By the Family
Albert Earl Brown, Ph.D., also affectionately called Officer Brown by his friends, was born in Chattanooga Tennessee on November 16, 1944, to Willie Mae and Albert Brown. He was the youngest of their four children; Barbara Jean Southerland and Gerald Maurice Brown who preceded him in death and Shirley Ann Tolela who resides in Gardena California.
Dr. Brown passed peacefully on February 1, 2023, after successful careers in law enforcement, education and social services as a police officer with the Cincinnati Police Division, Director of the Mallory Center for Community Development and Adjunct Professor of PreTech and Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.
After the death of his mother, he lived in group homes and with his older sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Tom Southerland. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Navy as a seaman recruit and became a petty officer. In the Navy, he developed a love for learning from reading philosophy books while at sea and obtained a GED. He became a life-long learner and placed a high value on education, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree, three master’s degrees in criminal justice, psychology and philosophy and was highly recognized and celebrated as the first African American to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy from the University of Cincinnati where his researched focused on Particularism in Justice. He also was elected and served as a member of the Finneytown Board of Education in Springfield Township, Ohio.
While pursuing his education, he served as an adjunct professor for the PreTech program at the University of Cincinnati where he shared his love and passion for learning with untraditional college students whom he also mentored. Many of his mentees went on to further their education obtaining Master and Ph.D. degrees. Upon obtaining his Doctoral Degree, Dr. Brown served as an adjunct professor in the Philosophy Department and continued to ignite and inspire his student’s passion for learning.
With younger children he shared his interest and enthusiasm for education and technology through the Computer COP program he developed to improve police and community relations with youth at risk of adverse involvement with the criminal system. He operated Computer Cop sites in ten Cincinnati high risk neighborhoods through the Mallory Center for Community Development in conjunction with the Cincinnati Police Division. He also obtained funding and other resources to support the Character Counts Program which focused on helping youth build character through sports by incorporating ethics with sportsmanship principles.
He established and directed the first computerized Adult Basic Education Program in Cincinnati in collaboration with Cincinnati Public Schools in the Millvale public housing neighborhood where he grew up. Additionally, he owned and operated the Walnut Hills Pizzeria which he gave to his sister, Barbara Southerland in order to pursue his unquenchable thirst and love for knowledge.
After receiving numerous awards, letters of commendations and acclamations, Dr. Brown retired from these professions, and then worked as a support manager for Walmart in West Chester Township, Ohio. There he received outstanding accolades for providing excellent customer service and he continued mentoring and teaching by on boarding and training employees in their specific roles.
Tyler Toner, a friend of the Family, said, “It’s hard to explain the impact of Dr. Albert Brown past illustrating that just in the 3 years I worked with him, he took an arrogant, hot headed, 19-year-old and made me use the skills he had identified in me better. He taught me to use the ability of perspective to see not only both sides of a conflict but the scope around it. He taught me that nobody is perfect and that despite what I may expect from anyone, I can’t hold it against them, and also that I am not perfect and that’s okay, too. He helped me to rationalize before acting out of turn. Albert even turned up for a quaint little birthday dinner just because I asked. I will never be able to thank him enough for inspiring me and respecting me and having patience with me to see that I am more than just a loud mouthed kid. I will miss him, and I will do my best to teach my family and future children the same things you taught me. He adored his family and enjoyed preparing holiday meals and grilling. He was an avid reader, artistic gardener, a great debater and fascinated with cutting edge technology. He leaves behind, his beloved wife and dearest friend, Melanie Allen, daughter, Brandy Duran, son in law, Xenofanes Duran, and grandson’s Beaux and Bryce Duran, as well as his daughter Aretha Brown and stepdaughters Marla Stevenson-Ruffin, Marva Stevenson-Robinson, Marsha Stevenson from his deceased wife Marlene and a host of cherished nieces, nephews, cousins and many devoted friendships.
Memorial Visitation will be held on Friday, March 3, from 1 p.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 2 p.m. at Spring Grove Funeral Home, 4389 Spring Grove Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223.