EDINA, Minn. – William Dorsey “Bill Boom Boom” Brown, 80, of Edina, Minn., died Nov. 4, 2018 at English Rose Suites nursing home in Edina.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at St. Hubert Catholic Church, 8201 Main St., Chanhassen, Minn. Visitation was at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the church. A reception followed the service. Interment was at St. Hubert Catholic Cemetery, Chanhassen.
Brown was born June 29, 1938 in Mendota, to Elmer “Bo” and Marian Brown.
Survivors include his wife, Darlene Brown; his children with his first wife, Scott (Donna) Brown, Shelley (Rich) Gannon, Kimberly (Rachel) Brown and Mick (Eryn) Brown; five amazing grandchildren, Billy, Alexis, Eric, Danielle and Belle; and his siblings, Barbara O’Leary of Wisconsin, Betty Phalen of Mendota, Joyce Hoffman of LaMoille and James (Judy) Brown of Geneva.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Karen “Kay” Brown, and his loving parents.
Bill was a 1957 graduate of Mendota High School. He attended the University of Illinois where he was a member of the football team. In 1961, he was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears and played one season in Chicago before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. A running back, he spent 14 seasons in the NFL, 13 as a proud Minnesota Viking. With the Vikings, he played in three Super Bowls and four Pro Bowls, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Ring of Honor. Bill holds many Vikings team records including most games played by a running back.
Kind, humble and hard-working are only a few of the qualities Bill passed on to those who loved him. He was known for his toughness, talent and his love for the game, but his career accomplishments pale in comparison to the love for his family. Beneath that supposed rough exterior was a teddy bear that readily made others laugh. No one disliked Bill Brown. He was an avid animal and wildlife lover. He often lent his celebrity to benefit charitable causes. He loved everything Elvis and unending rounds of cribbage and solitaire.
Diagnosed with dementia (likely from repetitive football concussions), Bill fought with a fighter’s spirit until the very end. He chose to donate his brain to science for CTE research in the prevention of chronic traumatic brain injury. He had a huge heart and will be missed, loved and never forgotten.
Memorials may be directed to Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (Memo: CTE Neuropathology Fund), Attn: Elizabeth Fay, 72 E. Concord St., Robinson, B-7800 Boston, MA 02118, bu.edu/cte/financial- support/ or the Minnesota Vikings Foundation at vikings.com/ community/vikings-foundation/.
Huber Funeral & Cremation Services, Eden Prairie Chapel, (952) 949-4970, huberfunerals.com was in charge of the arrangements. To send flowers to the family of William Dorsey “Bill Boom Boom” Brown, please visit the funeral home’s Heartfelt Sympathies Store.