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Henry Seawell Brown, PhD

March 4, 1930 ~ December 30, 2018 (age 88)
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Henry Seawell Brown, PhD, age 88, of the North Cove Community, passed away on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at the Memorial Campus of Mission Hospitals in Asheville, NC. Henry was born to the late Rom and Phoebe Daniels Brown on March 4, 1930 at their home in Ashford (North Cove), McDowell County, North Carolina and he grew up in that farming community, surrounded by numerous relatives.  He enjoyed being a member of the Boy Scouts with his friends, his brother Jack and his cousins and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. 


He graduated #2 in his class from North Cove High School and then went on to Berea College in Kentucky, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology in 1952.  While at Berea he excelled in sports; on the track team he did high jump and pole vault; on the swim team he set records in 1952 which were not broken until the late 1970s, not bad for a boy who learned to swim in a creek which was only 2 to 3 feet deep!  He was student body president his senior year at Berea, but his greatest achievement was wooing and marrying his beautiful wife Wilda Gay Eskew.


He went on to the University of Illinois where he earned his Master of Science in Geology (1954) and Doctor of Philosophy in geology and geochemistry (1958).  He taught Math and Science at North Cove High School from 1953 to 1954, then was hired as a Geology Professor and Geology Department Head at Berea College where he taught from 1954 to 1958 while working on his PhD.  He was hired at North Carolina State University where he was a geology professor from 1958 to 1989, the last three years as the Head of the Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department.


In 1971 he started Geological Resources, a geological consulting company which is still in business.  He was appointed by the governor to the North Carolina Mining Commission.  He provided consulting services to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the U. S. Congress Office of Technology, the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the Geological Institute of Slovakia and the Polish Geological Survey.


After his retirement from the university, he devoted a large portion of his time to restoring his grandfather’s farm in North Cove, which had been in the Brown family since 1806.  He proudly got the farm placed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized by the state of North Carolina as a Century Farm, being continuously used for agricultural purposes for at least 100 years.


He stayed busy in retirement with numerous endeavors which included being a faithful member of the Concord United Methodist Church where he served on the Pastor/Parish Committee.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the Historic Carson House, which had been owned by his ancestors at one time.  Following in his father’s footsteps, he joined the Marion Mystic Tie Lodge #237 A.F. & A.M., achieving the level of 32nd Degree and serving as the Secretary of Distinction.  He also went on to join the Shriner’s International.  His volunteer work at the North Cove Elementary School in their Across the Ages program allowed him to help young school children learn to read.


Left behind to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 67 years, Wilda Eskew Brown of the home; five children, David Romulus Brown of Morganton, John Brown and wife Katie of Charlotte, Henry Burton Brown and wife Kathryn of Greensboro, Laurie Miles and husband Blair of North Cove, and Shelley B. Lenckus and husband Harold of Clayton; a brother, R. Jack Brown and wife Wanda of North Cove; and ten grandchildren.


A visitation will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the chapel of Westmoreland Funeral Home in Marion. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Concord United Methodist Church in North Cove with Rev. Carroll Miller officiating. A private committal service will follow at the Brown Family Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials maybe be made to Concord United Methodist Church at 8806 Linville Road, Marion, NC, 28752 or Shriners Hospitals for Children at 950 W Faris Rd, Greenville, SC 29605. 

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