Brown Family: In Memory of Mitch

VISITATION:
Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes
700 East Kahler Road
Wilmington, IL 60481

FUNERAL SERVICE:
Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 2:00 PM
Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes
700 East Kahler Road
Wilmington, IL 60481

OBITUARY: 
Mitch Brown

Age 46 of Braceville, passed away Saturday afternoon March 17, 2018 following a valiant battle at Foster G. McGaw, Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Born April 12, 1971 in Joliet, Illinois, Mitchell Douglas is a son of Mildred Turner (nee Griffith) of Custer Park and the late Melvin Douglas Brown.

He was raised in Braceville, where he attended grade school and attended high school at both Gardner-South Wilmington and Wilmington High School. On March 5, 1994, Mitch married Stacy Strickland in the First Baptist Church in Wilmington, and together they made their home in Wilmington before moving to Braceville.

Mitch was currently employed as a Maintenance Mechanic with C&W Service at the Amazon Fulfilment Facility in Joliet, and previously worked for Starcon International out of Manhattan, Flexco in Downers Grove and Stone Container in Joliet.

A mechanic at heart, Mitch loved cars and racing. He was also fortunate to have been able to take up motorcycling with his wife Stacy this past summer. Music was also an important part of Mitch’s life, and his taste spanned various genres. He created countless memories throughout his travels and vacations, and will be remembered for his crude and obnoxious jokes.

Above all, Mitch was a great Husband and Dad who dearly loved being a “Papa”. Family was of utmost importance and though his life remained simple, he always ensured his family was happy.

Survivors include his mother Mildred Turner of Custer Park; wife Stacy; children: Corey Brown and Katie Brown (fiancé Michael Newton), both of Braidwood, and Don Kiper of Wilmington, who was like a son to Mitch; three grandchildren: Brayson Avery, Kinnzee Lynn and Ella Kaye; two sisters: Diane (Phil) Hollis of Gardner and Melba (Mark) Clark of Reddick; one aunt Margaret Griffith of Custer Park; his fathers-in-law: Don Utke of Wilmington and Howard Strickland of Florida; two brothers-in-law: Jason (Tiffany) Utke of Wilmington and Rick Strickland of Florida, and numerous nephews and cousins, as well as countless extended family and friends.

Mitch was preceded in death by his father; sister Ginger Brown; one brother Matthew Brown in infancy; his cousin Nathan Mallory, who was like a brother, and his mothers-in-law: Lynn Utke and Barb McCauley.

Visitation and video tribute will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. until time of funeral service 2:00 p.m. at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road in Wilmington. Pastor Jeff Urban from Christian Faith Center will officiate, and cremation rites will be accorded at the conclusion of the services.

In the spirit of Mitch’s love of casual attire and his t-shirts, those attending the services are requested to be casual and wear their favorite t-shirt, whether funny, crude or concert related.

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March 17th, 2018 has been one of the most heartbreaking days of our life. We said goodbye to our life long friend Mitch who was not only our best friend but family and Uncle Mitch to our kids. Its seems so unfair to have lost him so soon. Life will never being the same. We love and already miss you and even that middle finger Mitchell. ❤️

Sherry Bergman

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Update From Stacy on 3/17/18 at 4:07 P.M.
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At about 3pm this afternoon I had to say goodbye to my husband and let him go. The man that has loved me unconditionally for almost 27 years. I’m numb...and I miss him already. He was an amazing Husband, Dad, Poppa, Son, Brother, and Friend! I’m sorry for using Facebook to let people know but it is the easiest and quickest way to let people know. I will post details for the services as soon as we have them figured out. Make sure you hug and kiss your family tonight and tell them how much you love them!
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Hi Everyone!

Mitch is fighting a life threatening condition called IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) which requires a Lung Transplant.


Many have asked how they can help.

On behalf of The Brown Family, we ask for donations. The funds would be used at Stacy’s discretion to offset the financial burden during this devastating time.


Thank you for all the prayers, love, and support. It is sincerely and greatly appreciated!

God Bless!
Sherry Bergman

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Update From Stacy on 3/16/18 at 7:51 P.M.
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Mitch and I were supposed to be 5th row VIP at the Kid Rock concert tonight. Instead I am sitting by his hospital bed praying he pulls through all of this. Today has been a hard day because I saw progress for the first time yesterday but today there hasn’t been anything. I’m not sure how much more I can take of this so I cannot even imagine what he is going through. It breaks my heart. I’m still praying for a miracle!

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Update From Stacy on 3/16/18 at 1:01 P.M.
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Mitch has not been awake much today so it is hard to assess how he is doing. There is still a lot of things they are monitoring and trying to get better. They are adjusting meds to try and wake him up. He was more awake yesterday so this has me a little nervous. Im just praying for a miracle still!!

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Update From Stacy on 3/15/18 at 12:30 P.M.
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We have got to see Mitch and he is doing good. Now we just wait and see what happens when he starts to wake up. Keep praying!!

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Update From Stacy on 3/15/18 at 10:00 A.M.
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I finally walked back to the nurses desk cause I haven’t heard anything. They said that they just got the call that they will be bringing Mitch back from the OR to the room in a few minutes. It will take them awhile to get him situated though. I’ll keep everyone posted as soon as I know anything.

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Update From Stacy on 3/14/18 at 9:20 P.M.
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Please everyone pray extra hard for Mitch tonite! In the morning, the surgeon is changing the machine he is on to a different machine in hopes it will provide more oxygen to his body and in turn allow him to wake up and prove he is mentally and physically strong enough to be relisted on the transplant list. The doctors have said this is our last option...this has to work!! We need a miracle! They will take him to the OR at 7am and the surgery will last at least a couple of hours. I probably won’t hear anything or be able to see him until at least 10:30 or so. Love you guys!

