Cover photo for Joseph Merrill "Joe" Brown's Obituary
Joseph Merrill "Joe" Brown Profile Photo

Joseph Merrill "Joe" Brown

September 6, 1926 — January 24, 2023

Joseph Merrill "Joe" Brown


After an amazing and full life, Joseph Merrill "Joe" Brown, age 96, died Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center in Walsenburg, Colorado.


He was born on September 6, 1926, in Hooker, Oklahoma to Mary Cox Brown and William Ellis Brown, one of 13 children. Joe was raised in Hooker until he joined the Navy in January 1945, where he spent most of his service time in Japan.


At the age of 21, Joe accepted the Lord at the Baptist Church in Adams, Oklahoma.  He was baptized in Tyrone, Oklahoma and in 1948 he became a member of the First Baptist Church in Liberal, Kansas, where he served many years in various capacities, including Sunday School teacher and Deacon.  Joe enjoyed his fellowship with his Sunday School class, The Reapers.  He and Dorothy were "locally famous" at Sunday School functions for their Dutch oven chicken.  It couldn't be beat!  He especially enjoyed working with the youth.  Joe's relationship with his Lord and his church were a vital part of his life and he took it seriously.


On August 28, 1948, Joe married the love of his life, Dorothy Fraim, at the Baptist Parsonage in Perryton, Texas. They were married for 73 years, until Dorothy was called home.


Joe and Dorothy were blessed with the arrival of their son, Terry, on September 6, 1952, arriving on Joe's birthday.  Joe loved to travel with his family, often taking their camper.  Joe's entire family was active in the scouting program, with Joe serving as Assistant Scout Master for approximately 12 years.  Terry brought his wife, three grandchildren, bonus grandchild, and five great grandchildren into the family.  Their home of nearly 70 years enjoyed many birthday and holiday celebrations with the family.


One Christmas, Dorothy had presented Joe with a dulcimer kit, and he was hooked from there on, making almost 400 dulcimers.  They enjoyed traveling to dulcimer festivals, selling the dulcimers and making many new friends over the years.  They enjoyed performing as a duo on the dulcimers at various functions when asked.


Joe retired from Centel Electric Company after 43 years, the majority of those years as a line foreman.  After retirement he worked for some time as a driver for Cimmaron Pathology of Liberal.


Joe missed Dorothy after she passed in February 2021 but was happy to have time and help from his son Terry.  He moved to Walsenburg, Colorado in June of 2022 to be in the care of the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center.  With grateful hearts we remember the ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us.


He is survived by his son, Terry Joe Brown and his wife, Carolyn of Walsenburg, Colorado, Brother, Charles Brown of Wheeler, Texas, Grandchildren, Teryn Draper (Brandon), Tyler (Logan), Thomas Cardinelli, Courtney Wise (Mike), and great grandchildren, Liv Brown, Eva Draper, Kaeden Wise, Ivy Draper, and Nikolas Wise.


He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Brown, brothers, Rueben, Ross, William, Walter, Robert, and Vernon Brown, sisters, Lois Thurman, Bernadine Rich, Libby Retzloff, and Patsy Immell.  His brother Gene Brown passed away 14 hours after Joe's death.


A Memorial Service will be 10:00 AM on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at the Hornung Family Funeral Home, 1212 W 2nd Street, Liberal, Kansas.


Inurnment for Joe and Dorothy will follow at Restlawn Cemetery.    


Memorial contributions are suggested to First Baptist Church of Liberal, in care of Hornung Family Funeral Home, 1212 W 2nd Street, Liberal, Kansas.


Condolences may be sent to the family at

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Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 4, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Hornung Family Funeral Home

1212 W. 2nd, Liberal, KS 67901

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Saturday, February 4, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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