Billy Earl Brown, 81, of Ottawa, Kansas, passed away Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the Kansas City VA Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

He was born July 15, 1936, in Wolfe, Kentucky, the son of James S. and Retha (Murphy) Brown.

He graduated from Lexington, Kentucky, High School.

Bill served our country as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged May 18, 1962.

Bill was united in marriage to Iota Stamper on Sept. 4, 1954, in Trent, Kentucky. They shared more than 54 years of marriage before the death of his wife on March 28, 2009. They moved to Ottawa, Kansas, and opened Wholesale Auto Paint in 1997. Bill and Iota worked side by side for over 45 years.

In addition to his family and business, Bill loved restoring antique cars, especially his Ford and Buick. Bill enjoyed spending time with his family at the lake and will be remembered for his gift of gab.

Surviving family include his son, Bill Brown Jr. of Ottawa, Kansas; his daughter, Donna Hayes and her husband, Michael of Gardner, Kansas; a sister, Jvonnia O’Hair of Lexington, Kentucky; a brother-in-law, Fred Stamper of Hillsboro, Ohio; a sister-in-law, Bertha Sculock of Franklin, Ohio; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, James Brown Jr.

Graveside services and interment will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at the Highland Cemetery, Ottawa, Kansas. The family will receive friends from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, 325 S. Hickory, Ottawa, KS 66067.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City or Kansas Special Olympics and sent in c/o Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com