Harry Brownlee's Funeral Service - Washington 2010

Tumwater, Washington

January 23, 2010

We estimated that there was about 450 who gathered to pay their final respects. The dark-maroon wood grain coffin was situated near the door so that his body could be viewed before the service. Wayne Harris was the Pianist and he played introductory selections. About 10:00 A.M. - the hall was full to capacity holding about 315 people. The overflow filled an adjacent room where about 115 were seated but they could not see the speaker. About ten to fifteen late arrivals sat in the lobby. About 10:15, a sudden quietness came over the crowd and various family members were escorted to the front and seated. On schedule the casket was lead by the workers who were speaking in the service and the pallbearers followed. Right at 10:30 the service began.

OBITUARY: Mark Huddle recited his obituary including his years of service: 12-years in Washington State, 23-years in Colorado, 20 years in Oregon and Idaho, 6-years in Utah, 5-years in Illinois, 2-years in South Africa and 2-years in New Mexico. Mark - prayed

INTERLUDE: Hymn - "He Waits for Thee" Sung by Eric Printz, Doyle Smith, Zach Zimmerli, Jason Nichols, Teresa Sullivan , Jeanie Wright, Cindy Stearns and Dana Christie.

HAROLD BENNETT: 2 Corinthians 4:4-7, 18 – 1 Peter 5:4,5

My second year in this work was with Harry in Salmon, Idaho. We batched there because there were very few friends in that area. We passed out invitations during the daytime and in the evening we would visit the established churches. One saint lady, Grandma Williams, we visited often, she was in her eighties and sickly. When she was getting near the end, we visited her. Harry sat down and put both of his hands on her hand and visited with her about the Gospel and about going on to that great Eternal Home. Today, we are having Harry’s service and he has gone Home. I wonder how many funeral services Harry has taken over the years. There would be many faithful souls he helped to the finish. There are two reasons we have funeral services. The first reason is to show our respects to the deceased. The second reason is to remind ourselves that we are on the same journey and we will also be called Home.

Harry often spoke about the glorious things. We often say it is Faith that makes Christians, Trials prove Christians and Death crowns Christians. We read about a glorious God, a glorious Lord, a glorious King. He is the God of all glory. Jesus last message in John 17 was full of glory. He said to his disciples in verse 24 - "Father, I will that they also, who thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast give me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world." His desire was that his disciples would be with Him in eternity and he wanted to do everything in his power to make that desire a reality.

Harry loved to preach about the glorious Gospel. He spent 70-years preaching the Gospel and his deep passion was to share this glory with the children of men. The broken down batch we stayed in and the drab hopeless building we used for meetings are left behind but he has gone onto a more glorious life. Once a year, I would come to Lacy to visit with Harry. On my last visit as we were escorted out of the area Harry was living in, and when we came to the last locked door, Harry passionately inquired, "Harold, couldn’t I have a small field with a companion who might have slowed down and have some meetings." He was almost begging. His body and his mind was weary and tired but his heart and desire was ready to tell the Glorious Story one more time.

Ephesians 5:27 - "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish." Today we are not presenting a perfect man but we are presenting a perfect bride, the Saviour of the body. A bride without spot and wrinkle. He will return and bring those who are sleeping with him. They will be clothed with a glorious body and the bride will give them that glorious crown. I am thankful for Harry’s life and his companionship that have impacted my life and has taught me and we appreciate his glorious finish today.


Harold was with Harry his 40th-year and I was with Harry his 70th-year in New Mexico. That is quite a milestone! When Harry came to us in New Mexico his memory was slipping a little. He always knew where he was and he knew the workers. We appreciated his positive influence on us. He would always ask us to give our testimonies and he never tired of hearing how the Gospel came to our families. The old law encouraged men and women to tell their children, and then tell it to the children’s children. I came here from southeast Colorado and in 1948 Harry was working in southeast Colorado . The fruits of his labors are still evident there where we have a Sunday morning meeting. Most of the friends who were there when Harry labored in the area are gone but there is one daughter and granddaughter in that field who are connected to Harry’s mission.

1 Corinthians 10:24 - "Let every man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth." Paul didn’t come to seek his own welfare or wealth but he came to seek the welfare of their soul. Jesus came not to be ministered to but to minister and give his life a ransom for many. Jesus first lived the life and then he taught the lesson. He was an unselfish man who gave and gave of his own time and strength for the sinner. A selfish person lives a lonely life. Nabal sought his own selfish interests and Judas was selfish seeking to satisfy his own pleasures. But the little maid in 2 Kings 5 was an unselfish soul who sought help for her master. Abigail was unselfish and she took the blame of another upon herself to make peace. Jesus was an unselfish servant and when he saw the travail of his soul, he was satisfied.

