Nancy Hamby Brown
December 9, 1944- May 2, 2019
My Momma, Nancy Hamby Brown, passed away May 2nd of this year. She had been ill for years, but cancer is what ultimately took her life. She went peacefully and when she was ready. My Momma always knew how to make an entrance and an exit.
She was born December 9, 1944, in West Palm Beach, FL., to Cecil and Virginia (Franklin) Hamby and that was the day the world met the infamous Nancy Brown.
Her parents, my Grandparents, were encouraging, loving, compassionate, and empathetic people. These were traits that she inherited and passed on to all those who knew her, kin or not. She was then joined by three siblings. Seven years later there was Mary (Hall), and ten years later, the twins, Kelly and Rusty, were born. I know she’d want me to mention that she was an only child for seven wonderful years, and then Mary just “showed up”. She loved all of her siblings and they loved her. The stories I've heard from them would be a bestseller.
She graduated from Hogansville High in 1962 and furthered her education at LaGrange College, graduating in 1968 with a degree in social work. Her love was children. Watching them grow, learn, become their best self, and to have every opportunity available to them. She used her degree to fight for them, to be their voice when they had none, and to be a positive influence in their lives. She started her career as a social worker in Meriwether County and eventually in Gordon County, here in Georgia.
In 1977 she became involved with Head Start, here in LaGrange. This was her first baby. She loved Head Start. She cherished what it did for the child, all that it did for the community, and the hard work that went into making it such a wonderful program. Many of her closest friends came from this time in her life. The “ANJELS”, as we knew them, were all met at Head Start. When she became the Director, it was her dream job. I've never heard her say a cross word about this time in her life. She loved it dearly.
After Head Start, she was the District Director for Girl Scouts. She was in charge of several counties, including Troup. I will never forget the days of her making me wear that brown vest, that I thought was so silly at the time. Her last profession, before she retired, was as an insurance agent at Fling Insurance Agency, here in LaGrange. She worked there for fifteen years and gained an extended family. She was always fond of Mr. Fling and loved his two daughters that she worked with. He even joked that she was his “adopted” daughter. This job suited her well. She could talk to anyone. Literally anyone. She was always out to help others.
Momma and Daddy (Edward Brown Jr.) were married November 1, 1980. They were, and will always be, soul mates. One of them worried about things, and one of them didn't. One who could calm the other, and one who made sure the other never felt less than. They were partners, they shared everything, and they loved each other more than I could ever put into words. They taught each other all the time. Now that I'm an adult, I remember and use these lessons in my own marriage. They taught that laughter is gold and that you don't always have to agree. Your children deserve happy parents and household duties are meant to be shared. The list goes on and on. I loved watching the way they loved each other. Everyone should strive for that kind of love.
I, Sallie Brown-Glisman (Scott), was born April 12, 1984, and it was the best day of her life. I've heard about this day my entire life. How she was told she could never have children, that I was a miracle. She always made me feel special, not just on my birthday, but everyday. She was my advocate. She made me feel like I could do anything, while always being my true self. She taught me to never hide. To love myself. To never be nervous. To love people no matter their situation. To imagine walking a mile in someone else's shoes. She would always tell me “Everything's going to be ok,” even when it wasn't. Even when she wasn't sure. It didn't matter. There was hope in her words, and it is still with me. She helped to make me who I am and I miss her terribly.
It pains me to think that my babies, Eli and Lucy Pearl (Glisman), will grow up without their Grandmother beside them. She loved them so much. Maybe even more than me. Maybe. Eli was born in 2006 and has the most memories of her. Lucy Pearl, born in 2014, has mostly hospital and sick bed memories of her. I did ask her what she remembers and she said “ Every time I saw Grandmother, she would say ‘Hey Pretty Girl’. Every time.” She’s right. Momma said that every time she saw her. I try my best to speak of her daily, so that they have other memories of her. She may not be here physically, but she will always be a topic of conversation. I know she’d be happy about that.
Her nieces and nephews were much loved by her. They can all tell you a story or memory about her. She was so much fun. Ginny Hall Cameron, Jeff Hall, Mark Hall, Ronnie Brown, and Kyle Brown, she cared for all of you. My dad’s brother, Kenneth (Deborah) Brown, was one of her favorite people. She had a big heart and all of you were in it.
Anyone who knew my Momma is welcome to come to her memorial. It will be Saturday July 20th, at 4 pm, at the Community Center across from Loyd Presbyterian Church, here in LaGrange. We are asking for people to share their stories and memories of her. Share her impact on your life. I ask that you write them down, even if you don’t want to speak, and bring them. I’m making a book to pass down to my kids, so they'll have plenty of memories of her. Not to mention, there has to be a story out there I haven’t heard.
This memorial will be a potluck. My Momma loved a potluck! We will be providing hot dogs (her favorite) and drinks. If you could please bring a side/covered dish. And for tradition sake, she will be the first to eat.
My Dad and I ask that, instead of flowers, that you may make a donation to Hillside Montessori of LaGrange. Hillside Montessori is her Grandbabies’ second home, and it meant so much to her.
I thank all of you who took the time to read this. This was hard. Something I never thought I would have to do. I hope this shed some light on who she really was. The loving, eccentric, beautiful, and maddening woman who is Nancy Brown.
If you're grieving too, know that you are not alone. That “Everything’s going to be ok.”
Higgins LaGrange Chapel Funeral Home, 770-253-4723.