Obituary for William "Bill" Brown Jr.
WILLIAM BROWN, JR.
September 30, 1936 – September 10, 2017
If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.
Regardless of what you called him – Brownie, Dad, Pop Pop, Junior Brown, Mr. Brown, Bill, Billy, Uncle Brownie – if you knew WILLIAM BROWN, JR. you were blessed to have known a man who loved God, cherished his family and treasured his friends. A devoted husband and father, professional pioneer and White Plains ambassador, Bill lived a life characterized by professional success and public service.
Born in White Plains, NY on September 30, 1936 to William Brown, Sr. and Martha (Randolph) Brown, Bill was a proud resident of the “Spring Street” section of White Plains. He attended public schools and participated in several extracurricular activities, including football, basketball and track. He liked to remind everyone that his WPHS Tigers football team was undefeated in 3 consecutive years.
A dedicated member of the Boy Scouts, Bill was the first African American in the history of White Plains to be awarded the honor of Eagle Scout. Throughout his life, Bill was a member of the Mount Hope A.M.E. Zion Church and was a former member of its Board of Trustees.
After graduating from White Plains High School in 1954, Bill majored in Accounting at Virginia State College and obtained a Master of Science of Management from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1996, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from Pace University. In 2005, Bill was inducted into the White Plains High School Hall of Fame.
Bill had a more than 60-year love affair with “the girl at the party in the red dress” – Jacquelyn Simmons. They married in 1957 and from this union had 5 children – Marcia, Tracy, Gaye, Greg and Todd. Family meant everything to Bill, and he lavished his wife, children, their spouses and his eight grandchildren with love, support and attention.
Professionally, Bill began his groundbreaking career in information systems design, development and management in 1959 and retired from MONY (Mutual Life Insurance Co. of New York) in 1994 as Vice President. Before joining MONY, Bill held several executive level roles including Senior Vice President, CIGNA Systems, Vice President, INA Corporation and Executive Director for the Office of Information and Technology for the State of Connecticut. He held other senior and significant positions at Citibank, American Airlines, RCA Service Company and the GPL Division of General Precision. Bill was a pioneer in the IT world as he was the first African American to achieve the level of Senior Vice President at CIGNA Corporation and the second African American to be named a Vice President at Citibank. He was included in the charter edition of Who’s Who Among Black Americans. Bill was a past Governor of the MIT Sloan School of Management Board of Governors.
Bill participated in many community and political activities. He was a proud member and past Basileus of the Beta Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. Bill served on the YMCA Corporate Board of Directors, the Westchester-Putnam Boy Scout Executive Board and the Computer Science and Information Systems Advisory Board (CSIS) at Pace University.
Bill believed in the importance of education and was elected to serve on the Greenburgh Central 7 District School Board. He was active on the White Plains Democratic City Committee and served as a District Leader. In 1993, he was elected as the second African American member of the White Plains Common Council and was the first African American to be elected to, and serve, a full 4-year term. In 1997, Bill was the Democratic candidate for Mayor of his beloved White Plains. For the past 16 years, he developed affordable housing in White Plains.
Bill received numerous accolades and awards during his life. These include Omega Psi Phi Beta Alpha Alpha Chapter Man of the Year, the Westchester-Putnam Council Distinguished Eagle Scout, White Plains Black Caucus Man of the Year, NAACP Community Service Award and Man of the Year, Westchester Branch NABBPW Clubs, Incorporated.
In his spare time, Bill loved playing cards, watching Western movies and spending time on Martha’s Vineyard. He was a dedicated New York sports fan – never abandoning his beloved Giants, Yankees and Knicks. Bill had an extensive music collection and spent hours listening to Nancy Wilson and other well-known jazz performers.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Jackie, his children and their spouses - Marcia (Bill), Tracy (David), Gaye (Ricky), Greg (Patricia) and Todd (Rhonda). Also celebrating his life are his eight cherished grandchildren - Lauren, Alexis, Austin, Maiya, Spencer, Erica, Darren and Randall – and his cousins that were like siblings - Herbert (Elaine) and Rose Jamison. He will be missed by his sisters-in-law, Florence Smith, Robyn Raysor and Deborah Bernard, his brother-in-law, Lewell Simmons, Jr., many nieces and nephews as well as a host of cousins and friends.
The Entire Staff of Lee's Funeral Home, LLC respects that the Brown family entrusted the care of their loved one to us, and that they value the level of service & attention our funeral home provides. We are honored, in turn, to provide comfort, assistance and service to the Brown family during their time of bereavement.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, the family appreciates/kindly requests memorial donations be made in his name to Mt. Hope AME Zion Church and/or Beta Alpha Alpha Foundation, Inc. (either at address/info above, or also online here through the Donation tab on Menu here on our website, or also through www.omega-baa.org). If sending flowers despite family request, they may be delivered either on Sat. Sept. 16th, 2017 by/before 6:00pm, or Sun. Sept. 17th by/before 2pm to Lee's Funeral Home; or Sun., Sept. 17th at 4:00pm, latest, to Mt. Hope AME Zion Church. You may also light a candle above in his memory as a form of condolence/sympathy please.