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. Armys Signal
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. Browns 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
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
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
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