Wayne K. Brown, 83 of Gaylord, passed away at his home surrounded by family, on July 15, 2019.
He was born in Petoskey, Michigan, October 12, 1935, the youngest son of Floyd H. and Alice M. (Buffey) Brown. The family moved to Gaylord when Wayne was 6 months old. Wayne attended Gaylord Community Schools and graduated from Gaylord High School in 1955.
On September 20, 1958, Wayne married Sandra “Toni” Audrain, who preceded him in death in 2011. Together they raised five children; Richard, Michael, Timothy, Sally and Peggy.
Wayne took great pride in serving the community that he loved so much. He served on the Gaylord City Council for 21 years and the Otsego County Fire Department for 42 years, including several years as Chief. He also held positions on the Otsego County Ambulance Corporation Board and the Otsego County Fire Board. In addition, he served on the Mackinac County Water Safety Review Team for over 20 years. Wayne and Toni were strong advocates of rip current awareness and water safety, after the loss of their grandson, Travis, in 1998.
Wayne worked many years at Royal Laundry and Linen Service of Gaylord, which was started by his father. He took over management of the company after the passing of his father in 1973, and continued until the business closed. He later worked for North Central Excavating of Gaylord, as a truck driver, until his retirement.
In his spare time and in retirement, Wayne enjoyed spending time hunting and relaxing at his property in Sparr, Michigan. He enjoyed gathering and visiting with family and friends for any occasion and “hanging out” with the crew at the local coffee house or restaurants.
He was a life member of the Northland Sportsmen’s Club in Gaylord, a Golden Eagle member of the Gaylord Eagles Club and a member of the Gaylord Elk’s Club.
Surviving are his children; Richard (Angie) Brown, Michael (Debbie) Brown, Timothy Brown and Sally (Kent) Avery all of Gaylord and son-In-law, Ron Koronka of Johannesburg. Also surviving are grandchildren, Luke and Kyle Brown, Rachael Brown, Caitlin and Douglas Simcek, Krystal (Marty) Donajkowski, Keith and Brittany Koronka, Bruce (Renee) Koronka and Loretta Cathcart; 11 great-grandchildren; brother In-law, Biff Audrain of Tucson, Arizona and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
Wayne was preceded in death by his wife, Toni; Infant daughter, Jill Brown; daughter, Margaret “Peggy” Koronka; grandsons, Travis Brown and Christopher Nelson; great-grandson, Bruce Koronka Jr.; parents, Floyd and Alice Brown; brother, Rolland “Rod” Brown; sister-in-law, Leone Brown and father- and mother-in-law, Robert and Helen Audrain.
A celebration of Wayne’s life will be held at the Gaylord Eagle’s Club, Saturday, July 20, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., with a brief memorial service at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to The Mackinac County Water Safety Review Team, Hospice of Michigan or to the charity of your choice, through the Nelson Funeral Home, PO Box 1548, Gaylord MI 49734.