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Walter "Walt"'s Story

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Walter Walt Wayne Brownlee age 78, of Fairfield, passed away Wednesday, December 20, 2017, at University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics, Iowa City, IA.
Visitation for family and friends will be 5:00 pm 7:00 pm, Wednesday, January 3, 2017, at Behner Funeral Home.
Memorial Service will be 1:00 pm, Thursday, January 4, 2017, at Behner Funeral Home. Burial of cremains will be at a later date at Evergreen Cemetery with full Military Rites.
In lieu of flowers, family requests memorials be made to the American Heart Association, Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Association (Jefferson County Chapter) or donors choice. Cards and memorials can be mailed to Elizabeth Brownlee, 408 E. Burlington, Iowa 52556.
Walt was born January 14, 1939, in Hinton, Iowa to Wayne and Charlotte (Pease) Brownlee.
He graduated from Grand Meadow School in 1957 and then attended Westmar College from 1958-1962, graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration and Psychology. In 1962 he joined the Iowa Army National Guard and after completing basic training he became the Business Manager for Marcus Community Schools from 1962-1965. Walt attended Iowa Military Academy in Des Moines, Iowa in 1965 receiving his appointment as Second Lieutenant. In 1968 he was promoted to First Lieutenant. Walt was Business Manager and Assistant Administer for Sioux Valley Hospital in Cherokee, Iowa from 1965-1967. He was Hospital Administrator at Wayne County Hospital in Corydon, Iowa from 1967-1968. After serving as CEO for six months he received orders to serve in Vietnam. After attending Advanced Officers Training Course in Ft. Benning, Georgia, Walt served as Platoon Leader in Ft. Carson, Colorado. He arrived in Vietnam in January, 1969 and returned November, 1969. Walt was involved in many battles while in Vietnam and became Company Commander while there. He was officially discharged from the military December, 1969. After his return from Vietnam Walt returned to Corydon as CEO/Administrator of Wayne County Hospital. In April, 1973 he accepted the position of Hospital Administrator in Fairfield, Iowa until his retirement in January, 2000. Shortly after his retirement he began working as Interim Administrator for hospitals in Carthage, Illinois; Holdrege, Nebraska; Atkinson, Nebraska; and Ord, Nebraska.
Walt was a member of the Iowa Hospital Association for 12 years and was Chairman of the Board from April, 1985-April, 1986. He served on the Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellmark) Board of Directors from 1980-1997, representing small and rural hospitals of Iowa. Walt served on the Board and was a founding member of Health Enterprises of Iowa (an organization of 22 hospitals in Eastern Iowa).
While serving in Vietnam he received numerous medals and commendations. The two of which he was most proud were the Bronze Star Medal presented to him by the United States Of America and the Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star presented to him by the Government of the Republic of Vietnam.
Walt was an avid fisherman and hunter. He and his wife own a cabin at Roberts Park in Keosauqua, Iowa and much time was spent fishing on the Des Moines River. He was currently a member of the Fairfield Elks Lodge, VFW and American Legion.
Walt is survived by his wife of 31 years, Beth (Allison) Brownlee; his children, Mark (Carrie) Brownlee of Fairfield, Michelle (James) Bearb of Houston, Texas, Matthew (Carissa) Brownlee, Houston, Texas, Tracy (Robert) Grinstead-Everly of Austin, Texas, Scott (Maggie) Grinstead of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Kelley (Mike) Buckner, of McKinney, Texas, and Jaime (Jason) Guffey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Grandchildren, Cameron Burke, James Ray Bearb, Kaitlyn & Tyler Brownlee, Alex & Madison Everly, Jacob & Allison Grinstead, Lucas Buckner, Lindsay & Zackary Guffey; Great Grandchildren, Madelyn, Macie & Trenton Bearb; one brother, Bob (Judy) Brownlee of Golden, Colorado; and many cousins and 2 nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Charlotte Brownlee; and 2 cousins.
On-line condolences can be made to the family at: behnerfh.com.
Published on December 28, 2017
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