Bev was born on August 30, 1927, in Kilgore to the late Frank Beverly and Clyde Aten Brown. He was a lifelong resident of Northeast Texas, spending his early years in Jacksonville and teen years in Kilgore. He graduated from Kilgore High School in 1944, and then attended Texas A&M College. In 1945, he moved to Carthage and in 1948, married Joyce Ann Hooker.
Bev served as president of Texas Association of Broadcasters, which honored him as Pioneer Broadcaster of the Year in 1986. He served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters and as its Radio Board Chairman in 1986-1987. Bev built and managed the Carthage Cable Television System from 1973-1985. He was a founding member of Panola National Bank, and he was on its Board of Directors until his death.
Bev was active in the First United Methodist Church of Carthage and Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He served on numerous local boards and committees, several of which he chaired. He served 18 years on the Panola College Board of Trustees.
Bev worked 10 years in the timber industry, manufacturing baskets and rising to plant manager. In 1955, he began his 33 years career in radio on the staff at KGAS in Carthage. He became managing partner in 1957. In 1963, after a year in the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis, he became the manager of KOCA Radio in Kilgore. In 1965, he purchased KGAS, which he operated until retiring in 1988. At that time, he had been the voice of Carthage Bulldog Football for 30 years. After retirement, he remained active in broadcasting, writing and producing a weekly commentary, “Talking It Over,” which was syndicated on several area radio stations. This popular program continued until shortly before his passing.
Bev was a sought after public speaker at service clubs and patriotic affairs. He was often invited to speak at Veterans’ and Memorial Day observances and at school events.
Bev served in the Texas Army National Guard for 20 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel of Artillery in 1968.
In the 1990’s, Bev fulfilled a lifelong desire to play drums in a swing dance band. He was instrumental in forming and also managed the Sounds of Swing Orchestra composed of area musicians. Bev produced and marketed the band’s 4 CD recordings. He was active in the band until Joyce Ann’s health failed in 2005.
October 24, 1982, was designated “Bev Brown Day” by the City of Carthage. Over the years came other honors, among them the highest honor given to a non-mason, the Community Builders Award by the local Masonic Lodge on April 26, 2016.
In recognition of his lifelong dedication and service, which he always called his labor of love, Bev was honored in 2015, as Panola County Citizen of the Year, a fitting climax to his career.
He is survived by three children, Beverly Eugene (Gene) Brown, Jr. and wife Judy of Spring; Ginger McLaughlin of Carthage; James Gayland Brown and wife Julie of Maypearl; 7 grandchildren, Erin Brown of Austin; Chad Brown and wife Melissa of Austin; Blair Lamb and husband Lane of Ft. Worth; Lauren Franklin and husband Robert of Banks, Arkansas; Mark Patrick McLaughlin of Carthage; Kristen Brown of Dallas; and Dylan Brown of Dallas; and 4 great-grandchildren, Braden Mercer, Madisyn Franklin, Brandt Lamb, and Evan Brown.
A private family graveside service will be held at Restland Memorial Park near Carthage with Bro. Freddy Mason officiating under the direction of Jimerson-Lipsey Funeral Home. There will be a public memorial service at a later date.
Special thanks to Heart’s Way Hospice and Alysha Cockerham for the loving care shown to Bev during his last days. If desired, memorials may be made to Carthage Education Foundation, #1 Bulldog Drive, Carthage, Texas 75633 or First United Methodist Church, 201 South Shelby, Carthage, Texas 75633.
A guestbook may be signed online at www.jimerson-lipsey.com.