He was a passionate activist for social justice for all.
  • 78 years old
  • Born on February 9, 1937 in Richmond, Virginia, United States.
  • Passed away on February 14, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of Aubrey Neblett Brown III. Please share your memories, photos, videos, and other documents for Aubrey's family and friends.

Posted by Alice Hageman on 14th February 2019
Dearest Aubrey - Daily I rehearse/remember our many wonderful adventures - and even some not so wonderful. I continue to miss you more than I would have thought possible. I teeter between gratitude for the years we shared, and regret that they could not have been longer. I have never forgotten Dr. Giverts' reminder a month before you left us, that you had already beaten all the odds! Forty years of cardiomyopathy was outside any of the known parameters. I just wish that his prognosis that we might have had you with us for another year had been accurate! Thank you, Aubrey, for the many ways in which your life enhanced mine, as we were indeed life partners! Thank you, Aubrey, for making possible my role as Granma Alice (without, as you smilingly reminded me, going through the usual apprenticeship!) Thank you, Aubrey, for all the ways in which you lived a very principled life! Thank you, Aubrey, for accompanying me to church - where you hummed the hymn tune harmonies, and remained silent during the liturgy. I am eternally grateful that the last words we spoke to each other, just before you lost consciousness, were, "I love you, Aubrey. I'll be waiting for you when you leave the cath lab." "I love you, Alice." Then I left the ER cubicle, and they began to wheel you out. Suddenly, they pushed your gurney back into the cubicle (I later learned that you had gone into cardiac arrest.) I sat in the hallway as they worked on you. A woman came to tell me that you had a toxic level of potassium in your system. Bewildered, I asked: "are you telling me that my husband is dying?" "Yes, I'm sorry, but yes." I called Jeanette to tell her what I had just learned. Then I called Burns and Lorraine, and Anne, to ask them to come watch with me. I called Syd to let him know what was happening (although regrettably I did not invite him to come accompany us.) As the ER folk were trying to revive you, a woman asked whether I wanted to touch you. Of course I did. So I walked over to the foot of the bed, and held your ankle. When the ER folk gave up and left, I went to sit beside you - beside the shell which once held your living, breathing, loving, contentious, principled self! Burns and Lorraine, and Anne, all arrived after you were gone. We sat together around your bed. Burns prayed. Someone asked whether I wanted your wedding ring - yes, of course I did. Burns and Lorraine took me home; Anne stayed over. I was in shock, could barely function. In the morning I sent an email to let friends know that you had left us. And invited them to come for one final songfest - which I thought of as "Protestant shiva!" When I got back to the house that night I remembered that your parents had donated their bodies, so I tracked down information about MA recipients. BU seemed right, since our friends Lorraine and Adrienne were respectively medical school doctor and statistician. I checked with Jeanette and Roy, then made the arrangements. More than a year later Jeanette, Lorraine and I attended the occasion to thank donors, met the medical students who had learned anatomy from your body (noting that your heart was of particular interest to the entire class!) - and received your cremains, which will eventually be scattered on top of Lookout in Montreat. Once again I am full of gratitude for the gift of grace which led to the intersection of our lives. Once again I am overcome with grief that we were unable to spend our twilight years in each other's company. i love you, Aubrey Neblett Brown 3rd!
Posted by Enrico Pugliese on 16th February 2018
Aubrey is not with us since more than two yeras. But I have difficulties to realize it. The geographycal distance lessens the pain. But on the other had can aggravate the loss. For us (my wife Sigrid and I) Aubrey meant America and I cannot foresee a journey to the US without seeing Aubrey., WE have been friends from the day we met until his departure: half acentury. We admired his social engangement but we admired his politness. He was a gentleman and a working class militant. We liked his conversation and now I like to remeber the time passed toghther and the exchanges of views.on everything, first of all our time at Columbia. Rest well Aubrey Enridco and Sigrud .
Posted by Sarah Simpson on 15th February 2018
What a joy to be reminded of dear Aubrey on this special day! The photos were an especially enjoyable treat. Thank you, Jeanette and family, for making this tribute available to the rest of us. I think I'll go have some applesauce.
