Rich Brown

Memorial Mass for Richard “Rich” Brown, 71, Lawrence will be held 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 29, 2020, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence. Inurnment will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. He passed away Monday, February 24, 2020, at Olathe Hospice House, Olathe, KS.

Rich was born on December 5, 1948, in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of William F. “Kise” and Mary Evelyn (Ice) Brown.

He attended Lecompton grade school, St. John’s and graduated from Lawrence High School Class of 1967. He attended KU for 4 years. He was a proud member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, given the name Mama Gigenot, “Top Cook”. Rich worked his entire adult life in the pizza business. First for Pizza Hut, Mama Jeneric’s, Pyramid spending the last 21 years at Wheel Pizza. He was famously known as “Pizza Pete”. He was a pitcher in Legion baseball and always followed the sport. Rich was a devoted fan of KU athletics. Many players called him friend. He remembered generations of KU students by name. Rich enjoyed visiting with family, friends and new friends, sharing memories and stories. He was an advisor, good listener and compassionate. He didn’t want recognition, only to help people along the way they traveled. His caring is unmeasurable.

Survivors include his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Frances & Michael Riner, Lawrence; nieces, Alexis Riner and Sandy Wagner (Mike); great niece, Michaela Wagner; sister-in-law, Felicia Brown; his Brown cousins and numerous Ice family cousins as well as extended family and endless friends. He was preceded in death by his Dad, Kise Brown, Mother, Evelyn, brothers, Stanley and Ed.

A Rosary will be said at 6:00 p.m. Friday, February 28, 2020 followed by a visitation until 8:00 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

The family suggests memorials in his name to Rich Brown Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044. The fund will be used to continue Rich’s passion for helping others.



13 Condolences

  1. Chris Johnson on February 26, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Dear Mary Frances and family,
    I was sorry to read about Rich’s passing. I cannot overstate the positive impact that Rich had on my life back in the mid-70s at Pizza Hut. I still smile thinking about those times. I owe him so much. I won’t forget him or any of your other family members who are gone whom I got to know in those years.

  2. Ernie on February 27, 2020 at 11:56 am

    So sorry to hear about Rich such a great guy…had many a late night/early morning Pizza thanks to Rich. My condolences to all the family. God bless. Ernie and Joyce Shaw

  3. Troy Spillman on February 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Mary Frances,
    All of our thoughts and prayers go out to You and Your Family. Kise, Evelyn, Stanley, Rich, Eddie & Yourself were always so Gracious & Accommodating to my Family. I always remember the Great Times we had on our Visits. I looked up to You as a Big Sister as well as Rich, Stanley, and Eddie as Brothers!
    Rich has to be the reason I still Love KU & Pizza! Rich was a Such a Great Person and will be missed by All.
    Troy Spillman & Family.

  4. lkbruce on February 27, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Dearest Mary Frances, I am sorry for the loss of your brother and friend. If you need a ear I’m here for you. He was quite the guy of Lawrence and had so many friends; he’ll be so missed.

    The family is in my prayers. XOXOX Linda McInroy

  5. David Harrell on February 27, 2020 at 5:05 pm


    RIP my friend.

  6. TJB on February 27, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Mary Francis,
    You know how much I loved Richie. We worked side by side from 1985-1988. I loved making him laugh as a goofy college kid because I LOVED hearing his Infectious and jolly laugh. In my next career, for nearly 30 years, I stayed in very close touch with him and spent countless late nights talking to him after the bars and 14th and Ohio had emptied, and it was just he and I sitting inside 507 shooting the bull.
    He never ever told me no when I needed a favor. He co-signed for me on short term loans from KU endowment every year I was at KU so I could go on spring break. He had the biggest heart of anybody I’ve ever met. I will never forget him and I will forever think of him and smile. Godspeed Mary Francis find comfort in the warm knowing that Richie touched thousands with his kind heart. I already miss him and love him dearly. TJB

  7. Melanie Coppoc on February 27, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    Mary Frances, Jack and I are sending our sincere condolences to you, Michael, and Alexis. I loved hearing stories of you guys working at The Wheel with Rich and just know he touched endless lives of students in Lawrence. He will be greatly missed by family and friends. I pray your loving memories will help sooth the pain at losing your brother. May God bless you with comfort, peace of mind, and strength after all you’ve been through. We love you and pray for you every day.

  8. Tony Augusto on February 27, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Mary Francis and Mike my condolences. You know how much I cared for Rich. I will never forget the many times we would spend together at the wheel. He will be surely missed.

  9. Linda (Ramsey) Felix on February 28, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    I was saddened to hear of Richie’s passing. I met ‘Pizza Hut Pete’ during my college years at KU (1974-1978). Always smiling, Richie was a mentor and friend to so many. So kind, he graciously offered to provide transportation to Summerfield Hall and back to the sorority house daily when I tore a ligament in my foot. Thinking back on those times, there was zero way I could have managed with crutches and the snow/ice. No doubt he is smiling down from above…

  10. Tina Todd on February 29, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I worked with Rich at Pizza Hut for many years. He was an amazing man. He will be greatly missed.

  11. Helen Pendleton Rumbaut on February 29, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Rich was a fellow classmate (LHS class of 1967). I am so sorry to hear of his passing. May the Lord comfort all his loved ones and give them His peace.

  12. John Rylee on April 24, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    I was so sorry to hear of Rich’s death. The entire Brown family played a huge part with my family, mother Denise (Dee), And brother Dennis. Your mom, Evelyn was so close of a friend to my mother. Rich and I played baseball together on the St. John’s team with coach Tony Ice. We lost touch in recent years but when our mother Denise passed away in 1997, Evelyn, Mary Frances and Rich traveled to Hermann, MO to help us commemorate her life and catch up. Now with Evelyn, Stanley, Rich and Eddie moving on to eternal life with our creator, it is wonderful to reflect back on how each one of them impacted my life and that of my brother Dennis and mother Denise Rylee. Mary Frances and the family will always be in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love to you all,
    John Rylee

  13. Michelle Boucher on May 25, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    I am only a year later learning of Rich’s death, but I have to add that I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for Rich and his support in the 70s. Such a dear, wonderful person, who touched so many lives. Godspeed, my dear friend.

    Michelle (Brown) Boucher

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