Thomas Walter Brown died on August 9 at age 97 at his home in Chickamauga, Georgia, after a brief illness.Walter was born on September 11, 1921, in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Henry L. Brown and Madge Blaylock Brown. He graduated from Chattanooga High School and Colorado School of Mines, to which he received the Georgia State scholarship. While at Mines Walter was president of Kappa Sigma fraternity, and was elected to Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. During World War II he served in the United States Navy as a lieutenant junior grade in the Pacific theater. After working in the western states and in Canada as a mining engineer for Union Oil Company, Walter returned to Chattanooga upon his father’s death to become president of Brown Fence Company. Later he founded Brown Galvanizing Company. He was a faithful and active member of First-Centenary United Methodist Church where he was a member of the Morgan Sunday School Class and served on various church boards. He was also involved in several civic organizations. Walter was always interested in nature and the environment, and in 1988, he was named Tennessee Tree Farmer of the Year. It was during his college and engineering years that he developed his lifelong love of the western states, to which he returned on vacation with his family whenever he was able. Walter was an avid fly fisherman and enjoyed teaching this skill to his children and grandchildren. He loved taking his grandchildren on “nature walks” to instill in them an appreciation of the beauty and variety of nature.
He is predeceased by his first wife, Ella Frances Baird Brown, and siblings Ralph Brown, Virginia Minter, Martha Fields, James Brown and Jeff Brown.
Walter is survived by Joan Blackshear Brown, his wife of thirty-three years; and children Charles Brown, Henderson, Texas; Ella Frances (Monty) Bonner, Henderson, Texas; Joseph (Marybeth) Atkins, Marietta, Georgia; and William (Shannon) Atkins, Roswell, Georgia. His grandchildren are: Stayton (Catherine) Bonner, Dallas, Texas; Walter Bonner, New York, New York; John Bonner, Los Angeles, California; Second Lt. Joseph Atkins, Jr. and Mary Sutherland Atkins, Marietta,Georgia; Banks and Mary Inman Atkins, Roswell, Georgia; and great grandchildren Birdwell and Stayton Ellwood Bonner, Dallas, Texas. Surviving brothers are Burton Brown, Flintstone, Georgia; Joe (Betty) Brown, Chickamauga, Georgia; and Robert “Bo” ( Mary Minor) Brown, Lookout Mountain, Georgia; sisters-in-law Catherine Girardeau Brown, Lookout Mountain, Georgia; Ann Andrews, Kensington, Georgia; Pearl Brown, Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia; and many nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful to all of his caregivers, especially Sandy Tidwell, Caleb Henry, Amanda Gaddis, and Sheryl Zachar.
The funeral service will be at First-Centenary United Methodist Church on Tuesday, August 13 at 2 p.m., with visitation at the church beginning an hour prior to the service. There will be a private burial at Forest Hills Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be: Banks Atkins, Second Lt. Joseph Atkins, Jr., Stayton Bonner, Walter Bonner, John Bonner, and Caleb Henry.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be sent to First-Centenary United Methodist Church, 419 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402, or to Hospice of Chattanooga South Team, 121 Battlefield Crossing, Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia 30742.
Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home, Battlefield Parkway.