Bernard W. Brown, age 83, passed away September 16, 2019. He was born in Davidson County, NC on August 29, 1936. He was the son of the late Mack M. and Julius Coggin Brown of Rocky Mount, NC.
He was an alumnus of Fork Union Military Academy of Fork Union, VA and a graduate of West Edgecombe High School. He was a member of Proctor’s Chapel Baptist Church.
Mr. Brown was in sales for 30 years with Beechnut Foods and Luden’s Candies and retired from Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in Rocky Mount.
He retired in 2001 to Lake Gaston and lived there until 2013 when he returned to Rocky Mount due to illness.
Bernard traveled out of town for his work but when he was home his time was spent always with family. He spent many days on the weekend cutting grass with one of the children when they were small in his lap riding his John Deere lawnmower. He taught all of his children how to drive, first on the lawnmower, then bravely in the car. When the children were young, he bought an above ground swimming pool and spent many hours in the pool with them teaching them how to swim, how to do hand stands, and playing Marco Polo. He taught his children how to ride their bikes and picked them up and brushed them off when they fell and praised them when they finally mastered it. He had a dirt bike motorcycle and when the children were old enough bought a dirt bike for them which they shared. He and the children spent many hours in the field behind the house riding the bikes and jumping off small ramps he had built. During the winter if there was a good enough snow, he spent many hours pulling the children on the sleds in the neighborhood as well as helping them build the perfect snowman.
He always amazed us. Even at age 60 while jumping on the trampoline with his granddaughter and doing back flips.
Vacations with him and his wife and the children were spent many years camping with their travel trailer at the beach and the mountains. He enjoyed boogie boarding in the surf and swimming with the family in the ocean and also surf fishing for flounder at Salter Path, NC. He showed all of his family the wonders of the mountains whether it was a mountain stream, Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National forest, or going to an apple orchard to pick apples. In later years after retirement, he spent time taking the family out for rides on the pontoon boat, pulling his children and granddaughter on the tube, or riding with them on the Jet Ski on Lake Gaston.
He sold candy for the majority of the years in sales and he was known to all the children in the neighborhood as the “candy man”. He supplied candy freely to friends for their children, to the local boy scout and girl scout troops his children were in as well as to his church for the members children.
He always made sure that the family had a beloved pet whether it was a dog or a cat. He loved his pets as if they were his child and spent many week ends playing in the yard with them and the children.
He was a loving husband, great friend, wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be missed by all that knew and loved him.
Bernard leaves behind to cherish his memory his wife of 62 years, Ann Langston Brown, daughter Julie A. Brown, both of Rocky Mount, daughter Della L. Brown of Smithfield, NC, son Mack M. Brown II and wife Beverly Craig Brown of Garner, NC, granddaughter Morgan Reece Nienke and husband Trevor Nienke, great-grandson Cameron Tate Nienke and great-granddaughter Peyton Reece Nienke, all of Willow Spring, NC, as well as Gracie his yellow lab who enjoyed many walks with him while out on the golf cart.
Visitation will be at the family home at 3820 Gloucester Rd. in Rocky Mount on Sunday, September 22nd from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.
A private burial with the family will be held at Pineview Cemetery in Rocky Mount at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to West Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department, Fork Union Military Academy Scholarship Fund, or Peak Lab Rescue of Apex, NC.