Allison Edward Browning, beloved husband, father and grandfather, went to the open arms of his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008.
Al was born June 11, 1919 in Craig, Mo. to Ray and Mabel (Bostwick) Browning. He attended school until the 10th grade before joining the Navy. He was honorably discharged from the Navy due to a medical condition and returned home to Missouri before heading west to the Yakima Valley to find work on a farm.
He was fond of saying that it was hard times in the late 1930s and early 1940s that brought him to Washington. He settled in the Yakima area, and it was there he met his bride of nearly 67 years, Cora Baugher, at a grange dance. On their first date, Al asked Cora to marry him. He knew immediately that she was the one for him. It took a little more convincing, but she finally consented and they were married March 1, 1941, at the Baugher home located on an island in the middle of the Yakima River near Parker. The couple lived in Parker and Zillah areas before moving to a Roza Irrigation District owned house on Ray Road.
Al worked for the irrigation district as a ditch rider. They lived there for about 10 years before moving their family to Granger. He then began work for the Bureau of Reclamation as a ditch rider, where he served for 35 years.
In 2001, Al and Cora moved to Sunnyside, where he lived until his death. After his retirement from the Bureau, Al and Cora spent much of their time gardening, reading, and traveling the U.S. in their pickup truck and camper and enjoying time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also enjoyed eating out and usually ordered chicken fried steak.
On March 6, 1951, Al accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at a revival meeting held in Sunnyside. After that, when the doors of the church were open, he and Cora and family were there.
He was a member of the Sunnyside Grace Brethren Church.
Al is survived by his loving wife, Cora; four children, Dennis (Ayner) Browning of Grandview, Linda Leppanen of Sunnyside, Bill (Sylvia) Browning of Richland and Bruce (Lavone) Browning of Mill Creek; 13 grandchildren, Gaye Lynn (Jim) DeVoe, Kathe (Scott) Puzio, Rick (Katie) Leppanen, James (Marlo) Browning, Pam (Josh) Wellons, Emily (David) Golladay, Melissa (Tom) Dekker, Matthew Browning, Daniel (Angie) Browning, Kyle Browning, Heather (Mike) Paeschke, Scott Minuard and Brandan Minuard; 23 great-grandchildren, Kayla and Bridgette Leppanen, Jeremy, Sara and Alison Puzio, Nicole and Jade Smith, Shantana, Kammie, Laynee Schneider and Elise Golladay, Justin Browning, Peter, Andrew, Katie DeVoe, Megan and Kody Wellons, Dennis and Xavier Browning and a sibling due in April, Bella Dekker, Carter and Devin Paeschke; his brother, Harold Browning, of Missouri.
He was preceded in death by sister, Eva Mae Smith; his parents, Ray and Mabel Browning; and a son-in-law, Clifford Michael Leppanen.
Viewing and visitation will be held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Funeral services will be held Friday, Feb. 22, 2008, at 10 a.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, with burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.
Memorials in honor of his life may be made to Grace Brethren Camp Clear Lake, Children's Village in Yakima or Lower Valley Hospice. Those wishing to share their memories of Al or sign his online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.