2008-09-06 / Obituaries

James Brown

James Brown James Brown Community leader and lifelong promoter of St. Ignace, attorney James J. Brown, 87, died Monday evening, September 1, 2008, at his St. Ignace home.

He is the son of U.S. Senator Prentiss M. Brown and Marion (nee Walker) Brown and was born in St. Ignace April 28, 1921.

A LaSalle High School graduate, Mr. Brown attended the University of Michigan, where he played football. While a student at the school, he was drafted and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He later returned to the University and received a Juris Doctorate degree in 1951.

He was a partner in the law firm of Brown and Brown and served as the Mackinac County Prosecutor for 16 years, an office held by four generations of the Brown family.

Mr. Brown was president of First National Bank of St. Ignace and served on the board of directors for 50 years. He also was president of McGregor Oil Company, and was on the board of Union Terminal Piers/ Arnold Transit Company.

He was president of St. Ignace Area Schools Board of Education for 35 years, charter and founding member of the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club, a member of the St. Ignace American Legion Post and of Masonic Lodge #369, where he was a 32nd degree Mason. He also was a Shriner with the Ahmed Temple of Marquette and was a member of the United Methodist Church in St. Ignace.

Mr. Brown and his brothers owned the Republican-News and St. Ignace Enterprise before selling the newspaper to the Maurer family in 1975.

He loved St. Ignace high school sports, especially football, and was an avid golfer and a member of the St. Ignace Golf and Country Club. His favorite pastime was perch fishing and he sometimes caught enough for the Kiwanis Club to hold a fish fry fundraiser.

He married Dorothy "Sis" Bentgen April 18, 1943, in Miami, Florida.

Mr. Brown is survived by his wife and 11 children, five sons and their families from St. Ignace, Prentiss "Giz" Brown III, James and Geri, Bobby and Krista, Paul and Cindy, and Andy and Lora; six daughters and their families, Ruth and Joe Visnaw, Jane Perry, Susan Pierson, Barbara Brown, and Sally and John Herbon, all of St. Ignace, and Caroline and Curtis Cheeseman of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

He also is survived by two brothers and their families, Prentiss Jr. "Moie" and Margaret Brown of St. Ignace, and Paul and L. Margaret Brown of Mackinac Island; and two sisters and their families, Ruth and Forest Evashevski of Petoskey, and Barbara and D. Bruce Laing of Dowagiac; 14 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sisters and their husbands, Mariana and Hugh Rudolph and Patricia and A. Gardner Watson.

Pallbearers will be his five sons and three sons-in-law.

Visitation will be Wednesday, September 3, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Dodson Funeral Home with Masonic rites at 7 p.m.

Services will be at the United Methodist Church Thursday, September 4, at 11 a.m. with the Reverend James Balfour officiating.

Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery in St. Ignace.

Dodson Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

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