The Rev. William L. Brown, 91, who served as executive director of the Wesbury United Methodist Community in Meadville from 1977-1993, died Monday, November 27, 2017 at the Cleveland Clinic, Avon.
Born in East Mecca, Ohio January 25, 1926 to Emerson W. and Helen G. Lewis Brown, he married Carolyn A. Barch on August 1, 1975. She survives. He was a 1943 graduate and Salutatorian of Bristol High School, Bristolville, Ohio and was a Veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Air Corps on a B29 bomber in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. Following the war he graduated in 1950 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in Sociology. While at Ohio State he served as President of the OSU Wesley Foundation. He then earned his bachelor and master's Divinity degrees from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.
He was ordained into the United Methodist Church and served at the Rogers Park Methodist Church in Chicago, the former Delason Avenue Methodist Church in Youngstown, Chaplain of the Youngstown Fire Department, Lisbon and Elkton Methodist Churches in Lisbon and Elkton, Ohio, First Methodist Church, Norwalk and Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton.
He served as an Assistant Administrator of the Copeland Oaks Retirement Community in Sebring, Ohio and then came to Meadville as the Executive Director of Wesbury United Methodist Community in 1977, a position he held until his retirement in 1993. In retirement, he continued his ministry as the Stone United Methodist Church Visitation Pastor until he and Carolyn moved closer to family in Elyria in the early 2000's.
While in Elyria, he served as Visitation Pastor at First United Methodist Church and was active within the Wesleyan Village community, including serving as President of the Resident's Association.
He was very active both locally and on the state level serving as President of the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Assoc. of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging and as treasurer for the entire state association, member of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Fellow of the American College of Health Care Administrators, member of the East Ohio United Methodist Conference, 50 year member of the Western Reserve Masonic Lodge #507, member and past-President of the Crawford County Shrine Club, member and past-President of Meadville Kiwanis Club and Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor, member of Meadville Roundtable, member and past-President of Crawford County Health Systems and past-Chairman of the Meadville Memorial Day Observance Committee. He was an avid Ohio State football and basketball fan, as well as a Cleveland Indians fan.
Survivors, in addition to his wife of 42 years, include; five children, Marla E. Barkey (Jeff) of Atwater, Ohio, Cynthia A. Papadakis (Mario) of Hudson, Ohio, Valerie E. Ruddock (David) of Columbus, Eric W. Brown (Tammy) of Mt. Gilead, Ohio and Nancy L. Kaczor (Jim) of Norwalk; three step-children, Brian S. Barch of Sacramento, California, Sharon L. Robinson (Raymond) of Milan, Ohio and Cynthia E. Romey of Akron; sister, Lois Jean Brown of Warren, Ohio; 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held Saturday, December 2, 2017 at Stone United Methodist Church, with The Rev. Sarah Roncolato, pastor, officiating. Interment with Military Honors provided by Huidekoper VFW Post #2006 was in Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Waid-Coleman Funeral Home, Inc., 12422 Conneaut Lake Road, Conneaut Lake, where memories and condolences may be shared at www.waidcolemanfh.com