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Charles Homer Brown Jr.

Staff Writer
The Daily Ardmoreite
Charles Homer Brown Jr.

After a long life of serving others, Charles Homer Brown Jr., 93, passed away on April 4, 2020.

Although no funeral services will be held, his ashes will be scattered along with the ashes of his life-long love, Bettye Brown, in areas that had strong meaning for both of them.

Charles was born on March 24, 1927 in Paris, Texas to Charles H. Brown Sr. and Mamie E. Brown. Throughout his school years, Charles excelled in speech and debate, winning several championships and recognition. In 1945, Charles graduated from Oklahoma City’s Classen High School. In 1948, Charles received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Christian University and in 1952, a Masters of Divinity from Yale University.

From 1953-1958, Charles served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army National Guard Oklahoma, 45th Armored Division, with his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) as Chaplain. It was at this point in his life that he began to be the man he ultimately became.

Charles was ordained into ministries of the Disciples of Christ Churches in 1949. After serving within these ministries for many years, he was received into the Episcopal Diocese, becoming an ordained priest in 1962.

In 1971, Charles and his family moved to southern Oklahoma where he took the position as director of the Carter County Guidance Clinic in Ardmore. Throughout the 1970s, Charles worked to grow the clinic, ultimately expanding it to become a nine-county community mental health center called Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma, which continues increasing the quality of life for many today as Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Centers.

Seeing a need for residential senior care in southern Oklahoma in the early 1980s, Charles turned his attention to creating Ardmore Village. In 1984, the newly-built cottages accepted its first residents. Charles served as Ardmore Village’s Executive Director until 2003, when he retired. Today, Ardmore Village sits on a beautiful 18-acre campus in NW Ardmore and is home to over 200 seniors.

While in the 8th grade, Charles met the love of his life and future wife, Bettye Lou Dukeminier, who was in the 6th grade at that time. They dated through high school and college, marrying on Aug. 28, 1949. They did everything together during their 70 years of marriage. They even spent the last day of their lives laying together in their home, both under hospice care, passing away within a few hours of each other.

When Charles was asked, “As you look back on your life, what one experience stands out as a ‘defining moment’ for you – a time you were at your personal best, doing something you feel particularly proud?” he responded, “Three defining moments come to mind: 1. When I decided to enter the Christian ministry. 2. The moment I decided, ‘Yes, Bettye is the person I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with.’ 3. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Ardmore Village in 1983, as the giant tractor broke the ribbon and began moving the dirt.”

Charles’ lifelong goal was to make a positive difference in the quality of life for others. He will be greatly missed.

Charles is survived by his family: son, Brockton Brown and wife, Mary of Speedway, Ind.; son, Bradley Brown of Ardmore; daughter, Jessica Pfau and husband, David of Ardmore; granddaughter, Heather Moore and husband, Jeremy of Newburgh, N.Y.; granddaughter, Teddy Pfau of Ardmore; and great-grandson, Damien Moore of Newburgh, N.Y.

Memorials may be given to Ardmore Village, 1550 Knox Road, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401.