William G. Brown, retired lawyer and banker, died at his home at Alexian Grove, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010, at the age of 100.
Mr. Brown was born in Rochelle, Ga., son of Walter G. and Sarah Elizabeth Hardeman Brown, and had one brother and three sisters, all of whom predeceased him.
He attended elementary and high schools in Rochelle and enrolled in college at Emory University, where in six years he received his Bachelor of Arts and LLB degrees. He was the first honor graduate in law school and later was awarded a JD Degree.
While at Emory, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Alpha Delta Fraternities.
He came to Chattanooga to practice law with Thomas, Coffey and Folts, which later became Thomas, Folts and Brown. At the outbreak of World War II he applied for and received a commission as Lieutenant (JG) in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After indoctrination, he was sent to a Naval Air Station as Legal Officer, serving at various times as defense attorney, judge advocate and member of a general court.
Upon his return to Chattanooga following the war, he became a member of the firm of Chambliss, Chambliss and Brown. He was active in the Chattanooga Bar Association, serving on its board of governors and as President of the Association.
He was named to serve on the Eastern Division of the Court of Appeals during the illness of one of its members, and served on several occasions as special Chancellor of the Chancery Court of Hamilton County when the regular Chancellor was unable, for some reason, to hear a case.
He was also president of the Estate Planning Council and Judge of the Municipal Court on Lookout Mountain.
In 1958, he left the law practice and became the head of the Trust Department of the American National Bank and Trust Company. He became active in the Trust Division of the Tennessee Bankers Association and was elected President. He was named to the Executive Committee of the Trust Division of the American Bankers Association.
Upon retirement from the Trust Department, he was requested to remain as Counsel for the Bank and then for its Holding Company. He still served on their board of directors.
He was an ardent and dedicated member of First-Centenary United Methodist Church, serving in almost every position including chairman of its Administrative Board and chairman of the Board of Trustees for a number of years. He was a member of and taught the Foster Martin Mens Class for over 51 years, and was a member of the Ault Pace Setters Class at the time of his death.
He represented the congregation at the Holston Annual Conference for many years and was named by that body as its representative to General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the Church. He served terms first as a member of the General Board of Education of the Church and then as a member of the General Board of Missions.
Mr. Brown served as an incorporator of Senior Neighbors and Chairman of the Chattanooga Area Health Study and President of the Metropolitan Counsel for Community Services and President of the Family Service Agency.
He held memberships in the Tennessee, Georgia and American Bar Associations and, while in the practice of law, the Association of Life Insurance Counsel. He served as a member of the board of several local corporations including the American National Bank and Sun Trust Bank and as a member of the Board of Trustees of several local foundations.
He was a longtime member of the Mountain City Club and the Lookout Mountain Fairyland Club.
He was married to Elizabeth Thomas and they had 56 years of beautiful and happy life together at their home on Lookout Mountain. They enjoyed many and frequent travels abroad, especially to Cornwall, the area from which Elizabeth's grandparents came. She predeceased him after a long illness following a stroke.
He is survived by his children, Nancy Hutcheson and Bill Brown. Jr. (Diane); grandchildren, Beth Webb, Taylor Gifford (Tom), Will Brown III (Delin), Lane Brown Taylor (Barrett), Sullivan Brown (Meredith), Lavens Brown, Hazel Bell (Mitchell), Kay Sanford (Kirk), Laura Finch (Mike); great-grandchildren, Frank Bell, Mitchell Bell, Hayden Bell, Taylor Webb, Graeme Webb, Rye Sanford, Ishmael Sanford, Hayes Finch, Lewis Finch, Alex Zoanni, Merrill Lane Brown, Thomas Signar Duke Brown, Hazel Gray Taylor, Acklen Frederika Taylor.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18, at First Centenary United Methodist Church, McCallie Avenue, with Dr. David Harr officiating.
The family will receive friends at Wann Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Burial will be private in Forest Hills Cemetery following the service.
The family requests no flowers. Memorials may be made to Alexian Grove, 100 Asbury Oak Lane, Chattanooga, Tn. 37419, First Centenary United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 208, Chattanooga, Tn. 37410, Hospice of Chattanooga, P.O. Box 19269, Chattanooga, Tn. 37416, or a favorite charity.
Thanks to caregivers, Pearl Stinson, Lisa Black, Helen Morgan, and Wanda Cochran.
Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home.