James Lee Brown, 85, child of ‘Old Florida’ who grew up hunting in the Everglades

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James Lee Brown
James Lee Brown

James Lee Brown, of Williamsburg, died April 30, 2015, at the age of 85.

He was born in Homestead, Florida on Sept. 21, 1929, son of the late Harvey Lee Brown and Vassie Mae Dunlap Brown. Jim, an accomplished athlete, graduated from Homestead High School before attending the University of Alabama.  After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1948 to 1949, he began a 37-year career with Florida Power and Light Company, starting as a turbine operator and rising to become a personnel manager.

As a child of “Old Florida,” Jim grew up hunting in the Everglades, shining shoes in his father’s barbershop and delivering newspapers. He enjoyed a lifelong passion for fishing the waters of Florida Bay, the Dry Tortugas and the Atlantic.

Jim spent most of his adult life in Miami, moving to Williamsburg in 1999 to be closer to his grandchildren. He never missed a concert, play or baseball game. As a member of Williamsburg United Methodist Church, he attended the Fellowship Class and faithfully served as an usher and on the Memorial Garden Committee. He was part of the “Tool Guys” local outreach and was inspired by his mission work with The Hope Center of Latvia in Riga.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Elizabeth Brown.

Jim is survived by his wife, Nancy Craddock Brown, of Williamsburg; daughter, Susan Brown Mackenzie, of Cullowhee, North Carolina; daughter, Ann Brown-Hailey and her husband, Christopher, of Williamsburg; granddaughter, Elizabeth Blair Hailey, of Alexandria; grandson, William James Hailey, of Williamsburg; and brothers, Billy R. Brown, of Monticello, Florida and Charles W. Brown, of Madison, Alabama.

A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 7, 2015, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg. Services will take place at 2 p.m. Friday, May 8, 2015, at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg. Private interment will take place at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185, noting either the Hope Center of Latvia or the WUMC Memorial Garden.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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