Jim Brown, of Longboat Key, died Oct. 14. He was 90.
Mr. Brown will be remembered as a longtime journalist and voice of Longboat Key. A journalist for 64 years, he started his career in Jackson, Mich., where he met his wife, Marjorie.
“Two weeks after we met, I asked her to marry me and she said, ‘It’s about time!’” Mr. Brown told the Longboat Observer in a previous interview.
The Browns left Jackson in 1962 and lived in Milwaukee, Omaha, Neb., and Dallas before moving in 1976 to Longboat Key.
On Longboat, Mr. Brown became involved in politics and the community. He served as chairman of the Sarasota County Democratic Party from 1983 to 1985; he served as town commission from 1989-90 and served as mayor from 1990-94. In 1992, Mr. Brown received one of the highest local honors — he was named the Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key “Citizen of the Year.”
Mr. Brown was known for his abilities to communicate and listen — both qualities that made him an effective leader. Some of his most notable accomplishments while in office included beach renourishment and the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center.
“He could always find a middle way to resolve issues and get the mission accomplished,” Town Attorney David Persson told the Longboat Observer in a previous article.
In the community, Mr. Brown and his wife were known as a power couple. Together, they championed the idea of reviving the St. Jude Gourmet Luncheon, for which Mr. Brown served as chairman for three years. For 10 years, the couple also helped put together the Jesse/Christmas Tree Drive at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Catholic Church. Also at the church, Mr. Brown was president of the St. Mary Men’s Club for two terms and was chairman of the lector committee for 30 years.
Mr. Brown was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Marjorie.
He is survived by sons James III, of San Diego, and Charles, of Arlington, Va.; daughter, Victoria Rico, of Rohnert Park, Calif., 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Catholic Church, 4280 Gulf of Mexico Drive. A reception will take place after the service at Stella Maris Activity Hall.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.