HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Charles William (Bill) Brown, 70, loving husband of Jackie McGee Brown for 47 years, passed away suddenly Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Huntsville, Ala.
Surviving is his wife, Jackie McGee Brown; son Tim (Sarah) Brown of Wichita, Kan., and their four children, Ashlyn, Terran, Teagan and Braden; daughter Kimberly (Rob) Huchel of Fairmount, Ill., and their three children, Ryan, Troy and Mattison; and son Scott (Erika) Brown of Dallas, Texas, and their five children, Alec, Andie, Sennett, Sawyer and Blake; his brother, Jim (Sandy) Brown of Chicago; sister Becky (George) Oliver of Smithville, Tenn.; sister Mary (Rick) Moisio of Tucson, Ariz.; sister-in-law Becky (Bill) Siddens of Danville; and sister-in-law Judy McGee of Park Forest.
Bill was born in Danville and raised on the family farm near Indianola, Ill., the eldest child of and preceded in death by his parents, Charles (Dean) Brown and Helen Kehlenbach Brown.
He was a master electrician by trade and worked for General Motors (later Delphi) for 35 years at Tilton, Ill., and then Decatur, Ala. He graduated from Jamaica High School in 1960. From 1964 to 1972 Bill served in the Illinois National Guard, receiving an honorable discharge after having attained the rank of staff sergeant.
Bill was a self-educated man with a deep love of geology, astronomy and manned space flight. He was first introduced to geology by his father who brought home geodes he found in the plowed fields. Over the years, Bill built a mineral and rock collection of impressive scope. Bill’s knowledge was extensive, and he spent much time explaining to his children and grandchildren where the various specimens came from and how the rocks formed. He had a home telescope through which he loved to look at the stars and constellations. Among many other trips to Cape Canaveral, he attended the last Space Shuttle launch as a VIP.