Reflections of the Life of
MCDONALD BROWN Sr.
and loved by many, Martin Brown, Sr. lived by the sentiment, “Whatever you do,
do it from your heart.” It is from this perspective that he lived a life of
generosity and love.
Born on July 16,
1933, to Artelia and Moody Brown in Cedar Creek, Texas, Martin McDonald Brown
Sr. was a born visionary. Throughout his life, he was in many instances better
known as Sonny Boy, a nickname given to him as a toddler by his grandmother. As
a child, he attended school in Cedar Creek and Shiloh, where he was taught by
his mother who, as he says, was often harder on him than the other kids in
class. Later, he graduated from Emile High School in Bastrop, where at the age
of 16 he was the first Black bus driver in Bastrop County.
graduating high school, Martin
attended Tillotson College until he was drafted for the U.S Army in February
1954. While in the Army, he served as a Squad Leader for sixteen months
overseas in the Korean War. While there, he quickly learned to speak Korean and
was soon responsible for teaching other soldiers to speak Korean as well.
separation from the military, Martin resided in California where he began his
lifelong vision of acquiring real estate while also working for Atlas Spring
(where he retired after over 25 years). This is also where he met and married
the love of his life, Oliva Bowman Brown, on May 6,
1972, and had two children, Shawanda and Martin, II. Martin and Olivia were married 47 years and shared a life
of commitment and dedication to each other that is legendary among family and
friends: When you saw one, you saw the other. They were a team. Everything that
they had in life was accomplished together.
mid-1980’s, Martin and Olivia moved their family back to Cedar Creek. Martin began yet another career–this
time in law enforcement–at the Bastrop Sheriff’s Department where he retired
after 15 years. After his retirement, he opened Mr. Brown’s Family Barbeque for
several years where he was known for his catfish and banana pudding. He and
Olivia continued their work in real estate and began
building a housing community on Martin Lane. It didn’t take long for this
community, which began as a real estate investment, to become much more than
that to them. The many families who lived (and live) on Martin Lane (and other
properties) were, and are, their beloved
extended family for whom they treasure.
giving, and full of words of wisdom best describes Martin
McDonald “Sonny Boy” Brown, Sr. As a child, and then later after moving back to
Texas, Martin attended Hopewell Primitive Baptist
Church. And, while living in California he served as a Deacon at St.
Peter’s Rock Baptist Church. Martin was instrumental in the lives of family and friends, and
we all have numerous stories about the many ways he blessed us by his generosity and words of encouragement.
2019, Martin Brown was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Olivia Brown. He leaves to celebrate his
life and legacy, one daughter, Shawanda
Stewart (husband Antoine), one son, Martin
McDonald Brown II, and one Godson, Charles Edward Arrington; he is preceded in death by one daughter, Kirmet Ann Hyder, by
three sisters: Jewel Brown, Gladys Madison (husband Harold) and Sophia
Williams, by two brothers: Moody Brown, Jr., and Milton Brown (wife Minnie),
and by one brother-in-law: Sam Wells, Jr.; he is survived by three brothers-in-law: Elroy Williams, Kelvin Wells
(wife Shamikka), and Derrick Wells (wife Tori) and two
sisters-in-law: Mattie Merriweather and
Patricia Ann Wells-Poland (husband Jerome); Martin has nine grandchildren: Tammy, LaReda, Morgan, Taylor, Allen,
William, Martin III, Amari, and Maleah; two
great granddaughters, Urasha and Kaleigh; one great grandson, William; nine nieces: Courtney, Diane (predeceased),
Rosalind (predeceased), Dominique, Destini, Jewel, Beverly (predeceased),
Marilyn, Marcia, and Rochelle (predeceased);
six nephews: Chester, Milton (predeceased), Roderick, Maverick, Ernest, and Darrell; and a host of great nephews and nieces and numerous other
family members and friends.
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