Contributed by the Family
William Benjamin Brown Sr., who held management positions at Procter & Gamble Co., the Presbyterian Church of Kennedy Heights and community agencies, died February 20, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was 82.
On June 29, 1938, William Benjamin Brown was born in Richmond, Virginia, to the late Annie Louise Taylor and James Henry Brown Jr. His faith journey began when Billy, as his siblings called him, was baptized at Sharon Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. It continued when he, as an adult, became a lifelong member of Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church, eventually serving as an elder.
A graduate of Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia, he attended Michigan State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Russian History and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champion.
In addition to serving as elder and deacon for Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church, he was elected Moderator of the Presbytery, the third African American in the Tri-State area. A major responsibility was installation of ministers in the 88 churches in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. After being elected President to the Board of Trustees of the Presbytery Council, Mr. Brown concluded his official service as Chair of the Presbytery Council.
Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church Pastor Ebenezer Yebuah said, “Faith in God and love for humanity defined the purpose, devotion and practices of Elder Bill Brown. He was an example of the Christian faith by investing his stewardship into servant hood ministries. He answered ‘yes’ to God’s call at any time in his life to serve God’s people. Indeed, he was the servant of all. He was a faithful servant of God in everything noble, pure and righteous, a beloved life member of Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church.
“Above all, he was an exceptional gentleman who inspired all of us, a man of integrity. You could take him by his word. Whatever he says, you will believe. He was a family man who cared deeply for his family and grandchildren.’
He served as President of Leadership Council of Human Service Executives, and as a productive member of the Boards of Directors of: Maple Knoll, Glad House, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, United Neighborhoods of America and Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses.
He opened his home to those who needed a place to live and his heart to those who needed an embrace. Working tirelessly to provide opportunities for others, Mr. Brown was deeply involved with his family: his wife Alberta, siblings, children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles and in-laws.
Mr. Brown worked with the medical team as a Corpsman in the Air Force, from which he was honorably discharged after receiving two commendations.
At Procter and Gamble, he held a number of management positions: production planning, contract negotiation, logistics management, site selections, inventory management and customer service.
After retiring from P&G, time was devoted to working as CEO of Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses in five areas: Lincoln Heights, East End, Findlay Street Neighborhood Houses, Kentucky Outdoor Center, and the Central Office in the West End. Seven Hills served seniors, provided child care, served meals to the homeless, conducted afterschool care, summer camp and sponsored academic and athletic programs.
In his free time, he enjoyed annual summer vacations to Richmond, Virginia, reading the history of ships and the history of everything else, playing tennis, listening to jazz, watching movies, studying battle ships, and cooking.
Mr. Brown was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Chester Brown.
He is survived by wife, Alberta; siblings, James H. Brown, III, Cassandra B. Bell (Walter), Carol B. Coleman (Vernel) and Margaret B. LaPierre (Jan); children, Diane Wilkins (John), Karen Brown, William Brown Jr. and Gregory Swain; his grandchildren, Jahmi Hickson (Christopher), Brittani Cummings, Brandon Wiley, Scott Brown, Tiffany Chatmon, Deandre Brown, Shonari Johnson, Elijah Swain, Mateo Swain, Kanesha Canion and Myesha Marvin; his special nieces and nephew, Krystal Muldrow, Elizabeth Muldrow and Christopher Muldrow; and other relatives and friends.
Services have been held.