Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Chester “Chet” Perkins Brown, Major, USAF (Retired)June 05, 1929 – March 13, 2010
Major CHESTER (CHET) PERKINS BROWN, USAF (retired), 80 passed away on March 13, 2010.
Born June 5, 1929 in Cambridge, MA. to Lt. Col. Alphonso James and Alice H. Brown, Chet devoted his life to the service of his and in improving the lives of others around him. Preceded in death by his parents; sister, Priscilla Stean and son Eric, Chet is survived by his wife of 33 years, Karen E. Brown of Rio Rancho; children Carl and wife Elaine of Las Cruces, Alan and wife Maureen of Elephant Butte, Carol and husband Paul Ritchie of Albuquerque, Neal and wife Wendy of Elephant Butte and earl and wife Laurie of San Diego, CA.; 22 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; sister Marjorie Brown of Bellevue, WA. and several nieces and nephews.
Chet served his country in the United States Air Force and was a combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While serving in Vietnam he received the Silver Star for valor, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Air Metals for gallantry and bravery as a Huey Gunship Pilot serving with the 20th Helicopter / Special Operations Squadron “Green Hornets”. Upon his retirement in 1979 Chet returned to school at University of New Mexico and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in recreation and public administration.
He soon discovered the joy of hot air ballooning and was an active balloon pilot for twenty-five years. From 1997 to 2001 he served as a flying safety officer for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Chet was also a Board member of the Friends of Smokey Bear Balloon, and active State Park volunteer and a docent at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
He was a member of High Desert United Methodist Church in Rio Rancho and a member of Albuquerque Lodge #60, AF & AM. He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.
Cremation has taken place and he will be interred, with full military honors, at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation, 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM. 87113, www.balloonmuseum.net; New Mexico State Parks Foundation, www.nmstateparksfoundation.com; Friends of Smokey Bear Balloon Inc., 5912 Jones Place NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120, www.smokeybearballoon.com, Balloon Explorium, Inc., P.O. Box 91566, Albuquerque, NM 87199, www.balloneexplorium.org. Arrangements are entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 4310 Sara Road SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124, 505-892-9920.
~ GUEST BOOK ~
Thanks for you service to our country. “Day is Done” are first words of “Taps”. Know you are ending your day with a job well done…Rest in Peace say I, along with a grateful nation.~Don Yeaman, USAF Retired
Karen and family – thank you for allowing us to serve your family and also sharing Chet’s life with us. What a full and wonderful life he lived. We are always available if you need anything.~Daniels Family – Glenn, Dora and the staff at Sara Rd.
Chet will be missed in our hearts. I wish we could be there for his ceremony. Love from the Orcutt Family from Ishpeming, Michigan.~Sheryl I. Snyder-Orcutt.
Karen and family, my sincere condolence to you all. May God rest Chet’s soul and comfort and protect you. My thanks to you for sharing Chet with us in the service of our country. USAF RotorHead (www.rotorheadsrus.us) and “Green Hornet”.~Jim Burns.
I will always remember the warmth of your smile, your kindness for others that knew no bounds, and your generous spirit…but most of all you and your bride have been a shining example to us all os what “marriage” really means…and we are the better for having known you.~Consuelo Chavez.
May God rest his soul and take care of you and your family. He will be missed.~Michael Shilling.
Very sorry to hear of your loss. Although I never flew with him, he was and will ever be remembered as a Brother Hornet. My condolences to you and your family.~CMSgt James Green, USAF, Retired.
Karen and family, my heart goes out to you. I have many fond memories from our years on the Trek for Trash. I always enjoyed talking with you both at Balloon Fiesta. And most of all the dinner we shared at your home was very memorable. The world lost a good one on the 13th! Much love, Audrey.~Audrey Herrera.
Thanks for the memories. You were an inspiration to a lot of people and it was a pleasure having you as a friend.~Christine, James and Melissa.
Karen and family, I know you will miss Chet. I only have known you two such a short while, but always felt Chet to be a fine gentleman and when we talked he gave me his complete attention. God Bless you with His comfort and peace. Marilyn.~Marily Tubbs.
Dear Karen and Family, As a fellow Green Hornet I send our thoughts and Prayers to you and yours in memory of a brave American and a fine man. All our best, Mike and Eleanor Armstrong.~Mike Armstrong.
Hi Karen, So sad and sorry to hear from Beth about Chet’s death. All of us old timers at the Nature Center are thinking of you. Jean.~Jean Mason.
Karen and family, We wish you strength and solace in losing your loving husband. Tom and I were blessed to be able to spend a week with the both of you a couple years ago. Where did that time go? I, myself, wish that I could have spent more time with my Uncle Chet during the earlier years of my life. Nephew George shared that he looked up to Chet and that when he had a situation when he was in the Air Force that he needed to act upon he would ask himself “what would Uncle Chet do”? I know sure that Chet would have been happy to hear about this. Tom and I know that Uncle is watching over us and is waiting for us to join him when it is time. Love you very much. Tom and Susa~Tom and Susan Hennessy.