Gordon Dean Brown
Gordon Dean Brown was born the third of seven sons to Roland and Eula Winona Bailey Brown on August 19, 1939, on the family farm northeast of Jesup, Iowa. He passed to life eternal on July 29, 2020 in Columbia, Missouri. The interment of his ashes will be Saturday, July 10 with Rev. Kristy Parker officiating at Old Barclay Cemetery at 3 p.m. Family and friends are invited to join Gordon's family at Jesup Presbyterian Church from 4 to 6 p.m. following the service for a time of fellowship to celebrate Gordon's life. He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church.

Many of Gordon's sustaining values and principles were developed early in life on the family farm. Hard work, caring for the land and the importance of family and community were paramount in Gordon's life. He graduated from Jesup High School in 1957, earned a BS from Iowa State in 1962, a MS in 1967 and a PhD in 1970 from the University of Iowa. In August 1967, Gordon married Kathleen Sue Miller, who also embodied the values of family, community, hard work and preserving the land. In 1969, their first son, Douglas, was born in Iowa City. The family moved to Cali, Colombia in 1970 where Gordon was a scientist for the World Health Organization.

In 1972, Gordon accepted a faculty position and was director of Health Planning and Administration at the Pennsylvania State University. The family welcomed Sarah, born 4 days after Gordon's return from Colombia. Second son, Dean, was born in 1975. The family loved Happy Valley and the children grew up on farms in Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania and later Boone Co., Missouri.

Gordon served as an artillery officer (the King of Battle) in Germany from 1962 to 1965. In 1966 he worked as a Federal Compliance Officer surveying hospitals for compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1965. These experiences deepened his commitment to human rights, serving others and transformational change. Throughout his career he worked in 27 countries.

The family moved to Columbia, Missouri in 1979 where Gordon served for 30 years as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Health Management and Informatics, School of Medicine, at the University of Missouri. His emphasis was using information technology to deliver efficient, quality, coordinated, consumer health care. He published four books, many scientific papers, received national awards and, in 2018, was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration.

He is survived, and so blessed by wife, Kathleen, son, Douglas Roland, and his wife, Jennifer Rafferty Brown, and their sons, Parker Roland (Brookings, S.D.) and Jackson Rafferty Brown from Maple Grove, MN; daughter Sarah Lynne and husband, Mark J. Laufenberg, their children, Henry Gordon, Samuel Jerome, Eleanor Ruth of Champaign, IL; son Dean Vernon Miller and wife, Deirdre Gleeson Brown, their children, Gwyneth Signe and Declan Gleeson Brown of Maplewood, N.J. He is also survived by brothers, Gary, and wife, Donna, of Independence, IA, James and wife, Kathey, of East Peoria, IL , Jerald and wife, Kathy, of Orr, MN. Also brothers-in-law Vern Miller of Reinbeck, Lynn and wife, Tammy Miller, of Jesup and sister-in-law Virginia Zuck of Jesup, aunt Minnie Ada Brown and many nieces, nephews and their families and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Darrel, Richard and Donald, nephew Charles, many aunts and uncles and father and mother-in-law, Vernon and Nelda Miller.

Of utmost importance to Gordon were family, (teaching them family fiddle music), friends, especially his 1957 classmates, his students of over 40-plus years around the world, education and learning, religion, music, history, conservation (followed Aldo Leopold's teachings) of land and sustainability. He supported Iowa State and other universities, Golden K Kiwanis, Missouri Symphony, Planned Parenthood and Jesup Dollars for Scholars. His favorite was the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture in Columbia, MO where an arbor is being installed to honor his commitment to establishing an organization dedicated to the importance of providing healthy homegrown food for children as a deterrent to childhood obesity.
His commitment to Iowa State: family established an agronomy endowed scholarship in father-in-law Vernon Miller's name for graduate students at ISU who do research in the field of sustainable agriculture. This fall the Gordon D. Brown International Research Award will provide funds for Iowa State grad students in the college of Agriculture who are working abroad. He spent his time on his farm finding ways to further sustainable farming practices, tending to purple martins and bluebirds, and to improving his fruit trees. There are two young apple trees, growing in the garden now,that were grafted by a CCUA friend. The original tree was Gordon's favorite apple and it will be named for him.
Back to Stories

  • ad
  • ad
  • ad
  • ad