Samuel Brown was born on Thursday, April 6, 1918, in Charleston, South Carolina, one of three children of the Reverend Samson and Mrs. Elizabeth Brown.
Samuel attended elementary, grade, and high schools in Charleston. A star football player, he graduated at the top of his class from the Buck High School with the honor of Class Valedictorian.
Besides the strong religious upbringing Samuel received as a child from his parents, they also instilled in him a love for music. His parents played the violin and guitar, his sisters sang, and Samuel not only developed an interest in the piano, but also learned to play the organ. From the time he was thirteen until being drafted into the United States Army at the age of twenty-three, he was the organist for his church.
He spent twenty years in the military service, retiring in 1961 with the rank of Major. During his service he saw combat in Europe during World War II with the 761st Tank Battalion. He distinguished himself as a combat leader - earning the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. Samuel's illustrious military service reaped him many commendations from both senior officers and his peers, along with the requisite service medals. After retirement Samuel's insatiable desire to improve his mind led him to attend the Automation Institute of San Francisco, California. He completed the course in the wiring and operation of IBM equipment, graduating with a grade point average of 95 out of a possible 100% and in the upper one-sixth of his class.
He returned to Seaside, California, and immediately became involved in the civic affairs of this, his chosen city and area of residence. He served two complete elective terms as a trustee of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District; eleven continuous years on the Seaside Planning Commission; as a member of the Seaside Design and Review Board; and, as a member of the 1976-77 Monterey County Grand Jury. He further served as the Administrator for Del Monte Manor apartment complex in Seaside for six years.
Further, Samuel was a member and past-president of the Seaside Kiwanis Club; member of the Executive Board of the Blind Service Center; past-president of the Monterey County Easter Seal Society; vice president on the Board of Directors of the Alliance on Aging; Soledad M-2 Sponsor; member of the American Legion, a Toastmaster; and, many other local organizations. He also retained his membership in the Damascus Temple Number 58 AEAONMS and Parham Lodge Number 38 F&AM, both of Louisville, Kentucky.
Although Mr. Brown gave so much of his time to his community, it did not for one moment diminish the time he devoted to his religious belief. As a member from 1959 of Hays Christian Methodist Episcopal Church he was first, after joining, a bass singer in the Choir. But, soon thereafter, at the insistence of the late Presiding Elder L. S. White, he became the Organist - an active position he held until failing eyesight caused him to step down, and then he was appointed Organist Emeritus, March 3, 1978. He also served his church as a a Steward, Trustee, Finance Committeeman, member of the Board of Christian Education, as Parliamentarian, and whenever and wherever else needed in any capacity. Active in the local Church, he was just as active throughout the C. M. E. Oakland District and California Annual Conference until failing health restricted his travel. He was a person who supported his church with faithful tithing and giving of himself to make it a better place, if possible, to worship. This he did to the end.
Samuel Brown shall always be remembered as a Christian man, a great humanitarian and as one who loved his fellowman.
This beloved man, Samuel Brown, who has left us a legacy of faith, love and compassion, is survied by his wife of thirty-eight years, Lydia Leigh Brown; a son, Charles Anthony Brown; a sister, Lucille Silvera; three granddaughters: Tonia, Danille and Marissa Brown; and, a niece, Loretta Reed.
Obituary provided by Mrs. Lydia Leigh Brown.