D-Day veteran Doug Brown has a lot of stories to tell
Doug Brown loves to talk and share stories about his life — including his experiences in World War II. He also has stories about his career as a funeral director and ambulance driver; his volunteerism with the Gideons; and his time as a ham radio operator.
His story began on Dec. 9, 1922, when he was born in Keyser, West Virginia. After graduating from Franklin High School, he attended Fairmont State College for a year. He transferred to Greenbriar Military Academy and, while there, was called into the service.
As part of the Army’s famous 1st Division, he landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. He was fortunate to survive the battle as bullets flew all around him. He and others were finally able to get off the beach. Decades after the war, Doug visited Normandy twice on the 50th and 60th anniversaries of D-Day. Read more of his story.
After being discharged from the Army, Doug returned to Franklin, where he married high school classmate Lillian Mullenax. They had one son, James “Jim” Brown. Now a widow, Doug has seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The 10 great-grandchildren are what keep Dad going,” – Jim Brown, son of Doug Brown.
Jim recalls the many stories his dad has told through the years about his time running Brown Funeral Home in Franklin (now Basagic Funeral Home). Doug served as a funeral director and mortician with his brother, Hadley. During those years, he also provided ambulance service for the county.
Doug was also active in the Gideons International. It was one of his favorites because he was able to share the Good News with many. He still faithfully reads his Bible.
“The Lord has always been a big part of his life,” says Jim.
Several years ago, after Jim became an amateur (ham) radio operator, Doug became one, too. Doug talked to people all over the world and made many friends. He and Lillian even traveled to England, Germany and France to connect with friends they met through ham radio.
Music has also been important to Doug. He loved to sing at church, funerals and weddings and had the opportunity to sing at a grandchild’s wedding. He also played saxophone on the church worship team.
Doug moved to Pendleton Manor in July 2018 and continues to sing.
Jim says that Doug will burst out singing in the middle of the dining room and still has a good voice.
Doug loves to sing gospel songs and can be found singing along while resident Mary May Sponaugle plays the piano.
He also loves to chat with everyone.
“He’s always in conversation,” Jim says.
In all areas of his life, Doug always felt like he followed God's leading. And now, he's been called to Pendleton Manor where he continues to enjoy each day.
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