Surrounded by his family, husband, father and gentle soul, Rex Eugene Brown went home to the Lord on Sept. 5, 2015. He had been a dialysis patient for 33 years.
Rex was born in The Dalles, Ore., to Harold and Sally Fields Brown on July 9, 1958. He was raised in the rolling wheat land of Sherman County, growing up in the tiny town of Kent, in the same house where his father had grown up. He rode horses, branded cattle, roped steers, hauled hay, and harvested wheat with his family. He loved living on the bluff overlooking the Horseshoe on the John Day River and always said he had the best childhood he could have ever wished for. He carried with him the farmer’s work ethic, taught to him by his father and his Uncle John Fields.
In 1977, Rex moved to Portland to attend college. He met Kerry-Lynne Anderson Demarinis in May 1980 and they married the following year.
Their daughter Shelley was born in September 1982 and their son Ryan was born in August 1985. Rex absolutely loved being a dad and never missed a chance to spend time with his kids. He coached Ryan’s Little League teams for several years, and was his daughter’s biggest fan when she played softball and volleyball. He took the family on road trips, saved for a trip to Disneyland, and made family his biggest priority - all while working 50-60 hours as a computer network engineer and going to dialysis 15 hours a week.
After five years in the Ironworkers Union, Rex’s kidneys failed unexpectedly in 1982, just three weeks after the birth of their daughter. Rex went back to school and graduated from Portland Community College with a degree in Computer Field Service. He went to work at WRAM Computers/Insurance Automation in 1985, installing computer networks in eleven western states. In 1996, he moved to TRM Corporation, where he worked for nine years as a network administrator. He retired in 2005.
Rex asked Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior in 1979 and was baptized shortly afterwards. Over the years, he was a member of Columbia View Wesleyan Church, Wood Village Baptist Church, Rose City Nazarene Church, and Montavilla Baptist Church. Rex was always active in the churches he attended. He taught Sunday school for several years at many grade levels, as well as adult classes. He was kind and compassionate and prayed constantly for family and friends.
Rex is survived by his wife, Kerry-Lynne; daughter Shelley (Tommy) Tarascou; son Ryan (Victoria) Brown; sister Carole (Mike) Ruikka; stepmother Diane Brown; two furry cats named Gino and Santino; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. His mother died in 1973 and his father died in 2013.
“Shelley, you’ve had your father’s heart since the day of your birth.”
“Ryan, you are your father’s greatest hero and the toughest man your dad ever knew.”
Rex gave us the best of lives and the best of love. We will miss his sense of humor and love of a good joke, his storytelling, big smiles and hugs, his courage and strength, and the love he gave to everyone around him. He was the best man we ever knew.
A memorial service is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Montavilla Baptist Church, 9204 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland.
Arrangements by Autumn Cremation Services.
Please honor Rex with a donation in his name to the Sherman County Museum, PO Box 173, Moro, Oregon 97039
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