|Birth: ||Sep. 7, 1916|
|Death: ||Apr. 25, 1974|
Donovan Bruce Browning was born 7 Sep 1916 to Walter John Browning and Edith Bellamy Hopper in Black Creek, Shelby, MO. Both sides of his family trace back to the 1620s, to British colonists in Jamestown. His brother George Ellis was a year older. His early childhood was spent on the family farm run by his Grandfather Frank Browning, his Uncle Frank Browning, and his father. He told me that leaving his beloved horse was the hardest part of moving when his family relocated in Riverside, CA in 1927. Here his father worked as a carpenter. They lived at the Sherman Institute Indian School in 1930. Included in his friends were Native American students from the school. He talked about going camping with them in the San Gabriel Mountains. By 1933 they again lived in Riverside and his father raised poultry in addition to carpentry. As a youth during the depression he built his own bike and motorcycle. He demonstrated artistic talent with pencil, pen and ink, and color works. After graduating from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 1933 he decided to join the Navy.
He served in the Navy from 15 Oct 1934 to 26 May 1954. Beginning as a sailor, he achieved the rank of Fire Control Technician, Chief Petty Officer and spent 13 of his 20 years of service at sea. Non war duty took him sailing to Europe, Asia, Africa, Cuba, and Central and South America as well as stateside. During World War II he served in the Pacific on a number of destroyers. As an energetic young man he was interested in body building, swimming, and dancing. He loved having a new car. In 1944 he met Eleanor Mary Ells, from Vermont. On 10 Feb 1945 they were married in Washington, DC. In 1948 he taught NROTC at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Separating from active service in 1954 he remained in the Navy Fleet Reserve. For the next four months he worked on the Browning ranch in Oregon where his parents and brother grew alfalfa and potatoes. He was employed at Librascope, Inc in Glendale, CA for four months, followed by a position at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Beginning in March 1955 until his death in April 1975, he participated in the Nuclear Research effort as an Electronic Technician specializing in firing devices and remote seismic sensing. For over 10 years he worked in Tonopah, NV coming home on weekends.
He had a daughter Carolyn and three sons, Gregory, Thomas, and Robert. As a father he was directly involved in caring for his babies including giving baths, diaper changing, and feeding. As a family man his activities included camping, fishing, tending the barbeque on weekends in the backyard, going to the drive in movies to see westerns, war, and biblical movies. Always on the go he took care of all home improvement and maintenance and enjoyed auto mechanics, carpentry, and gardening. Family vacations were driving to visit parents in Oregon or Florida. In 1967 he drove to Canada for the World's Fair.
He was a Republican who kept informed about politics and world events. He had a folksy yet dry sense of humor shared on a regular basis. The only sport he enjoyed was to watch professional boxing. Raised as a protestant in the Church of Christ he converted to a Catholic while in Boulder, CO. In the second half of his life, socializing was difficult due to hearing loss even with hearing aids. Deafness may have resulted from the years he served in the Navy directing the firing of guns on destroyers. His death on 25 April 1974 was due to complications from open heart surgery, following a heart attack. With this early death he missed seeing his sons marry and the experience of being a Grandfather. Both he would have dearly loved.
The dates come from a personal note book, research, and the rest from my memory.
J. Walter Browning (1891 - 1979)
Edith Bellamy Hopper Browning (1895 - 1969)
Eleanor Mary Ells Browning (1924 - 1995)*
George Elis Browning (1915 - 2002)*
Donovan B Browning (1916 - 1974)
FCC, US NAVY
Santa Fe National Cemetery
Santa Fe County
New Mexico, USA
Plot: W, 0, 163
Maintained by: Lynzee720
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 427431