Ira Browning, Jr. died on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, surrounded by family, at Cottonwood Creek Assisted Living Facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was 86 years of age. Ira was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on Monday, May 18, 1936, to Ira L. and Mabel (Weaks) Browning. He was raised with his sister, Cora Lee Lord, in Alhambra, California, where they enjoyed participating in many activities at the Methodist Church. He graduated from Alhambra High School as a member of the honor choir in May 1954. He attended Mount San Antonio Community College and earned an associate's degree in Agriculture. Following college, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served stateside at Camp Pendleton and Barstow, California. He met and married the love of his life, Elizabeth Ann Degnan, on May 15, 1962, in Minden, Nevada.
After living for a brief time in California, in 1968, Ira moved his wife and three young girls to De Beque, Colorado, where they raised their family for 38 years. Living by his solid values of family first and hard work, he built a life with his "banker," Annie, ranching and driving diesel truck for Wholesale Build Supply and later for City Market. Ira was a master truck driver, managing more than 30 years of driving Colorado and Wyoming roads, 100,000+ miles a year, at all hours of the day and night, with a meticulously clean driving record. He continued his career part-time, working with the local beet farmers during harvest in Wheatland, Wyoming, until he was 80. The biggest challenge for his family was to convince him to pass on renewing his CDL at the tender age of 84.
Ira never knew a stranger and was always there to assist any friend, neighbor, or local in need. He stepped up to coach, drove bus, ran the game clock, gave post-game hugs to every player, and offered encouraging words to support them. You could frequently find his City Market truck parked at the Friday night De Beque Dragon games wherever they were being played for the weekend. In 2006, Ira and Ann relocated to Wheatland, where Ira continued attending his grandchildren's athletic events and being a good neighbor. His family was the center of his life, and his girls adored him. A true kid at heart, he often perused the grocery store aisles for any small child he could get to giggle or smile, delighting in their spontaneous responses. He was an incredible grandfather, father, and husband, refusing to leave this world until he knew Annie, his faithful friend and partner of 66 years, was in good hands. Dad, leave the porch light on for us.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to local memory care facilities. And for Ira, make someone laugh; that is what he loved.
Three daughters survive him, Kathy (Joe) Debrucque of Grand Junction, Colorado, Cindy (Mike) Geile of Wheatland, and Lori (Eric) Ridgway of Riverton, Wyoming; nine grandchildren, Shea Hedler, Corey Hedler, Jared Hedler, Travis Geile, Colby Geile, Rachael Geile, Lindsey Ridgway, Logan Ridgway, Kiley (Ridgway) Lynott; and six great-grandchildren, Addison Hedler, Mason Hedler, Ethan Hedler, Gavin Hedler, Aya Chebib, and Hudson Ridgway. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ira Browning, Sr. and Mabel (Weeks) Browning; Marguerite Browning; his sister, Cora Lee (Browning) Lord; his nephew, Mike Lord; and his much-loved mother-in-law, Harriet M. "Dee" Dorrance.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com
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