Robert A. Brown was a lifelong supporter of the Adams County Fair. He passed away February 10, 2022 in his home in Quincy, IL. at the age of 65. When life is lost, another is gained. That held true as a baby calf, "Janie," joined his herd the same day.
Robert was born September 23, 1956, in Hannibal, MO to William "Bill" and Joan (Wolfe) Brown.
While growing up, Robert was involved in the Payson Rolling Ridge 4-H group where he showed hogs and beef cattle at the fair. During his high school years, Robert was active in the Payson High School FFA Section 13 Chapter from 1970-1974. Robert held the position of reporter from 1973-1974. Robert worked as a farmhand during this time for Orville Loos along with his great friend, Mike Dietrich.
Robert loved showing his cows at the Adams County Fair. Here he is back in 1972 prepping for the beef show.
After graduating from Payson High School in 1974, he bought his own truck and leased to the Liberty Feed Mill. After a few years, Robert, along with his dad and brothers, Matt and Stephen, started Brown's Cross Country Truck Line in 1983 until 2003. In 1990, they added the business River City Parts, where Robert worked until recently alongside his brother, Matt, and nephew, Landon. When Robert was unable to make it to the office, he continued to call each day to check in with his brother Matt.He married Jane (Sohn) Brown on May 21, 1983. Together they welcomed their daughter Melissa.
Robert and his daughter Melissa enjoyed showing cattle together at the Adams County Fair.
In Robert's younger years, you could find him playing softball at Adams Trading Post, bowling at South Side Boat Club, or playing co-ed volleyball at the CYO on Friday nights followed by a visit to Mr. Bills. He was a member of the Village of Payson Board, Adams County Farm Bureau, and St. Anthony Catholic Church, where he enjoyed working at the annual church picnic.
Robert was a lifelong supporter of FFA and 4-H. Each year, even after Melissa was no longer showing Limousin cattle, he made sure to walk through every building at the Adams County Fair. Robert loved everything related to the agriculture industry; from simple rides to check the crops, checking the rain gauges, side-by-side rides, watching RFD TV, visiting with his friends at the New London Farmers Co-Op, petting and meticulously feeding his cows, and reading the Free Ad Finder he picked up at the gas station every Thursday. You could often find Robert at farm machinery auctions bidding on things that maybe just needed a little work. Anything he needed he could get at Leon's Store, Farm & Home. Robert took pride in his white truck where only he could ride, but it was filled with anything he would ever need at the farm, but only he could find.
When Robert wasn't farming or trucking, he enjoyed watching football and cheering for the Chiefs and Mahomes, and he didn't miss an episode of Yellowstone. If the TV wasn't on, the radio was so he could listen to Steve and Mary on the WTAD morning show. On Fridays, Robert would wear red to show support for farmers and troops. He was patriotic, and enjoyed celebrating the Fourth of July by shooting off fireworks with family and friends. No matter what Robert was doing, you could bet that he had a Spearmint LifeSaver close by.
The good times, the good memories, and the good friends Robert had are endless.
The last three years of Robert's courageous battle with cancer, his love and pride of Jane and Melissa was more profound than ever. Robert was so proud that Melissa tended to the cattle almost as meticulously as he did. He taught her what she needed to know about planting in the spring, harvesting in the fall, and everything in between. Melissa's love for the cattle is as strong and stubborn as Robert's was. The cattle and crops gave Robert a purpose to fight for the duration of his battle.
Robert will be remembered and missed by his first family - the cows, and then wife, Jane, daughter, Melissa (Josh) Kiel, and his grandcat, "Socks", but referred to as "Boots" by Robert; one sister, Audrie (Jerry) Bunte of Payson, IL; two brothers, Stephen Brown of Sanibel, FL and Matthew (Luann) Brown of Quincy IL; and sisters in-law, Cheryl Brown of Payson, IL and Paula Brown of Hannibal, MO.
Robert, his beloved wife Jane and daughter Melissa at the 2021 Adams County Fair. Robert never wanted to miss the fair or his annual walk through the beef barns.