Deacon Henry Brown Jr., 78, was born in Enterprise, Alabama on Dec. 12, 1940 to the late Mother Essie Mae Wiles and Henry Brown, Sr. He is preceded in death by both parents and siblings, Jessie Lee Moore and Eugene Brown. He departed this life on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
He received his primary education in Enterprise, Alabama, and attended Quinn High in Apalachicola. He was the epitome of a hard worker, beginning his 30-year career on the Gulf waters as a first mate in the poke fishing industry in Louisiana. He continued maritime work as a commercial fisherman and shrimper. He was a jack-of-all-trades, mastering many occupations including landscaping, construction, hardware sales, property management and chef, just to name a few. He might most be remembered as owner and operator of Brown's B-B-Que where the showcased his famous BBQ, seafood, gumbo and sweet potato pies. Needless to say, The Florida Seafood Festival will never be the same.
He gave his life to Christ at the First Born Church on 11th Street in Apalachicola and was baptized in 1956. The family's church home was Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church where Brown was ordained a deacon in 2002 under Pastor Carl Bailey. In 2009 he joined and became a longstanding member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where he served faithfully as chairman of the deacon board and chairman of the annual Men's Day. His support for his church was unparalleled but also spanned to neighboring churches and neighboring pastors. He supported the cause of Christ and worked tirelessly to support local assemblies. He loved his community and was an avid community supporter. He was known throughout the South as the BBQ man. His food was sought after by many seafood festival visitors who came back year after year to eat his food on Eighth Street.
He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 43 years, Mary “Duke” Brown; children Rodney Brown and Tronda (Lloyd) Davis, of Apalachicola, Jerry (Barbara) Bunyon, of Daphne, Alabama, and Sheila Rochelle and Jean (Donnie) Sosa, of Panama City; sisters Rose McCoy, Gladys Gatlin and Betty (SJ) Allen, of Apalachicola, and Doris Brown, of Tallahassee; brothers Johnny Brown, of Tallahassee, and Bishop Joseph (Barbara) Brown, of Panama City; sisters-in-law Irestine Bouie, Annie Mae (Jimmy) Richardson and Josie Pearl; brothers-in-law Robert Key, William Key and Henry Rochelle; one uncle Calvin Brown Sr. and a host of grandchildren, great-grands and great- great-grands, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and community.
A Homegoing service was held Saturday morning, July 6 at New Life First Born Church.