Date of Death: March 23, 2024

Service Details

Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 27, 2024 beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Berean Baptist Church, 7813 S. 12th St., Portage. A celebration of Darl’s life will follow at 4:00 p.m. at the church with Pastors Jim Galvin, Steve Nichols, and John Sears officiating. He will be laid to rest in Bly Cemetery in Marcellus on M216 on Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.

Obituary Notice

Darl LaVern Brown, 82, of Three Rivers, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, March 23, 2024. He served well and finished strong, surrounded by his loving family at his home.

He was born February 16, 1942, in Kalamazoo, the son of LaVern E. and Julia (Smith) Brown and graduated from Marcellus High School with the Class of 1960. He helped his grandfather with the vineyard on their 80-acre farm and enjoyed adventures with his brother and also enjoyed living in the country and raising animals.

Darl was proud to have received his journeyman electrician’s license. A Certified Industrial Electrician, he worked for more than 40 years at Hydra-Matic and later American Axle & Manufacturing, where his strong work ethic and his positive, fun-loving attitude garnered him many friends.

On June 19, 1965 he married the love of his life, Shirley Earl, a marriage that lasted 58-1/2 years. They had two sons and raised them on a farm and spent a lot of time gardening, cutting firewood (as the only source of heat in their house), riding bikes (once from their house to Schoolcraft and back), and swimming at Hemlock Lake after a hard day’s work.

Darl and Shirley both committed their lives to their Lord and Savior in 1967 on a very special night at an evangelistic revival at Harmony Chapel. A little later in the same year, they were both baptized in a still chilly Hemlock Lake. Wanting every part of his life to glorify God and testify to His grace, Darl was very active at Harmony Chapel serving as High School Sunday School teacher and later superintendent, song leader, bus driver and captain for the bus ministry, youth group leader and deacon. Later they transitioned to Howardsville Gospel Chapel and served there for many years as deacon, missionary council, member of the choir and orchestra ensemble. Dad and Shirley were part of the founding board of Howardsville Christian School where their sons began attending in 5th grade and later were part of the first graduating class. When Howardsville Christian School expanded with new classrooms, Darl used this opportunity to teach his sons wiring for those classrooms and passed some of his knowledge to them, which they continue to use to this day. Next, the family joined Berean Baptist Church where he loved singing in the choir, helping with the annual Action Day Camp (2023 had over 600 kids and community members attended), and really loved and was welcomed in one of the adult Sunday school classes. In the past few years as Darl’s health deteriorated, they began attending Newberg Norton Bible Church’s midweek prayer meeting which was closer to their house and was easier on his back as he had extensive bone cancer.

Darl not only believed in Jesus Christ, he believed as the Bible instructs that we need to share that wonderful news with others which he did throughout his life. Even through his cancer treatments and hospitalizations he continually shared his testimony and openly asked others if they were believers and shared with them his testimony if they weren’t.

Darl’s interests were many including gardening, flowers, love for Lionel O-gauge model trains, and really any steam locomotive, mushroom hunting, walking in the woods, taking boat rides, taking Gator rides and generally spending time in their 37 acres of woods.

Darl enjoyed spending time with his family; with his wife and later with his sons whom he continually taught and provided guidance, encouragement and sometimes discipline, but always did so in love. Later as the Lord blessed one of his sons with a wife and later sons as well, he enjoyed spending time with them too.

Remaining to cherish his memory are his wife, Shirley Brown; sons, Dion Brown and Todd (Katherine) Brown; grandsons, William and Nathanael Brown; sister, Verna (Phil) Maughan; and many nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Dale; sister, Dena; cousins and a nephew.

Additional Information

Donations in Darl’s memory may be directed to Berean Baptist Church for Action Day Camp. Envelopes will be available at the church.

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  1. Wow! Sorry I didn’t hear of this sooner. Darl was a big influence in my life in my teenage years, remembering riding in the back of his pickup to teen events through Harmony Chapel Church. He helped to get a rebellious teen(me) to understand the importance of a Christian walk and got me headed in the right direction. Condolences to Shirley, Dion, and Todd as well as other family. He loved the Lord and served Him well.

  2. Shirley , I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet husband! I always enjoyed sitting and talking with and sharing lunch at the COA with you both! After I retired from the COA it was fun being Facebook friends with you both!

    It is with great joy knowing that Darl is waiting for us to join him in Heaven! How wonderful to know we have the promise of eternal life!

    Your family is in our thoughts And prayers!!

    Nancy Stears
    Wittmann, AZ

  3. Darl was a kind and a true man of God. The memory of his witness and legacy will continue to warm the hearts of many for years to come. We consider our lives blessed to have known Darl – he and his family have been a blessing to us. We look forward to spending eternity with him.
    With our love and prayers – Jeff and Beverly Lawson

  4. Prayers to all of you! Our hearts go out to you and pray for you to find peace during this difficult time. We love you all.

  5. Shirley and family, Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. I am so sorry for your loss but Praise the Lord, you will see him again. What a precious promise.
    Marian Mallo

  6. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
    Matthew 5:4

    The Lord is close to the broken hearted…
    Psalm 34:18a

    Terry Simmons
    Tony and Bobbi and families
    Tim and Tiffany and family
    Dean and Hope

    • I am so sorry for Verna and nephews Erik and Jarred, and Shirley. I heard many stories about Daryl over the years, from his sisters. He was much loved. Sending sympathy and prayers to his family.

  7. May God send His love like sunshine in His warm and gentle way, to fill each corner of your heart each moment of today. So sorry for your loss. Praying for your family.
    Love Tony and Robin Casillas from Texas

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