Mrs. Shirley Jean Brown, having completed her assignment on this side of Heaven, departed this world with her husband and children by her side on August 29, 2020 and entered eternal praise and worship in the presence of Our God.
Shirley was a longtime resident of Oxon Hill, Maryland and spent the last years of her life in Plaquemine, Louisiana. She was born March 6, 1943 to the union of the late Otis Emmitt and Mamie Lou Nickson in Port Saint Joe, Florida, a city along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Early in life, Shirley came to believe that salvation was by faith alone in Christ alone, and she accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at Zion Fair Missionary Baptist Church. Her faith and strong personality gave her the confidence to leave her close-knit family to attend college at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida. After school, Shirley headed to Washington, D.C. where she met and married the love of her life, Edward Albert Brown, on August 31, 1968, raised her family, contributed to her community, and worked for the federal government at the Department of Health and Human Services for more than 40 years. This strong yet soft spoken woman made a difference in the lives of many.
Early in her career, she fought for employees as a union representative and became a respected supervisor and administrator for the department. Shirley excelled at work, served in the church, coordinated community events for youth and proudly led in local and national political campaigns including the campaign to elect President Obama. One of Shirley’s greatest gifts was the selfless sharing of her blessings with others. Out of her abundance on special occasions or without occasion, she gave freely and generously to family, friends, and strangers. She enjoyed the beach, cooking, jazz, shopping and laughing at her husband’s jokes. In her last years, Alzheimer’s Disease robbed her of many things but not her relationship and dependence on God. God’s promises sustained her in life and in her transition to heaven. Shirley was a beautiful woman, and her passing was as peaceful as her life.
She leaves to cherish her memories: her loving husband, Edward A. Brown, Sr.; her children: Gail S. (Desi) Grover of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Edward A. (Patrice) Brown, Jr. of Woodbridge, Virginia, and Eric T. Brown of Oxon Hill, Maryland; six grandchildren: Brandon Adkins, Shiree Adkins, Stephen Adkins, Jalen Brown, Cheyenne Brown, and Nicholas Estrada; one great grandson Myles Adkins; two brothers: James Alphonsa (Dorothy) Nickson of Miami, Florida and Emmitt (Tannis) Nickson, Jr. of Port St. Joe, Florida; four sisters: Voncile Nickson, Annie D. Nickson, Clementina Nickson of Port St. Joe, Florida and Mertice Dawson of Pensacola, Florida; two “special” siblings: Linda (Gene) Hill and Donald (Jacqueline) Nickson of Port St. Joe, Florida and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her mother, father, one sister Dorothy Helen Woodrow, one brother Clinton Nickson and one “special” brother Gary Nickson. Her family gives a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the loving staff at Our House of Respite who provided tender care for our precious Shirley over the past 3.5 years and to Someone Always Cares ReCreation, LLC for their therapeutic services and compassion.
A celebration of life was held on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 11:30 AM (EST) at Forest Hill Cemetery in Port St. Joe, Florida under the directions of Christian Memorial Chapel of Graceville, Florida.