Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Speck" Brown dies at 71

Another well-known alum from the 1950s at Chadron High School has died.

Ronald Louis Brown died last Friday (2/19/10) at his home in Montgomery, Illinois, a suburban community just west of Chicago. He was 71 years old.

Ron was born in Chadron to Charles and Hazel Brown on March 21, 1938.

“Speck” was a four-year letterman in football and basketball during the mid-1950s at Chadron High and served as Vice-President of the Junior class in 1954-55. Long-time Chadron writer Con Marshall remembered that "All three Chadron basketball teams won district championships, but only Chadron High reached the state tournament. The Cardinals won the Class B district title by beating Bridgeport 69-38 after losing to the Bulldogs 67-66 the week before and downing Bayard 58-49 after falling to the Tigers 83-63 in February. Chadron then topped Valentine 55-54 in the regional playoff. Coached by Verne Lewellen, it was the Cards’ first trip to state since 1933. At state, Hebron beat Chadron 56-50 as the Cards made just half of their 32 free throws."

A 1956 graduate of Chadron High School, "Speck” was among the handfull of varsity basketball players who also coached 5th and 6th graders, and he called his team the “Wildcats.” Both “Speck” and his older brother Clayton were athletes and well known throughout the community. You'll find a Ron Brown in several of the photographs we've posted in our Chadron Public Schools Photo Gallery.

According to his obituary, Ron did a tour with Army Special Forces after high school. He later went to work in the automotive industry.

Ron Brown was preceded in death by his daughter, Valerie Nicholson; his sister, Ermel Brown; and his parents. He is survived by his wife, Beatrice, and children: Kimberly (Les) Fugate and Victor Davidson; four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother Clayton Brown and sister Marjorie Williams.

Read Ron Brown’s obituary in the on-line Chadron Record.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chadron women named Honorary Mayors

Every year, a fairly good-sized group of former Chadron area residents gather for a luncheon and get-together in Mesa, Arizona. Long-time friend and retired newspaper guy Mike Smith is a regular attendee of Chadron Area Reunions (CAR) and provided the Chadron Record with the following story. He has kindly allowed us to use the story on High Plains Almanac. You'll find additional photos from the event in our photo gallery for the Chadron Area Reunion.

By Mike Smith

Evelyn Roberts and Lois Christensen, Chadron residents until they retired to Arizona in the mid-1990s, were recognized Saturday, February 6, as “Honorary Mayors” of Chadron for the day for their decades-long contributions in the Chadron area.

Chadron Mayor Donald Grantham issued proclamations and certificates of appreciation for their service and good-neighbor achievements. The documents were presented – to their surprise – at the annual Chadron Area Reunion in Mesa, Arizona.

Mrs. Christensen was born in Chadron in 1919 and celebrated her 90th birthday December 27. She ranched with her late husband Franklin and family most of her life. Mrs. Roberts, now 95, moved to Chadron in 1928 as a youngster and ranched with her late husband Vic near the Christensens, 15 miles north of Chadron below the South Dakota border.

Family members attending were Mrs. Roberts’ brother-in-law Bob Roberts and his wife Barb of Mesa, and Mrs. Christensen’s son Ron Christensen and his wife Sonya, and her daughter Jerrie Roberts.

The reunion drew 37 former or current Chadron area residents.

The next day, Connie Rasmussen and Karen Pope of Chadron State College were hosts at a CSC reunion in Sun City, Arizona. Their event attracted 17. Mrs. Rasmussen is executive director of the Chadron State Foundation; Mrs. Pope is director of CSC Alumni and Giving.

Attending the Chadron State reunion:

Rich and Micki Seiwert, and Harold and Daisy Mundschenk, Sun City West, AZ; Marcella Warren, Peoria, AZ; Carl and Diane McManis, Goodyear, AZ; Fred and Delores Fisher, Surprise, AZ; Maria Daniels, Darrell Dedic, and Mike and Jo Smith, Sun City, AZ; Cash and Deanna Franklin, Gering, NE; and Connie Rasmussen and Karen Pope, Chadron.

Attending the Chadron Area Reunion:

Evelyn Roberts, Ron and Sonya Christensen, and Lois Christensen, Tempe, AZ; Bob and Barb Roberts, Clayton Luther, Wilma Quelle, Hank Reitz, Brian Wadsworth, Bill and DeeDee Smith, and Dick and Sharon Colacino, Mesa, AZ; Dorothy Gregson and Jack and Lora Miller, Apache Junction, AZ; Jerrie Roberts, and Larman and Olga Wilson, Phoenix, AZ; Ron and Cheryl Moody, Chandler, AZ; Joan Van Sant Shoop and Will Louis, and Harold and Daisy Mundschenk, Sun City West, AZ; Fred and Delores Fisher, Surprise, AZ; Mike and Jo Smith, Sun City, AZ; Harold and Norma Lee Perkins, Sidney, NE; Charles and Marge Finley, Sutton, NE; Caryle Colerich, Farmington, NM; and Connie Rasmussen and Karen Pope, Chadron.