Melvin Laverne Brown, 91, of Belvidere, IL, passed away surrounded by family on Friday, January 13, 2023, at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center. Melvin was born in rural Baca County, Colorado to Richard and Juanita (Bridwell) Brown on October 2, 1931. He graduated from Oakland High School in Oakland, IL, in 1949. Melvin married Patricia Ann (Kite) Brown on August 25, 1952, in Victoria, MS. They celebrated 66 loving years of marriage until her passing in 2018. He served in the Army during the Korean Conflict, where he oversaw the New Recruit Education Program for over 600 Army recruits daily, at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. During his time in the Army, he earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Melvin graduated with a Bachelors' Degree from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Illinois. He and Patricia had one son, Daren L. Brown, in 1966. Melvin was an active member of community organizations, including President of the Belvidere Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. Most notably, Melvin served as Superintendent of Belvidere School District #100 from 1967, just two weeks before the Belvidere tornado, until his retirement in 1988. He was a passionate educator and enjoyed interacting with students, staff, and community members. He played an integral role in developing many educational programs such as special education services, vocational classes, and many others. He also sat on the founding board of Rock Valley College, served as secretary at the Belvidere YMCA, and hosted “Beehive” dances for high school students alongside his wife. Most recently, Melvin was nominated as the Grand Marshall for the Belvidere Heritage Day Parade in honor of his dedication to the community. He was a dear husband, father, brother, grandfather, family member, and friend. He was kind, humble, generous and had a great sense of humor. You could always count on Melvin to make a joke, play silly games, and assign nicknames. He enjoyed woodworking, tending to his rhubarb patch, and playing basketball (even though he was barely 5 feet tall). Melvin is loved and will be deeply missed by his son, Daren (Staci) Brown; grandchildren, Claire (Kyle Arwood) Brown, Grace (Kyle Pierce) Brown, Matthew (Hannah) Brown, Reece Brown, Payton Brown, Kaitlin Sadkowski, Kyler Sadkowski, great-grandchildren; Thomas Brown, Lucy Pierce, Miller Arwood. siblings, Doug Brown, Darlene Henkes, Janice Apple, Beverly Farthing; close family friend, Cheryl Gieseke; numerous nieces, nephews, family, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Juanita; beloved wife, Patricia; two brothers, and three sisters. At Melvin’s request, a private graveside service will be held at Highland Garden of Memories with Rev. Dr. Robert R. Kopp, officiating. Pallbearers will be Daren Brown, Matthew Brown, Reece Brown, Payton Brown, Kyler Sadkowski, Jeff Brown. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Belvidere YMCA.