On August 21st, 2013, our loving Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and friend, Capt. Merle R. Browning (USAF, Ret.), 81, of Pineville, LA, left this world peacefully, to meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be reunited with his beloved wife of 60 years, Clara "Babe" Browning.
Merle was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and patriot and shaped the lives of so many people in this world and will continue to do so in the next. Through community service, military service, service to his church and countless measures of guidance to anyone who asked, he helped make this world a better place and pave the way for new generations to enjoy a better life in this great country.
Merle was born on September 20, 1931 in East St. Louis, IL, the only son to Baptist Minister Daniel Travis Browning and Velma Louise Browning. Eventually, D.T. Browning's ministries brought the family to Dequincy, LA, where Merle settled and eventually met his beloved wife, Babe Clarke Browning, daughter of Dequincy's Joseph R. Clarke and Clara Clarke. A career in the U.S. Air Force sent Merle and Babe all over the world as they established their new family, with children Charlotte, Mark, Roger and Randy, traveling to the Far East and Europe and throughout the United States. His commitment to God, Country and Family created a solid foundation that formed his core values that never wavered up to his passing on August 21, 2013.
Following Merle's distinguished career in the Air Force, he, Babe and the family retired to their hometown of Dequincy, LA, where Merle and Babe purchased a jewelry store on Pine Street to establish Browning Jewelers. He then served DeQuincy as President of the Rotary Club, President of the Dequincy Chamber of Commerce, Deacon at First Baptist Church and confidant to adults and youngsters alike who desired his guidance. He never backed away from a challenge, never denied a favor.
In 1973, Merle began a third career with Missouri Pacific Railroad and ultimately Union Pacific Railroad as an engineer, retiring in 1996. During this time, he further served his country by serving in the Louisiana National Guard from 1981 to 1991. At this point, with kids long on their own and his work done, he did what anyone would do; he went bass fishing, moving to Toledo Bend Lake with Babe to finally settle down and get some rest.
He lived the rest of his life relaxing, traveling, and participating in every church activity available. They eventually settled in Pineville, LA where he cared for Babe as she battled cancer to the end of her blessed life when she parted this world on July 15, 2013. His heart was broken and we know that they are in each other's arms now and forever.
Merle is preceded in death by his parents Daniel Travis Browning, Velma Louise Browning, infant Grandson Daniel Ross Browning and Merle's loving wife, Clara "Babe" Browning.
Survivors include, children: Charlotte, Mark, Roger and Randy; grandchildren: Jason Barber & Jessica Chapman, Matthew & Rachel Browning and Anna Juliette Browning; great grandchildren: Anderson & Georgia Claire Cruse and Ethan Barber; daughter- and son-in-laws: Connie Browning, Dan Lindsay, Kristen Browning and Wes Chapman.
We love you, Dad, and honor the amazing life and gentle love that you so unselfishly gave to us. Your calming presence is sorely missed. Rest in Peace.
Pallbearers will be Deacons of First Baptist Church of Dequincy. All services will be at First Baptist Church of Dequincy. Visitation will be held Sunday, August, 25, 2013 from 3:00PM to 6:00PM. His funeral service will be held at 10:00AM on Monday, August 26, 2013, officiated by Rev. Gil Arthur, with a full military burial following at Masonic Cemetery in DeQuincy.
Family and friends are asked to forego sending flowers and, instead, please make a donation to the
in Babe and Merle Browning's name. Words of comfort may be expressed with the family at www.hixsonfuneralhomes.com.