J.A. Browning went home to be with his loving wife of 69 years, Laura Browning, who passed on October 4, 2013 and his son, James who passed on November 7, 1965. He died peacefully in sleep with his close friend and "granddaughter" Jill Larson by his side.
Arkie loved his family, life and trap shooting. He served in the US Navy from 1939 to 1944 as a Machine Gunner on a SBD Dive Bomber on the USS Saratoga, USS Hornet and the USS Enterprise at Guadalcanal. He was a member of Bombing Squadron #3. He was on the Hornet when the Doolittle raid took off, then he and his pilot took off and strafed the enemy ships that had spotted the convoy, upon returning they crashed into the fan tail and fell into the ocean. Arkie was able to get out and he was able to get his injured pilot out before the plane sank.
For several days at Guadalcanal he and his pilot, Ens. Osterhout bombed and strafed the enemy in support of the US Marines. He had several crash landings in which he was injured; he was then made Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class. He was responsible to make sure all the planes under his command were mechanically sound before they took off, he was very proud of the fact that all the planes that he ok'd to fly made it back without any mechanical problems. Due to his injuries he was medically discharged on January 13, 1944.
Arkie went home, met and fell in love with his wife, Laura Stobaugh and they were married on September 15, 1944. He always said that marrying Laura was the best thing that ever happened to him.
They were blessed with one son, James Arklus Browning. James passed in 1965 after battling cancer for several years. After the war, Arkie found work with the Carter Oil Company and later with Exxon Oil. Arkie was very smart and worked hard. He had a limited education but that didn't stop him from rising to the top. He retired from Exxon as the Drilling Supervisor for the Rocky Mountain Region. His trap shooting career was no less impressive. Arkie held All American Team Honors for Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Arizona. He is a past President of the State Trap Shooting Associations for Colorado and Utah. He is a Life Member of the ATA, The American Legion #109, The Masonic Lodge, The NRA, The Tucson Trap and Skeet Club and The Cortez Trap Club (Certificate #1). Arkie started competitively shooting trap in 1968 and by his last year of shooting in 2013, he had shot 399, 200 registered targets (188, 700 singles, 159, 200 handicap & 53, 000 doubles). At the height of his Trap Shooting career he was rated as a AA singles shooter and 27 yard handicap shooter. At 92 years old, while shooting with his long time friend and "Grandson", Terry Ohlson, Arkie shot a 92. He always told me that he never missed his last target no matter what the score was. Arkie and Laura attended trap shoots all over the West and Midwest. Laura would help in the competitions deptartment and Arkie would help anyplace he was needed when he wasn't shooting.
Arkie loved to tell jokes and keep people entertained. Little children loved him and he was very good with them. Several times, he played Santa Claus at different events. He played Santa Claus for real several times also. Many times I have seen him help out total strangers. He could be rough and stern but he could also be very kind and forgiving. I am honored to have known him.
We are going to miss you Grandad/Arkie/Mr. B/ JA Browning.