James Harvey Brown was born in Malcolm, Alabama on August 30, 1924. He attended elementary and high school in Mobile, Alabama. He graduated from Alabama A&M University with a B.S. in Mechanical Arts (Printing) in 1947. He graduated from Tennessee State University with two master’s degrees, M.S. in Zoology and a M.Ed. in Education Administration and Supervision.
His life achievement was graduating from Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry, receiving his D.D.S. in 1952. He was immediately employed as a Dental Intern in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at Meharry. Fresh out of dental school he volunteered for the US Army Dental Corps as an Officer 1st Lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division. He was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY for two years, and he was proud to serve his country. After an Honorable Discharge, he returned to Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry where he devotedly served for 51 years. As a Meharry faculty member he rose from Instructor to the level of Associate Professor and taught hundreds of dental students, many are still practicing today. He was Founder and Chairman of the Department of Hospital Dentistry and Director of Hospital Services. His career included teaching in the Department of Operative Dentistry, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Department of Oral Diagnosis and the Department of Prosthodontics, Division of Occlusion. He also served on the Curriculum Committee and served as the Coordinator of the Annual Faculty and Staff Retreats. At one time, he was the longest full-time continuous service employee at Meharry Medical College. Extending beyond his base at Meharry, from 1968 to 1981 he served as a consultant to the Veterans Hospitals in Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He also served as a consultant to the Boy Scouts of America –Middle Tennessee Council for the Merit Badge in Dentistry. His major research interest was in teaching and learning in the hospital environment. For several decades he maintained a private dental practice where he introduced his children to working in a healthcare environment.
He was bestowed several professional Awards and Honors: member and advisor of Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society (past president of local Chapter Omicron Omicron), Charter Member of the American Association of Hospital Dentists, Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry (F.A.G.D.), Fellow in the Academy of Dentistry International (F.A.D.I.) and Fellow in the Academy of Continuing Education (F.A.C.E.).
He was a member of numerous professional organizations and societies: Pan - Tennessee Dental Association, Nashville Academy of Medicine, Tennessee State Medical Association and Frontiers, Incorporated. He was also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
He was very active in alumni associations: Life member of Alabama A&M University Alumni Association, Inc., member of the New Middle Tennessee Alabama A&M University Alumni Chapter, and member of the Metropolitan Nashville Chapter of the Meharry National Alumni Association, Inc. In May 2000 he was recognized as the alumnus donating the largest alumni gift at the Alabama A&M University 125th Anniversary/ Grand Reunion Celebration. For many years in their home he and his wife hosted numerous alumni fundraising events for student scholarships.
In his private life he also received numerous recognitions and awards: In July 1988, the Brown Family was featured in Ebony Magazine; in November 1999, the Brown Family was honored as Family of the Year by the Tennessee Black Caucus of the State Legislators; and also in Alabama, in 2000 Drs. James and Birdie Brown served as Homecoming Parade Marshalls at Alabama A&M University and were honored with a boulevard named “James H. and Birdie F. Brown Boulevard” on the Alabama A&M University campus. He and his wife established several awards and scholarships for students at Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College.
His family was always his focus. He loved his community near and far. Influenced by his mother, he was a strong believer in education, reading and the acquisition of knowledge. He had a strong work ethic which he instilled in his children and taught them to set goals and achieve excellence. He and his devoted wife, Dr. Birdie F. Brown, of 74 years, instilled in their five children to never settle for less, to work harder than anyone else and to not be a just anybody, to ”be somebody.” They also taught their children to always plan ahead, be prepared and how to “take care of business.” They were determined to make sure their children had “common sense” not just “book knowledge." All five children became Doctors and are continuing his legacy. His grandchildren and great grandchildren are following in his footsteps. He loved spending time with family on vacations, deep sea fishing, listening to music, reading, watching football, crabbing, playing tennis, playing dominoes and cards, entertaining, and specifically enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners with family and dear friends. He gave unconditionally and unselfishly.
He is preceded in death by his brother, Charles M. Brown; his mother, Alice W. Ross; his father, Miles Brown; his half-sister Marguerite Brown; his son, Dr. Albert H. Brown; and his daughter, Dr. Alice B. Brown.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Dr. Birdie F. Brown, of Nashville, TN; daughters: Dr. Jacqueline D. Brown Bryant (Patrick), of Laurel, MD and Dr. Renee C. Brown Pascoe (Handel) of Edmond, OK and son, Dr. James H. Brown, Jr, of New York, NY; and his grandchildren, Dana M. Davenport Esq., of Naperville, IL; Candace R. Zeller, of Phoenix, AZ; Brandon N. Pascoe, of Edmond, OK; Dr. Alexis R. Pascoe, of Galveston, TX; Dr. Jasmine A. Pascoe, of Houston, TX; Denese M. and Lawren B. Bryant, of Laurel, MD. His great grandchildren, Thomas “Trey” L. Davenport, III of Naperville, IL; Lena L. Davenport of Naperville, IL; Bella K. Pascoe, of Edmond, OK and a host of nieces, cousins, other family members and dear friends.
There are established endowed scholarships in his and the family’s names. If you wish to honor him, in lieu of flowers, you may contribute to an existing scholarship:
Tennessee State University: “Brown Family Scholarship” by using the website http://www.tnstate.edu/foundation/ and entering the “Brown Family Scholarship” name when instructed or by mailing a check to TSU Foundation; 3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard; Campus Box 9542; Nashville, TN 37209-1561 with the check made payable to “TSU Foundation” and in the Memo section enter “Brown Family Scholarship.”
Alabama A&M University: "Dr. James Harvey Brown & Dr. Birdie Faulkner-Brown Scholarship for Excellence in Elementary Education" by using the website https://secure.qgiv.com/for/aau/ and locate the scholarship name in the ‘scrolled down’ fund list or by mailing a check to Marketing, Communication & Advancement; Alabama A& M University; 309 Patton Hall; Normal, AL 35762 with check made payable "Alabama A&M University Foundation" and in the Memo section enter "Dr. James Harvey Brown & Dr. Birdie Faulkner-Brown Scholarship for Excellence in Elementary Education."
Condolences may be left in Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors’ online guestbook at https://lewisandwrightfuneraldirectors.com. You will not be able to join us in person for services and interment but you will be able to be present through a Facebook live stream by Lewis and Wright Funeral Directors. You will be able to gain access through their Facebook page by entering Lewis Wright FD.. We hope that each and every one of you join us on Friday, July 10th, 2020 @10:00am. A formal Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date.
The Brown family wishes to extend their gratitude to family, friends and the healthcare providers who have aided us with selfless deeds, compassionate words, kind gestures and fond memories.
“Come to Me, and rest in My loving Presence. You know that this day will bring difficulties, and you are trying to think your way through those trials. As you anticipate what is ahead of you, you forget that I am with you--now and always. Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur. Do not multiply your suffering in this way! Instead, come to Me, and relax in My Peace. I will strengthen you and prepare you for this day, transforming your fear into confident trust.” Matthew 11:28-30; Joshua1:5, 9. “Jesus Calling,” by Sarah Young.