Robert Brown

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

Robert W. Brown, 68, of Morton, died at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Born July 9, 1940, in Peoria to Genola Naumann Brown and Edwin W. Brown Jr., he married Barbara Kay Black Jan. 3, 1960, in Indianapolis. She survives.

Also surviving are his mother, Genola Naumann Brown Edwards; children, Robert W. (Sarah) Brown Jr. of Washington, Martin T. (Julie) Brown of Eagle, Idaho, David A. (Suzanne) Brown of Morton and Katherine B. (Scott) Bowers of Long Grove; and eight grandsons.

Preceding him in death was his father.

He graduated from Washington Community High School in 1958 and attended Purdue University, where he was initiated into Phi Gamma Delta.

After graduating from Bradley University in 1963, he worked for IBM and Howard Printing Co. before starting to work at Morton Federal Savings and Loan in 1973. He retired from Bank Plus in 2001 as CEO and chairman of the board.

He earned an MBA from Bradley in 1989 and had been a member of the Foster College of Business Administration’s National Council of Advisors since 1999.

He was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Washington, where he served as co-chair of the building committee, two terms on the church council and on the long-range planning and finance committees.

A member of the Morton Chamber of Commerce, he chaired the Morton Pumpkin Festival in 1976, was a member of the chamber board of directors from 1989 to 1994 and received the chamber’s Distinguished Service Award in 2000.

He served on the board of the American Red Cross, Central Illinois Chapter, from 1995 to 2005, as board chair from 2001 to 2003, on the State Service Council from 2000 to 2004 and one term on the national American Red Cross nominating committee.

He served as a member of the We Care Foundation board, helped form the Morton Youth Baseball Association and the Beta Phi chapter of Phi Gamma Delta at Bradley. He was a member of Washington’s 12th Man. He was an honorary member of the Morton Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of Taylor Lodge 98 AF&AM in Washington.

Services were Tuesday at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Washington. Pastor John Bates officiated. Visitation was Monday at the church. Burial was in Hirstein Cemetery in Morton.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home in Morton was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to St. Mark’s Building Fund, 200 S. Main St., Washington, IL 61571; or American Red Cross, Central Illinois Chapter, 311 W. John H. Gwynn Jr. Ave., Peoria, IL 61605.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at