Bernice C. Brown, age 89, Erwin, passed away Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Center on Aging while she was surrounded by her family. She was born on Pete Creek, Flag Pond, Tennessee and resided there until she attended college. Bernice is a daughter of the late Hilden Carter and Etta Davis Carter.
She was educated in the Unicoi County school system, attending elementary school at Sweetwater School, Rocky Fork School and Unicoi County High School. Bernice graduated from East Tennessee State College in Johnson City, Tennessee, in 1953 with a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education. She was a member of the Sigma Omega sorority and Homecoming Queen. Bernice was selected as Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges multiple years and selected by Bing Crosby in 1952 as one of the eight class beauties. Bernice was married to the love of her life Howard Brown December 19, 1953. Howard fondly stated, "I found my sweetheart under the Sugar Loaf Mountain".
Bernice began her teaching career with Kingsport City Schools for one year, Murphy North Carolina for two years, Elm Street for three years and Rock Creek School from 1968 until her retirement in 1993. During her tenure teaching, she was recognized as teacher of the month, teacher of the year and Who's Who Among Teachers, selected by former students who stated she made a difference in their lives by helping to shape their values, inspired their interest in a particular subject and challenged them to strive for excellence. She was a member of the National Education Association, Tennessee Education Association, and the Unicoi County Education Association. When she was recognized as Teacher of the Month her peer wrote: "Mrs. Brown consistently demonstrates those desirable teaching qualities in her daily life not only with the children but in her relationship with her peers, administrators and parents. Mrs. Brown's dedication and persistent striving for excellence serves as an example for emulation and has earned the respect and admiration of all".
She was a former dedicated member of First Baptist Church for many years. She was actively involved in the Women's Missionary Union, Ramona Mercer Circle, Round Table Book Club and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers for many years. She was a current member of Calvary Baptist Church. Bernice was known for caring for her family and friends sharing food and sending special greeting, sympathy and get-well cards. She loved to cook and was also known as an immaculate housekeeper.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her Husband, Howard Brown in 2019.
Survivors include her daughter, Lori Beth Estridge, Brentwood, Tennessee, son-in-law John Estridge; son, Lee Howard Brown, Flag Pond, Tennessee, daughter-in-law Denise Hardin Brown; special granddaughter, Morgan Lee Brown, Fort Collins, Colorado; brother-in-law, Dick Cody Brown, Louisville, Kentucky and special friend Clara Curtis, who she often referred to as her sister.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, in the Roselawn Memory Gardens. Sherrill Gibson and Reverend Kevin Laws will officiate. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Everyone is asked to meet at the cemetery by 12:50 P.M. on Wednesday. The family respectfully ask everyone attending the graveside service to please wear a mask due to the increasing spread of Covid-19.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to care givers Betty Moxley, Linda Jordan, Pat Staley, Lynn Harris, Teresa Turner, the staff of The Center on Aging and Amedisys Hospice for their love and kindness.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial donations be made in memory of Bernice to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memorial Department, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org or Unicoi County Imagination Library c/o First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, 200 Willis Lane, Erwin, TN 37650 or online, https://donate.imaginationlibrary.com/#us-TNUNICOI.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Brown family at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com
Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Brown family. (423) 743-1380.
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