Tony W. Brown, Ph.D. (In Memorial on his birthday)

Diagram of the gown, hood and bonnet used in g...

Diagram of the gown, hood and bonnet used in graduation/presentation ceremonies of Ph.D’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Tony W. Brown, accomplished scholar,
educator, father, husband, son, and brother.
Known as T, Tony, and Dad to his family,
Dr. Brown to so many others.

His younger years were good years,
there were pains, also many joys;
with cousins in two large families,
and a brother, well, boys will be boys.

We remember his funny laughter,
how it seemed to roll along;
his smiling face and cheery countenance,
and how he liked to play his drums.

Everyone remembers different things
from different relationships at different times;
I have only included a few here,
and these memories are only mine.

With adulthood came matrimony,
with its ups, and, surely some downs;
But from that came Little Tony,
‘apple of the eye’ to Tony Brown.

He worked for years in cable to make a living,
wanted more, went back to school for his degrees;
study, loans, hard work, no ‘gimmes’
earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.

Tony taught in colleges and universities,
loved education, loved to teach and write;
became a private academy Headmaster
to be closer to his son one time.

Fought the devil and personal demons,
fought with God, family, friends, and ex;
fought a habit that almost killed him,
fought with himself more than anyone else.

That wasn’t the end, all that he overcame,
that’s a wonderful story in itself;
regained dignity in South Korea, then the Philippines,
it was there he met and married Babeth.

She loved him fully from a heart of goodness,
restored to Tony his long lost joy;
her steadfast faith with simple obedience
helped restore his faith in God.

I remember the day when together they called me,
Though we were thousands of miles apart,
it felt so glad to hear his joy, and yes, his silly laughter;
I’d been his confidant when his heart was dark and hard.

Then so quickly came disaster,
the accident, the hospital, the sepsis, Tony’s death;
they brought his body back to sweet home Alabama,
Near his parents and family, he was laid to rest.

Gone from this life but not forgotten,
he’s in hearts and memories here still;
and in heaven with The Only Begotten,
our faith tells us he’ll ever live.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013

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