Cover photo for James Brown's Obituary
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1936 James 2021

James Brown

March 14, 1936 — November 16, 2021


Waynesville, James Thomas Joseph Brown, age 85, entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at Mission Memorial Campus.

Jim was born on March 14, 1936, in New York City to the late George and Eleanor Brown.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, George C. Brown, Jr; his brother-in-law William M. Crawford; his mother-in-law, Dorothy J. Papineau; and his lifelong friend, Richard Byrne. Jim proudly served the country he loved as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.

He worked over 50 years as a bartender in various New York City saloons and was a kind and generous friend to his customers. He loved his hometown and was the quintessential "New Yorker"…tough and street smart, yet tenderhearted to those he let get close.

The focus of Jim’s life was his family and he believed nothing mattered more than loving them fiercely and trying to guide them to their best lives. He enjoyed traveling, visiting with friends and family, and following all of his New York sports teams (but especially his Mets and Jets). His knowledge of movies and music was remarkable and spanned decades. In later years, he loved caring for the sweet dogs of all his kind neighbors when he retired to Waynesville, NC.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Sheila (nee Lawver) of 57 years; his treasured daughters, Cristin Stebelton (Jeffrey), Laura Berry (Jerry), and Tara Brown (Alden Pellett); his much-loved sister, Marilyn (nee Brown) Crawford; his cherished sisters-in-law, Beverly Duke (Ron) and Susan Brown; his only grandchildren, Joshua and Kenzie; his adored nieces and nephews; and his dear friends in New York, North Carolina and Florida.

A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sarge’s Animal Rescue, 256 Industrial Park Avenue Suite B, Waynesville, NC 28786, 828-246-9050,

The care of Mr. Brown has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Brown, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Private Memorial Service at a later date

Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Waynesville


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