Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Jerry Brown

November 15, 1928 - October 21, 2022
Mattawan, MI


Life Story Visitation

Wednesday, October 26, 2022
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900
Driving Directions


Thursday, October 27, 2022
10:00 AM EDT
Renovation Church
1715 West Centre
Portage, MI 49024
Web Site


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.

Renovation Church
1715 West Centre
Portage, MI 49024
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Gerald (Jerry) Leslie Brown, age 93, died on Friday, October 21, 2022 surrounded by his family.

Jerry was born in Fayette County, IN on November 15, 1928, the fourth child of Arthur B. and Olive Irene (Stanton) Brown. After graduating from Niles High School in 1946, Jerry served in the Navy from 1948-1952, where he was stationed in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston. During his time in the Navy he met Pearl Lee Merchant, and married her on August 1, 1954 in Arlington, VA, where they resided while Jerry attended Barber School. After graduating, Jerry and Pearl Lee moved to Niles, MI, where Jerry worked at the Pick-Oliver Hotel Barbershop for 11 years. They also began attending Pokagon United Methodist Church, where they met good friends with whom they began a couples club: the four to five couples met monthly for over 40 years. In 1967, Jerry began working at the U.S. Post Office in Niles. He worked there for six years before being transferred to the Kalamazoo branch, causing the family to move to Mattawan. Jerry worked at the Kalamazoo post office for 17 years, where he was known affectionately as "Downtown Jerry Brown." Throughout his life, Jerry continued to barber off and on, cutting hair for friends and relatives, and filling in, when needed, for various barbers, notably Dale Norcross and Virg Hendricksen.

Jerry loved to garden and shared his abundance with one and all. He was a 4-H leader for a couple years, enjoying teaching kids to safely and smartly ride bicycles. He and his family were members of the Almena United Methodist church for six years, before joining the Portage Free Methodist Church, serving as an usher there for several decades.

Jerry is survived by son Mark Brown (Bonnie) of Kalamazoo; daughter Dawn Hoke (Gerald) of Mattawan; five grandchildren: Ryan Brown (Brittany), Brittney Dysard (Charlie), Hunter Brown, Mya Hoke, Lily Hoke; nine great-grandchildren: Marissa, Landyn, Xaine, Wriann, and Holden Brown; Zaria, Ezekiayl, Zechariah, two-week old Keziah Dysard; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Preceding Jerry in death were his infant siblings: Virgil H. Brown and Dorothy Frances Brown, his parents, his sister, Ouidabon (Brown) Harwood, his brother D. Wayne Brown, and his wife of 67 years, Pearl Lee Brown.

Please join us at a Life Story Visitation on Wednesday, October 26 from 6-8 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, October 27, 10 AM at Renovation Church,1715 W. Centre St., Portage. Visit Gerald’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Renovation Church.