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 Thomas Edward “Tom” Brown, Sr

Thomas Edward “Tom” Brown, Sr

Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
Death 27 Nov 1986 (aged 58)
Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 93499693 · View Source
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Tom was the youngest of eight children and the first to die (lung cancer...died age 58). He was born in the front bedroom of the Brown home at 115 North Salem Ave.

An hilarious family story is of Tom being a small boy who observed the family cat, Josephine, having baby kittens. He ran into the house shouting, "Josephine is do-doing kittens!"

MIRACULOUS CURE: As a boy (about 1938), Tom had a "staph" bacterial infection of the foot for some length of time, almost a surely fatal situation in those pre-antibiotic days. The family doctor was Dr. C. B. Epps. But, while Dr. C. J. Lemmon, Sr. was getting the osteomyelitis of his own thumb treated at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Baltimore, he heard of research (probably @ Johns Hopkins) about serum from previous staphylococcus survivors being used to cure staphylococcal infections in others. Dr. Lemmon had lost a 24 year old patient with Staph. sepsis 2 years prior. Dr. Lemmon was in the same small office building with Dr. J. Ralph Dunn who Tom's sister, Mildred, worked for. Mildred had to persuade their mother, "Wuh", to change doctors over to Dr. Lemmon who could make arrangements (in those bygone days, patients were extremely attached to their own physician...there was no such thing as health insurance & payment might be by way of barter or simple long-friendship charity). Tom got in on that plus maybe some of the newly arriving antibiotic sulfur drug & was cured (this was prior to any penicillin or hardly any antibiotic inventions). He and Dr. Lemmon may have been the first persons treated and cured in this manner in the history of South Carolina!

Another funny family story was of Tom as a young boy telling about going to work with his father one day. When they came home, Tom ran into the house shouting, "Daddy has a box at his work that you can mash a button and a drawer slides out full of money!"

Tom graduated Edmunds High School class of 1946. He was a military paratrooper in the Korean war. On leave for Christmas 1946 from his military assignment, he and Johnnie Husband married (22 Dec. 1946 at #115 N. Salem Ave, Sumter, S. C. by Rev. J. H. Simpson) as older teens at her home.

They had 3 girls and one boy.

The Merritt's (Merritt Veterinary Supply) approached Tom's veterinarian brother-in-law, Dr. Robert Beaty, and asked that he become their company's veterinary medical sales rep. Robert: "I couldn't sell ice cubes in hell; but I can tell you who could sell them to Eskimos--Tom Brown!" Tom took that job and did so well the time he retired...he was the first sales rep to be voted into an honorary membership in the S. C. Veterinary Association.

When I was in medical school and then pathology residency in Charleston, Tom and Johnnie regularly loaned me their nice 50 hp outboard pleasure motorboat for use at our grandfather Brown's "lake shack" at Tranquility Cove, Lake Marion, S. C. Tom was beloved as an always-smiling, life of the party, wonderful person with an endless stream of funny jokes and stories. I never knew even one person who could or would have a single negative thing to say about Tom. Tom was my favorite uncle.

He died at age 58 of lung cancer, and his obituary was published in The State newspaper of 29 November 1986, page 6-A (see photo). Funeral services were at Grace Baptist Church.

Family Members





  • Created by: Ervin Shaw
  • Added: 12 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 93499693
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Edward “Tom” Brown, Sr (11 May 1928–27 Nov 1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 93499693, citing Sumter Cemetery, Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Ervin Shaw (contributor 47632367) .