Edwin “Les” Brower was born Sept. 30, 1929, in Urie, to James Edwin and Myrtle Dansie Brower.
Les grew up in Fort Bridger. Being adventurous and a hellraiser as young man, he, his brothers, the Roitz brothers, the Arthur brothers, the Aimone brothers and other local boys had many adventures in and around Fort Bridger — many of them dangerous as they learned about life and living; many of them not completing school. You would not have known that Les’ education was only through the eighth grade, as he learned from the school of hard knocks and hard living, teaching himself about many things and becoming successful in life, including attending college. He later received a Veterans Honorary High School Diploma, which recognized his life experiences as an honorably discharged veteran.
Les lived many places across the United States, one of many subjects he liked to discuss with friends, family and anyone he would come into contact with. He often said that he lived in every city on I-80 in Wyoming. As a young man, he worked up and down the railroad for Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. He worked at most sections from Cheyenne to Sparks, Nevada.
Never knowing a stranger and always trying to find a connection with others, Les could figure out how you were related to him or how he knew someone you were related to. He loved playing games with friends and family and teaching people how to play them; cribbage was one of his favorites. He had a knack for knowing a good investment or speculation.
Les served honorably in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of the Korean War. He earned the Rifleman Badge, a marksmanship award. Always wanting to be busy, he volunteered for any assignment, some of which drew enemy fire. They wanted to give him a medal for service, but he felt he didn’t deserve it, so he declined. Les was very proud to serve his country and was always honored when people thanked him for his service.
One of Les’ legacies is his outstanding work ethic. He was well known for working hard and learning how to do many trades. In addition to the railroads and many other jobs Les took on as a young man, he worked at International Harvester in Salt Lake City and Cheyenne. He worked at Allied Chemical until his retirement. In retirement, he worked for Broadbent Ranch and the Feed Barn. As a regular at the senior citizens center, he continued to find ways to help out, always wanting to have a job to do.
Les Brower married Nona Clifford Wall. Together they had three children. They later divorced.
Les is survived by his three children: daughters, Karla (Kevin) Behunin and Pam (Glenn) Sibert, both of Fort Bridger; and his son, Brian (Dorle) Brower of Rock Springs. He is survived by nine of his 11 grandchildren: Kori Behunin, Wes Sibert, Thad Behunin, Michael Cheatwood, Jolene Schnackenberg, Katy Redmon, Holly Shuster and Jacque Brower. He also is survived by 28 great-grandchildren. His love and pride of his family was evident.
Les’ family said their final goodbyes before he passed away peacefully at the age of 91, early on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 26, after declining health.
He is preceded in death by his parents, James Edwin and Myrtle Brower; his brothers, Frank Brower and Eugene Brower; and two grandchildren, Chelsea Brower and Brodie Leslie Brower.
A family-only funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec 29, MVF Church Gateway in Urie, with a viewing beginning at 10 a.m.
Graveside services and interment were at Fort Bridger Cemetery following the funeral services and procession.
Military Rites were performed by the American Legion Post 36 in Fort Bridger.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Senior Citizens in Mountain View or Castle Rock Rehabilitation Center in Green River.
Condolences may be made at www.crandallfhevanston.com.