Wayne Emerson Brown
Wayne Emerson Brown died on August 21st surrounded by family. He was 83 years old. He was a glass man who worked until just before his 83rd birthday, an avid baseball player who never missed listening to a Giants game, a hunter, a fisher, a lover of Elvis, a dad who taught his daughters the value of hard work and integrity, a poppa who faked being pushed in the pool for laughs and hid money in Easter eggs. And, he was a man who made sure that every daughter and grandchild knew how to throw a ball and cast a line.
Wayne, (or ‘W’ as he was affectionately known) a resident of this area since 1964, was well-known in the community as an area businessman and supporter of athletic programs.
Wayne was Tennessee born and bred, and proud of his roots. He was the son of William Uzzle Brown and Gertrude Lena Yow. He grew up near the same property that had been in his family since 1802 and the property is still owned by the Brown family.
His family left for California in 1942, migrating across the country in their 1935 Chevy to work in the orchards.
Wayne was a graduate of Morgan Hill’s Live Oak High School in 1954 and months later married his high school sweetheart, Martha Ruth Bennett on Dec. 16, 1954 at the Reno courthouse.
Soon after his marriage, Wayne enlisted in the military, joining the 101st Airborne. When the Army realized he could play baseball, he was assigned to Special Services in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he played baseball in the Midnight Sun League.
Baseball was in Wayne’s blood since he was a child. He went semi pro in 1957, and played for the Mountain View Merchants. He’d get $20 for playing a good game. He played with several teammates who went on to the pros, including the Ballardi brothers, and Joe Carbonero.
In 1964, he moved his family to Alpine County to live in a cabin he’d built with a family friend.
In 1966 he started the Mets, a Babe Ruth league baseball team for boys. It was the first competitive baseball team for youth in Alpine County. The Mets went on to a well-known championship
team and he remained friends with many of the boys he coached and mentored.
After leaving Bently in 1972, he and Mart started Wayne’s Glass Service, operating for more than 20 years. Wayne loved to work, and even after he sold the business, became Wayne Brown, the Traveling Glass Man.
In 1973, alongside John Manke he started the men’s slow pitch softball league in Carson Valley.
He is preceded in death by his wife Martha. Wayne is survived by his beloved baby brother Dennis Brown (Maxine); his sister Jeanette Brock; his daughters Brenda Downs (Scott), Lynn Zacharias, Stacey McKinnish (Pat); his grandchildren Megan Schlappy (Andrew), Brianne Berry, Rachel and Nicole Zacharias and Dillon and Hannah McKinnish; and his great-grandchildren Lyric and Adaven Berry, James Powers and Nora Schlappy; and his beloved dog Bubba; and many, many loved friends.
Join the family for a Celebration of Life on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. at Lampe Park, Field 4, his favorite field to play on, followed by baseball food and memories at the Pavilion. Please wear your favorite baseball cap/attire.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Douglas High School Girls’ Softball and Boys’ Baseball Teams.