Cover photo for John "Jack" R. Brown, Jr.'s Obituary
John "Jack" R. Brown, Jr. Profile Photo
1927 John "jack" 2019

John "Jack" R. Brown, Jr.

October 31, 1927 — September 25, 2019

John R. “Jack” Brown Jr., of Shawnee, passed away at the age of 91 on Sept. 25, 2019, at his home, surrounded by family.  

Jack was born on October 31, 1927, to John R. and Lois E. Brown, in Shawnee.  He graduated from high school in Sandusky, OH in 1946, after his family traveled north to find work during the war.  Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 during the Korean War, Jack was part of the oft-forgotten generation of Americans that answered the call of duty in the name of freedom.  Never proclaiming to be heroic, Jack ultimately served his time during the war safely in Germany, receiving an honorary discharge on Aug. 31, 1956.

After being “scared straight,” Jack finally got his act together and graduated from the Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce in 1955.

Jack really got lucky when he was set up on a blind date with a young OBU student named Gloria Tobler.  While Gloria’s mother was none-too-impressed, Jack persevered and the two were married on June 7, 1958—celebrating their 61st Anniversary in 2019.

After working with his dad for 12 years at Brown Furniture Company on Main Street, Jack opened his own furniture store on Kickapoo in 1970, which ultimately became the iconic standard of excellence for fine furniture in Oklahoma.  A devastating fire nearly destroyed his life’s work in 1985.  Nevertheless, at the age of 58, and always the optimist, Jack rebuilt his business, finally retiring in 2014 at the age of 87.  Furniture was his passion, his hobby, and his life—second only to family.

A devoted member of First Baptist Church in Shawnee since the 1940’s, Jack served as a Sunday School teacher and a deacon, and he was recently recognized as the Church’s oldest active member.

Jack was an avid Oklahoma State Cowboy fan:  football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling—all things OSU!  He fervently watched his Cowboys win and lose, lose and win, depending on the year, never losing hope—at least not completely.

Jack was a huge fan and supporter of Oklahoma Baptist University—serving on the Advisory Board since its inception.  Ironic, as he was once expelled from the University shortly after high school.

In March 1957, Jack joined the Shawnee Kiwanis Club.  He became president in 1987.  Jack loved helping with the Shawnee Little Olympics and was a self-proclaimed expert pancake-flipper, sending pancakes flying toward anyone brave enough to try to catch. Jack was a proud contributor to the “Football Follies” program on KGFF Radio in the 1970’s, providing first-rate commentary and second-rate jokes (mostly inappropriate for younger listeners).

Jack loved what he called the 3 F’s: Family, Football, & Furniture (not necessarily in that order).  He loved to travel, including fishing trips to Canada, and he returned many times to Germany.

Jack was preceded in death by his father John R. Brown, Sr., mother Lois Smith Brown, sister Beverly Brown Thomas, and his brother Terry Brown.

Jack is survived by the absolute love of his life, Gloria Brown; daughters Gena Stoll & husband David of Phoenix, AZ, and Annette Moreland & husband David of Natchez, MS; son John R. Brown III of Shawnee; grandchildren Courtney & Carter Jones, Chas & Andrew Moroney, Jack Brown IV & wife Amanda, Emily Brown, and great-granddaughter Anderson Kay Brown.  He is also survived by his brother Tom Brown & wife Carole of Shawnee; niece Martha Vaught & husband James; nephews Greg Brown & wife Christine, Hal Brown & wife Kathy, and Craig & Chuck Thomas, as well as numerous extended family members—he loved them all.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 28 at First Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 227 N. Union, Shawnee, OK 74801.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John "Jack" R. Brown, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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