Sunday, November 17, 2013
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Joseph Patrick Browning

On Nov. 12, 2013, the world lost one of the last really great guys: Joseph Patrick Browning.

Born May 5, 1953, he was preceded in death by parents Robert and Patricia Browning. He is survived by his brothers, Stephen and Michael Browning; his "sister," Charlene Guller; as well as his six nieces and nephews, Alyssa, Mysha, Berit, Atticus, Nathanial and Stephanie. Also to be remembered are his life time friends through thick and thin, Lou Goudy, Scott Sheppard and Shawn Woodard. Despite a seemingly short chronological age, Joseph packed more fun and kindness into life than any other ten men combined.

"Joe" to his friends, was tall since childhood, settling in at about 6'4" while still in junior high. Though imposing in stature, he never raised a hand in anger and was always the first one to extend his hand to one in need. Joe was a hard worker for the first half of his life, but gave up the rat race of Orlando to move to Key West 25 years ago to be closer to family. The Key West life style appealed to Joe, and allowed him to retire and pass the last 10 years pursuing his hobbies. Joe loved the water, eschewed the landlubbers' life and split his time between his yacht in Key West and his yacht in Sarasota. Joe could generally be found in his outdoor party room/work shop next to his boat on Stock Island working on one of his several vintage Corvettes or antique Mercedes Benz's. He went for years in his bare feet, loathing shoes, and generally avoiding all places requiring the same. Joe always had a couple of bucks for someone in need, always had a sofa for a friend to crash and was the guy you could call at three in the morning looking for help and know he would show up without asking a question. He made no apologies for being a man who loved wine, women and song.

Joe would laugh at the thought of a funeral, and his last directions to his family were to be cremated, have his ashes placed on one of his smaller boats and have it burned to the waterline in a "Viking Funeral." Because of certain legal questions regarding his last wishes, the time and place of that event must remain limited to family only.

Joe was greatly loved and will be missed by all who knew him. Rather than flowers, the family would ask for donations to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., or go online to