Herman Darrell Brown, age 81, known mostly as Darrell passed away on Monday, April 5, 2021 at Wuesthoff Hospice House in Rockledge Florida. He was a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant and a retired U.S. Postal Service employee. He married his high school sweet-heart, LaVerne Brinkley in 1959 and divorced in 1984.
Darrell was born in Wytheville Virginia and raised in Pulaski Virginia, to the parents of Lampee and Thelma Brown. Darrell came to the Melbourne area in February 1974, from Orlando, FL where we were assigned at McCoy AFB, Orlando, FL and subsequently reassigned to Patrick AFB, Satellite Beach FL upon the closure of McCoy air base. Darrell retired in 1980 having served honorably for 22 plus years with the U.S. Air Force. He was a Vietnam Veteran and was the recipient of numerous military awards and decorations during his distinguished military career, including the Meritorious Service Medal w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and a member Air Force Sergeants Association. Darrell also retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1998 after eighteen years of service. He was a member of the Suntree United Methodist Church and a member of the church’s Cancer Support Group.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, DeWayne Brown of Asheville, NC and previous wife, Shirley Ann (McCullough) Brown. He is survived by his wife, Carol (Von Lunen) Brown of Melbourne (Suntree) FL; two sons, Michael, his wife Michelle of Melbourne, FL, Larry, and his wife, Amy of Merritt Island, FL and daughter Sharon of Merritt Island, FL. Three grandsons, two granddaughters and four great grandchildren. Five stepchildren; Chris Von Lunen and wife Dori, of Viera, FL, Erika (Von Lunen) Wenger and husband David, of Melbourne (Suntree) FL, Julie McNair and husband James of Ocoee, FL, Cindy Bowers and her husband Johnny of Ormond Beach, FL, and Michael McCullough of St. Cloud, FL and his puppy pet dog, Pumpkin.
Darrell enjoyed the out-of-doors, traveling, especially RVing and cruising. He and Carol enjoyed 32 cruises together. His greatest and most enjoyable and memorable adventure was RVing and driving the Alaskan Hi-way, to Alaska (enjoying 6 plus weeks in the interior thereof) and returning, visiting his nephew Dennis Brown in Edmonton, Canada. Videotaping was a great past time pleasure. He had over 885 indexed videos/DVDs in his home library, and over 120 John Wayne movies. He enjoyed tinkering with woodwork! He and his wife were avid RVer’s, and after retirement, they enjoyed traveling. They visited all 50 states together, visiting over 40 national parks, numerous national monuments, many Canadian Provinces and Mexico. Of the 32 cruises they enjoyed together, they visited numerous Caribbean Islands, the Panama Canal, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and cruising to Alaska. They flew to Hawaii, then cruising the islands of Hawaii, and cruising from Hawaii to Mexico. While stationed in Frankford Germany, he enjoyed cruising the Rhine River on several occasions.
Darrell courageously fought melanoma cancer for over 38 plus years. He participated in a melanoma clinical drug research study conducted by the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa FL, which he had offered his body for research for this dreaded disease. At the time of his death his body was in remission thanks to the clinical drug (BRAF) he was taking. The drug was phenomenally successful and was approved by the FDA in 2014, for public use. He considered it a miracle drug, which gave him a new lease on life back in 2012.
Darrell, being a Vietnam Veteran 1967-1968, applied for and was selected to participate in the Brevard County “Space Coast Honor Flight” to Washington DC in October 2019. Darrell selected his son Larry, a former U.S. Marine, to be his guarding escort, participating, along with 24 other honorably discharged veterans, visiting many of the military memorials including the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”, along with the changing of the guard, at Arlington National Cemetery, VA. The trip was an honor, well above his expectations.
A memorial service is planned for 11:00 a.m. on April 22nd at Suntree United Methodist Church, 7400 N Wickham Rd in Melbourne.
Darrell will be laid to rest at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, 5525 U.S. Hwy 1 in Mims, FL on Tuesday, April 27th at 3:00 p.m..
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Moffitt Cancer Center, Melanoma Research Center, Tampa, FL 33612 or Wuesthoff Hospice House, 661 Eyster Blvd, Rockledge, FL 32955.