And I want to be sure everyone understands, we won’t know if this new machine is working right away. We will know he is getting the oxygen he needs, but it will take some time to bring him off the sedation and see how he is responding. I have no idea how long that will take.

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Update From Stacy on 3/12/18 at 6:05 P.M.
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I wanted to give you guys an update on Mitch but I’m not even sure where to start. TBH he is still fighting every single minute. He is still on hold on the transplant list. In order to get reactivated he needs to become more coherent so they can assess him mentally and physically to be sure he is strong enough for a transplant surgery. But every time they wean him off the meds keeping him calm, his stats go horribly wrong and he gets very agitated so they have to give him meds to calm him down again. He is in a terrible catch 22. He is also still battling an infection that is not preventing him from being listed at the moment because he is not symptomatic and does not have a fever. But that could change at any minute. I have whispered in his ear many times that I will continue to fight as long as he is fighting and he keeps giving us small signs that he is still fighting. So I won’t give up until we bring him home. I told the doctors today I will put him on my back and carry him around this hospital myself if I have too. But as much as I want to, I can’t do anything for him except sit by his side and let him know how much we love him. I am so extremely grateful to all of you that have stepped up to help our family in such huge ways and also in small and simple ways. I have not been able to respond to everyone that has reached out, but know I have seen your messages and Mitch and I both feel all of your prayers, love and support! Please keep those prayers coming!! Love you all!! ❤️❤️❤️

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Update From Stacy on 3/9/18 at 7:22 A.M.
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Please say a prayer for Mitch this morning... he is in the OR getting a trach and exchanging the filter on his ecmo machine. These things are pretty hard on him and take a big toll. I’ll post an update once I hear back from the doctors.

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Update From Stacy on 3/7/18 at 2:15 P.M.
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I haven’t posted any public updates for a few days and I’m sorry. But I have been a little bit of a basket case since Monday. Mitch has really struggled just to stay alive and with our anniversary and everything, I was not handling it very well. He is doing a little better but I have learned it can all change minute by minute. We have a huge amount of obstacles to overcome to get through this but today I am going to try and focus on getting him better no matter what or how long it takes. Keep all the prayers coming!

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Update From Stacy on 3/5/18 at 7:05 P.M.
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Unfortunately they put Mitch back on hold today. So as of right now he is not eligible for a transplant. Maybe tomorrow will be better... Please keep praying for us!!

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Update From Stacy on 3/5/18 at 6:55 A.M.
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Today Mitch and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. Although we obviously won’t be able to celebrate in the usual way and he won’t be tagging me in any posts like he did last year...I am so grateful for all that we have been through that made us strong enough to endure this. I’m going to spend the day holding my husbands hand just like I have for the last 53 days and be thankful he is alive, there is hope, and that I have the best husband I could ask for.

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Update From Stacy on 3/4/18 at 12:59 P.M.
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Time for a little good news... they relisted Mitch on the lung transplant list this morning. It will probably only be for a few days and then they may put him back on hold to see if they can get his muscles stronger. So I am cautiously optimistic at the moment which is much better than how I was feeling this morning. Keep those prayers coming!! Thank you and love you guys!!

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Update From Stacy on 2/28/18 at 6:54 P.M.
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Today’s update: To sum it up... one doctor said he took 12 steps backward yesterday and made 2 steps forward today. But that was a huge improvement compared to what they thought was going to happen. He is very critically ill still and it is just such a fine balancing act. They think they have the infection under control, his temp is normal. They have been able to get him off some medications while he maintains his stats. But there is still more that needs to be done. His blood platelets have lowered and that could become a problem if it continues. It could be due to the heparin so they are changing him to a different blood thinner and hopefully that fixes it. The next few days are critical. With no other complications and continued improvement, he could be reactivated on the transplant list this weekend. But that is very optimistic. They are also very concerned about him being bed ridden and his muscles not being strong enough for the recovery after a transplant. If he doesn’t get a transplant soon, they may need to put it on hold until they can get him weaned off the vent and strong enough to walk. So we are on a very tumultuous roller coaster that is not going to end soon. We appreciate all the love and support from our family and friends! You have all been amazing and I don’t know what I would do without you!

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Update From Stacy on 2/28/18 at 1:55 A.M.
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I want to thank everyone for the prayers. Mitch has been put on hold on the transplant list. This means he cannot get any offers to have a transplant at this time. If his condition improves... and it needs to improve pretty substantially... they could remove the hold and reactivate him on the list. The infection he has is aggressive and resistant to most antibiotics. The good news is the doctor suspected this yesterday before the cultures came back and started him on an extremely potent antibiotic. The hope is the infection is not resistant to this form of antibiotic and if it isn’t, we got a very good early start on it. The bad news is Mitch is basically being kept alive by the machines and medications at this point to give the antibiotics time to work. If anything else goes wrong or if any of his other organs start to have issues, we are in trouble. The kids and I are spending the night with him and taking turns by his bed. He is heavily sedated so he has no discomfort. Now we just wait. The doctor told us yesterday he needed at least 12 maybe 24 hours to get an idea on if this was going to turn around. I think we have seen some improvements in his numbers but they fluctuate and I don’t know how much is true improvement and how much is medication. We won’t know anything else until we talk to the doctors in the morning. Just keep praying!! Thank you!

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Organizer and beneficiary

Mark Barsanti 
Organizer
Braceville, IL
Stacy Brown 
Beneficiary
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