Miles Alvin Browne, teacher, counselor, Lincoln scholar and gifted negotiator for quality education, 94, died Sunday, May 14, 2023 at Mercy One in West Des Moines Iowa.
He was born on January 28, 1929 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Walter, a school administrator, and Ida Browne a homemaker. His father died suddenly when he was just 1 years old. Miles was a 1948 graduate of Washington High School in Sioux Falls. He graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls.
Miles was married to his beloved wife Marilyn Robbins on August 21,1955 at the Methodist Church in Howard, South Dakota.
Miles began his teaching career in Garden City, SD and Sioux Falls in 1954. In 1960 the family moved to Urbandale where he began teaching in Des Moines at Byron Rice Elementary (6th grade). In 1964 he received his Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling from Drake University. He became a Guidance Counselor and continued his career as a counselor at Washington Irving Middle School, Warren Harding Middle School, Merrill Middle School and retired from North High School in 1991. Miles touched the lives of thousands of students and teachers in his career with the Des Moines Public Schools.
His long commitment to the welfare of teachers and students included leadership positions that supported quality education.
President, American Federation of Teachers
President, Des Moines Education Association,1980-1984
Miles was a member of every Des Moines Public Schools negotiations cadre and committee on teacher rights and compensations from 1964 to 1984. He lobbied for education at state and national levels, attended many bargaining training sessions and served on numerous curriculum and district wide policy committees. He represented teachers with grievances and spoke often to community groups on education.
Miles was active in the ISEA after retirement as interim Uni-Serve Director serving central Iowa. Miles spent two summers as director/coordinator of Des Moines Youth Work Program where he was responsible for and supervised thirty college age counselors who were in turn responsible for 500 youth workers. He also spent three years as a supervisor for Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department.
Many who knew Miles learned of his study of the life Abraham Lincoln. His impressive collection of Lincoln memorabilia included a certified Lincoln signature and numerous books and photographs. Over the years he wrote a series of papers about Lincoln which he presented at the Dakota Conference at the Center For Western Studies at Augustana. A compilation of his essays was published in a book, Lincoln Then and Now. He donated his Lincoln collection to the Center.
Miles loved his family, faith and sporting events. He especially enjoyed teaching Sojourners Adult Sunday School class at Aldersgate.
He was an avid sports participant and fan. He played basketball and tennis in his younger years winning titles in South Dakota. In later years he enjoyed bowling and golfing. He was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinal fan, followed the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team and enjoyed Drake basketball. He bowled for many years with the School Masters bowling league. He was a crafty cribbage player. Miles always encouraged his children or grandchild in anything they were interested in.
He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Marilyn; one daughter Karen Kowalsky of Johnston, IA (Brent); two sons Stanley of Urbandale, IA and Steven (John) of Chicago, IL; one grandson, Brandon Kowalsky of Grimes, IA.; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by his parents Walter and Ida, three brothers Charles(Ruth), Wesley(Vivien) and Stanley(Coral) and four sisters Norma Eglund(Vern), Barbara
Fonder(Duane) and two sisters that died in infancy Ina and Iris.
Memorial Service-Saturday, May 20, 2023. Visitation beginning at 9:30 with the service to follow at 11:00. A reception will follow featuring Chili Dogs. Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3600 75th Street, Urbandale, IA. Miles will be laid to rest at Chapel Hill Gardens at Merle Hay Funeral Home.
Memorial gifts may be given to Aldersgate or ARL Animal Rescue League of Iowa.