Abraham Emanuel Brown (Bram), a devoted family man and farmer, died on Sunday, May 3, 2020, from the coronavirus. He was 85.
“His love for God and family were very intertwined,” his family said in a tribute. “He was known to effortlessly quote scriptures and was notorious for his long prayers during family worship services. He spoke glowingly about his children and grandchildren to any and everyone who would listen.
“He relished the role of being a protector and provider for his family. He never missed a birthday and was known to hold off on going to bed until everyone was in for the night. He also called and did daily check-ins with family members and cherished family get-togethers.”
Brown, who became known as “Bram” to his family, was born on Sept. 28, 1934, in St. Catharine, Jamaica, to the late Solomon Brown and Margaret Graham and he was the youngest of six children. He grew up on a rice farm in St. Catharine and attended school up to the ninth grade. He started working on the farm at an early age and that laid the foundation for his work ethic throughout his life.
He met the love of his life, Roslyn Mayhew, in 1962 and they soon started a family together. They both joined the Palm Seventh-day Adventist Church in Treadways, Jamaica, where he served as a deacon and she served as a deaconess.
Brown worked as a supervisor at the Lindstead Market and maintained a farm at home with crops and animals, jobs that required him to work from sunrise to sunset.
“My grandfather was such a hard worker,” said granddaughter Latoya Binns. “He came from humble beginnings and he was a farmer. He also had a wife and children to take care of. It may have been a struggle at times, but he always provided for his family no matter what.”
Brown later moved to Philadelphia with his family. He began work as a general laborer at Betty the Caterer, and many others jobs followed, which again meant long work hours. His family attended the Willow Grove Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“He loved Philadelphia,” Binns said. “Obviously, it was better living for his family in Philadelphia than Jamaica. It offered opportunities for him that he wouldn’t have had in Jamaica. He loved sitting outside on the porch. He didn’t like the cold, but he loved the summer months in Philadelphia.”
Nicknamed “The Callaloo Man,” Brown was known for growing callaloo in Jamaica and in Philadelphia. According to his family, he prided himself on being a sharp dresser and was proud of the roughness of his hands because it symbolized how hard he worked throughout his life.
He enjoyed performing complex math calculations in his head without needing a calculator. He was also a deep thinker who was passionate about politics and world events.
“Since he was a farmer, whatever he touched would just flourish,” Binns said. “He just knew the right amount of water to give it and the right timing. He had flowers all over the house.
“He was just kind and considerate,” she added. “He would often put himself last so that he could help others. He was loved in each community that he lived in and was always helpful to neighbors, oftentimes cutting their lawns and shoveling their snow without being asked. He was such an amazing person.”
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Solomon Brown and Margaret Graham, and siblings Godfrey Rhule, Randolph Millwood, Vanseta Wright, Daphne Brown and Epsie Brown Taylor.
He is survived by: his wife, Roslyn Brown (Rose); children, Hector Brown, Yvonne Brown-Burnett, Norma Richards, Marcelene Brown, Elaine Brown, Hopeton Brown and Dwight Brown; grandchildren, Robert Burnett, Natalie Burnett, Latoya Binns, Ren-Nay Brown, Kerry-Ann Richards, Koleen Brown, Devonte Gillepsie, Chenia Brown and Eden Rose Brown; great-grandsons, Christopher Cole and Cameron Sadler; great granddaughter, Nura Winn; daughter-in-law, Roxanne Brown; and other cousins, nieces and nephews.
A private service will be held May 20 at Bruce R. Hawkins Funeral Home, 6828 Old York Road.