SEBASTIAN, Fla. – David Wayne Brown died Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at Sebastian River Medical Center in Sebastian, Fla. He was 85 years old.
Born April 24, 1927 on a farm in Roanoke County, he was the son of Zenella and Ralph Brown. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific Theater onboard various vessels during the later stages of World War II. In 1946 he participated in Operation Crossroads and assisted in the evacuation of natives from Bikini atoll.
Following military service, he graduated from Andrew Lewis High School in Salem. He took a bachelor’s degree from Concord College, W.Va. in 1951. He later received a master’s in education from Virginia Tech.
In 1951, he began a career as a high school football coach that lasted three decades, starting at Blacksburg High School, where he also coached wrestling. In 1959 he left after eight years to take the job as head coach at the former Dublin High School, enjoying great success. In 1974 he became the first head football coach of the newly opened Pulaski County High School. He resigned as coach following the 1978 season and continued to teach physical education and driver’s education until his retirement in 1987. He later moved to Sebastian.
“Coach” Brown was known and admired by generations of players, students and fans throughout Southwest Virginia. He was recognized by the town of Pulaski Parks and Recreation Department in 2000 with a Lifetime Youth Service Award. He was also honored with a Virginia Distinguished Coach’s Award.
Football remained a life-long passion, and he was an avid follower of the Virginia Tech Hokies. Besides his family and friends, his other great loves were fishing, which he mastered, and painting. A self-taught artist, he favored outdoor scenes and still lifes. A great storyteller, his vivid narratives could entertain and amuse audiences, young and old.
David is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Brown; two daughters, Katherine Jean Drury and husband, David, of Rocky Hill, Conn. and Virginia Collins and husband, Michael, of Jacksonville, Fla.; son Gary Brown and wife, Cindy, of Indianapolis, Ind.; four grandchildren, Robert Carden, Joshua Drury, Sarah and Matthew Brown; a step-daughter, Rhonda Lineberry and husband, Dwight, of Radford and their sons, Jesse and Jeremy, and two great-grandchildren. He also leaves a sister, Jean Marie Talley of Hillsville.
Arrangements are being handled in Sebastian. The family is planning a memorial service in Virginia at a later date.