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Jolly Ralph Brown

January 7, 1932 July 24, 2020
Jolly Ralph Brown
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Obituary for Jolly Ralph Brown

On July 24, 2020, Jolly Ralph Brown, 88, formerly of River Forest and Brookfield, IL passed away peacefully with his wife and family by his side. Beloved husband of 57 years to Madeline (nee Brazzale) Brown: loving father of Rebecca (Ken) Schlorf, Rachel (Mike) Peterson, Roberta (Philip) Ferrante: proud grandfather of Will, Dylan, Gabriella, Ryan, Ben, Nick and Dominic: dear brother of the late Vivian (Joe) Keracher: the late Edwin (Juanita) Brown: dear brother-in law, uncle, cousin and friend of many.

Jolly was born on January 7, 1932 in Gadsden, AL to the late Edwin and Julia (nee Johnson) Brown. Jolly proudly served in the United States Navy during the Korean War as a radar operator on the U.S.S. Manchester.

He was a 1959 graduate of Auburn University. During football season, he enjoyed nothing more than watching his beloved team beat Bama.

In 1984, he and his wife opened Madly Pop’n, a gourmet popcorn gift shop in Oak Park. For the next 25 years, the business became a staple in the Oak Park community.

Jolly embraced his wife’s Italian heritage, each year making gallons of homemade wine that were enjoyed around many crowded dinner tables. He was even bestowed as an honorary citizen to Calvene, the small Italian town from which his in-laws immigrated.

Jolly’s favorite pastimes were traveling both internationally and domestically, spending time with family and friends and sitting on the sidelines watching his grandchildren’s sports activities. He will be missed for his gregarious laugh and love of life.

Due to restrictions of Covid-19, there will be a private, invitation only mass at Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago, IL. A celebration of Jolly’s life will happen at a later date. In the meantime, please share your favorite memories, thoughts, stories, tributes and photos with our family UNDER THE TRIBUTE WALL TAB at the top of this page.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at

To plant a tree in memory of Jolly Ralph Brown, visit the Tribute Store.


Event Information

Services are private.

Memorial Contribution

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105

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