In Memory of




Obituary for LaVerne "Verne" Brownell

LaVerne “Verne” C. Brownell, age 88, of Watertown, SD passed away Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Jenkins Living Center. Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Watertown with Pastor Paul Janke officiating and Karen Livingston as organist.        Visitation will be 4-7 p.m., Monday, October 29, 2018 at Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel in Watertown. Interment will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery with Military Honors by American Legion Post 17 and Ellsworth Air Force Funeral Honors Team. Honorary pallbearers will be employees of Gray Construction. Memorials may be designated to the Salvation Army, 621 4th St SE, Watertown, SD 57201.   LaVerne Charles Brownell was born April 20, 1930 to Carl E. and Nettie M. (Monahan) Brownell at Henry, South Dakota.  Verne grew up in Henry where he attended school and graduated from high school.  He also attended one year of school at Mitchell Business College.  Verne joined the US Air Force in 1951 and served in Mannheim, Germany.  He was honorably discharged in 1955.   Verne began his employment at Gray Construction Company in 1956, eventually becoming the owner until 2010.   He married Mabel “May” D. Achterberg on June 7, 1981 at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Watertown.   He was a member of St. Martins Lutheran Church and the American Legion.   Verne enjoyed golfing, hunting, snowmobiling and dancing.  He also enjoyed watching or reading anything on military or history.         Survivors are his wife, May D. Brownell of Watertown; his children, Victor E. (Barb) Brownell of Watertown, SD and Valerie H. Brownell of Brookings, SD; his step-children, Tamara M. (John) Foley of Minneapolis, MN and Jeffre S. (Heidi) Paulson of Mesa, AZ; ten grandchildren, Natasha (Travis) Torgerson of Watertown, SD, Dustin Brownell of Watertown, SD, Shana Brownell of Minneapolis, MN, Rory Brownell of Brookings, SD, Shea Brownell of Watertown, SD, Emerson Foley of Minneapolis, MN, Oliver Foley of Minneapolis, MN, John “Jack” Foley of Minneapolis, MN, Tyler Paulson of Mesa, AZ and Ethan Paulson of Mesa, AZ; three great-grandchildren, Brody and Ally Torgerson and Paislee Brownell; and one sister, Gail Zwieg of Huron, SD.     Preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Lester and Lee; and a granddaughter, Brianna Galada Brownell.