In loving memory of

Max E. Brown
July 6, 1940 - July 12, 2021

Max Eugene Brown passed away peacefully on July 12, 2021, at Bethany Life Communities.

Max was born in Grinnell, Iowa, July 6, 1940, the only child of Frank Lancaster Brown and Arvilla Esther (Mackin) Brown. He graduated from Grinnell High School.

He worked at the Montezuma Republic Newspaper before moving to Story City where he was photographer and advertising manager for the Story City Herald.

In 1961 Max married Corinne Muncy and they started Rae-Gene Studio and Flaire Color Photography which they ran until they sold to Pete Tekippe Photography in the 80's. He also drove the school bus, was a volunteer fire fighter and mentored other entrepreneurs as they started their own businesses. To this union three children were born: Ken, Keith, and Kathy.

Max worked for Teleconnect for several years, and he was a salesman for K.E. Brown Sales, a family-owned business.

In 1991 he married Cynthia Martens Beatty in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and they made their home in Marion, Iowa.

Max enjoyed dancing, photography, and making people smile. He was always helping people in any way he could. Max also was Santa's helper for many years listening to what children wanted for Christmas and making sure they were good for their parents because he was watching.

Max took senior photos for thousands of young students in the central Iowa area. Max enjoyed hearing everyone's stories and no one was ever a stranger. No matter where you were at someone knew of Max Brown. He was a wonderful storyteller, especially about the many adventures that happened at the over 2,000 weddings he photographed. From ringbearers throwing pillows across the tops of people's heads to the mouse that ran up the aisle and came right up to the bride and groom.

In his later years he volunteered at Mission of Hope in Cedar Rapids, Iowa doing many projects to keep folks warm and fed. He also enjoyed volunteering at First Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Cedar Rapids as an usher and a greeter.

Max was preceded in death by his parents.

Max is survived by his wife Cindi of Marion, IA; sons Ken (Paula) Brown, of Story City, Keith Brown (Toni Williams) of Walford, IA, and daughter Kathy (Jeff) Wellik, of Story City; step-sons Dana (Jill) Beatty of Martelle, IA and Shawn (Chika) Beatty of Columbia, MO; Granddaughters Kaylee Wellik (Bryce Phillips) of Ames and Megan Wellik of Cedar Falls and step-grandchildren Chris (Val) Webb of Roland and Nicole (Dom) Rocker, Fort Myers, Florida; Koh and Shin Beatty of Columbia, MO; Raven (Cody) Suntken of Anamosa, IA and step-great-grandchildren Josh and Lindsey Webb of Roland, IA; Kingston Rocker of Fort Myers, Florida; Elaine and Milo Suntken, of Anamosa, IA.

As Max would say, "Thanks-a-million".

Online condolences may be directed to


Kathy Wellik wrote on Aug 6, 2021:

"I miss you every day dad. Thanks a million for making a difference in people's lives. I hope your reunion with your parents is amazing. ??"

Ann Healy wrote on Aug 6, 2021:

"Always fun to run into Max and visit. Sorry for your loss"

Dennis E. Beatty wrote on Jul 24, 2021:

"It was a pleasure knowing Max; sorry for your loss. Dennis "

Sue Stinson wrote on Jul 18, 2021:

"Dear Cindi, so sorry to hear of Max?s passing. I hope his final days were peaceful. May memories of Max comfort you and all the families. Sincerely, Sue Stinson "

Greg Yeakel wrote on Jul 17, 2021:

"Kathy, Kenny and Keith, I pray that you will be comforted with the memories of your Dad. He had a rich and colorful life and impacted some many people. Max was instrumental in leading us to Story City to open our business in 1977. He introduced us to many people in the community, securing a location for our pharmacy even finding us a place to live. Max was always putting himself before others and helping where he could. I will also remember him for windmills! Everywhere! Of course we sold the little ones in our pharmacy! Thanks a million, Max! "

Ron Reese wrote on Jul 15, 2021:

"Kathy & Keith, My sincere condolences for the loss of your father. It looks like he had a wonderful life full of dancing with friends. I know that any words given here cannot relief your grief. Only time will ease it some. "

Clinton Bench wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"What a wonderful tribute to read about Max's life. My condolences to his entire family, including my colleague, Kathy. It's clear he brought joy to many and it sounds like his work will live on in the photo albums of many Iowans! Peace to all..."

Arlene Stover wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"Lots of great memories in my 56 years...yes Max has known me since birth! He did two step with much fun. He will be greatly missed. "Thanks a million" Max for all the great memories!?"

Tim Severns wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"What a legacy and a family. A great soul that will be missed. "

Paul & Marlene Weigel wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"Great guy will be missed! Max did our wedding picture?s back in 1967! RIP :Max!"

Steven Alt wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"Max, my dear Max, the call from your daughter was not one I wanted to hear. How many times have I told myself to get up to Story City to see you. Was it due to laziness or just not wanting to see you as I truly knew the Max from back in the 70's when I first knew you. A man who had so much energy and gave so much. Our times together and our talks will always remain a part of me. I knew you really loved the Iowa State Patrol and I know of all the times you were instrumental in getting drunk drivers off the road. You saved lives, never knowing really how many. What I wouldn't have given to make you a Trooper and put you on the road. Remember the Des Moines paper back in the 70's when they had a poll and asked people who they respected, the Iowa Highway Patrol came in second, God came in first. Maybe it should have been you in second and the patrol third. I could go on and on. To the family, I hurt to know I loss a very good friend but wish forgiveness for not taking the time to really make my feelings known by my lack of visits. Love to all of you and especially my love to Max."

BETTY GORDON wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"To Max?s family, My heartfelt sympathies to you on the loss of Max. He took my high school graduation photo in 1967 as well as a few family portraits I was growing up. May God comfort you all now and in the days, months, and years ahead. Betty Tungesvik Gordon, Ames"

Kaylee Wellik wrote on Jul 14, 2021:

"I miss growing up and having your "Wednesdays with Welliks" where we would go dancing in Des Moines. You have the best smile and going through all of the photos you've taken over the years has brought up so many good memories. Love you -Kaylee"