Ornner Brown Sr.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ornner Brown, Sr., longtime Leesville resident,
departed this life on Aug. 27, 2013. The U.S. Army veteran, former businessman and retired Vernon Parish School Board employee was 92.
Funeral services for Mr. Brown will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 31 at the Pleasant Hill Baptist, located
at 1210 M.W. Harrison St., Leesville, La. 71446. Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Aug. 31 at the church. Burial will follow in the Leesville Memorial Cemetery, under the diction of Labby Memorial Funeral Home of Leesville.
Brother Ornner Brown, Sr., was born on Feb. 25, 1921 in Allen, which is a rural community near the Cane River in Natchitoches Parish, and grew up during the Great Depression era of the United States of America.
He was the second out
of three sons, who was born to Carrie Lindsey Brown and Samuel Brown. He was christened in the local Methodist Church. At an early age, he along with the rest of the Brown’s family moved by uncovered wagon to the town of Fisher, where his father took
a job as a barber at the local sawmill, Louisiana Longleaf Lumber Company but is now known as Louisiana Pacific.
Ornner attended the local elementary school in Fisher and later graduated from high school at the Sabine Parish Training
School in Many, Louisiana. In the latter part of 1941 and at the outbreak of World War II, Camp Polk, (now known as Fort Polk) a U.S. Army military installation was activated near Leesville. Ornner’s mother, Mrs. Carrie Lindsey Brown, decided to
leave Fisher, and open a cafe in Leesville, which was the first of many businesses to come for Brown’s family. Following the success of this family business, Ornner and the rest of the family relocated to Leesville later that year.
married Myrtle Louise Johnson on March 25, 1942 and shortly thereafter he was drafted into the United States Army and stationed in Europe where he served with distinction in England, France, Belgium and Germany, including the historic D-Day invasion,
as a logistics non-commissioned officer. He was honorably discharged at Camp Shelby, Miss. in December 1945.
During the time he was away serving his country, Myrtle gave birth to the first of four children. Upon his return, she reunited
with Ornner and worked with him in the family businesses that soon expanded to include a barber shop, trucking company, laundry/dry cleaner, liquor store/saloon, grocery store, motel, taxi and ice delivery service respectively, Financial Lending as
well as extensive realty rental properties. All were located in the segregated part of town known as “The Crossing.”
He also became an employee of the Vernon Parish School Board, as an owner/operator in their transportation services
department, where he retired after 24 years of service.
An avid reader, his other life passions included automobile, music, gun, and coin collecting, cooking, gardening, carpentry, masonry, photography, videography, keeping abreast of the
latest technology and insuring his family had access to all the opportunities that a higher education could afford them. He led by example of the importance of presenting yourself appropriately attired for all public occasions and while conducting
business. In the early part of this life he traveled with his family to major U.S. cities to visit friends and family. He enjoyed smokeless tobacco, the occasional distilled spirit and some dancing. He nurtured and mentored his grandsons, and he was
a former strict military disciplinarian and true renaissance man.
He was as an active member and office holder of the American Legion Balaam Jones Post 510 and the Pride of Leesville Masonic Lodge No. 41 until his health failed. In
addition and although not a member of an organized church, The Veteran’s Administration Chaplain again baptized Bro. Brown, after having accepted Christ as his personal savior, on the 9th day of December 2004.
His father, mother, and
brothers Alex Brown and J.R. (Fats) Brown preceded him in death.
He leaves to mourn his faithful and loving wife, Myrtle L. Brown; two sons, Ornner Brown, Jr. of Leesville, and Douglas L. Brown of Austin, Texas; two daughters, Charlotte B.
Westle (Arthur) of Urbana, Ill. and Marilynn B. Palmer (Michael) of Leesville; grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed but long remembered by all of those who knew and truly loved him.