David F. "Brown Bear" Brown Jr., 65, of Ashland, went to be with the Lord in St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.
He was born Aug. 6, 1949, in Portsmouth, Va., to the late David "Pappa Bear" Brown and Lenora Hart Brown of Coal Grove, Ohio. He was also preceded in death by a brother, Stephen Brown.
He was a 1967 graduate of Dawson Bryant High School in Coal Grove, where he was center on the football team. This earned him the nickname "Toady." He attended Jackson Manpower Vocational School, majoring in auto mechanics, and served with the Coal Grove Police Department. He also served the Lawrence County, Ohio, Sheriff's Department as deputy and chief deputy under the administrations of Sheriff James Howell and Sheriff Dan Heironomus, and was an investigator for Lawrence County Prosecutor Richard Meyers.
He was a millwright by trade and a member of Millwright Local 1519. He was an independent over-the-road truck driver, which he enjoyed with his late father. He was also owner and operator of Brown Bear Customs. David was a master mechanic and loved the challenge of restoration of any "street rod." He was an avid car-show enthusiast who earned many trophies and awards. He was a member of Pollard Baptist Church, where he was baptized.
He is also survived by his wife and the love of his life, Susie Kelley Brown of Ashland; a daughter, Davonnia "Bonnie" Sutton and husband Mike; a grandson, Rich, of Ironton, Ohio; brothers Danny (Debbie) Brown of Ironton and Tim Brown of Coal Grove; sisters Beckey (Andy) Bowen of Ironton and Katy (Dave) Ford of Coal Grove; a brother-in-law, James Kelley of Ashland; his mother-in-law, Jane Click of Ashland; four nephews; three nieces; two great-nephews; four great-nieces; a great-great-niece; his best friend, Richard Meade of Ashland; a close friend, LuElla Crabtree of South Point, Ohio; a multitude of cousins and friends; and his three special fur babies, Katybird, Little John and Edgil.
"David was a one-of-a-kind person and losing him leaves an empty hole in our lives. But we know he has reunited with loved ones who have gone on before." He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
The funeral will be at noon Thursday at Steen Funeral Home-Central Avenue Chapel in Ashland by the Rev. Gary Arrington. Burial will be in Rose Hill Burial Park in Ashland.
Friend may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today and after 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Friends may make contributions in his memory to Shop With a Trooper, 5975 U.S. 60, Ashland, KY 41102