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Joan “Joanie” L Brown

September 19, 2019 | 2 comments

Joan “Joanie” L. Brown, 84, passed away peacefully Friday September 13, 2019 at home in West Salem surrounded by her family. She was born at home in Mackford, WI on April 8, 1935 to John and Edna (Schmuhl) Berndt. She married Richard E. Brown on July 12, 1952. They divorced in 1981.

Survivors include her 7 children: Laurie Chambers, Sherry (Tom) Bonsall, Rick (Diane Engebrecht) Brown, Jon Brown, Ron Brown, Kim (Dave) Seeger, Pam (Chris) Watts.  18 grandchildren: Shawn Zellmer, Nikki (Eric) Jandro, Heath, Nick (Jenna) and Jarrod Bonsall, Elgin (Kim) Brown, Heather (Justin) Olson, Aidan (MaKayla Talley) Brown, Amber, Bridgette, Carissa and Bailey Brown, Dani (Brad) Miller, Cole Seeger, William Watts, Kassie (Justin) Taylor, Alyssa Strittmater, Kory (Kayla) Watts and a sister Janet (Allan) Brooks.  25 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents John and Edna Berndt, her infant son James Kelly Brown, her husband of 25 years Richard Brown Sr.,  her loving companion of 17 years Joe Culpitt and her Son-in-laws Steven Zellmer and Keith Chambers.

Joan was an awesome cook. Over the years she cooked and waitressed in many venues in both Texas and Wisconsin.  She loved to travel, play cards and gamble. One of her favorite destinations was Las Vegas. She enjoyed family holidays and birthdays where she would cook all her family’s favorite dishes. These events always included many hours of playing nickel and dime poker. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren learned the game of poker at an early age.  She must have been a good teacher because she always seemed to be the one to lose the most money.  On Thursday nights you could usually find her at Thirsty Thursday having many laughs with her friends and family.  Joanie was always the life of the party.  Even her grandkids had a hard time keeping up with her, but they loved trying! She loved to dance and could talk just about anybody into being her dance partner.  She loved spending time searching for treasures at garage sales.  She was an amazing woman with a contagious laugh that will be sadly missed by many.

Services will be held Saturday September 28, 2019. Visitation will be at the Presbyterian Church in West Salem from 10:30 am to 11:30 am with a service following.  A “Celebration of Life” luncheon will be held from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the West Salem American Legion for family and friends to gather and reminisce.

A special thanks to the Mayo Hospice staff that cared for Mom in the hospital and assisted the family in caring for Mom at home. Thank you to all the friends and family that brought in food. It was greatly appreciated.



  1. Scott & Laurie Perry

    Our deepest condolences to the Brown families for the loss of your mom. Joan was a pretty special lady; her obituary was written perfectly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you work through these difficult days.

  2. Pat and Jan Dovenberg

    Our deepest condolences to the Brown families for the loss of your mother! I have so many fond memories of Joanie, as I am sure many people do. She will be missed. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time!!

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