Posted by Jeanette Brown on 15th February 2018
February 14, 2018 Papá, Today is the day I lost you—which suggests that part of the total ickiness I felt yesterday was no doubt to do with mourning. I remember that day, three years ago. I was with Steve and the kids at a family-friendly Valentine’s Day party at Noam and Laura’s house that doubled as a birthday party for the Feb.13th-born Noam. There were many kids, lovely food and drink, occasional near-complete conversations with grownups before inevitable kids’ boo-boos interrupted, requiring lavish kissing-away displays. And then there was a call on my cell that quickly rendered it all mere background noise. I’d been with you just three days prior in Boston for a celebration of your 78th birthday, a party you proposed, having just been released from the hospital. You wanted to sing. And snowstorm be damned, your circle of Boston friends was going to be there to sing with you. It was a wonderful celebration, and sing you did—and dance, complete with Nigerian beads around your waist—delighting children and adults alike. Just a day earlier you were sitting in a hospital room with your brother William, who had come to visit from North Carolina at my bidding (unbeknownst to you). I called on the phone, pretending to be in Philadelphia, and listened as you described how nice the nurses had been and some of the highlights of this, your most recent hospital stay. You were animatedly speaking into your flip phone as I rounded the corner and tiptoed into your room. The surprise-turned-to-delight on your face was worth every bit of subterfuge. Your laugh would have been a bellow if only you had the body mass for such a thing. Quite the contrary. We helped you dress and headed back to the house in Jamaica Plain, but you’d grown so thin that as you walked—assisted on each side by Alice and William—up the back steps, your pants had other ideas. They plummeted to your ankles, leaving your little sticks of legs poking out from blue flannel boxer shorts for all to see. Fortunately, the snow drifts were already more than adequate to prevent any neighbors from having any idea of what had transpired. Uncle William and I would share several shoveling shifts in those days together as relentless Mother Nature kept burying Boston in ever more snow. Snow shoveling aside, it was a magical visit and a special time. As I needed to depart for the airport, you stood to bid me farewell. You lost your footing somehow and fell to the ground—fortunately not hurting yourself. You quickly and instinctively sought to right your frail, frail body. But somehow it was in that instant that I knew I was seeing you alive for the very last time. I carried that feeling with me to the airport—probably desperately attempting to shove it down into my toes with the help of a cinnamon bun or some other something I surely didn’t need. But it was precisely that feeling that leaped into my throat when my cell phone vibrated in my pocket at the Valentine’s Day party at Noam and Laura’s. Your almost imperceptible voice on the other end of the line—explaining that you were just so cold—fulfilled my deepest sense of dread. I probably asked some silly question about adequate blankets, when really what I wanted to say was how very much I loved you and how you were the perfect father for me despite your many failings that compounded so confoundingly with mine. Instead I talked about blankets. You talked about being so cold. I did tell you I loved you, and you told me you loved me, too. I felt so very far away. Because I knew the end was so very near. It would be an hour later, maybe two, when Alice called to say that they were rushing you to the hospital by ambulance. Syd, who’d literally just arrived from Chicago, got to see you before you were whisked away. I know you still weren’t ready to go. Just the day before you’d shown me the pully set-up you intended to use to keep doing your daily exercises. You only very reluctantly agreed to a few modifications made by me to make it so you could continue to do the things you wanted without traversing those treacherous steps to the basement. You still had plans, I know. An inveterate agitator, you simply weren’t ready yet to give up the fight. But I also believe in my heart that seeing Syd, even for such a tragically short stint, did help you feel a little bit more ready to let go. Alice called again…who knows how much time had passed. She was at the hospital now with you, and a friend had come to be with her. It was in that call that she said to me that she knew I wasn’t the praying sort but that now was the time for prayer. Was it because I didn’t know how to pray that her next call was to tell me that you’d died? Valentine’s Day, forever bittersweet. I miss you, my Papá. I love who you helped me become.
Posted by Samuel Goldberg on 14th February 2018
I had the privilege of being Aubrey’s cardiologist when he lived in the Washington DC area. I always looked forward to his visits because of our discussions of the events of the times and his personal reflection on them. He instilled a passion for social justice which I continue to strive toward today. He was quite a man and someone none of us will forget.
Posted by Steve Rayme on 9th February 2018
Happy 81st to Aubrey. Your daughter and I are taking good care of one another, and Eli and Layla are growing into the wonderful people they'll become. You would be so proud. We all talk of you often--you are not forgotten.
Posted by Cindy Hilbert-Rayme on 16th February 2017
I so very much wish I had known Aubrey longer. The brief times I did spend with him I did get to see that he was a compassionate and caring soul. What I do get to do now is see those qualities reflected in my dear Jeanette.
Posted by Sharon Bigger on 16th February 2017
I just love seeing all the photos and videos of Under Aubrey. I am grateful to have known him for so long. I love and miss him very much. Sharon
Posted by Maia B on 15th February 2017
thinking of you Jeanette, Roy and Alice and missing the twinkle in Aubrey's eye and his delighted smile, especially around children--including his and Alice's daily visitor Hugh.
