Bill Brown, WISCAP Rural Development Director 1992-2016, Passes Away


There are hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals in Wisconsin (13% of the state’s population); individuals attempting to get a leg up on the ladder to self-sufficiency. There are also hundreds of low-income communities in our state – most very small and very rural – also reaching for self-sufficiency in their ability to provide even basic services to their residents. Basic services, for example, such as safe and efficient water and wastewater systems.

For twenty-four years, Bill Brown served as WISCAP’s resource to these communities. He came to WISCAP in June of 1992 to set-up, organize and implement federally-funded water and wastewater systems for these very rural and very small Wisconsin communities. Over the years, these services grew and expanded. As WISCAP’s Rural Development Director, Bill grew a staff; a very efficient staff and one well-accepted in the communities in which they worked. Bill developed strong working relationships with Wisconsin’s eleven Native American tribes, opening doors of trust and cooperation for many essential services that continue to this day. He kept pushing us all to look at expanding the Rural Development Department’s scope to include provision of other essential community services, helping small towns, villages and unincorporated units to have fair access at Community Development Block Grants and other public programming to improve living conditions in their communities.

Bill’s passionate and dedicated work for WISCAP came to a screeching halt on Monday, September 26, 2016. On that day, our friend and compatriot in the war on poverty died unexpectedly at the age of 70.

Our staff, Board of Directors, and member agencies all mourn Bill’s passing. But we are also warmed by knowing that Bill’s leadership over his twenty-four years with us led to over 1,000 Wisconsin communities bettering the lives of their residents through receiving water, wastewater and other community development program services.  That is no small impact; if the measure of a career is the impact that career has had on being able to “make a difference” (and I think it is), Bill’s career was an unquestioned success. And we will be forever grateful that we had the honor to share in his passion, his work and his friendship as part of our WISCAP family for all those twenty-four years.

Bob Jones


William V. Brown,
January 11, 1946 – September 26, 2016

William V. Brown, age 70, of Janesville, died at home unexpectedly on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.

He was born in Beloit on Jan. 11, 1946, the son of Richard L. and Alice R. (Kaeser) Carlson. He graduated from Beloit Catholic High School in 1964, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Mathematics at UW Madison in 1969. Bill married Tamara Miller in St. William Catholic Church on May 28, 1994.

He began the Community Development program in the City of Janesville. He was currently employed as the Rural Community Development Director for WISCAP in Madison. He enjoyed antiques, woodworking, gun making, reading, and classical music.

Bill is survived by his wife, Tamara; his loving golden retrievers, Rusty and Sparky; three brothers: Robert, Michael (Brenda), and Joseph all of Beloit; sister-in-law, Lynette (Michael) McWilliams of Bloomingdale, IL; brother-in-law, Matthew (Maureen) Miller of Janesville; two nieces, Michelle (Kevin) Grenawalt of Clinton and Chelsea McWilliams of Lombard, IL; three nephews: Luke McWilliams of Los Angeles, CA, Aaron McWilliams of Carol Stream, IL and Max Miller of Janesville; great nieces, Abigail and Adelynn Grenawalt; and great nephew, Wesley Grenawalt of Clinton.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Alice and Wesley Brown, and Richard Carlson; nephew, Richard Allen Brown; mother-in-law, Peggy Coutts; father-in-law, Jerry Miller; and his golden retrievers, Chevy and Chase.

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