Royal Funeral Home, Inc.: Obituaries

Royal Funeral Home, Inc.

Dr. Rather Gean Brown Dr. Rather Gean Brown
(July 2, 1937 - December 5, 2012)

Rather Gean Brown, born July 2, 1937 in Mt. Hope, Alabama was the son of Willie Clay Brown and Annie Lee White Brown. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Annie Phillips. He departed this life Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at Huntsville Hospital.

At an early age he united with the Town Creek Baptist Church in Landersville, AL. At the time of his passing he was a member of the First Missionary Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL where he served with the Meals on Wheels ministry.

Rather graduated from Moulton High School in 1955 as Class Valedictorian. He continued his education at Alabama A. and M. College, majoring in chemistry, and received his B.S. degree in 1959. He received the master's degree from North Carolina A. and T. State University and the Ph.D. from the American University in Washington, D. C. He taught in the public schools of Alabama, North Carolina and Washington, D. C. and at Federal City College in Washington, D. C.

He was a member of the Biology Department at Alabama A. and M. University (AAMU)1970-1998, retiring as a full professor. From 1982-1992 he directed the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program at AAMU. This program, funded by grants in excess of $1 million provided research opportunities in the sciences for students at AAMU and at research facilities external to the University. Participation in the program led to advanced degrees in the sciences as well as careers in fields such as medicine, dentistry, and podiatry.

His fraternal memberships included R. E. Nelms Elks Lodge, #977, the Delta Theta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Lodge #45 F&AM. He held various offices in the Elks Lodge, most recently as Chair of the Trustee Board. For 19 years, he chaired the annual Thanksgiving dinner for seniors, and persons in need. In Alpha, he assisted with the cub scout pack sponsored by the chapter. Civic memberships included the NAACP and the Alabama New South Coalition.

As an AAMU alumnus he served the National AAMU Alumni Association in various capacities, including Vice President. He was an active member of the Huntsville Madison County Alumni Chapter. He enjoyed Bulldog basketball and football--especially the Magic City Classic.

His legacy is his inability to compromise with injustice whenever and wherever he found it.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary Sanford Brown; a son Rather Maurice Brown; three sisters--Mattie J. Phillips of Muscle Shoals, AL; Fannie (Billy) Freeman of Tuscumbia, AL; and Delores (James) Johnson of Sheffield, AL; three brothers--Lelton (Alyce) Brown and Willie Frank (Royace) Brown of Tuscumbia and Lynn (Geneva) Brown of Lexington, TN; and an abundance of kindred spirits.

Funeral service will be 12:00 Noon on Monday, December 10, 2012 at the First Missionary Baptist Church (3509 Blue Spring Road; Huntsville, AL 35810) with Dr. Julius R. Scruggs officiating. Interment will be in the Meadowlawn Garden of Peace. Dr. Brown will lie in repose one hour prior to funeral time.

A visitation with family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at the Royal Chapel of Memories.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, the Russell Hill Foundation at Clearview Cancer Institute, Huntsville; or the scholarship fund at Alabama A. and M. University.

Public viewing will be from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, 2012; and from 8:30 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. on Monday, December 10, 2012 at the Royal Funeral Home.