L. Eugene Brown


L. Eugene Brown, 94, passed away March 21, 2016, in Indianapolis.

He was born July 29, 1921 at the family home in Johnson County, the son of Ira and Mabel Vandivier Brown.

On June 9, 1944, he married Evelyn Park, his wife of 71 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents; as well as his brothers Harold, Charles and Robert Brown, sister Patricia Nugent and their spouses; and his granddaughter, Sarah Brown.

He is survived by wife, Evelyn; daughters, Jane Groh of Minnesota and Beth Brown of Spencer, sons Larry of Florida and Bill (Jane) of Colorado; grandchildren, Aaron and Alicia Groh, Ryan (Jude) Brown, Erika (Scott) Cannel, Nicolle (Shaun) Christiansen, Emma (Eric) Ford, Jessica Van Buskirk; and great-granddaughters Clara, Evelyn, Phoebe, Ava, Addyson, Aubrey, Coral and Zara.

Gene graduated from Union Township High School, Butler University, and Yale University Divinity School.

He served six years as intern minister in Indiana, Texas, and Connecticut; 20 years as minister of churches in Oklahoma and Indiana, and then 20 years as director of clergy development for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the USA/Canada. He then served a decade as interim minister for numerous churches in Indiana and Florida, along with his involvement in continuing education at Christian Theological Seminary and Claremont School of Theology.

He was the author of a book, “A Memoried People, Remembering, Made Whole,” and lyricist of two hymns.

Gene served as mentor and role model to many, displaying warmth, humor and acceptance, encouraging reflection of one’s values.

He was a man who knew how to listen, to speak and to sing in a rich baritone voice, a seeker of knowledge and insight who throughout his personal and professional life exhibited integrity, commitment, warmth, understanding, wit, wisdom, life-long learning, compassion and love.

A celebration of life will be at 5 p.m., Friday, July 29, which would have been his 95th birthday. Visiting hours will be from 4 to 5 p.m. at Downey Avenue Christian Church, 111 S. Downey Ave., Indianapolis.