William E. Brownson

December 25, 1931 ~ September 16, 2019 (age 87)


 Obituary of William E. Brownson 
Much loved and respected William Edward Brownson, more often known as “Mr. Brownson”, or simply “Bill” to his colleagues, church friends, and community members, passed peacefully surrounded by family at 12:01 am Monday at Bay Park Promedica Hospital, Oregon, Ohio near where he and his beloved wife Myrtle had been rehabbing at The Otterbein Home, Pemberville, Ohio for just 11 days. A very healthy, active man his entire life, his sudden illness and sudden decline came as a surprise to everyone. But as a man of God whose faith was what he lived by, we are assured he was received into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father and trust he is now free from pain and enjoying the fellowship of the many loved ones who went before him….He might even be interviewing people about where they went to high school or college which he often did wherever he went on this earth. 

Mr. Brownson was always interested in others before himself and exemplified a servant’s heart in whatever he did. He served his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his extended family, his neighbors, his church, his community, his friends, and his job every day of his existence. It was what he did, who he was and what he felt he was called to do. Together with his wife, Myrtle, they found great joy in asking God what their assignment was each day and then blessing others with provision for any special need that was discovered that they could afford to do. Generous, kind, humble, honest, unassuming, intelligent, patient, funny, educated, full of wisdom and focused are words that describe William E. Brownson. He simply loved people and always thought the best of everyone. Even in his final weeks he was concerned that his visitors were fed and taken care of. 

Bill also loved The Cleveland Indians, The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Tinora Rams, and kept up on the scores of every game he could watch, listen to, or read about in the newspaper which he read cover to cover daily, along with doing the crossword puzzle and sudoku the past 9 years. He loved family gatherings, neighborhood celebrations, holidays, and Tuesday morning meeting for coffee and fellowship with men from Zion Lutheran Church. His children, Brenda S. Wilhelm (Michael)Bowling Green, OH, Cynthia A. Brownson, Wauseon, OH and William H. Brownson (Myron Phillips), Columbus, Ohio, his 6 grandchildren, Kelly Hilgeman Bergstrom (Jon), Bellbrook, Ohio, Heather Granger (AJ), Findlay, Ohio Joshua Wilhelm (Laura),Centerburg, Ohio Joel Wilhelm (Jamie), Surprise, AZ, Dan Wilhelm (Kristi), Ashland, Ohio and Sarah McCutcheon (late David),Madison, Alabama and 15 great grandchildren ranging in age from 1 to 20 were loved dearly and he was always interested in following what they were involved in. But, most of all, he loved his beautiful wife of 66 years, Myrtle (Burrell) Brownson.                                                                                                                                                          
Bill Brownson loved his work. He retired 3 times! His first career was in education serving 6 school districts as school superintendent in 37 years. He was known as the youngest superintendent in the state of Ohio beginning as a teacher, bus driver, and principal advancing to superintendent of Whetstone School (consolidated as Colonel Crawford Schools) within 2 years. He then served as Superintendent of North Central Schools, Pike Delta York Schools, Bluffton Schools, Bath City Schools and Northeastern Schools. He retired, took real estate courses and considered a second career in that field, but instead subbed as a principal for Patrick Henry Schools, Liberty Center Schools, Delta Schools, and Bryan City Schools. He came out of retirement to serve 2 years as Bryan City School Superintendent, where he reconnected with a man who became one of his best friends and hired him to join The Buehrer Architectural Group where he served as Marketer and Educational Planning Consultant for over 19 years.  With this new career, he was able to call on his fellow superintendents and assist with their plans to build new schools, additions, and special projects. Always tied to education, churches and communities-this just suited him and provided a way to ease on into a real retirement of not reporting to any specific job. Just 9 years ago he turned his whole focus on family, friends, and foundations…finishing his lifetime of serving on boards for special needs in every community his very special daughter Cindy participated in. The boards he served on are too numerous to name, but he said he liked to do this to give back-to make the world better for Cindy and others with special needs. He spoke at all of the graduations in the public schools he served in but perhaps the most special graduation he was keynote speaker for his daughter’s graduation from Good Sam, Defiance County Board of DD. And, the one of the last noted accomplishments he was able to celebrate was seeing his daughter move into the Neva Home in Wauseon, Ohio, a Filling Home he had worked on their board to build. 

A graduate of Ashland High School, Ashland College and The Ohio State University, he was a faithful alumna and his picture hangs on the wall of Ashland High School to this day as a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. During his working years he was a Rotarian, Deacon of the Church, Church Council President, member of the Ohio School Board Association, Ohio Educational Association of School Administrators, the NEA, OEA, NWDEA, and others too numerous to mention. During his college years he was selected as Student Leader in American Colleges and Universities, a member of Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Education fraternity, a member of the band, choir, intermural golf, and service clubs. The family knew him to have been the “Ping Pong Champion” of Ashland College.  

William E. Brownson’s legacy will remain in the hearts of many for years to come and his family was and always will be very proud to call him Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Brother and Uncle.  The family will look forward to receiving all who would like to celebrate his life of 87 years with them at a viewing from 3-7 pm, on Friday, September 20, 2019 at Schaffer Funeral Home, 529 Jefferson Avenue, Defiance, OH and at a Communion Service and Celebration Service of the Life of William E. Brownson at Zion Lutheran Church, 1801 E. Second Street, Defiance, Ohio, Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11 am, with Rev. Timothy Reynolds officiating. An opportunity to see the family and pay last respects will be at the church one hour before the service.  Memorials you may wish to donate to include The Filling Homes and Zion Lutheran Church.  May we all find comfort in seeing him one day soon in Heaven walking the Streets of Gold. “Well done thy good and faithful servant, Bill Brownson.”

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September 20, 2019

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Schaffer Funeral Home
529 Jefferson Ave
Defiance, Ohio 43512

Funeral Service
September 21, 2019

11:00 AM
Zion Lutheran Church

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