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John Wiley Brand

October 4, 1944 February 27, 2024
John  Wiley Brand
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Obituary for John Wiley Brand

John Wiley Brand Jr. passed away Wednesday, February 28, 2024 after a lengthy hospital stay. He was 79 years old. John is preceded in death by his parents, Geraldine and John W. Brand Sr. of Slagle, Louisiana.

Those left to fondly remember him are his sister Pat Totten of Slagle, Louisiana, niece Stacy Totten Castaneda (Alex) of Alexandria, Louisiana, and great nephews Foster, Clark (Abigail), Hardy Gunter of Alexandria, Louisiana, aunt Linda Cavanaugh (Larry) of Kingsville, Texas, and a host of cousins.

John was born in Leesville, Louisiana, and spent his early years growing up on army bases with his parents. When his father retired from the army, they moved to Pensacola, Florida; John attended and graduated from high school there. He worked in his family’s moving and storage business, and later, when the family returned to Vernon Parish, he worked at the commissary on Fort Polk. Later in life, he moved back to Florida where he worked at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Naval Air Station, Pensacola.

John was friendly character and never shied away from talking to strangers. Often, as he would get to know people, he would take a notecard and pen from his shirt pocket and jot notes about them. He shared freely about Jesus and wanted others to know Jesus like he did. He was proud of his niece, Stacy, and made a point to purchase her school supplies throughout her elementary school years. Additionally, John was eccentric, and he collected all manner of things including quarters, baseball cards, and religious devotionals. John loved hearing the news about Vernon Parish, the happenings with his cousins, and the antics of his three great-nephews.

The song “The Christmas Guest” best describes those in Pensacola whose friendships encouraged John in recent years. In this song, the main character, Conrad, yearns to have a visit from the Lord. While he is waiting for his visit, an elderly lady, a child, and a beggar come to him for help. At the end of the evening, Conrad asks the Lord why he did not come visit him and the Lord answers, “I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet/And I was the woman you gave something to eat/I was the child on the homeless street/Three times I knocked, and three times I came in/And each time I found the warmth of a friend/Of all the gifts, love is the best/And I was honored to be your Christmas guest.” The friends in Pensacola who have helped and encouraged John embodied the character of Conrad from the song. They include the ladies at the credit union who helped maintain his monthly finances as well as celebrated his birthday with chocolate cake; the Waffle House team, who consistently looked after him while he filled their restaurant with conversation about sports and current events while he drank sweet tea; and his good friend and neighbor, Sonny. Sonny is a retired Army Recruiter who opened his home along with his wife, Barbara, to John over the years and shared not only good fellowship, advice, and stability but also the love of Jesus with each other. All of these people were gracious and accommodating to a man others might easily overlook or turn away from. They accepted him with dignity and respect and met his needs with the warmth of Conrad - making him feel welcome and special. We are profoundly and forever thankful for these friends of John.

Graveside services will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Leesville, LA at 2:00PM under the direction of Jeane's Funeral Service. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children.

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2:00 PM 3/9/2024 2:00:00 PM
Forest Lawn Cemetery

153 Alexandria Hwy.
Leesville, LA 71446

Forest Lawn Cemetery
153 Alexandria Hwy. Leesville 71446 LA
United States

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