Littles Funeral Homes Services Located in Littlestown, PA Near Gettysburg, York and Westminster
Charles O. Brown

Charles O. Brown

Jan 13th, 1933 - May 6th, 2020
  • Birth Date: Jan 13th, 1933
  • Death Date: May 6th, 2020
  • Funeral Date: May 18th, 2020
  • Location: St. John's Lutheran Cemetery
  • Save: Print this Obituary

Biography: Capt. Charles Oscar Brown, USMC (Ret), 87, was surrounded by his loving children and grandchildren as he passed away peacefully in his home from complications from CLL (leukemia) on May 6, 2020.

He led a remarkable life of service, loved his family deeply, and travelled broadly, with a profound respect for the natural world. He is deeply missed by all who knew him.

He was born Jan. 13, 1933, on a farm owned by Charles and Mary Mackley in Two Taverns, the eldest of the eight children born to Preston and Rogenia Brown (Trostle): Shirley Boyd (m. ”Flap”); Terry (m. Janet); Joyce Marks (m.Dave); Carolyn Sigler (m.Ed); Karl (m. Linda); Peggy Priest (m. Ed); and Daniel (m.Sandy). His paternal grandparents, Oscar Nelson Brown and Jennie Mable (Cover), had three older boys, Nelson, Tobias, and Wade.

Charles was an active Boy Scout (Troop 84) and attained Eagle Scout on Oct. 6, 1945. He attended and graduated Littlestown High School in May 1950. There, he met his wife, Margaret Marie Meyrs, when she was an attendant at a game of chance during a Halloween dance. He reports having spent a lot of money at the booth:) Their love was interrupted by war.

On Sept. 5, 1951, he enlisted as a private in the US Marine Corps and began his service to his country as a machine gunner in Korea.

Upon his return, he reunited with Margie, and the two courted. He proposed to her on one knee Christmas Eve 1954, in her family’s living room, and the two were married shortly thereafter on Jan. 30, 1955, at St. John’s Church by Uncle Nelson Brown and Rev. Karns.

They had three beautiful daughters, Clelia Denise (m. David Bernhardt), Rebecca Lynne (deceased) and Daphne Loreen (m. David Surdyka (div), m. Mike Malinksy). Charles and Margie were married 52 years before the Lord took her as one of his angels in 2011.

Throughout his 20-year military career, he rose steadily through the ranks of the Corps. He received a Purple Heart for wounds received in enemy action on Dec. 4, 1952, re-enlisted and became a warrant officer in 1960 and an aerial navigator in 1965. He served in Vietnam, where he was decorated with a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for Vietnam.

His career took him the world over, and his countries visited list is too extensive to list in this document. He retired from the Corps Oct. 1, 1975 as a captain.

Upon retirement, he earned a college degree in accounting from Cal State Long Beach. He was hired at the city of Santa Ana and advanced to the position of accounting manager.

He truly earned the title “Papa” and spent his golden years truly immersed in enriching his family. Weekly Sunday night dinners, camping, fishing, and hiking trips to Joshua Tree and the Sierras, yearly family reunions, and building projects including two beautiful strip canoes, were among the many ways they brought family together.

With grandkids Danny Bernhardt (m.Christine), Christy Hammon (m.Dillon), and Nick, Scott, and Jamie Surdyka in tow and Margie by his side, he put his navigation and scouting prowess to good use. They explored all 50 states and much of Canada, visited nearly every national park, monument, battlefield and seashore of note, an incredible education.

On these trips, he had his grandchildren memorize poetry, and his curation of those select poems has made a permanent impact on the way they view the world.

Charles would be proud to have the final stanza of Longfellow’s “The Village Blacksmith” to conclude his obituary:

“Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend for the lesson thou hast taught; Thus at the flaming forge of life, our fortunes must be wrought; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped each burning deed and thought.”

Services have been completed.

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