John Henry Brown, Sr. was born on April 24, 1927 to Agnes and Plaxico Brown in Waxhaw, North Carolina. He departed peacefully on Friday, April 25, 2020 in Silver Spring, MD.
John was the 5th of 6 children – Allene, O' Thelma, Theola, James, John, and Plaxico Jr. – who grew up in Waxhaw. After graduating from Union County Public High School, John was drafted into the United States Army Air Corps and served in the Philippine Islands with the 13th Air Corps. He was discharged in 1947.
One year later, he was enrolled in North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C, where he became a member of the Lampados Club, Mu Psi Chapter, of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 1950.
John graduated in May 1951 with a B.S. degree in Labor and Industrial Relations. He also pursued post graduate studies with a focus on law at the University of Illinois.
After graduating from college, John moved to Washington, DC and began working with the U.S. Government Chief of Naval Operations. While living in the nation’s capital, John met Martha J. Scotton (of Siler City, NC) and they married in July, 1955. Their union was blessed with two children, John Jr. and Wanda.
John was committed to public service at an early age while in North Carolina and continued as a public servant in the Washington metro area for many years. First, by volunteering with the 12th Street YMCA athletic program, where he established a little league football program for underserved youth in Southeast, Washington, DC.
After moving with his young family to the Lamond-Riggs community in Northeast Washington, DC, John continued to work as a community leader by serving as the Executive Director of a local branch of the Boys Clubs of Greater Washington as well as doing volunteer work with the Boys Clubs of America. As the Director, he collaborated with fellow neighbors to expand the youth athletic and enrichment programs as well as continuing as football coach and mentor to a generation of young boys. For his service, John was recognized at the national level of the Boys Clubs of America with a leadership citation.
He broadened and deepened his community service at his family’s place of worship, Plymouth Congregational Church UCC, for over 30 years. He began for most of those 30 years with the Usher Board, and later served as Vice Chairperson and Chairman for two terms. He also was an ordained deacon, providing guidance for several “deacons-in-training “, and was elevated to the position of Deacon Emeriti in 2006.
Blessed with a full life, John also enjoyed vegetable gardening, duckpin bowling, deep sea and Chesapeake Bay fishing, as well as being an avid Washington Redskins season ticket holder for many seasons.
After serving 37 years in the Federal Government, including 17 years with the Small Business Administration (SBA), John retired as a Computer Specialist.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Martha, son John (and Ford Chinworth), and daughter Wanda, as well as his brother Plaxico Jr., a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Donations in the name of John H. Brown's memory may be sent to Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ 5301 North Capitol Street NE Washington, DC 20011.
A celebration of John's life will be held at a future date when it is safe to do so.
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