Howard Earl Brown “Brownie”, passed away on May 17th following a brief illness at the age of 93. Born in Burgaw, NC to the late Ira Woody and Martha Estelle (Blakemore) Brown, he grew up in Greenville, SC as the third of four children. After serving in Army Intelligence throughout Europe during WWII, Brownie returned to Nashville and married his sweetheart Frances Elizabeth Oman on July 2, 1946. Later that year, Brownie returned to Clemson to finish his textile engineering degree. After a brief period with Spring Maid Mills, Brownie, Frances, and their daughter Martha moved back to Nashville in 1953. He would go on to start Mid State Tractor Company before later joining Oman Construction Co. During his time with Oman, Brownie and his family traveled the world, living for 7 years in Pakistan and Afghanistan before returning to Nashville permanently in 1963. Back in Nashville, Brownie continued to work on projects throughout the US and the world before retiring from Oman in 1990. He spent his golden years traveling, working in his yard, tinkering in his workshop, growing his grapes, and making his jellies and wines.
In addition to his parents, Brownie was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years Frances Elizabeth Oman, his two brothers Hubert Brown and Kenneth Brown and his sister Mary Catherine Bowen. He is survived by his daughter Martha Brown Gabriel; his grandchildren Daniel Earl Gabriel & wife Amanda; Matthew Stirton Gabriel & wife Katharyne; his great grandson Luke Howard & great granddaughter due on 7/11; as well as many nieces and nephews. Brownie is also survived by his longtime friend and companion, Betty Baker.
A life long member of Immanuel Baptist Church, a memorial service to celebrate the life of Brownie will be held on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 222 Belle Meade Blvd, Nashville, TN, 37215. Visitation will be from 10am – 12pm with the service from 12 – 1pm. A private graveside service will be held at Mt. Olivet.
Brownie was a special father, Pop-Pop, Pop-Pop-Pop, and friend. He loved life and enjoyed time with his family and friends, taking care of his dogs, fishing at Wildlife, dancing, and gazing over a freshly mowed lawn with drink in hand. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Immanuel Baptist Church or to the Nashville Humane Association.