Reginald Olander Brown

Reginald (aka 'Red' or 'Reggie') was born on March 23, 1931 in Albermarle, VA to parents Mollie and Thomas Brown. He was one of 12 children and would soon go on to make a big family of his own. After meeting his soon-to-be wife Alice Robinson, he would enlist in the United States Army on July 22, 1950. Rising through the ranks quickly, he served in the 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion and earned the title of Master Sergeant. He found himself a part of the Allied Invasion of Inchon, South Korea for 11 months. Most of which were spent in foxholes. Though as he tells it, he returned without a scratch. Throughout the years he would become an ordained deacon and served his church for over 45 years. His accomplishments didn't stop there. He was also the first African American Vice Mayor for his hometown, Gordonsville, VA. He served for 4 years and another 10 on the town council. He was dedicated to making his community a better place.

"Not even a scratch"

Reginald, or papa as I know him, was always level-headed and steady in his nature. As I remember him, you could always find him outside birdwatching, listening to jazz, or simply taking a walk and enjoying the world around him. I remember him picking me up from school as a child and we would count the planes and jets as they flew by. His laugh was contagious and quite unique once you got him going. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do to make us happy. I remember asking for a seesaw and getting a cinder block with a board. We had fun all the same. One thing you could always count on was papa enjoying his food. He loved to eat and it made cooking for him an even bigger pleasure. He didn't discriminate, if it was good he would eat it and we always had something good to eat. I can still hear him scolding me for making his cheddar slices too small. There's a story that stays with me about papa getting his wisdom teeth out and asking for pork chops and gravy for dinner. He left nothing on his plate. I remember cooking for him one morning and telling him, "You know I love you with all my heart, right?" and he said, "Oh yeahhh, I know you do and I love you too, with every bone in my body."