Charles Lynn “Chuck” Browning
ATHENS – Charles Lynn “Chuck” Browning, 79, of Athens, IL, formerly of Springfield, died July 4, 2007 at 5:30 a.m. at St. John’s Hospital. Chuck was born on November 4, 1927 in Decatur, IL, of Warren John and Alice Louise Lyda Browning. His parents and several aunts and uncles preceded him in death. He married Norma Jane Schweitzer on July 5, 1952 and she survives, along with one son Randall Dan (wife, Beth Browning of Cantrall; one daughter, Sandra Lynn Browning; and special friend, Pamela Carter, both of Manassas, VA; two granddaughters, Jennifer Morgan Browning of Springfield and Julia Morgan Browning of Cantrall; one aunt, Norma Jean Wortman of Decatur; one uncle, Fred Householder of Decatur; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Charles E. and Eleanor Sakris of Springfield; two nephews, Charles F. (wife, Sharon) and Donald R. (wife, Kathy) Sakris of Rochester; one niece, Cheryl S. Sakris of Springfield; six great-nephews and nieces; many cousins and friends. He was a 55-year member of Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield, past member of the Church Council, and worked as a volunteer in the Food Pantry for a good number of years.
Chuck graduated from Danville High School and attended the University of Illinois and Millikin University before and after involvement in World War II as a member of the United States Air Force Medical Corp on Guam. After ten years as an insurance adjuster for Lincoln Casualty Insurance Company, he moved to Horace Mann Insurance Company and retired from there in 1993, holding a position as Secretary, supervising claims activity for one-third of the United States. This position was a fourth-level-from-the-top responsibility within the Company.
He was a very active member of Sertoma Club of Springfield, serving as President, Mid-Illinois District Governor, and State Director for Illinois. He earned both the Centurian and Tribune Awards of the Sertoma International Awards program. He was also involved in the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center in Palos Heights where he was elected to the Board of Directors for a three-year term.
For some years, he was involved with the Old State Capitol Foundation, serving as Vice-President. He was also active in theatrical activities in the Springfield Community which involved the Springfield Theatre Guild, the Board of Directors of the Springfield Municipal Opera, and in productions of Abe Lincoln in Illinois at New Salem State Park. Along with these activities, he was also a member of the Stagehands Local Union, operating lighting equipment at a variety of locations, including the Municipal Opera and the Illinois State Fair. He was an avid and loyal Cubs baseball fan (his Oldsmobile license plate read “Old Cub”).
Chuck was a life member of the Springfield Motor Boat club and worked his way up the officer-ladder to serve a two-year elected term as Commodore. For numerous years he played Santa Claus for many children throughout the Springfield area.
He knew that real wealth comes to the man who has learned that he is paid best for the things he does for nothing. His philosophy could best be phrased poetically: “There is a destiny that makes us brothers, None goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own. -Edwin Markham” Chuck loved and worshiped his God, adored his family, and fought for and praised his Country and its Flag. He often said that the American Flag was more beautiful than any other. With these criteria, he became a millionaire.
Funeral rites will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield on Monday, July 9, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation 4:00-7:00 p.m., Sunday, July 8, 2007 and lie-in-state 10:00-11:00 a.m., Monday, July 9, 2007 at Grace Lutheran Church, Reverend Thomas B. Christell, Jr. and Reverend Juli Lejman-Guy officiating. Cremation will be accorded by Staab Funeral Home, with family memorial services at a later date. Remembrances may be made to the Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Sertoma Club of Springfield, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
(This obituary was written by Chuck’s family, with excerpts from a nomination presentation for the Sertoman of the Year Award in 1997-98.