Cover photo for WILLIAM O. BROWN's Obituary
WILLIAM O. BROWN Profile Photo
1926 William 2017

WILLIAM O. BROWN

December 23, 1926 — November 3, 2017

William “Bill” O. Brown was born December 23, 1926, to Arthur C. and Viola Sowdon Brown. When his father started Security State Bank of Hannaford in 1927, Bill had no idea he would spend his entire life in the banking business. Bill began working at Security State Bank of Hannaford as a janitor at the age of 14. He graduated from Hannaford High School and then served his country in the United States Army from 1943-1946. Bill married Lauretta Kramvik, the daughter of John and Lydia Kramvik of Cooperstown, on November 12, 1946. He graduated from Dakota Business College in 1948 and returned to Hannaford where he worked with his father at the bank. At the death of his father in 1974, he was named President and Chairman of the Board. Throughout his many years at the Bank, he continued to follow his father’s traditions to provide excellent customer service, to treat his employees with respect and appreciation and to be an active member of the community in which he lived and worked. Bill worked for 68 years at Security State Bank of Hannaford, later known as Bank Forward. He loved working with the generation of farmers and families in the counties of Griggs, Barnes and Steele and he was proud of the growth and expansion of the bank knowing his father always said he wanted to expand to other communities. On June 2, 1982, Lauretta died of cancer. On January 8, 1983, Bill married Lois LaPlant Wakefield. They continued to live in Hannaford, ND until 2000 when they moved to Cooperstown, ND. Bill continued to work in Hannaford until moving in 2013 to Assisted Living at Valley 4000 - Wheatland Terrace in Grand Forks, ND and later in 2015 to Woodside Village in the same facility. With Lauretta, Bill enjoyed a cabin on Lake Ashtabula and winters in Florida. With Lois, Bill enjoyed a cabin at Red Willow and winters in Arizona. He enjoyed fishing and hunting, gardening and yard work, and in later years, watching westerns on TV. His love for his two dogs, Cricket & Bella, was special. Bill was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church in Hannaford and later at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cooperstown. He was a member of the Shrine, the American Legion, the Masons, the Elks, and the Eagles serving in several capacities in these various organizations. Bill is survived by his wife, Lois; daughter, Cheryl (Steve) Steinborn of Park Rapids, MN; son, John (Nancy) of Big Sky, Montana; son, Alan and friend (Cathi) of Bismarck, ND and son, Mark (Marlys) of Grand Forks, ND; Stepson, John (Dawn) Wakefield of Binford, ND; Stepson, Charles Wakefield of Minneapolis, MN; and StepDaughter Dawn (Tom) Hartl of New Rockford, ND; 12 Grandchildren - Shawn (Carissa) Steinborn, Laura Steinborn Collymore, Trisha (Jason) Steinborn Christianson, Tonya (Jeremy) Steinborn Anderson ; Joscelyn Brown, Michelle (Sargam) Brown Patel, Natalie Brown; Allison (Greg) Brown Gilbert, Tara (Dave) Brown Baltes, Kelly Brown and Kyle Onerheim; Kaare (Jake) Brown Risbrudt, Kristin Brown & fiancée Will Topka; 4 Step-Grandchildren - Channing Hendrickson, Jordan Hendrickson, Tessa Hartl and Jared Hartl; and 20 Great Grandchildren. In addition to his parents, A.C. and Viola Brown, and his brother, Clinton, Bill was preceded in death by his first wife, Lauretta Brown. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Forward Foundation, Woodside Village Wishing Well, Trinity Lutheran Church or Faith Lutheran Church. Visitation will be Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 1:00 till 2:00 pm followed by a Memorial Service at 2:00 pm in the Trinity Lutheran Church, Cooperstown, ND.
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