Walter L. Brown


Walter L. Brown, 81, died peacefully Tuesday at his Columbus home.

Walter was born Nov. 29, 1933, in Johnson County, the son of Edgar and Mae Thomas Brown. He married Nancy Ann Phares on Aug. 10, 1957; and she survives.

After graduation from Edinburgh High School, Walter served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1954 during the Korean War. He served four years of active duty and four years of reserve duty and was honorably discharged with rank of airman 1st class.

He received the National Defense Medal, Honor-Fidelity-Efficiency Medal for Good Conduct, Korean Service Medal, USA, United Nations Korean Award for Services in Defense of the Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and the Korean War Service Medal, presented Sept. 21, 2002, by Consul General the Honorable Kyu-ho Choo of the Republic of Korea located in Chicago, Congressman Steve Buyer, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi and USAF (Ret.) Maj. Gen. Bob Tanguy.

Walter worked all his adult life in farm operations from 1954 to 2015, owning and renting farm ground in the Elizabethtown and Hope area. He farmed the Springer Farm at Elizabethtown for 50 years and was in the process of retiring from farming operations.

He was the proud owner and operator of his John Deere equipment, including tractors and his favorite combine. He always drove GMC or Chevy trucks.

Walter served as president of the Elizabethtown Town Board for three years and helped oversee the installation of water and sewer service to the residents of Elizabethtown. He served as deputy marshal of Elizabethtown for two years and on the volunteer fire department. He previously ran for county commissioner and county sheriff on the Democratic ticket.  

He was a longtime member of the Democratic Party, the VFW and American Legion and was a former member of Moose Lodge.

He attended the Bible Church of Columbus.

Walter is survived by his wife of 58 years, former Mayor Nancy Ann Brown of Columbus; a daughter, Diane (Craig) Hawes of Columbus; two grandchildren, Anthony (Marie) Halberstadt) of Hope and Angela Halberstadt of Columbus; great-grandchildren, Elyzabeth Halberstadt of Edinburgh, and Shyanne Halberstadt and Destiny Halberstadt, both of Hope; great-stepgrandchild, Kyle Turner of Hope; a brother, Horace (Ruth) Brown of Franklin; and a sister, Rosemary (Robert) Thompson of Columbus.

He was preceded in death by siblings, Carl, Ralph, William, Barbara, Phillip and Donald.

The funeral service for Walter will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Myers-Reed Chapel, 3729 25th St., Columbus, with the Rev. Jerry K. Day officiating. Burial will follow at Garland Brook Cemetery in Columbus, with military rites by the honor guard from Wright Patterson Air Base and Bartholomew County Honor Guard. Calling will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday and from 9:30 a.m. until service time Monday.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.

Online condolences may be sent to Walter’s family at