Press "Enter" to skip to content


Harry Kenneth Brown Jr. passed away at his home in Hudgins on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. 

Ken, a good and gentle man, was born in Tarentum, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 27, 1938 to Harry Kenneth Brown Sr. and Grace Rishel Brown. He grew up in Mathews, graduated from Mathews High School in 1956, and Salem College, Salem, West Virginia, in 1960.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Joanne Brown Whitley, and grandson, Thomas Brown.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ethel Bee Brown; his daughter, Deborah Brown Furey (Franklin); son, Brian Keith Brown; sister, Grace Brown Gandt (Fred); brother, John E. Brown Sr. (Becca); sisters-in-law, Marie Bee Zwiebel and Voni Bee; grandson, Andrew Burton (Alyssa); granddaughter, Alicia Burton Butler (Behr); great-grandchildren, Kyleigh, Kaleb and Kennedy Butler, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ken began his professional career as a multi-sport coach at Middlesex High School where he led the basketball team to a district championship in 1962. Then after serving seven seasons coaching at the Newport News Apprentice School and Gloucester High School, he moved to Spotsylvania High School in 1970. In 10 years there, his football teams captured five district championships and his baseball team one.

When Courtland High School opened in 1980, Ken built a football program there, where his Cougars amassed a record of 125 wins, 26 losses and one tie, making it to the playoffs 11 consecutive years and capturing four state titles. 

In 1992, Brown left Courtland and started a football program in the newly opened Brooke Point High School in Stafford, winning yet more district and regional championships. At retirement in 1998, his career coaching record was 261-110-10. In 1993, Ken was inducted into the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame and in 2003 was inducted into the Salem University Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Ken and Ethel retired to Mathews where he enjoyed living on the water, working in his garden, and fishing in his boat WING-T. 

He was a faithful member of Kingston Parish Episcopal Church, serving on the vestry for four years, a member of the Mathews Yacht Club, Masters Gardeners, and the past president of the Piankatank Ruritan Club.

A celebration of Ken’s life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, Williams Wharf Road, Mathews, Virginia 23109.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Mathews Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 723, Mathews, Va. 23109 or to the Mathews YMCA, P.O. Box 1536, Mathews, Va. 23109. 

Faulkner Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Foster-Faulkner Chapel, Mathews, is assisting the family.