Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
A.J. Brown (Coach Brown), left this world on November 29th, 2018, following a lengthy illness. He was surrounded by his family that loves and adores him. Judson as he was known in Alabama, was born on February 26, 1931, in the Flatwoods of Marengo County (Thomaston, Alabama) ….and yes it was way down in Dixie, and yes it was on a frosty morn… He graduated from Marengo County High School in Thomaston Alabama where he excelled in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Judson was quarterback and team captain…and, it has to be told, they even made up a song about him …” He’s our Capitan- he’s our dream-he’s the hero of our team- Hi Judson, Ho Brown, Hi Ho Judson Brown!”. Judson was kind and popular and loved by his classmates.
Following graduation, Judson attended East Mississippi College on a Football Scholarship for one semester. Following East Mississippi College, Judson joined the Airforce, which included training at Lackland AFB, Denver, and then 2-years in Morocco, North Africa. Ensuing his service in South Africa Judson was stationed in Roswell, NM at Walker AFB for two years. During his time in Roswell, he met the love of his life, his soulmate, Wanda Johnson (Wan). They laid eyes on each other across the dance floor. He asked her to dance, and they danced the night away and the rest is history…as they say. Judson and Wanda married two years later September 3, 1954 and left back to Dad’s beloved Alabama that very night.
A.J. and Wanda moved to Tuscaloosa Alabama where he attended the University of Alabama (ROLL TIDE!!) and received a degree in Physical Education and minor in English and Biology. While living in Tuscaloosa their only child Dorothy was born on October 20, 1955. Many years later after returning to Roswell A. J. received his master’s Degree from Highland University in Las Vegas, NM.
Following graduation from the University of Alabama, Judson was employed at Uniontown High School in Uniontown Alabama where he coached all sports and taught for two years. Following Uniontown, he accepted a coaching and teaching position at Sweet Water Alabama. Following Sweet Water, he was employed as the Assistant Superintendent of Marengo County and Head of the Title 1 Program.
In 1968, the family would move back to Roswell. A. J. taught and coached at Goddard High School for two years. He was then coaxed across town to Roswell High School where he was Assistant Football coach and Head Baseball coach. He guided the Roswell High Baseball team to the state playoffs twice (1974 and 1978). A. J. retired after 30 years of coaching and teaching. Following retirement, Coach Brown was asked to continue to coach the RHS Freshman team to prepare them for Varsity…hence the RHS varsity Football teams experienced a great deal of success following the prep, training, and discipline that Coach Brown provided.
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So many times, we called the fire department to help my dad if he fell, and each time they came at least one firefighter who had dad as a coach or teacher. On many occasions dad’s students or players would ask about him and share what a positive influence he had on their life.
This amazing human being (Coach Brown, Judson, Uncle Judson/A.J., DaDa) will be dearly missed by all who loved and admired him. His absence will be a great void in our life, and as our family reunions resume in Tuscaloosa at the Alabama/Auburn Football game. He was our center…and full of his dry humor…Dad would say the funniest things, and never crack a smile, while the rest of us were rolling on the floor!
All of Coach Browns friends and students are aware that he was a devoted and fanatical Alabama Football fan, and a strong admirer of Coach Paul Bryant. The coming of fall and college football was a special time for my dad and our family…whether it was in Tuscaloosa at the games, in the living room watching Alabama and screaming and yelling at the TV, or with Cousin Gary who flew out to watch an Alabama/LSU game, which by the way, we sadly had to place our Alabama Flag at half-mast. So now, we come to a “happening”, that must be told……dad actually listened to an Alabama/Auburn game over the phone long distance while my uncle Jim in Alabama laid the phone by television! That was, of course, before ESPN or SEC Channel. These moments will always be talked and laughed about, and hold a special place in our hearts, with his spirit forever by our side.
A.J. is survived by his Wife of 64 years, Wanda Brown, his daughter Dorothy Tarter and her husband Steve; one feline, Prince; sister Betty (Bitty) Vergeson (Charles) of Tallahassee Fl; a brother Jim Brown (Peggy) of Lanette Alabama; sister-in-law Olivia Brown of Opelika, Alabama; nephews Gary Brown (Laura), Little Jim Brown (Shannon), Keith Vergeson, John Vergeson (Melissa), and David Papworth (Pauline); nieces, Melody LeCroy (Braxton); Janice Brown, Denise Kelley, and Cindy Ruff; and of course great nieces and nephews, Chris Knudsen (Audrey), Peter Knudsen (Diana), Ashley Knudsen, Leah Orchard (Jim), (Little Sean, Little Chris, Wyatt, Eric, Grayson, Little David, Leah, Luke, Ada, Brice, Elizabeth, Scott, Liam, Danielle, Jeremy ,Maximus and Lorelei, Anakin and Padme).
Thank-you to the many wonderful and amazing friends including Craig and Doretta Hipple who continually checked in on both dad and mom, and were always bringing food over, Hope and Bill Parker who always called to check on mom and dad, Wanda and Jim Sexe…special lifelong friends, and a very good friend Mary Jennings.
A special thanks to Chris and Audrey Knudsen who were always there for mom and dad day or night. A special thanks to Cindy and Ashley who were also there whenever we called, and who were there the last night of dad’s life. We couldn’t have made it without all of these special angels in our lives…and to all of my special friends, you know who you are, …I certainly would not have survived this difficult time in my life without your shoulders to cry on, and of course, your wine.
Many thanks to Kindred Hospice and especially Anita, another one of our angels who’s love, support, care, and compassion meant so much. Thank you to Helen for always getting Dad’s Respite setup exactly as we wanted. Thank-you Stacy, Jessica, Rosalee, and Margarita. Thank you to Casa Maria, and Paula, who was one of dad’s students who told him “Coach Brown, you took care of me in high school, so now it’s is my turn to take care of you.” So, comforting to hear when a family is in that particular situation. And last but certainly not least, to Mr. Garcia who was always there when we needed him to sit with dad and take care of him. There weren’t many people that dad would let stay besides family, but if it was Mr. Garcia then all was good…love you Mr. Garcia!
A.J. is preceded in death by his parents L.C. and Iola Brown of Thomaston Alabama, older brother L. C. Brown of Opelika Alabama, and a younger brother Cecil, of Thomaston Alabama.
Graveside Services will be held Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm at South Park Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.