BEMIDJI - John Matthew Brownlee, 66, of Bemidji, Minn., entered into eternal peace on Sunday, April 13, 2014, from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). A memorial service will be held 1:55 p.m. (because he liked to be early for everything) on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at New Salem Lutheran Church in Turtle River, Minn., with Rev. Karol McCracken, officiating.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association, www.alsa.org
He was born Dec. 11, 1947, in Fairmont, Minn., graduated from Fairmont High School, then attended and graduated from Minnesota Business School with a degree in accounting. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served four years, one year of active duty in Vietnam and the remaining years stateside. He married Deanna Fritz on Nov. 13, 1971. He loved hunting, fishing and enjoyed nature. He served on the Honor Guard for the VFW Chapter 1260 and the DAV Chapter 7. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Deanna Brownlee of Bemidji; daughter, Tonja (Troy) Lesmeister of River Falls, Wis.; son, Matthew (Jody) Brownlee of Blaine, Minn.; grandchildren, Katy, Logan, Trevor, Troy, Latidra, Annissa, Kendra and Neyo; seven great-grandchildren; his brother, Robert (Barb) Brownlee of Plymouth, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer Brownlee and Julie (Jensen) Brownlee Stanger; step-dad, William Stanger; brother, David Brownlee; and Dayton and Opal Schwinger who he considered his second parents.
Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com