Joshua 14 - Joshua and Caleb were men of faith who could discern between good and evil. Joshua was 40 years old when Moses sent him to help his people. Then he said, "The Lord kept me alive these forty and five years and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old." At the age of 85-years, Joshua’s vision was more clearer than ever and his faith enabled him to enter into the Promise land, a type of heaven that awaits us. Harry walked with God faithful even up into his 90's and he never turned back. God’s promises never let Harry down once. He was true to him until he finished his course at age 97. God places us in the body where it pleases Him. We can please God by faithfully filling our place.

Paul said in Philippians 3:13 - "I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." This day can also apprehend us and motivate us to seek that prize that awaits us at the end of the race. Caleb knew there were giants in the land but that didn’t deter him once. He knew the promises of God wouldn’t fail him. Caleb was apprehended and he overcame the giants and he entered into his inheritance. This is our privilege today as we seek that good land that awaits us. May we be faithful in fighting the good fight of faith.


Proverbs 18:24 - "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Forty years ago I met Harry in a church establishment in Oregon. He was friendly and he invited me to his Gospel Meetings. He introduced me through the Gospel to his friend, Jesus. He was a true friend and I sought his friendship. A true friend is one you can pour your heart out too, knowing it won’t go any farther. Harry was a brother I could go to in confidence. He was a loyal friend.

John 15:13 - "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." Jesus was the friend the disciples needed. They sought out the friendship of Jesus and it was a relationship held together by love. It wasn’t a friendship that would let them down when they needed it the most. Jesus qualified it, "if ye 'do' those things." Our obedience to his words makes for a close friendship.

Harry would remind us that His sinless blood was shed to cover our sin. His precious blood was spilled from Calvary ’s Cross that we might know forgiveness. Jesus was a true friend who went the extra mile. Psalm 116:13 - "I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows." Jesus drank the cup of death for us that we might know salvation. Under Roman law, if a condemned person was sentence to death, he was given a cup of poison to drink. But if someone came along and volunteered to drink that cup of death – that cup could never again be filled. That condemned soul was set free from his death sentence. Jesus drank our cup and took upon himself our guilty past and sins. He spilled his own sinless blood for our redemption and salvation.

Harry drank from the cup the Lord provided for over 70-years. It wasn’t easy. He was a brave warrior who never gave up the fight. His death is precious to God. When I visited Harry about 3 weeks ago, he asked me, "Where is my companion?" Harry had a heart for people. He was a compassionate man and he loved to deliver the Gospel. When you listened to him preach the Gospel he inspired your faith. When you left the meeting, you left inspired.

Proverbs 17:17 - "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Jesus was a compassionate Saviour. He loved the sinner and he never left a soul without giving them hope. In Luke 17, we have the account of the sinner woman who came to Jesus weeping. She didn’t feel worthy but her tears of repentance moved Jesus to forgive her. She washed his feet with her tears and kissed his feet and anointed them. She found in Jesus a true friend and she left his presence in peace. I knew Harry to be a brother like this. He was very sensitive toward people’s needs and to the person who felt defeated and down and out.

We found a list of "ideals" in Harry’s bible. The first one was honesty. Surely that is our high ideal today. No greater ideal than being honest with ourselves and with our God. Then down the list was understanding and compassion and having a love for souls. When I heard the Gospel through Harry, I felt these ideals in his life. He was always approachable.

I was reminded of Elisha’s request of Elijah and it was for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elisha’s request was granted and he never lost that spirit. My request today would be for a double portion of Harry’s love for souls. He had an eagerness to tell the Story and he was focused on that mission.

Proverbs 27:6 - "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." We all need correction. Harry was always faithful to correct me on several occasions. One time I approached him on something that needed to be corrected. It hurt him, I know. But we were true friends and that is what counts. How glad we are for the correction that comes from the Son of God, that spotless One, who was like a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.


HYMN - The workers’ stood and sang the hymn - "Till Breaking of the Day."

ANNOUNCEMENT: Max said he received a message from Graham Adams on behalf of the South African staff where Harry labored for two years. They wanted to convey to the family and friends that they greatly appreciated his ministry among them.

Graveside Service

Fir-Conway Lutheran Cemetery at Milltown

Conway, Washington

January 23rd at 4:00 p.m.

Officiating: Max Bowman , Bob Anderson

Selected Hymn: "We Love the Perfect Way "

Pallbearers: Dave Nealon, Dan Lawty, Jay Wicks

Steve Peirson, James Lindsey, Eric Hawkins



Linda Heyes, John Vint, Jack Carroll, Mary K. Wetzel,

Anton Koutsourelis, Charlotte Brown, Lilly Wetzel,

Jenelle Wetzel, Sydney Holt, Mary Hasper, Irene Bement