Stephen William Brown died peacefully Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at his home in Winona.
Visitation for Steve will be held on Wednesday, January 19th at Oliver Funeral Home in Winona, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. On Thursday, a brief visitation followed by a funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Winona, with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. and the service following at 2 p.m.
Rev. Andy Coburn will officiate the service. A graveside service will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Winona.
Steve was born Aug. 1, 1962, in Winfield, Ala. He grew up in both Carrollton and Winona where many generations of both Brown and Aldridge (maternal) families have raised their children.
After graduating from Winona Academy in 1980, Steve went to Mississippi State University, where he joined the Lambda Chi Fraternity, formed many lifelong friendships, and even studied enough to obtain his undergraduate degree in Business Administration.
It was after college graduation, while working as an insurance agent in Jackson, Mississippi and visiting his sister Lydia at MSU, that he met the woman who would become his wife, Debbie Trotter of Starkville, Mississippi. They married on May 30, 1987 and settled down in Dallas, Texas, where they welcomed their first daughter, Ashlyn, and Steve fell in love with the game of rugby. He played rugby for the semi-professional Dallas Harlequins before moving to Collierville, Tennessee. There, he and Debbie welcomed their second daughter, Jenni, while Steve continued his favorite hobby with the Memphis Old No. 7 Rugby Club.
Steve moved to Winona, Mississippi in 1993 to raise his family and to eventually open Brown Insurance Group. In the nearly 30 years of being back in Winona, Steve served his community wholeheartedly—as a deacon of First Presbyterian Church, a member of the Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, an active member of the Rotary Club, and as a dear friend to many. In 2002, he even established a Winona Rugby Club, introducing his favorite sport to friends in his favorite city.
When he wasn’t taking care of his customers’ insurance needs at work, Steve was always busy being the life of the party. He loved nothing more than telling stories—from his own full and adventurous life or the lives of the many friends and acquaintances he made along the way. And whether Steve was gathering friends at his cabin in Bathursday, Mississippi, restoring his 1870-built home on Summit Street, cheering with Debbie at every football and baseball game at Mississippi State, roughhousing with his grandchildren, or bragging unashamedly about his two daughters, you can guarantee that he was lighting up the room with his huge Steve Brown smile.
Steve began his battle with breast cancer in 2015, fighting with grace and joy that can come only from his strong faith in the Lord. He wanted everyone to know that he ended his cancer battles with a winning record. As the wise Norm Macdonald says, you can’t lose a battle with cancer, since the cancer dies with your body. So, Steve’s official record includes a triumphant four wins and a tie: 4-0-1.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Betty Aldridge Brown and Billy Hughes “Bilbo” Brown, and a stillborn son Stephen William Brown, Jr. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, their children, Ashlyn Brown Matthews (Matt) of Franklin, Tennessee and Jenni Brown Hand (Sam) of Nashville, Tennessee, his grandchildren, Owen Mitchell Matthews, Elizabeth Jane Matthews, and Abigail James Matthews, his sister Lydia Brown Hansen (Brad) of Madison, Virginia, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Barry Blakely, Dennis Dauterive, Jerry Flowers, James Hunter Grimes, Seth Kent, Joseph McCaskill, Buddy Mortimer, and Gwin Smith.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Winona, Mississippi, the Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, or the charity of your choice.
Oliver Funeral Home of Winona is in charge of arrangements. An online guestbook may be signed at www.ofhwinona.com