Daniel Ross Brown
November 1, 1943 - February 9, 2012
Dan R. Brown, the beloved husband of Lynn C. Brown, passed away on February 9, 2012, in his home in Walla Walla after a battle with cancer for over a year. Dan was a twin brother to his sister, DeAnna Rose Brown Whisennand, who passed away on October 20, 2007, in Anacortes, WA.
Hesper Paul and Mary Ruth Schleier Brown, deceased, were the proud parents of these delightful, fun-loving twins who were born on November 1, 1943, in Walla Walla. These twins, who kept their parents hopping, were later to become one set out of 8 sets of twins to graduate from Walla Walla High School in the class of 1961, as published in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Dan attended Whitworth College the summer of 1961 and then went on to Western Washington University in Bellingham that fall. He loved photography and was requested by the University to be the lecturer for the photography class he was currently taking when his professor suddenly died. (Dan had benefited from his father's instruction in photography and from being a photographer for the WA-HI Yearbook.)
In 1962, he joined the US Navy and was stationed in San Diego. During that time he became a born-again Christian. He became a photographer for the US Navy and was assigned to the Essex Aircraft Carrier based in the Florida Keys during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was on 19 fly-over missions over Cuba on a reconnaissance plane before the plane was shot down. He landed in the ocean floating in a "bubble". Eventually a US Navy Seal Team rescued him. Due to several injuries, including a brain concussion and 3 broken ribs, he was hospitalized in the Florida Keys. After that experience, he began sleep walking, so the Navy gave Dan an Honorable Medical Discharge. He returned to Walla Walla to recuperate.
In September, 1963 he enrolled in Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. While studying photography, he also worked for a door manufacturer. After graduating, he moved back to Walla Walla in 1968. He and Steve McBride opened the Creative Color Photography Studio.
Dan especially liked doing the school children's photos in the Walla Walla Schools. Eventually, Dan sold the studio to his partner.
In 1972, Iceland was beckoning Dan to do a photo travelogue of the country. Russia had soldiers in the streets of Reykjavik when Dan and his partner, Steve Allen, landed there. The soldiers took away their cash and the cash of all the American citizens who arrived on their plane. As a result, they had some difficult days. Much to their shock, 4 days after they arrived, an 8.3 earthquake hit the area, and Mt. Hekla began erupting. City streets began cracking open as they dodged cracks for safety! Fortunately, the lady editor of the "Reykjavik Times" rented them a room in which to stay. A second earthquake of 7.6 magnitude occurred 4 days after the first one, causing them to wonder how they were going to accomplish their photo mission.
The editor knew that Dan and Steve desired to get upon Mt. Hekla to take close-up photos of the eruption and the magma flows. Since she was also a pilot, she flew them up to a "safe" place on the volcano and dropped them off. They spent 2 days taking fantastic photos! The editor flew back and picked them up, taking them to safety. The good news is that their photos were so great that National Geographic purchased them. After a rather harrowing experience of getting back home to America, Dan decided to settle into a more quiet life.
He tried his hand at farming very briefly but finally decided to start up his own home repair and painting business. That is how Dan met the lovely Lynn C. Bachtold Ponti while doing a roofing job on her house. She became the love of his life. They were married on June 16, 1984, and Dan became a step-father to Lynn's wonderful children, Jason and Alicia Ponti, from her first marriage. They continued to live in Walla Walla, and the business became known as Affordable Quality Painting.
Dan loved reading and studying, woodworking, hunting, fishing, and of course, photography. Every year he generously gave his garden vegetables
to many friends and neighbors and to those in need. Sometimes, he had an exhibit of his unique photos in public places around Walla Walla, such as in a winery or a tasting room.
He is survived by his wife Lynn, his step-son, Jason Ponti and his daughter-in-law, Jenny Ponti of Redmond, Ore., his step-daughter, Alicia Ponti of Walla Walla, his oldest sister, Sonja Lee Brown Hopson of Vancouver, Wash., his brother-in-law Jon Bachtold, sister-in-law, Chris Bachtold, of Walla Walla, his brother-in-law, Lyle Whisennand of Anacortes, and several nieces and nephews. Even though Dan's passing will leave a gap in his family, Dan knew his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the family looks forward to joining him one day. Dan will be cremated, but he requested no memorial service. Later on, there will be a family gathering to honor his life.
Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice through the Professional Funeral Directors and Crematory,
2112 S Second Ave, Walla Walla, WA, 99362.
Friends and family are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com