2017-04-20 / Obituaries

John Browning


John Browning John Browning John Charles Browning, 78, of Garnet, passed away Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey.

He was born February 3, 1939, the fifth of eight children born to Heyward and Ruth Opal Browning in Garnet.

Mr. Browning grew up in Garnet, where his father owned and operated a cedar shingle mill on their property. He attended Rexton School. During school and in summers, he worked at the shingle mill with his father and brothers.

He married Prebble Mae Jourden in 1960. They moved into a small house next to Mr. Browning’s parents and started a family.

Throughout the years, Mr. Browning worked at various occupations, providing for his family. In the early 1960s, work was scarce in the Upper Peninsula, and with two children, Mr. and Mrs. Browning moved to Pontiac, where he drove a bus. The move was short-lived, and within a year the young family had moved back to Garnet. Mr. Browning continued working at the Browning Shingle Mill. In the late 1960s, he worked as a pipeline maintenance worker and also as a security guard. He enjoyed traveling as part of his pipeline job, sometimes taking his wife and a child with him on trips. In 1971, he began working at Sand Products as a machinery operator, among other jobs, a position he held for 33 years, until his retirement in 2003. He was instrumental in helping build the company. In 2004, he lost his wife to cancer, one year after retiring from Sand Products.

Mr. Browning lived in their home in Garnet, with his beloved dog, Schnauzer, until his death.

He was fond of computers and computer games, particularly simulations, and he shared his hobby with many, especially his grandchildren. Mr. Browning was interested in computers years before they became widely popular, tinkering with his Vic20s and Commodore computers for hours. He was into amateur “ham” radio, conversing with distant friends he had met and laughing with them over the airwaves. His radio room was a small laboratory of technology, under the eaves upstairs, and he had a lot of fun with his Settlers games, his Zork games, and his radio. In later years, he enjoyed visiting, playing with his dog, and visiting casinos, where he would sit and visit at least as much as he fed the slot machines, family members said.

He is survived by two sons and their families, Calvin Browning and John and Elaine Browning; three daughters and their families, Tammy and Frank Bigelow, Norma and John Keller, and Melisa and Steve Keller; 15 grandchildren, and eight greatgrandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers, Sam and Kenneth, and a sister, Darlene.

In addition to his parents and his wife, Mr. Browning was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Marion Browning; two brothers, Franklin and Robert; a sister, Dorothy, and a grandson, Dereck Browning.

Services will be Friday, April 21, at 11 a.m. at the Rexton Mennonite Church with Pastor Tim Miller officiating. A memorial dinner will follow in the church hall.

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