Walter K. Browning, businessman
Walter K. Browning, a former grocery store manager who later established an engine-repair business, died Sunday of cancer at Cross Keys Village, The Brethren HomeCommunity, in NewOxford, Pa. He was 87.
Walter Kirkham Browning was the son of Howard J. Browning, a butcher, and Margaret Kirkham Browning, a homemaker.
After the death of his parents when he was very young, he was raised by a sister, Melba Flack, who became his legal guardian. They lived in a home on Lyndhurst Avenue.
He attended City College and served as an Air Force staff sergeant during the Korean War. He was stationed in Okinawa and Alaska.
Mr. Browning began working as meat cutter in 1953 for the Food Fair grocery chain and later for its successor, Pantry Pride. He rose to become meat department manager and finally store manager, with responsibilities for stores in Baltimore and in Howard and Anne Arundel counties.
After the grocery stores entered bankruptcy, Mr. Browning fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning his own business. He opened Browning’s Small Engine Repair & Sales on Bethany Lane in Ellicott City, which he operated until closing it in 1993.
A longtime Ellicott City resident, Mr. Browning also taught small-engine repair at Howard Community College.
He participated in 4-H Clubs and served as a volunteer poll judge.
Mr. Browning and his wife, the former Joyce Inman, whom he married in 1952, were members of Rockland United Methodist Church in Ellicott City. They participated in mission trips to Red Bird and Henderson’s Settlement, both in Kentucky, and to Costa Rica.
Mr. Browning was an outdoorsman who enjoyed boating and fishing, and after retiring in 1997, he and his wife moved to a lakeside cottage on North Carolina’s Lake Gaston.
The couple moved to Biglerville, Pa., where they were members of the Gettysburg Church of the Brethren, then relocated in 2014 to the New Oxford retirement community. There, Mr. Browning enjoyed working in the woodshop crafting baskets and volunteered to take residents who used wheelchairs on fishing trips. He also worked in the community garden with his wife.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Nicarry Meetinghouse, 2990 Carlisle Pike, New Oxford.
In addition to his wife of 64 years, Mr. Browning is survived by four daughters, Beverly Goering of Clarksville, Melba Pips of Columbia, Mary C. Ogle of Clear Springs and Theresa “Terry” Davidson of Sykesville; 11 grandchildren; and eight greatgrandchildren. A son, Walter K. Browning Jr., died in 1962; a daughter, Melissa Browning died in 1961; and another daughter, Margaret Browning, died in 2014.