Posted by Bobby Righi on 14th February 2017
We miss Aubrey's wisdom and sense of humor. Just this week we met a professor here at the U. of Washington who also studied sociology at Columbia. He did not know Aubrey but it gave us a chance to talk about him and how wonderful he was. It is hard to believe that it has already been two years since he left us.
Posted by Milt Bigger on 9th February 2017
Aubrey loved talking on the phone late at night, so he was especially happy with my late-night hours. Then, as age began robbing me of sleep, I had to put a curfew on his calls, and he was so disappointed. As many probably well remember, Aubrey was famous for saying "I'll have to get back to you about that." After numerous invitations where he left this inviter in the lurch until the 11th hour, a remedy was found by invoking a particular deadline, which he, amazingly respected and abided by. We all miss you, Aubrey. Love, Ele
Posted by Norman Gary on 4th February 2017
Thinking about you, Aubrey, at the Year 2 mark. Love to Jeanette and Alice. Norm
Posted by Stafford Warren on 20th February 2016
I met Aubrey when he was in his early 30's, coming to see me as a cardiologist for a heart rhythm issue. He told me he was a coal miner and he was dressed in blue coveralls and he spoke slowly and deliberately. I took that description at face value and finding a weak heart muscle in addition to an arrhythmia, I continued to follow him for the next several years, seeing him every few months. He always wore those blue coveralls but something about his deliberate speech and the precision of his questions led me to tell my wife that in another life and with more education, this coal miner might have been a college professor. After seeing Aubrey for about 6 years and never having an inkling he had any more education than any other coal miner that I treated (and none had college educations), on one occasion he had a question after the visit and he poked his head into my office, the first time he had seen my office as I customarily only saw patients in the exam rooms. On the back wall were certificates from college, med school, etc. Suddenly a broad grin appeared on his face that did not immediately fade and he said after a minute or so, "I see you went to Davidson College." Yes, I added, wondering what he might know about Davidson. "Some members of my family went to Davidson," he added, still smiling. "I was the black sheep of the family" (confirming my suspicions at that point for my West Virginia coalminers in blue coveralls), and then he turned and started out the door, adding over his shoulder as he turned the handle on the door into the waiting room, "I went to Harvard." It took me a few minutes to pick my chin up from the floor, I was so flabbergasted, but delightfully so as I began to unravel the complexities that made up Aubrey Brown and subsequently learn of his many gifts and dedication to helping those less fortunate.
Posted by Jack Scheuermann on 19th February 2016
A client. A humble man. A kind man. Memorable in so many ways.
Posted by KJ Laurro on 16th February 2016
That laugh.... that smile.... Miss you
Posted by Virginia Brown on 13th February 2016
I've been thinking about you a lot lately, Aubrey. I love you and miss you greatly!
Posted by Bruce Paden on 9th February 2016
I miss you Aubrey. Love, Bruce
Posted by Jeanette Brown on 9th February 2016
For some reason this morning I am most remembering my dad's playful side. Like playing sardines, which is basically hide and seek except that when you find someone hiding, you then have to squeeze into the hiding place with them. He always picked the most ridiculous, logic-defying spots, like the second shelf of the pantry. And the absurdity of trying to stifle our giggles as he, my brother, and I squeezed into this tiny space to await my mom's discovering us. How the shelf supported us, I do not know.
Posted by Bob Rayme on 9th February 2016
I found Aubrey to be a very humble man and a loving grandfather.
Posted by Julian Martin on 18th May 2015
The U. S. Ambassador to Nigeria, (I think his name was Palmer) invited our newly (1961) arrived Peace Corps volunteers to a reception at the embassy--Aubrey challenged him to guarantee us that there was no CIA involvement in the Peace Corps in Nigeria. The Ambassador just about shit as he tried to bluff his answer past us. Aubrey and the bumbling ambassador opened my eyes. In Nigeria, Several of us played some slightly? drunken early morning basketball games, in which Aubrey's brawn served him well. He was so smart and well educated, that while we were driving somewhere in Nigeria and at my request, he gave me a brief history of the Kings and Queens of England. I met up with Aubrey twice after the Peace Corps. Once when He was active, as was I, in the Committee of Returned Volunteers (CRV). CRV’s one purpose was to work toward ending the Vietnam War. The other time was when he lived in Raleigh County, West Virginia, about 60 miles south of where I lived. He was an underground coal miner working on politically educating the other miners. He was brilliant and dedicated to his truths. He was one of those unique people who have amazed me. And in Nigeria, under the influence of some beer, he walked on his hands--probably didn't need the beer.
Posted by Mary A Hill on 23rd April 2015
This is such a lovely tribute, such a lovely man. I look forward to working with this more closely and also (hopefully) I can contribute as well. Thanks so very much.

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