Norman Brown

September 8, 2015
Traverse City, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Benzie Shores District Library
P.O. Box 631
Frankfort, MI 49635
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Norman J. Brown passed on September 8, 2015. Norm was born May 31, 1925, the fourth of five siblings. He was raised in Shelby Township, Michigan, by his single mother and although he never knew his father, he became the best of fathers and a gifted grandfather. During the Great Depression, his family became homeless and found refuge with a kind uncle. This would fuel Norm's lifetime commitment to always helping those in need.

He served in the China, Burma, India (CBI) Theater in WWII, was a proud member of the Flying Tigers, and drove the Burma Road. Thanks to the GI Bill and Michigan State University welcoming young vets after the war, he did something that his high school principal told him would never happen: he graduated from college. He later earned his Masters’ degree in Agricultural Economics from MSU.

He loved the outdoors, agriculture, and nature and built his career on those interests. While working on the Rifle River restoration project for the Michigan Conservation Department he met his soul mate for life, Audrey Bell Wallace. Their first date was on her 19th birthday, and they never looked back. The rest of his career was spent in the Cooperative Extension Service in Michigan and Nebraska and with the State of Michigan Department of Agriculture. He also did a two-year stint with USAID in Nigeria, a life-changing experience for everyone in the family.

He had a strong devotion to his family, was always curious and interested in people and ideas and in learning new things. He and Audrey loved travel, moving and meeting new friends. He enjoyed a good laugh, a lively discussion, and a well-told joke or story. He was an extraordinarily grateful person who touched many lives.

Norm epitomized the philosophy of giving back. Throughout his life he volunteered and was generous with his time, talents and resources. He lived a most inspiring life.

Norm passed peacefully from this world on his wife’s birthday and the 65th anniversary of their first date. His memory is carried on and celebrated by all who knew Norm, but especially by Audrey; children Cathy (Doug) Carter, Peggy (Bob Cedarbaum) and Paul (Debi Miles); grandchildren Lindsay, Erynn, Morgan (Chad) Gustafson, and Jackson Carter; Emily and Jeff Cedarbaum; Gavin, Charlotte and Cameron Brown; and great-grandchildren, Sammie and Megan Gustafson.

Rest in peace Norman Brown, on a life well-lived.

Memorials in Norm’s honor may be given to the Benzie Shores District Library, P.O. Box 631, Frankfort, MI, or the charity of your choice.

A private, family service will be held at a later date. Please visit Norm's webpage at to sign the guest book and share a message with his family. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.