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Wilbert 'Will' Brown, 78 | Coeur d'Alene Press

Wilbert “Will” Brown departed this life on earth to be with his Lord for eternity in Hayden, Idaho on April 8, 2024.

Will was brought into this life on September 8, 1945 by his parents, Hubert and Esther Brown of Haxtun, Colorado. Will's first home was a 600-square-foot, two-room farmhouse east of Haxtun.

Will was the oldest of three boys. He was joined on the family farm by the LaVern brothers in 1948 and the Milton brothers in 1955. The family moved to a new house built by her father when he was not farming. Growing up on the family farm, Will developed a great work ethic and a love of all things mechanical.

Will was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church. He attended the Haxtin school system and graduated with the class of 1963.

At the age of 17, Will enlisted in the Navy. During his time in the Navy, he was stationed in many locations including Memphis, Tennessee, Midway Island and finally Alameda Navel Air Station. In 1965 he completed his training as an aircraft mechanic. During his training he met his future wife Nona and their daughter Tamara (Tammy). As Tammy's stepfather, he did everything for her. His role was bigger than the wonderful things he did for others. As her father, he gives 100% of his love and spends the next 57 years in her love. During their time together, Nona and Will were blessed with two beautiful grandchildren: Kelley Villa, their daddy's little girl even after 30 years, and Stephen Villa, a partner with a passion for mechanics. Will looked forward to their many visits to Idaho. Winter in the snow, summer cycling on the Hiawatha Trail. Will was always planning something special for his grandchildren, like a trip to Mt. Rushmore, Devils Mountain and Grand Coulee Dam.

Will greatly enjoyed his extended family. Christopher, the son of his brother Vern and Nancy Brown, won Will's heart at a young age and Chris hired him to film his activities and referee his baseball games. He became a second father to Sharnay, the daughter of Milton and Nancy Brown, while she attended college in Moscow, Idaho. Will followed many of Milton and Nancy's son Keaton Brown's swimming competitions from his childhood through college.

After the Navy, he worked in a variety of jobs before settling on his future career as a master crane mechanic at Matson Industries in the Port of Oakland, California. Will's boss said, “He could always find a way to fix anything.” He was well respected in his field.

After retiring from Matson, Will and Nona moved to Hayden, Idaho and built the life of his dreams, including a home he and Nona designed. Retirement meant 20 acres of green trees. After building their home, Will spent his retirement building barns, restoring tractors, using his new John Deer and planning another hunting trip with his hunting companion and friend of 50 years, Ed Gilmore. Will loved every day feeding the deer, birds and animals that wandered onto his property. Maybe I don't enjoy shoveling the 18 inches of snow that might fall overnight or scaring off a pesky bear.

Will was preceded in death by his parents, Hubert and Esther Brown; aunt and uncle Clemens and Beulah Einsphar; and nephew Christopher Brown.

Wilbert is survived by his wife, Nona; daughter, Tammy Villa (Chip); granddaughter Kelley Villa; grandson, Stephen Villa; brother LaVern Brown (Nancy); brother Milton Brown (Nancy); niece Sharnay Wegar (Travis) and son Grayson; nephew Keaton Brown (Annie); and many loving cousins ​​and friends in California, Idaho and Colorado. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Haxtun, Colorado. Afterwards there is lunch.

Anna Harden

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