W. G. “Bill” Brown of Stillwater passed away Friday evening, Sept. 27, 2013, at his home following a lengthy illness. He was 74. Celebration of life service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at University Heights Baptist Church, where Brown was a longtime member, and burial will be 10 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens south of Stillwater. Strode Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Brown, a 1956 graduate of Stillwater High School, was born Nov. 16, 1938, in Carney. He was the son of Roy L. and Beulah Cypert Brown.
Brown attended Oklahoma State University before leaving to serve two years on active duty as a Naval Reservist. He was stationed on Kwajalein Island in the Pacific and then served aboard the USS Norton Sound.
After his discharge from the Navy, he married Ruth Helt of Stillwater on Dec. 27, 1960. From 1960 through 1961, he owned and operated Brown Tire in Cushing. From 1962-1998, he owned and operated Brown Distributing Co., Inc., in Stillwater, a wholesale tire company covering six states. Always a salesman, after retirement he sold sports nutritional supplements to wrestlers.
Brown, a wrestler at Stillwater High School and a state champion, and his friend Lou Ussery, who became a lifelong friend after they met in the Navy, were originators of the White Jacket Club for OSU wrestling. The club is now the Cowboy Wrestling Club. He was a governor associate at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum and kept the official NCAA record book for the Wrestling Hall of Fame.
A Mason, Brown served on a degree team for 40 years and received a 50-year hat from the Guthrie Consistory and a 50-year pin from the Stillwater Masonic Lodge.
Brown was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Robert R. Brown.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth, of the home; son, Billy, and his wife, Alison, of Nashville, Tenn.; mother-in-law, Helen Helt, of Stillwater; sister-in-law, Carol Helt Hix, and husband, Harry Hix, of Stillwater; brother-in-law, Ken Helt, and wife, Nelda Helt, of Stillwater; Nancy Ussery, special friend of the family; and several nieces and nephews.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to National Wrestling Hall of Fame at 405 W. Hall of Fame Ave., Stillwater, OK 74075; Stillwater Pioneer Athletic Memorial at PO Box 351, Stillwater, OK 74076; or the charity of your choice.
Condolences may be sent to the family and an obituary viewed by visiting strodefh.com.