The Obit For Don Brown

Donald M. Brown

Published in The Commercial Appeal on 3/27/2009

Olive Branch - Donald M. Brown, 77, passed away Thursday, March 26, 2009 at home surrounded by his wife, Lurlee Cavin Brown, and their three children. He was preceded in death by his parents Marvin and Florence Brown.

He is survived by his daughters, Susan (Trey) Lowery of Germantown, TN and Kathryn (Jeff) Kohlstedt of Maumelle, AR and his son, Donald M. Brown, Jr. of Horn Lake, MS as well as his four grandchildren, Cody Somers of Germantown, TN, Whitney Brown of Memphis, TN, Ashley and Kris Kohlstedt of Maumelle, AR; his sister, Sandra Gail Crick of Independence, MO and his brother, H. James Brown of Huntsville, AL.

He was born in Montgomery, AL, spent four years in the Cardinals’ minor league organization and was a member of the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps.

He graduated from David Lipscomb College in Nashville TN in 1954 and married his wife of 52 years in 1957.

He began a banking career, serving as executive Vice-President with Colonial Savings and Loan in Jackson, MS and was relocated to Southaven, MS in 1968. He served as president of the Southaven Lions Club, first person elected to represent Southaven on the Desoto County School Board and served as President for three years. Chaired a committee to research the benefits of incorporating Southaven and developing Southaven Nursing Home the first nursing facility in Desoto County.

Mr. Brown helped establish and serve as the second president of the Southaven Chamber of Commerce. In 1973, he founded Guaranty Trust Savings and Loan in Memphis, served as President and CEO. In 1981, the company merged with Home Federal and he was named President.

In 1989, Home Federal was purchased by First Commercial Bank of Tennessee and he was chosen as Chairman of the Board. While in Memphis, Mr. Brown was appointed to the Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board by the Memphis City Mayor and Shelby County Mayor. He served as Chair of the Approval Committee that was responsible for overseeing tax freezes for qualified companies.

After 31 years in the banking industry, he retired in 1991. Six months later he decided to return to work as a Financial Adviser with Kelman Lazarov, Inc. Mr. Brown’s civic energies continue to spread across Memphis and Desoto County.

He served as a member of the Rotary Club of Southaven, the Rotary club of Whitehaven (Central), the Rotary Club of Memphis East and the Rotary Club of Olive Branch. Mr. Brown was named Rotarian of the Year in 2001-02 and 2004-05. He was also a member of the Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce, and serviced as a member/director of the Olive Branch Family YMCA. In 2006,

Mr. Brown worked tirelessly to help the Olive Branch YMCA complete its gymnasium. He recalled his association with the YMCA as a young man. “Growing up where I did there were a lot of individuals at the Y who taught me lessons about organization, teamwork and competition; lessons that carried me through life,” Mr. Brown added “ I think it was just sort of a natural thing for me to want to do something for the Y and for the community.”

He was a member of White Station Church of Christ and served as a deacon for many years. He also served on the Board for AGAPE Child and Family Services.

The family invites all who would celebrate his life to join them at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Saturday morning at 9 a.m. for visitation and services to follow at 10 a.m.

The family requests any memorials be sent to Olive Branch YMCA or AGAPE Child and Family Services.

Memorial Park Funeral Home (901)767-8930