Donald Brown

Obituary of Donald R. Brown

Donald Russell Brown, age 90, longtime Iowa City resident, former educator, and coach, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Friday, March 18, 2022. He will be greatly missed by his family but knowing he and his wife are together again brings them peace. Don was born July 2, 1931, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Russell and Ruth Brown. He graduated from LeClaire High School in 1949. At the University of Iowa, Don completed his undergraduate and master’s in education. Upon graduation from college, Don was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. While stationed in Alaska, Don served as a pilot and began his lifelong coaching career. In 1958, Don returned to his hometown of LeClaire, IA where he became the Athletic Director and coached both the girls and boys basketball teams. In 1960, Don took a new position in Durant, IA where he met, married, and started his family with the love of his life, Dea. The couple moved to Iowa City in 1968 where they raised their two sons and Don began his 30 plus year coaching career at City High. Don’s primary focus in life was to give his best to his family, students, and community without expectations of recognition, credit or gratitude. Don’s conscientious approach to coaching was rivaled by his desire to educate in the classroom. Over the years, Don received multiple notes from former students, players and coaches thanking him for his dedication, positive attitude, and the dramatic impact he had on their lives. Once retired, Don avidly followed his son, Brent’s coaching career and rarely missed the opportunity to attend any of his grandchildren’s events. He loved spending time with the family and enjoyed telling stories of his adventures, which are cherished and will be shared for generations to come. Don and Dea spent many winters in Gulf Shores, AL, where Don thoroughly enjoyed the warmer weather and quality time on the golf course with his close friends. Don was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Iowa City, serving in multiple roles over the last 54 years. Those left to honor his memory include his children Mark (Julie) Brown of Iowa City, IA, their children Conner, Kennedy and Kieler and Brent (Mary) Brown of Plainfield, IL and their children Logan and Lauren. Don was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Dea. A time for family and friends to gather to remember and visit will be held on Saturday May 21st at 1:30 PM with a short service to conclude the afternoon, beginning at 3:00 PM. At Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Don’s name to The Bird House-Hospice Home of Johnson County. To share a thought, memory or condolence please visit the funeral home website at