Cover photo for Richard "Dick" Bown's Obituary
Richard "Dick" Bown Profile Photo
1928 Richard "Dick" 2024

Richard "Dick" Bown

August 12, 1928 — May 12, 2024

Asheboro

Richard “Dick” Bown
August 12, 1928 – May 12, 2024

Richard "Dick" Charles Bown, Sr. (age 95) was born on August 12, 1928, in Gettysburg, S.D., to Walter Bown and Annetta Ulmer Bown. He passed peacefully at home on May 12, 2024.

Dick grew up in South Dakota where his love of cars developed at an early age. He would drive a car to grade school and would often joke that his was the only car in the parking lot, because no teachers owned cars. He eventually settled in Portland, Oregon in 1941 where he met the love of his life, Evelyn Ferguson Bown. They had three children, Sheri, Chuck, and Jim.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn; daughter Sheri Bown; grandson Chase Bown; sisters, Jane Mathias and Lois Vistica; and brother Robert “Bob” Bown.  He is survived by his sons, Chuck Bown (Debbie) and Jim Bown (Courtney), six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren.

He served as a Merchant Marine but was an entrepreneur at heart and at age 17, he opened his first business, a service station. He also owned a billiard supply business and repaired pool tables. 

After a little encouragement from a friend, he bought his first race car, a 1937 Ford Coupe for just $5 in 1951. He put about $100 plus lots of heart and labor in the car and ran his first race in Salem, Oregon. After a couple of years, he ran into an issue because he needed to do something with all his and others wrecked cars, so in 1953, he opened a wrecking yard, which became his final business, Rose Auto Wrecking which he ran successfully for over 60 years. He also became President of the Auto Wreckers Association and in the 1960s, he testified before Congress on their behalf.

Dick became a force to reckon with while racing throughout the west coast and developed quite a fan following. Amongst his many racing accomplishments, he became a member of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2003. He hung up his driving helmet in the early 1970s and supported his kids as they pursued their own racing careers. Eventually, those pursuits relocated him to Asheboro, NC in the early 1990s. Racing was a family affair, and most weekends were spent at the racetrack and in later years gathered around the TV on Sundays to watch NASCAR.

He was always up for a fun time. Whether it was attending a Kid Rock concert with four generations of family or a fun pool day with all his great great grandkids taking turns sitting on his lap, he always had the biggest smile. He loved card nights with his family, mostly playing pinnacle and was a whiz at solitaire. He enjoyed playing pool and golf, and could spend hours playing craps at the casino, usually going home a winner.

Dick was a very hardworking man who believed that most of your luck you built yourself. He was a mentor not only to his own family but to so many he helped along the way in racing and in life. When he caught someone breaking into his wrecking yard, instead of calling the police, he hired the kid who went on to work for him for many years. He lived his 95+ years with no regrets.  To know Dick was to love him, and he will be missed greatly.

A visitation will be held on Friday, May 17th from 12-1 pm at Pugh Funeral Home at 437 Sunset Ave in Asheboro followed by a Celebration of Life at 1 pm at the Pugh Funeral Home Chapel. The burial will follow at Oaklawn Cemetery. 

Memorials in Dick’s honor may be made to Victory Junction at 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, NC 27317 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Pugh Funeral Home is servicing the family.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard "Dick" Bown, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 17, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Pugh Funeral Home - Asheboro

437 Sunset Ave. , Asheboro, NC 27203

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, May 17, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Pugh Funeral Home - Asheboro

437 Sunset Ave. , Asheboro, NC 27203

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Friday, May 17, 2024

Starts at 1:45 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 2491

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree