LORENZO PRESTON BROWN, JR.
June 1, 1934 – March 8, 2019
Lorenzo Preston Brown, Jr. was born on June 1, 1934…
to the late Lorenzo P. Brown, Sr. and Pearl McDowell in La Follette,
Tennessee. He was the oldest of five sons of Pearl McDowell; three of which have preceded him in death; Dennis McDowell, Lionel McDowell and Marvin McDowell.
He attended Knoxville College where he met his wife of 62 years
Mary Cynthia Brown, a Music Major, & he, a Science Major. While at Knoxville College, he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and served his fraternity both while in school and after graduating, becoming a lifetime member. He graduated from KC in May of 1956, and soon after was drafted into the United States Army in 1957. He served and received an honorable discharge in February 1963. From his union with Mary, they had two children Bernadette and Preston. In 1969, they relocated to Elmsford, NY. However, they remained members of Convent Ave Baptist Church in Harlem, NYC, where he could be found teaching Sunday School to the kids who attended. Lorenzo was a man with many talents and passions. He taught Science at the DeWitt Clinton High School, in Bronx New York, for 28 years and missed very few days during his entire tenure as a Teacher and Mentor
to so many Students. In the late 1980’s he received an award from Mayor Dinkins for his Teaching excellence at DeWitt Clinton. Throughout his career, Mr. Brown received several teaching awards from NYC Borough Officials. Bernadette also remembers that her Dad at DeWitt Clinton assisted the Bronx Zoo in housing distressed animals on one-level of the school, where she would help him to feed the animals on weekends for her weekly allowance. Mr. Brown always strove to set a good example for young people.
After retiring, he wrote 2 editions of his book, “A Black Community Emerges and Disappears,” documenting the history of all of the Black American Families that lived in this small town, in La Follette, Tennessee, where he was raised as a child, by his Grandmother Louzinka and Aunt Vitaree, a stern School Grade Teacher. It was there that Lorenzo grew into a fine, gifted, and educated young man with a love for his people and community. Lorenzo received wide notoriety and acclaim in Campbell County, for his self-produced book.
A copy is currently stored in La Follette’s Official Library Archives.
Also, Lorenzo Brown took up his next solo project, chronicling the history of the North Elmsford, New York Residents. With the help of many Families, he was able to collect pictures and great stories from the predominantly Black American Neighborhood, at which going back to past generations when Elmsford was just growing. As a result, he put together a compilation of photos and comments of the residents of Elmsford, dating back to the early 1900’s and he
distributed as many homemade copies to the North Elmsford
Residents that he possibly could make on his own, just for the sheer love of his Community.
Lorenzo loved Classical, Country & Soul Music. He loved to listen to all kinds of music in his car, especially Orchestral music such as Tchaikovsky, and also Leontyne Price, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Glen Campbell & many others…
Mr. Brown’s recreation passion though; was ‘Bowling’, especially with his minor league Bowling Team in Westchester made him quite joyful. He was an avid Bowler and was inducted into the American Bowling Congress in 1995. Over the years, he always loved
photography and took many pictures in his lifetime travels,
worldwide. He also volunteered for the Greenburgh Community
Center (now honorably The Theodore Community Center), United Way, mentoring Students at Purchase University. He received the PAC 33 Leading Coach Award for his work with the Basketball team in 1977, of which his Son, Preston was a part of. As a Board Member
for several years, Lorenzo Brown was instrumental aiding in the
successful proposal for the pool opening at the Massaro Park in Elmsford, NY and other services to the Theodore D. Young Community
Center in Greenburgh, NY. He very much enjoyed working with Town Hall of Greenburgh Officials and Town Supervisor Paul Feiner,
He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 62 years, Mary Cynthia Brown of Henderson, North Carolina; two Adult Children, Bernadette Brown and Preston Wayne Brown, Brother Anthony McDowell, a host of Cousins, Nieces, Nephews from Baltimore Maryland,
La Follette and Nashville, Tennessee, Virginia, Colorado,
California & Florida… and many other Relatives and Friends. Thanks to his Son, Preston Brown, as Lorenzo got to see his very close Cousin Ortygia Carnette, of Virginia, more like his Sister, as they grew up together in La Follette Tennessee… up in the beautiful
Appalachian Mountains; in what would be his last
Christmas Holiday in 2018.
The family wishes to acknowledge with deep appreciation the many
expressions of love, concern, and kindness shown to them during this time of bereavement. Thank you to all of the participants who made this Going Home Service Possible. May God richly bless each of you…
Funeral Services will be held 11 AM Friday, March 15, 2019 at First Baptist Church – Elmsford, NY
Condolences may be given online at www.cross-smithfuneralhome.com
Courtesy of Cross-Smith Funeral Home