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Dr. Garry R. Brower

Published on -11/29/2012, 10:29 AM

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Dr. Garry R Brower, of Manhattan, KS, passed away November 26, 2012, surrounded by love of his family and close friends. Garry was born July 16, 1944, in Emporia, KS, the son of James Wayne and Wanda Leigh Bolte Brower. Garry was raised and educated in Wichita, graduating from Campus High School. Upon completion of high school, he attended Kansas State University, where his studies culminated in a PhD in reproductive physiology.

In January 1976, he accepted a position in the Department of Agriculture at Fort Hays State University on the basis he would be there one year. After one semester, he was "hooked" and remained there for 36 ½ years. His early association at Fort Hays involved him advising the Block and Bridle Club and coaching the Horse Judging Team. In 1983, the departing Rodeo Club adviser convinced Garry to accept the position of faculty adviser and rodeo team coach. At that time, the Rodeo Club was a campus organization that was more social than competitive. During his tenure, it progressed to having both indoor and outdoor arenas, university financial support and scholarships. Garry also served as a member of the Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs, University Affairs and College of Life Sciences Tenure Committees. Garry's professional affiliations included American Society for Animal Science, National and Kansas Association of College Teachers of Agriculture. He was humbled when former students and rodeo alumni were instrumental in establishing the "Doc" Garry Brower scholarship at Fort Hays State University in recognition of his dedication to rodeo, his students and their education. He was proud of the many students whose lives he touched as a professor, coach and friend.

His own pre-college rodeo career was strictly amateur. However, Garry was quick to admit the best thing that occurred during his brief rodeo career was meeting Ruby Kay Kasenberg. Garry and Ruby were united in marriage on June 20, 1964, in Benton, Kansas. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Douglas Ray on October 3, 1967, and Justin Scott on October 11, 1977. Garry was proud of how the two boys have excelled in their own individual endeavors.

With Garry's academic schedule, his summers were free and devoted to many family activities. When the boys were younger, weekends were spent traveling to AAU track meets, American Legion baseball games, building the annual 4-H club float and working as a county fair superintendent. During winter breaks, he was likely to be found trapping on lakes, streams and the countryside surrounding Tuttle Creek Reservoir.

Surviving Garry is his wife of 48 years, Ruby Kay, sons, Doug, Justin and his wife Kathy, granddaughters, Claire Avery and Jenna Renae; his sister, Linda Kay Watkins and her husband Jim; niece, Stacey Watkins Martin and her husband Robert; stepmother, Inez Brower, aunt Bernice Williams, uncle Blaine Brower, numerous cousins, a host of former students and friends.

A Celebration of Life for Garry will be held Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 3 p.m. at First Christian Church, 115 Courthouse Plaza, Manhattan, Kansas. The Revs. Ben Duerfeldt, Dale Hirschman and Paul J. Allen IV will officiate. The family will receive guests in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the service, where a meal will be served.

Inurnment will be in the Benton, Kansas Cemetery at a future date and time.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com

Memorial donations may be left in memory of Garry to the Doc Brower Scholarship Fund at Fort Hays State University. Online gifts can be made through the following link: foundation.fhsu.edu/support_program/rodeo/index.php.

Contributions also may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502.

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