Lloyd William was born on June 13, 1920 to Walter Clark and Lorna Mildred (Shouldice) Brown in Elderslie Township. He was the eldest of four children with younger brothers Jim, Wesley and Clark soon joining him. Together the Brown family mix farmed near Scone, and the boys attended both public and high school in Chesley. Lloyd was exceptionally fortunate to not only graduate from high school but also attend the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph for four years. All of this transpired despite the fact that Lloyd’s father, Walter died when Lloyd was only fifteen years old. Needless to say, Lloyd grew up fast and soon worked hand and hand with his mother to provide for the family.
While in Guelph, Lloyd was introduced to a young, secretary by the name of Ruth Madeline Reynolds. Ruth originated from the Harriston area and the two hit it off immediately. They soon began dating and were later married. It was the summer of 1946. By this time Lloyd was farming 300 acres as well as milking cows. Life on the farm was very busy for the young couple. Ruth and Lloyd soon began their family and welcomed Larry in 1947, followed by Gail in 1949 and Bradley in 1956. The Brown children enjoyed their early years on the farm and had many fond memories of their times at Gordon Bay and Lake Joseph (south of Parry Sound) where they spent weekends with the McKay family. During these trips Klaus, their hired man, would remain at home and tend to the farm. The kids were also expected to help mom and dad with the chores on the farm. As the kids grew, their tasks and responsibilities grew as well. Larry recalls carrying his fair share of milk from the tie up stalls to the milk cans and haying all day with his dad. When the day’s work was done they would grab a bar of soap, pile into the back of the truck and head off to Scone for a drip.
Tragedy struck the Brown family in 1963 when Bradley contracted spinal meningitis and sadly died a couple days later. He was only 7. As if this wasn’t sad enough, Gail, a nurse, was married and working in Tennessee when she was poked with a tainted needle and came down with hepatitis. Regrettably, she died in 1974 at the age of 25. As you can image, losing two children was extremely difficult on Lloyd and Ruth and as much as they tried their lives were never the same again.
By 1971, Lloyd had built his herd of registered and graded Holsteins up to 80 and he decided it was time for a milking parlour. They installed all new Patz equipment, as Larry was a dealer, and were milking out of a state-of-the-art facility. The cows were fed grain while being milked in the parlour and remained loose (no stalls) within the barn. All of these details may not sound impressive but remember the year was 1971, or 47 years ago. Lloyd truly was a leader in his time.
Despite all the work on the farm, Lloyd also found time to enjoy music and play cards, especially Bridge, Euchre and Wild Rummy. He and Ruth enjoyed lawn bowling and curling. However, as he aged, the curling rink became just too damn cold for Lloyd and he hung up his broom. Ruth and Lloyd also travelled the world with friends! Most of their adventures included Gord & Alice Alexander or Willard & Helen Calhoun. In the 1970’s they began the tradition of spending their winters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the years they also made stops in Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, Ireland and Scotland.
Lloyd was a big sports fan, with the Blue Jays being his favourite team. He also enjoyed watching curling on TV as well. Together, Lloyd and Ruth loved to dance (including square dancing) and therefore spent countless evenings dancing hand and hand together throughout Grey/Bruce. Lloyd was an avid reader, reading all the time. He really enjoyed the Readers Digest, mysteries and apparently on one occasion even began reading the phone book! 🙂 Not only was Lloyd intelligent he was also gifted musically. He played the organ at the local Anglican Church for 20 years, as he had taken piano lessons as a child. Lloyd’s favourite drink? Well… spiced rum and orange juice of course. Apparently he came up with this mixture one year while holidaying in Florida.
In 1977, Lloyd and Ruth began preparing for retirement and built a new home across from the farm. Here they enjoyed everything life had to offer as their pace of life slowed down. In 1992, Ruth began to experience signs of dementia but that never deterred Lloyd. He loved Ruth dearly and cared for her in their home until she made the move to Elgin Abbey in the early 2000’s. Once there, Lloyd would go daily to visit and feed his wife, a routine he kept up for years. Sadly, Ruth died in 2006 and in time Lloyd began to downsize, moving into town and eventually to Elgin Abbey in 2015. Although his body began to fail him, his mind was always sharp! When was the last time that you talked to Lloyd? I guarantee that at some point during your conversation he had a joke or story to tell you. He was always quite comical, which led to many MC jobs over the years and he never disappointed, always leaving the crowd in stitches. He will be dearly missed!
Lloyd William Brown of Chesley, passed away surrounded by his loving family at Elgin Abbey, Chesley on Thursday, November 29, 2018 in his 99th year.
Loving father of Larry and his wife Laura of Chesley. Cherished grandfather of Robert and Shirley (Boris) Maksymuk and great-grandfather of Breckin. Lloyd will be sadly missed by his son-in-law Al Larocca of Memphis, Tennessee, as well as his many nieces, nephews and their families. He was predeceased by his wife Ruth, son Bradley, daughter Gail Larocca, brothers James, Clark, Wesley and his parents, Walter and Lorna (Shouldice) Brown.
An informal, come and go celebration of Lloyd’s life will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on his 99th birthday, Thursday, June 13, 2019 from 1 – 3 p.m. Inurnment will follow in Chesley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Lloyd Brown 2019..