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John William Brown III




Born: September 21, 1933

Death: August 24, 2013

John William Brown III, age 79 of Grand Rapids, September 21, 1933 ~ August 24, 2013. John was the eldest son of John W. and Margaret Florence Brown. He was born a south side Chicagoan and spent his early adulthood in Flint, MI, it was there that he first met Peggy Teahen. John finished elementary school at St. Michael’s and entered Sacred Heart Seminary after eighth grade. Upon graduation from high school he was proficient in Latin and Greek. John was an Atomic Veteran, who served as assistant to the chaplain at Fort Wachuka in Arizona. He attended Aquinas College in the mid-fifties, majoring in history and English and started as forward for the Saints basketball team. John returned to Flint in 1958, and got his first teaching job at Pontiac’s, St. Michael’s. There, he courted and married Peggy in 1961. They moved to Grand Rapids in 1962, where John began a thirty plus year career in education, which included positions at St. Steven’s, GR Catholic Central (also HS basketball coach), West Middle School, and was an original administrator of the JTPA program for GRPS. John earned two masters degrees from MSU, and bled green for the remainder of his life. John was a prolific writer and poet in the rich Irish tradition of gifted story tellers. He and Peggy were proud scholars, humanitarians and activists, a sentiment they passed on to their surviving children and grandchildren; Rebecca (Timothy), Danielle and John Timothy Biddick, Bridget (Robert), Katie, Molly and Shannon Bennett, John W. Brown IV, Erin (Jose), Peggy and Marcela Castillo, Patrick (Lisa), Conor and Caitlin Brown. He is also survived by his siblings Bobby Brown, Gerry Brown, Mary (Pud) Kelly and Mike Brown. John was preceded in death by his beautiful wife Peggy. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 21, 1:30 p.m. at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Road, Grand Rapids with visitation 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider contributions to Angiosarcoma Awareness Inc., PO Box 570442, Whitestone, NY 11357 or online at

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