Obituary: Gene Brown

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Gene Brown

Gene Brown

Gene Brown, 81, of Franklin, died on Feb. 19, 2020 after an extended illness with prostate cancer. 

Mr. Brown was born in October 1938 with his twin brother, Dean, in Hoagland, Indiana. The twins were the last of five boys. 

Gene graduated from Hoagland High School and later from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s of Science in mechanical engineering. He also obtained an MBA from Wayne State University with a focus in finance. 

He worked as a professional engineer in various industries of manufacturing, including in automotives at General Motors in Detroit and International Harvester in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He then worked in the filter industry at Fleetguard in Cookeville and at Baldwin Filters in Kearney Nebraska, where he was vice president of engineering. He had an impactful and fulfilling career and has 35 patents for his innovative and creative engineering designs.

Gene will be remembered for his outgoing and fun-loving personality and his great sense of humor. He had a big and gentle heart, loved deeply and was compassionate and generous towards others. He was creative and intelligent and was a natural at problem solving. He valued education, and nothing brought him greater pride and satisfaction than seeing his children and grandchildren pursue and succeed in their education and professions. 

Gene was preceded in death by his first wife of 30 years, Rita Von Gunten Brown; his parents, Ruth and Lloyd Brown; and his brother, Kermit. 

He’s survived by his loving wife of 24 years, Margaret Bearden Brown, of Franklin; devoted daughters, Nicole Agbunag (Arnold) and Elizabeth Ramsey (Paul); stepdaughters, Gina Getter (Rusty) and Dawn Weed; brothers, Brice Brown (Shirley), Lynn Brown and Dean Brown (Helen); seven grandchildren, Rita Marie Julian (Ryan), Hannah Agbunag, Pete Ramsey, Andrew Agbunag, Ruth Ann Ramsey, Maria Agbunag and Sarah Bette Ramsey; four step grandchildren, Brooke Mayer (Stewart), Courtney Hannaford (Alex), Brittany Baker (J.R.) and John Charles Weed; five step great-grandchildren; 10 nieces and nephews from the Brown family; and seven nieces and nephews from the Von Gunten family.

Visitation with Gene’s family will be held on Friday, Feb. 21, from 6-8 p.m. in Otey Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, located at 510 West Main St. in Franklin. The funeral will be Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s, with burial following at 2 p.m. at Crestlawn Cemetery in Cookeville.

Pallbearers will be Pete Ramsey, Andrew Agbunag, Ryan “Bud” Julian, Alan Brown, Mike Cavacchini, Larry Webb, Murray Huber and Paul Deepen. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Bob VanDervoort, Dr. Charles Sidberry, Herb Moore, Rev. Charles Grimes, Don Menze, George Taylor, Sam Ferrise, Roy Sieber, Ed Raymond and Michael Haman.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.


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