Monday, January 10, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary of Sammie H. Brown

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I transcribe the extensive obituary for Sammie H. Brown (1919-1998) - a first cousin of my paternal grandfather's.  As is my habit, I have removed the names of living kin.

Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA) - March 23, 1998
Clothing Store owner Sammie Brown dead

A man who believed in personally serving the thousands of customers who shopped at Young Fashions clothing store died Sunday.

Retired co-owner of Young Fashions, Sammie H. Brown, died at Baton Rouge General Medical Center. He was 79.

He is survived by his wife, Melba Cruvant Brown, a son, a daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Funeral services will be held at B'nai Israel Synagogue at noon on Wednesday.

He started working at the store in 1959 with owner Ernest A. Dampf. Brown retired in 1985.

The men sold clothing to boys and men and later sold uniforms for school children in the Baton Rouge area.

Personal service was Brown's trademark, said his son, ______.

"That was a day when it was personal service," he said. "Your clothier was almost your doctor.

"You'd walk into the store and say 'Is Mr. Brown here? No. he's at lunch. ' Then the customer would say, 'I'll come back. ' "

In the early 1960s, Brown and Dampf encouraged local parochial schools to consider adopting school uniforms because they realized fashion wear for children was too expensive .

"First one school agreed, then several more, and the rest is history," _______ said.

Sammie Brown also hosted the first television show on youth fashions on Buckskin Bill Black's children's television show.

Several of the high school students Brown employed at the store have gone on to own or manage local clothing stores, ______ said. "He taught them hard work, to be gentlemen, polite and show integrity."

Brown was born in Watson, Ark., and grew up in Winnsboro, until coming to LSU in 1935 on a baseball scholarship.

He served in the U.S. Army artillery in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

He was past president of the Edgewater Kiwanis Club. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite and past master of the St. James Masonic Lodge.

He was active in his synagogue and received the president's award for service to his congregation.


1) Sammie's wife, Naomi Melba Cruvant (1918-2000), was the daughter of David Cruvant.


Anonymous said...

A show on young people's fashions. Hmm. Coonskin caps? Guessing from his age.

John said...

More on Buckskin Bill Black