Vernon Lee Brown, 65, churchman, college official

October 08, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Vernon Lee Brown, an active churchman and former RTC administrator at Baltimore City Community College, died Monday heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Mr. Brown, 65, also worked as a city social worker, but he was perhaps better known for his social graces. His Randallstown home was often a place where friends gathered for parties and political discussions, and to watch sports on television.

"Everyone who knew Vernon can attest to his conservative views and the fact that he would never walk away from a good argument," said his wife, the former Miriam A. Jones, whom he married in 1977.

From 1970 to 1985, Mr. Brown headed the Trio Programs at what was then the Community College of Baltimore. There, he headed the school's Upward Bound project that helped students prepare for college.

Former school president Charles G. Tildon Jr. said Mr. Brown had a knack for helping students succeed.

"He had a good temperment and a good understanding of people," Mr. Tildon said. "He could identify people with potential and provide them with the tools to succeed. He was very successful at what he did."

Mr. Brown used those skills in working with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, in outreach programs that helped at-risk youngsters finish high school and plan for college, Mr. Tildon said.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Brown graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 1951.

He received his bachelor's degree in English from the former Morgan State College in 1955 and a master's degree in education from Coppin State College in 1977.

He earned a certificate in management and communications in 1970 from Michigan State University School of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Mr. Brown served in the Army from 1955 to 1958, rising to the rank of lieutenant.

After graduating from Morgan State, Mr. Brown held various positions, including as a city social worker and a probation officer.

At his church, Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Northeast Baltimore, Mr. Brown performed a number of duties, including singing in the choirs, serving as church business manager, and developing and organizing the church's day care center.

"He was even called on sometimes to deliver a sermon when they needed it," his wife said.

Mr. Brown enjoyed listening to jazz and was an avid golfer, playing regularly at the Mount Pleasant and Forest Park golf courses.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 33rd Street and The Alameda.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Vernon J. Brown of Los Angeles; a brother, Clayton Brown of Baltimore; and three grandchildren. He married the former Annette Cooper in 1962; they divorced in 1971.

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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