Obituary for Jackson Martin Brown
Jackson Martin Brown, 72, of Starkville, Mississippi, passed Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Oktibbeha County Hospital. A celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2018, with visitation preceding at 1:30 p.m., at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville, with Revs. Walton W. Jones and Laurence Wainwright-Maks officiating, and a private burial at Oddfellows Cemetery on University Drive in Starkville will follow.
“Jack” was born Jan. 2, 1946, in Starkville to Lavell “Red” Brown and Una Martin Brown. He graduated from Starkville High School in 1964 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University in 1969. He received his juris doctor from the Jackson School of Law (now Mississippi College School of Law) in 1971. He then returned home to Starkville to pursue his law career, following in the footsteps of his father and brothers into the practice of law. Upon graduation, Jack was the first Mississippian to practice under the Limited Practice Act and would pass the Mississippi Bar that same year, where he remained an active member of the association until his death. Although he enjoyed practicing in all areas of law, often performing pro-bono work for many of his clients, he was most known as a prominent criminal defense attorney, defending numerous notable cases throughout his career. His reputation preceded him in the courtroom, and he thrived on the challenge of preparing for and presenting a case for trial.
In addition to his personal law practice, he served as attorney for the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors for more than 18 years until his death. Jack’s knowledge of the law was extensive, and he cherished his 46 years of law practice, doing so until his brief hospitalization from complications related to cancer. He was never without his yellow legal pad and recently remarked that he was never placed under a court gag order, but Jack ironically lost his ability to speak and was silenced due to the progression of his illness in the last several months of his life.
Second to his law practice, Jack found solace and peace - and a little bit of fun - at his home, the Oasis, in rural Oktibbeha County. Surrounded by pastures, woods and fishing ponds, Jack admired all Godly creatures and wildlife within his view. He was a lifelong learner, a voracious reader, a grand storyteller, and could complete almost any crossword puzzle with ease in only a few minutes before sunrise with his morning cup of coffee. Jack was drawn to exercising his mind and body, including meditation and yoga, and he was a self-defense expert proudly earning his fifth-degree black belt status in karate, as well. He was a friend to all horses and German Shepherds. He was a man that never met a stranger and will be missed by those who knew him.
Jack is survived by three daughters, Katy Brown (John) Stribling of Madison, Mississippi. Marty Brown (Leland) Gebhart of Ridgeland, Mississippi, and Haley Brown (Carl) Smith of Starkville; six grandchildren, including Mary Kate and Joseph Surkin; Grace, Land and Lilly Gebhart; and Jemma Smith; his sister, Adelia Ann Nason, and dozens of nieces and nephews. Jack is also survived by his childhood friend, Grady Monts, and his legal secretary and dear friend of more than 30 years, Barbara A. Mitchell.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Lavell (Red) and Una Brown, and siblings Ed Brown, Johnny Brown, Lavell Wheeler Brown, Jr., Lucy Brown Mullins, and Maudine Brown Leonelli.