Russell Olsen Brown passed away of natural causes at the age of 90 on May 5, 2020, at his home in Lehi, Utah. The hallmarks of his life were his love for his family, his work ethic, his integrity, his obedient example, and his devotion to God and country.
He was born in Richfield, Utah, on May 14, 1929, to Floyd Heber Brown and Inza Ashby Brown. He grew up helping with the family farm in Koosharem with his six siblings: Leonal, Marion, Farrell, Harlow, Paul, and Lorna.
He accepted a call to serve a mission in California, however, he was drafted into military service. He served in the Korean War for the United States Army from January 1951 to July 1952. As a cook stationed four miles from the front-line, he dodged enemy mortar rounds, and served meals to the front-line troops twice a day, making donuts on holidays.
Upon his return from Korea, he decided a farmer’s life was not for him and enrolled at Brigham Young University, graduating with one of the first classes of civil engineering students in 1957. He later went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Utah.
While at BYU, he met Norma Gammon and they were married on September 9, 1953, in the Manti Utah Temple. They remained married for 63 years, until Norma’s death in 2017. They lived in Orem and were blessed with four children, Sherry, Steve, Matt, and Holly. He found abundant joy in his family especially as it grew to include 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trips to Disneyland with his children and grandchildren.
Russell was a principal and owner of RB&G Engineering from 1965 to 2004. During those 39 years, he was responsible for the design and construction of numerous freeways, highways, water systems, storm water collection systems, and wastewater treatment facilities. His consulting engineering practice allowed him to work directly with many government agencies including the Utah Department of Transportation, the Army Corp of Engineers, and numerous municipalities, towns, cities, and counties in the State of Utah.
He was the Orem City Engineer beginning in 1967 and continued in this role through 1980 managing the development of the City’s rapidly growing infrastructure. He served over 50 years as a Board Member and Engineer for the Metropolitan Water District of Orem and was instrumental in securing and developing an adequate water supply for the City that will last for generations to come. He received the Walter C. Orem Community Service award in 2007 in recognition of his service and contribution to the City of Orem.
Part of Russell’s legacy is the people he was able to influence. He mentored numerous men and women who took prominent positions in private practice and in city, county, and state governments. You never worked for Russ—you worked with him. His goal was to advance each person’s career and there are many successful individuals who benefited from his efforts. While he was proud of his water projects and professional achievements, he considered his greatest achievement to be the success of his children and grandchildren.
Russell was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and four of his siblings. He is survived by his children, Sherry, Steve (Lisa), Matt (Cheryl), and Holly (Wayne); his brother Harlow (Sandra) Brown and sister Lorna (Kendall) Stapley; his 13 grandchildren; and his four great-grandchildren.
Due to current circumstances (Covid-19), a private family service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020 with interment at the Orem City Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.
The zoom link for those unable to be in attendance is: https://princeton.zoom.us/j/92288865473
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