William "Willy" Herbert Brown, 59, of Shippenville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Shippenville, formally of Seneca, entered this world a fighter on May 6, 1961, born premature, weighing only four pounds. Willy passed away a fighter on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 5:00 P.M. after a short battle with brain cancer.
Willy was the first-born son of June (Heckathorn) Brown Whitten and the late William H. Brown. He graduated in 1979 from Titusville High School. While still in high school he enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and after graduation he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While serving in the Marines, he was a repelling instructor in Guam. Willy was commended for outstanding service and presented the award for Meritorious Mast for service beyond the call of duty, for carrying a fellow Marine over two miles through the jungle to a medical evacuation helicopter.
Upon completion of his military service he returned home to Seneca and was employed at Roy Rogers Restaurant in Cranberry, as a census worker, and a custodian for the United States Post offices in Cranberry and Seneca.
In his earlier years, he enjoyed running, participating in numerous marathons in Pennsylvania, California and Guam. In later years he enjoyed camping and walking. He was an avid reader, spending a considerable amount of time at the Oil City Library.
He is survived by his mother June, of Seneca, with whom he made his home; three brothers, James L. Brown and wife Leann of Cranberry and their children, Zachary, Amanda and Lucia; John W. Brown, of Johnstown and his children, Misty, Rodger, Dylan, Sarah and Allen; and Shane W. Brown of Pittsburgh; and several great nieces and nephews.
In addition, he is survived by his Aunt Lois and Uncle Clinton Hazlet of Titusville, and his Aunt Cindy Hopkins of Summerton, South Caolina, and his bird, Jed.
He was preceded in death by his father, William; stepfather Keith Whitten; his paternal grandparents, Weldon and Margarete Brown; step grandmother Mae Brown; and maternal grandparents Wayne and Ruth Heckathorn.
The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the staff at Shippenville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and also to AseraCare Hospice staff for the wonderful care Willy received during his stay at the center.
A visitation for friends and family will be held Friday (Sept. 11) from noon until 1 p.m. at Hile-Best Funeral Home, 2781 Rte. 257 in Seneca, Cranberry Township. Liturgy of the Word and The Service of Christian Burial officiated by The Reverend Mark Elliston, of Christ Episcopal Church, will immediately follow at 1 p.m. in the funeral home. Full military honors will be accorded by the V.E.T.S Honor Guard. Interment will take place in the Heckathorn family plot in Brandon Cemetery in Cranberry.
Memorial contributions in Willy’s memory may be made to the Oil Region Library, 2 Central Ave., Oil City, PA 16301; The Venango County Humane Society, 286 South Main Street, Seneca, PA 16346; or Shippenville Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, 21158 Paint Blvd., Shippenville, PA 16254.
To express online condolences to Willy's family, please visit www.hilebest.com
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