George Wallace Brown, M.D.

Jul 22, 2014

WAYNESVILLE — George Wallace Brown, M.D., of Waynesville, passed away Saturday, July 19, 2014, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. Dr. Brown was born Jan. 27, 1929, in Waynesville to George Andrew Brown Jr., former Haywood County chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and Beatrice Jarrett Brown. Brown was predeceased by his sister, Betty B. Cabe, and her husband Carroll Cabe, of Waynesville.

Dr. Brown graduated from the high school of Haywood County, attended Mars Hill College, and graduated Wake Forest College, cum laude, with a B.S. degree in 1950. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1954, and completed his residency in City Hospital, Akron, Ohio, in 1955.

For more than 55 years, Dr. Brown enjoyed practicing medicine in Hazelwood as a family physician. After serving in the U.S. Navy in Japan as a regimental surgeon, he began practicing medicine with Dr. Stuart Roberson in 1957. He was instrumental in pioneering the medical practice of delivering babies with an epidural and using anesthesia instead of the traditional ether OB-GYN method in Haywood County.  This was a skill he learned serving on the obstetrical staff of the Family Hospital in Camp Lejeune. By practicing this method, he was convinced babies were more responsive and better shaped than babies whose mothers were sedated with ether. He was often considered one of the premier diagnosticians in the area by his patients. Dr. Brown was also appointed as interim chair of the Haywood County Health Department in 1957, and was charged with dispensing 10,000 units of polio vaccine, ensuring every child was vaccinated.

Making numerous house calls, accepting cured hams or vegetables for service in the early years of practice, he was also considered a country doctor and was an accomplished cattle farmer. Dr. Brown enjoyed treating second and third generations of the same family over the span of his practice in Hazelwood. In 2002, his son, Michael A. Brown, M.D., joined the practice that exists today as Hazelwood Family Medicine.

Dr. Brown was a tireless servant to the community and to the state of North Carolina. He served as president of North Carolina Academy of Family Practice, vice president of Haywood County Medical Society for the State of N.C., was a delegate to American Academy of Medicine, chief of staff of Haywood County Hospital, chief of obstetrics, chairman of Mountain Top Medical Assembly and served on the Governor’s Council Health Planning Council, the board of directors at UNC-Asheville and the UNC Board of Governors. Dr. Brown was also active in the community as president of Little League, as chairman and member of the board of directors for the Waynesville Recreation Commission, Hazelwood Booster’s Club, Haywood County Trail Rider’s Club, board of directors of First Union Bank-Wachovia, and a member of First United Methodist Church of Waynesville.

Another passion of Dr. Brown’s was his interest in providing adequate housing for Haywood County residents. He was instrumental in development of the Waynesville Housing Authority and served as chairman 44 years. He was a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine recognizing his service to the state.

Dr. Brown served as the third medical coroner in the county for over 30 years in this capacity, and was then re-appointed as the medical examiner where he served for many years. Dr. Brown’s love of his patients and his community was depicted in his loyalty as he once shared, “The thing about family practice is that it is a celebration of the relationships I have with families I have treated. I am treating their second, third, generation of the same family, and I have found this truly satisfying in my career.” Brown also campaigned with his father for a $14.5 million bond referendum in the early 70s to build the county’s current hospital facility. He was determined that our community would have a state of the art facility. In 2008 when the hospital lost certification, he was very active in the "save the hospital campaign."

Brown is survived by his wife, Meghan Ellis Brown, of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. From his previous marriage to Eunice Fisher Brown, he is survived by three sons, George Andrew Brown III and his wife, Susan Cabe Brown; Michael Ashley Brown, M.D., and Tami Duke, all of Waynesville; Wallace Alexander Brown and his wife, Stacey Wagner Brown, of Arden; three daughters, Deborah Fisher Brown and husband, Stephen M. Brown, Caroline Brown-Williamson and husband, Wesley T. Williamson, and Eunice Brown Ledford and husband, Heyward Ledford, all of Waynesville; 12 grandchildren, George Andrew Brown IV and his wife, Melanie Smith Brown, Zachary Cabe Brown, Mollie Hanna Brown, Stephen Michael Brown Jr. and wife, Alisa Tripolino Brown, Gavin Alston Brown and wife, Carrie Blackburn Brown, Hamilton Hunter Brown, Lucas McKenzie Brown, Emily Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth Grace Williamson, Caroline Olivia Ledford, Margot Lee Ledford, and Elle Kate Brown; two great granddaughters, Lillian Savannah Brown, Liza Jeanne Brown; great grandsons, Samuel Truitt Brown and Levi Fisher Brown; and two nieces, Patrice Cabe Campbell and Vivian Cabe Lollar.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, First United Methodist Church of Waynesville. A reception will follow the service in the FUMC Christian Growth Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to HRMC, 262 Leroy George Drive, Clyde, NC 28721; First United Methodist Church of Waynesville Mission Fund, P.O. Box 838, Waynesville, NC 28786; Haywood Community College Foundation Scholarship Fund, 185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde, NC 28721, in memory of George W. Brown, M.D.