Tom Brown

Published 11:49 am Friday, May 2, 2014

RALEIGH – Henry Thomas (Tom) Brown, Jr., beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully on April 25, 2014 after a brief but difficult fight with kidney cancer.

Tom was born on February 3, 1940, the only child of Margaret Lee and Henry Thomas Brown Sr., and was raised in Menola, a small farming community in Hertford County.  He attended school in Ahoskie and graduated from NCSU in 1963 with a degree in crop science.  He spent several years living and working in Hertford and Louisburg before settling in Raleigh in the mid-70’s, where he and his wife Donna owned and operated Oakwood Stables, a riding/teaching facility where they have touched the lives of generations of children.  In recent years, Tom and Donna spent lots of time at their farm in Menola, enjoying the slower pace of rural life.

Tom was a truly kind man, and a friend to all he met.  He was always willing to help someone out and expected nothing in return but friendship.  He had a quick wit and loved a good laugh, a good dog, and a good drink.  He loved the outdoors and he loved to fish. He was a loyal fan of the Wolfpack all of his life and intended to spend this spring watching them play ball at Doak Field.

Words cannot describe the sorrow and heartache we all feel at his passing, but we can honor Tom’s memory and wonderful spirit every day by performing acts of kindness and showing consideration to others.  Cancer may have taken him from our presence, but he will remain in our hearts forever.

Tom’s survivors include his loving wife, Donna Leroy Brown; his daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Tony Kempton; his brothers-in-law, Jim McTighe and Bob McTighe; and his “right-hand gal”, Bonnie Walser.  His good dogs Dottie, Dixie and Honey Bun, and his cats Annie, Moe, Charley and PC, will miss him right along with the rest of us.

Helpful to the end, Tom donated his remains to the Brody School of Medicine at ECU to further medical research and education.

A memorial celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date.  If you would like to honor Tom’s memory, please consider a donation to the North Carolina Coastal Federation (, or the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (nc