Cover photo for Viola May Brown's Obituary
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Viola May Brown

d. August 9, 2017

February 4, 1924 ~ August 9, 2017


Friday, August 11, 2017

1:00 – 8:00 PM

Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home

Harlan, IA


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Family will greet friends from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Funeral Home.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

11:00 AM

First United Methodist Church

Harlan, IA


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Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Kirkman, IA


4 Daughters – Sandra (friend, Tyrone Scheffler) Brown of Harlan, IA

Linda Wade of Bellevue, NE

Janis (Bill) Holloway of Kirkman, IA

Joyce Blok of Charles Town, WV

1 Son – Gary Brown of Kirkman, IA

10 Grandchildren

21 Great-grandchildren

Other Friends & Relatives

Viola May Brown, daughter of Clark Henry and Gertie P. (Leslie) Best, was born on February 4, 1924, in Dow City, Iowa. She attended Dow City schools. On June 1, 1941, Viola married Merlyn Walter Brown in Denison, Iowa. The couple began farming in Shelby, Crawford, and Harrison counties.

In 1969, Viola and Merlyn purchased a farm west of Kirkman, Iowa; they lived there until their retirement in 2001. At that time, they moved to Harlan, Iowa. Following Merlyn’s death on November 18, 2010, Viola remained in her home until March 2017, when she became a resident of the Bethany Lutheran Home in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Viola was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa, where she had been active in the women’s circle when she was younger. She was a good farm wife and cook who always grew a big vegetable garden and did a lot of canning. Viola enjoyed crocheting, and had made many afghans for family members. She liked to read and play cards. Spending time with her family was especially treasured.

Viola M. Brown died on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, at the Bethany Lutheran Home in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She had reached the age of 93 years, 6 months, and 5 days.

Viola was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Merlyn Walter Brown; one daughter, Cheryl Lavely; four sisters; and one brother. She is survived by four daughters, Sandra (friend, Tyrone Scheffler) Brown of Harlan, Iowa, Linda Wade of Bellevue, Nebraska, Janis (Bill) Holloway of Kirkman, Iowa, and Joyce Blok of Charles Town, West Virginia; one son, Gary Brown of Kirkman, Iowa; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and other friends and relatives.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Mike Agnew officiating. Dianne Lawson served as the pianist, and Sharon Donlin was the soloist. Casket bearers were Ryan Brown, Mark Holloway, Joshua Riggins, Brandon DeGroot, Patrick Holloway, and Mackenzie Wade. Burial was in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Kirkman, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at
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