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William "Bill" N. Brown

William “Bill” N. Brown age 98 passed away surrounded by family at the home he built in rural Coffeyville, Kansas on Sunday, March 22, 2020.


Bill was born on February 13, 1922 in Adair, Oklahoma to Joseph and Leatha (Sullivan) Brown.  The Brown children consisted of eleven children; five girls and six boys, William was the last surviving child.  At a young age Bill and his family moved to Coffeyville where he attended school and completed his education.


On July 18, 1942 Bill married his lovely bride, Thelma Belvins in Independence, Kansas. Shortly after they were married Bill was drafted into the US Army and entered active duty on October 17, 1942 and received an honorable discharge on November 19, 1945. Bill anxiously returned to his wife in Coffeyville where they made their home and raised their four daughters, L. Marlene, Beverly, Phyllis and Laura.  Bill built the home that he resided in for his family completely debit free.  Saving his money purchasing just enough to complete what they could afford.  This process continued for several years to make it what it  is today.


Bill retired after dedicated years of service as a Boiler Operator for Sherwin Williams in Coffeyville.  Bill thoroughly enjoyed spending with his family and spoiling his grandchildren and great grandchildren, often inviting them to share a cup of coffee or also known as the “grandkids coffee” made of warm milk, sugar and a splash of coffee.  The parents of his grandchildren and great grandchildren really did name their children but he gave each of them a nickname. He and his daughter Phyllis religiously went fishing twice a week for several years; starting the day with a filled thermos of coffee and a stop by Daylight Donuts for a fresh dozen of glazed donuts.  Their fishing trips might not have been plentiful in the number of fish caught but was priceless in the time spent together and conversations shared.  Raising cattle was more than a hobby or work to him they were his pets.  Bill named every head he’s ever had.  Dogs are man’s best friend was true for Bill, “Bogart” and “Queenie” were loved and cherished by him.


Though Bill didn’t receive a college education he was very methodical and had an inventive mind.  He had a very strong magnet that he worked and manipulated to try and build a working engine that would be completely powered by magnetic force using no other source of power.  He was able to build his prototype that worked on a small scale.  Bill was a Jack of all Trades and a master of some, he could be found tinkering on some project when he wasn’t busy fishing, hunting, or feeding his cattle. Bill was a member of Dearing Christian Church and the former CB club in Coffeyville.


Bill’s legacy and shared memories will live on with this daughters, Beverly and her husband Jerald Kirkland, l. Marlene White and her husband Bob White, Phyllis and her husband Doug Harmon, Laura and her husband Bill Cunningham; eight grandchildren, Gregory Kirkland, Keith Kirkland, Shelia Onnen, Shari Herron, Spencer Brown, Allen Brown, Sonya Kruse and Jeremy Cunningham; twenty six great grandchildren, eight great-great grandchildren and ten great-great-great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Thelma; five brothers and five sisters.




Private services will be held, and burial will follow at Restlawn Memorial Park under the direction of Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel.  Pastor Jamie Regis will Officiate.  The family has suggested memorials be made payable to the Coffeyville Recreation Commission for the Kids Fishing Derby, contributions may be left in care of the chapel or mailed to Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel, 2405 Woodland Ave., Coffeyville, Kansas 67337.  To leave the family a message of condolence please our website at


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