Custer Rotary Club 

In the Beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota

Congratulations Dick, 
Thank you everyone for the kind and generous
remarks regarding the 2019 induction into the
SD Hall of Fame.  Such an honor to join 2008
Honoree—loving partner, wife Sue.
Rotarians:  Reuben Baries and Dick Brown
Dick Brown-2019 Inductee to the South Dakota Hall of Fame
Banquet Speech, Chamberlain, South Dakota--September 14, 2019
This Hall of Fame honor affirms a historic family legacy, forged by generations with shared values of making a difference-- by the lives we live and in the lives of others-- through philanthropy, stewardship of our natural resources, and “service above self” through public leadership.  
I am a 5th generation descendant of South Dakota homesteading Browns, Berdahls, McCaffertys and Brileys-- all committed to making a difference in the communities of this state.
I recall the historic South Dakota tales of my Norwegian and Irish Great Grandfathers: -John Brun Brown and Erick Johannesen Berdahl-born in Norway, homesteading in 1873 Minnehaha County.
Erick’s diary a source of immigrant life recorded in relative Ole Rolvaag’s epic novel “Giants in the Earth”.   Erick was elected to the SD state legislature in 1892, 
My Irish Great Grandfather--Captain William L Briley, 2nd Regiment, Cavalry, Minnesota Volunteers stationed at Fort Sisseton, SD 1862-1866.  Great Grandfather Van McCafferty homesteaded Edmunds County in 1886 was elected Sheriff.
These positive generational histories of service and public commitment were carried on by:  MY PARENTS: Ellsworth and Catherine Briley Brown.   BY MY SIBLINGS:  Brother Allen and his wife Gloria, Sister Gail represented by her son Steve Munk, Brother Donald represented by his son Dan and wife Becky and Sister Janet (My marvelous NOMINATOR)and her daughter Miranda.
By MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY:     WIFE SUE—my partner of 52 years sharing this wonderful adventure.  OUR CHILDREN:   Son--Matthew and wife Dr. Joy Falkenburg, children Nancy, Ryken and Lincoln.  Daughter Terra and husband David, children David and Catherine,  Daughter Jennifer and husband Mark, children Ryan and Madeline  The adults and the oldest grandchildren have all taken up the mantle of community service, philanthropy and conservation.
BY nurturing Uncles and Aunts, MY cousins whom I love as brothers and sisters: Kelly and Charles Brown–wives Lois and Paula.
My life has been and continues to be blessed with caring and impactful mentors and friends. 
Dr. Bill Farber--political science-professor emeritus, University of South Dakota was the most impactful--   an Icon of South Dakota political life and public service, a lifelong friend, mentor and matchmaker.        
“Doc” urged us to “Think of the Possibilities”!!!“ To make a difference, To serve well:   One needs the background to know---the vision to see---and the will to do”.
Doc lived his belief that “Public service is the noblest of professions.”
Standing together on the hallowed floor of the SD House of Representatives with my cherished family mentor—Representative and Uncle---Arne Brown of Brookings,   we would be reminded that: “we had a role much greater than ourselves”.
“Thinking of the possibilities” is to embrace the best of philanthropy, the preservation and conservation of our natural resources and public leadership,---LEADERSHIP anchored in   civility of public discourse, respect for diversity, the sanctity of truth,   integrity,  dignity,  inclusiveness,  tolerance and  the courage to:  “give up what you have--for what you can become!!
What will be your role--in making a difference in the lives of others?
“Think of the Possibilities”  “Think of the Possibilities