Wayne K. Brown

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.


  1. Penny Banaszak July 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    So very sorry for your loss.

  2. Dianne Newman July 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Sally, I am so sorry about your Dad’s passing!!!! Will plant trees in his honor!
    Dianne Newman

    • Robin Williams July 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      So sorry to hear. Rest in Peace my Freind. you will be greatly missed!

  3. Lori Thompson July 16, 2019 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    May you find peace in your memories.

  4. Liz griffore July 16, 2019 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Sally, Sincere sympathy to you and your family, your dad was a real special man. You are in our thoughts and prayers, The Griffore family.

  5. Nancy July 16, 2019 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Russell July 18, 2019 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Rick, Mike,Tim, Sally. And family. So sorry for your loss, your dad was always willing to give to our great town and residents. Had some good discussion with him in the 90’s after I got out of the service and at my own fathers funeral. I’m feeling your loss of your father. My thoughts are with you all.

  6. Keith & Chris Wells July 16, 2019 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Rick, Mike, Tim & Sally, & family, we’re so very sorry to hear about your dad. He always had a kind word when we’d meet. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Rest in the God, Wayne.

  7. Linda Sanders July 16, 2019 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Sally! Mike, Rick and Tim so sorry to hear about your dad. Sending hugs and keeping you and your family’s in my prayers ❤️

  8. Vince LaRosa II July 16, 2019 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Brown Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Wayne was a great guy and a good friend. I know he missed Toni greatly and now he is in heaven with her. They were a couple that I always liked to see and have a chance to chat. They were a special couple!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  9. Betsy Gocha Higgins July 16, 2019 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear of Wayne’s passing. My family and I were missing him at the Alpenfest Parade. Have many fond memories of him and my brother Bill and even of our parents.

    • Mike and Judy Shryock July 20, 2019 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  10. Robin Little July 16, 2019 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Sally and family… so very sorry for your loss. You took great care of him Sal… Hold on to those memories❤️. What a great reunion for him in heaven❤️. Hugs to all… Robin

    • Michele ORourke July 17, 2019 at 9:23 am - Reply

      I am so sorry!! This is so sad. I really liked Wayne and enjoyed talking to him. Hugs and love to all of you…Rest in Peace, sir. You will be greatly missed 😢

  11. kathy jensen July 17, 2019 at 6:12 am - Reply

    So sorry for your loss, Barry and I are thinking of you during these times.

    • DJ Puroll July 19, 2019 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      So sorry I can not attend your fathers memorial service.

  12. Kelly Haskill July 17, 2019 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Sally so sorry for your loss. Your dad was a great guy and will be missed. I’ll be thinking of you guys when we go see the Giant Sequoia’s.

  13. Raymond Gehringer July 17, 2019 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Sally you and your family are in our Prayers. He was a great man, father, and grandfather. He will greatly missed.🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️
    The Gehringer family.

  14. Don and Linda Fitzek July 17, 2019 at 8:49 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear of Wayne’s passing. Your dad, along with your mom, were a very community-minded couple and will be greatly missed. Take heart that they are now reunited. Thoughts and prayers from the Fitzek family are with you all.

  15. Sandra Payne July 17, 2019 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Sally, I am so sorry about your Dad’s passing, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Diane/Virgil Wiechec July 17, 2019 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    Rick and Angie so sorry to hear about your father we’ll keep you in our prayers.

  17. Jenn Huff July 17, 2019 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I have so many memories with your family. Your dad was a great man and will be missed by many. Sending you all hugs, thoughts and prayers.

  18. Danielle Burdo-Davis July 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Sally, Tim and family.. Thinking of you and sending you hugs and thoughts. Your dad will be greatly missed in this community.

  19. Jim and Pat Ledwick July 17, 2019 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Sally so sorry for your loss.

  20. Dianna Bates July 17, 2019 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear about your dad. Sending prayers and hugs

  21. walt nowicki July 17, 2019 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Til we meet again my friend, God bless.

  22. Kevin & Marlene Robinson July 17, 2019 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Dear Brown Family,

    We are so sad that Wayne has passed. He was such a great guy. We always looked forward to his jokes. He will be greatly missed. Sending prayers and hugs 🙏🏻❤️

  23. Debbie Washburn July 17, 2019 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Sally so sorry for the loss of your dad. Sending prayers to you and your family. Debbie, David Washburn. Kristin Boughner.

  24. Debbie Johnson July 17, 2019 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Sally, Tim and family, so sorry to hear your dad has passed away. He will be missed. I’ll keep your family in my prayers.

  25. Savannah Mcclerren July 18, 2019 at 12:13 am - Reply

    I’m so sorry for your loss, I used to work at Cops and Doughnuts and I absolutely loved Wayne and everyone that was in that group. I often still saw them around at Big Boy and if I happened to go Into Jays or Cops and Doughnuts they never forgot me.He was an amazing person and I absolutely loved hearing his stories.

  26. Brian L Carpenter July 18, 2019 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Sorry for your loss, sending prayers for your family

  27. Ronald Kinnunen July 18, 2019 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Wayne with his wife Toni, were a force in starting the Great Lakes water safety movement after the drowning of their grandson Travis. I was honored to work with them on these efforts which helped save numerous lives over the years. Their legacy in Great Lakes water safety will live on into the future. God bless.

  28. Rosie and Ray Warner July 19, 2019 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Brown Family~We will remember Wayne ‘s ready smile, jokes and chatting. He gave so much to us all!

  29. Linda Simcek July 19, 2019 at 9:21 am - Reply

    So sorry for your loss! Your dad was a great man! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers!

  30. Chris & Peggy Borst-Botens July 20, 2019 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Tim & Family, Sending our sincere sympathy to you and your family. All the beautiful messages left by friends, shows your Dad was a very special man. Keep all the special times with your Dad close to your heart.

  31. Carol Fitzpatrick July 20, 2019 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Rick, Mike, and family, so sorry to hear about Wayne’s passing. My condolences and prayers for all. Carol Fitzpatrick

  32. Cyn Prusakiewicz July 22, 2019 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Sally and Rick and siblings, Tom and I are truly sorry for the loss of your father, he was a very special man. We talked at last years Alpenfest and again sometime this year, I loved our impromptu visits. Know you are in our prayers, we will miss him as you do.

  33. Brian R Morgan July 25, 2019 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    It is with great sadness that I was recently informed of Wayne Browns passing. He was a good friend of my late Father and I remember him as a cheerful soul, always with a good sense of humor and a story to tell. My condolences to his family and friends. He was one of the legends of our community!!

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