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Farmington man dies doing the work he loved

A Farmington man died Sunday while working to repair a transformer in the St. Louis area.

Ron Brown, 73, was working for Asplundh Construction repairing damage in University City from a storm that passed through the area Saturday.

A spokesman for the St. Louis company, which was a sub-contractor for AmerenUE, said Brown had worked for Asplundh for more than a year. Brown was taken from the scene to Barnes-Jewish Hospital where he died.

“He died doing the work he loved to do,” said Cindy Roark, Brown’s daughter. He’d been at her home Saturday night when the call came for him to go to work.

“I told him, ‘Dad, you’re going to miss Father’s Day,’ and I gave him his gifts as he left,” said Roark. “He had a little bit of a bounce in his step as he went out of the house. He just loved his work.”

Brown started his career as a janitor at Union Electric just after he graduated from high school. He retired from the company after 39 years in 1998 as general foreman of the transmissions department. But Roark said his retirement lasted only abut six months.

“He went back to work on construction, climbing poles and things and he loved it. He loved being around those young guys,” she said.

Roark said her father worked five hurricanes in one year and last year, worked to restore power in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Brown was a devoted husband of 50 years to his wife Sue and when he wasn’t working, he was cheering his grandchildren in the various sports they played in Farmington.

“Dad lavished his love on his little Dachshund, Marie, too,” said Roark. “She’s 13 now, but when she was a baby, he carried her in his pocket. She went on every motorcycle ride Dad ever took.”

For a complete obituary, see page 7 in today’s Daily Journal.

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