The first time I appeared in court on a court-appointed criminal case, the judge was Judge David Brown. Judge Brown was a big man, with a booming voice, and powerful legal mind. He could have excelled on the bench at any level - district court, circuit court, appellate court.
He died this week at age 77, and here is part of his obituary from the Bristol paper:
ABINGDON – The Honorable David Daniel Brown, age 77, passed away Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at his home.
Mr. Brown was born in Meadowview to the late Hayter C. Brown Sr. and Mary Gladys Ritchie Brown. His sisters, Frances Brown Wohlford and Mary Louise Brown Baker; and his brothers, Hayter C. Brown Jr. and Charles Luther Brown, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Nancy Blevins Brown of Abingdon; two daughters, Deborah Brown Harvey of Richmond and Sharon Brown Taylor and husband Joe of Glade Spring; and two sons, Charles David Brown and wife Petissa of Abingdon and Robert Daniel Brown and wife Sarah of Floyd, Va.; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews also survive him.
Mr. Brown was a graduate of Meadowview High School and Emory & Henry College. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and was a graduate of University of Virginia Law School in Charlottesville. From 1950 to 1951, and again from 1953 to 1954, Mr. Brown served as a teacher in the Washington County public school system. He was also a teacher in the Adult Bible Class at Meadowview United Methodist Church and in the Wesley Bible Class at Abingdon United Methodist Church.
As a leader in his community, he was chairman of the Cancer Crusade, president of the Abingdon Civitan Club, president of the Washington County Chapter of the Virginia Society of Crippled Children and Adults and member of the Holston Tuberculosis Association. He was elected commander of the Washington County Post No. 12 of the American Legion. As a member of the Democratic Party, he was president of the Washington County Young Democratic Club and served as state president of this organization in 1961.
Mr. Brown served as commonwealth's attorney of Washington County, Va., from 1964 to 1978. He was appointed general district court judge in 1982 and served until his retirement. While serving as counsel for the School Board, he was instrumental in establishing the magisterial districts named after Virginia presidents along with staggering the elections of county Board of Supervisor and county School Board members.
Funeral services for Mr. Brown will be held Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 4 p.m. at the Abingdon United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Walter Weikel officiating. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. at the church prior to the service. Entombment will follow at Knollkreg Memorial Park Mausoleum, with Pastor Jerry Eggers officiating. A Masonic service will be led by Abingdon Masonic Lodge No. 48, and military honors will be conducted by the Highlands Veterans Honor Guard.
Active pallbearers will be James Hay, Robert Duncan, Fred Wilson, the Honorable Charles Harrison Smith Jr., Emmitt Yeary, Tim Barker, Robert Cooper, G.C. Brown, Kenny Parker, Charles Elton and Reelia Watson. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Abingdon United Methodist Church Wesley Bible Class, members of the American Legion, members of the Abingdon Masonic Lodge No. 48, the Honorable Joseph P. Johnson Jr.; the Honorable James P. Jones, the Honorable T.L. Hutton Jr. and Dr. Martin Monahan."