MOHAWK – Mr. Stephen R. “Steve” Brown, age 74, a lifelong Mohawk Valley resident, passed away unexpectedly, early Sunday morning, May 14, 2017, at the Little Falls Hospital.
Born on February 9, 1943, Stephen was the son of the late Richard Grant and Ruth Marion (Washer) Brown. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm on Putts Hill Road in Mohawk and was a graduate of Mohawk High School’s Class of 1961. He went on to further his education for a brief period at Cornell University, and later attended Cobleskill College where he earned his AAS in Animal Husbandry.
Steve knew hard work throughout his entire life, and after college he spent over a decade hauling bulk milk from his family farm to the plant. In 1980, he began his career as a Milk Technician with the former Northeast Dairy Cooperative, now Dairyone, and spent over 27 years with the company until his retirement on September 30, 2006.
At one time Steve shared in marriage with the former Sheila J. Fancher, a relationship from which came his two children. It was years later that Steve met and fell in love with the former Carol Ann (Gilman) LaBarge, and on July 26, 1986, the couple were married at North Columbia Church with their four children standing up at the ceremony. They combined households, and shared in over thirty years of love, laughter and friendship, as they raised their family, and watched it grow.
Steve was heavily involved within his community with various organizations which were close to his heart. He served as both Secretary and President for the General Herkimer Riding Club, and showed extensively at many district horse shows throughout the area. He was also involved with Herkimer County Fair where he judged cattle shows as well as being involved in the homemaking department and 4-H Club.
In 1990, he became active with both the Minnowbrook and Ilion Garden Clubs, and eventually served as President of both. He was also a life member of the NYS Garden Club and was proud to achieve Master Status as a National Garden Club flower show judge. He served in many capacities for the District V Judges Council throughout his tenure, most recently serving as Chariman.
Beyond his various clubs, Steve enjoyed crocheting, designing with silk and real flowers, and crafting. He and his wife were blessed to sing for many years with the Valley Voices for Christ. He held a deep faith in Christ and was a longtime member of the North Columbia Church, and a current parishioner of the Mohawk Reformed Church.
He is survived by his wife, Carol; his daughters, Tori Lyn and her husband, Samea Gahbour of Saudi Arabia and Tricia Diedirch and her husband, Clyde of Mohawk; his sons, Christopher Brown and Debra Latrey of Ilion and Robert LaBarge and his wife, Robin of Hickory, NC; his grandchildren, Christina Brown and fiancé, Kyle Klumbach, Hailey Manley, Taylor Brown, Paige Manley, Kevin Diedrich, Jason Diedrich, Hudson LaBarge, Baylee LaBarge, Aliya Gahbour and Hana Gahbour; and one great-grandson, Jackson Klumbach. He also leaves his brother and sister-in-law, David and Jo-Ann Brown of Schuyler; his in-laws, Robert and Linda Gilman of Ilion; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends and family are invited to attend Steve's calling hours on Thursday afternoon, May 18, 2017, from 3:30PM - 5:30PM at the Applegate-Day & Enea Family Funeral Home’s larger location, 4309 Acme Road, Town of Frankfort, Ilion, NY (315) 894-8000. Steve's funeral service and Celebration of Life will commence on Thursday afternoon, May 18, 2017 at 5:30PM at the funeral home, immediately upon the conclusion of visitation.
For those who wish to do so, please consider memorial contributions to the Ilion Garden Club, the Minnowbrook Garden Club, or to the Mohawk Reformed Church. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Arrangements and supervision have been entrusted to Don Applegate and Martin L. Ciaccia, Funeral Directors.
Online notes of sympathy may be left at www.applegateandday.com.