekr Shrine, and Scottish Rite Consistory, both of Sioux City.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Dewey.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia Brown of 515 Douglas, Merrill, and other relatives.

~source: LeMars Sentinel, dated October 12, 1971
~Note: Date of death: Monday, October 11, 1971


Plymouth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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