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Donald Mitchell Brown, Sr.

March 5, 1935 January 9, 2021
Donald Mitchell Brown, Sr.
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Obituary for Donald Mitchell Brown, Sr.

Donald Mitchell Brown, Sr. of Plymouth, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of January 9th, 2021, at the Roanoke Landing Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Plymouth. Don was 85 years old, and is survived by three children, Donald Mitchell Brown, Jr. and wife Julianne, of Charlotte, Sharon Rose Brown of Plymouth, and Amy Elizabeth Brown Swain and husband Darrell, also of Plymouth. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alva Rose Hardison Brown, who died on December 12th, 2015.

Don was a native of Jamesville, NC and loved Martin County. He was born on March 5, 1935 to Walter and Jesse Brown, the third of four children. Don had an older brother, Walter Brown, Jr., an older sister, Margaret Brown McCaffity, and a younger sister, Sarah Brown Daniels, all of Raleigh, and all who preceded him in death. He and his siblings had a deep abiding love for one another and remained close and devoted to each other throughout their lives.

Don attended Jamesville High School, where he became the starting center on the Jamesville High football team, coached by his brother-in-law, Darwin McCaffity. Don went on to attend the University of North Carolina for two years, before joining the United States Army and serving overseas in Korea, just after the Korean Conflict. Much of his service was inside the dangerous Demilitarized Zone on the North and South Korean borders.

Don often told the story of being in Korea and listening by shortwave radio as UNC defeated Kansas in the 1957 Final Four, in the great showdown between Lenny Rosenbluth and Wilt Chamberlain. This led to a lifelong interest in ham radio, and Don later became a well-respected and well-known ham radio operator in his own right.

When her returned home from Korea, Don finished college at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina (now Barton College). In 1958, Don married his youth camp sweetheart, Alva Rose Hardison, the daughter of Arthur and Marina Hardison of Plymouth. Don and Alva Rose met at Camp Caroline, a church camp run by the Disciples of Christ, in Arapahoe, NC.

After they married, both Don and Alva Rose devoted their life to church activities. Don served as both a deacon and an elder at the First Christian Church in Plymouth, while Alva Rose served as a church organist for many decades. Don also enjoyed singing in the church choir, where he sang bass for many years, under the direction of the talented choir director Nyal Watson.

An accountant by trade, Don operated an accounting and bookkeeping service in Plymouth for many years. Prior to that, he served as Washington County Finance Director, and before taking that position, also worked for a while in the Accounting Department at Weyerhaeuser.

In addition to his three children, Don is survived by seven grandchildren - Amanda Gurganus Swain and husband Josh, of Plymouth, Mary Claire Brown of Charlotte, Heather Gurganus of Jamesville, Adam Swain and wife Daisy of Raleigh, Caroline Brown Silvious and husband Brandon, of Charlotte, Whitney Swain Spruill and husband Harry, of Plymouth, and Sgt. Graham Brown, U.S. Army, and wife Yocelyne, of Fayetteville. He is also survived by ten great grandchildren - Nathan Hopkins of Plymouth, Jaylyn Alexander, Jamie Alexander and Silas Alexander of Jamesville, Jacob Swain of Plymouth, Hardison Brown of Fayetteville, Lucas Silvious of Charlotte, Chloe Swain of Raleigh, Adam Joseph Swain of Raleigh, and Rosie Spruill of Plymouth. Don also leaves behind eight beloved nieces and nephews.

Don had many friends in Plymouth and Jamesville and was greatly loved by his family. His cheerful disposition, kindness, and warm personality will be remembered fondly and lovingly by those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

A memorial service will be set at a later date. For now, prayers are sufficient.

Arrangements are by Maitland Funeral Home, Plymouth.

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