Howard Lee Brown completed his wonderful life's journey, November 17 at the age of 91. Howard was born March 10, 1927, the fifth and youngest child of gracious and loving parents, the late Annie Jones Brown and Ernest Leonidus Brown. He was married to his beloved wife Virginia W. Brown for 64 years until her death in early 2011. Howard and Virginia enjoyed a lifetime together of service to community and church, and commitment to family and friends.
Howard lived and worked in the Rolesville and Wake Forest communities all of his life and never wanted to be far away longer than a few days. Howard was a member of the Board of Directors of Wake Forest Federal and Wake Forest Savings and Loan for over thirty years and was Chairman of the Board for 20 years until he stepped down two years ago. Howard owned and operated Rolesville Oil Company for 25 years from the late 1960s until the early 1990s. At various other times throughout his work career he owned and operated Rolesville Auto Parts. a trucking company, a backhoe company, some real estate development and a little farming in his early years.
His hobbies were always fishing and gardening. Especially in retirement (or semi-retirement really) he enjoyed many years of tending his fruit trees, grapevines, vegetable gardens and flower and rose gardens. He enjoyed nothing more than sharing his wondrous bounty with friends and family, and the occasional stranger.
Howard was known for always being active in the surrounding communities, volunteering and engaging in a number of civic organizations and his church community, as well as often spreading good deeds quietly behind the scenes. In his prime, two of the activities most dear to him at the time were serving as Treasurer and Charter Board Member of the first established Rolesville EMS and volunteering for Meals On Wheels as long as his and his wife's health allowed. He was awarded Rolesville Citizen of the Year in 1995-1996 and, just this past Spring, was presented the annual Community Service Award of the Koinonia Foundation of Wake Forest.
Howard attended Rolesville Baptist Church all of his life and was a member for more than 80 years. During that time and especially in his prime, he served in many capacities in prior years, including a number of terms as Deacon and Chair of Deacons; Assistant Treasurer and, then, Treasurer for many years; Chair of Buildings and Grounds and involvement in a number of other committees over the years; and bus driver for seniors before he became one. No task was too much or too small, as he honored the church's heritage in the community and his memories of his elders from his youth and beyond who had contributed to that heritage.
In addition to his parents and wife, Howard was pre deceased by his siblings: sister, Mary Bett Brown Merritt; and brothers, Edgar Thomas, Arthur L. and C. Kenneth Brown.
He is survived by one daughter, Bonnie Brown of Old Town Alexandria, Va; several special nieces and nephews including Charlie Ann Merritt of Wake Forest, N.C., Sandra B. Wood of Rolesville, N. C., Ray Brown of Marathon, Fla. and a large number in his wife's family; a number of special friends and extended family including Becky Clayton of Pompano Beach, Fla. and Judy Evans Dease of Hickory, NC.
Howard would have never been able to continue many of the activities he enjoyed so much, especially the past seven or so years, without the assistance and support of one of those "specials," his friend Clyde Bailey, peppered with conversation and laughter every single day. We are grateful.
We are also thankful for the long-term care and support of Capital Heart Associates and Rex Family Practice of Wakefield, and, more recently, Rex Pulmonary Specialists and Transitions LifeCare. We appreciate his team of recent caregivers especially the extraordinary Donna Privette who helped him navigate the last six months of his life and maintain independence as long as possible.
A memorial service will be held at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon, December 8, 2018 at Rolesville Baptist Church, 203 E. Young St., Rolesville, NC 27571. A reception will follow in the Rolesville Baptist Church Family Life Center.
Donations may be made in his memory to Rolesvile Baptist Church, P.O. Box 185, Rolesville, N.C. 27571 or Meals On Wheels, Wake County, 1001 Blair Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, N.C.
A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center. (919-556-5811)