Death of James Nathan Brown

James Nathan Brown

On Thursday afternoon, June 16th, 2011, our most loved, James Nathan Brown of Wyoming Avenue, Beckley, died suddenly at his home. He was in his 80th year.

The 8th of ten children, James Nathan Brown was born on July 2, 1930, at Lester. His parents were the late Parley Vernon and Effie Lee Greer Brown. His brothers, Don, Dolphus, and Bub, and his sisters, Lillian Hall and Marie Leef, have preceded Nathan in death.

James Nathan spent his childhood at Lester. He was a graduate of Trap Hill High School, Class of 1948. Known as “Wimpy” at the mines, James Nathan entered the mines at the age of 18. He began his career at McAlpin mines and retired in 1990 as the superintendent of the New River Company. James Nathan had 40 years in the mining industry.

In 1948 while skating at the Eccles Skating Rink, James Nathan would meet a pretty gal by the name of Jenna Lee Minor. Married on Oct. 14, 1949, Nathan and Jenna Lee would have celebrated 62 years of marriage this coming fall. Theirs has been a blessed marriage. To this union were born a daughter, Sharon Marie, and a son, Gary Nathan. Nathan and Jenna Lee have made their home on Wyoming Avenue the past 56 years. A member of the Beckley Masonic Lodge #95 AF & AM, James Nathan and Jenna Lee attended First United Methodist Church on South Heber Street. A very outgoing person, James Nathan Brown will be remembered as a good neighbor and friend to many people.

In addition to Jenna Lee, those left to cherish his memory are his children, who loved their Dad deeply. They are Sharon Wisener and her husband, Bobby, of Cape Coral, FL, and Gary Brown and his wife, Pamela, of Beckley; he was the dear “Pa Paw” of Nathan Alan and Christopher James Brown, Jourdan Pack, Samantha Lane and Jonathan Rahal; the great-grandfather of Conner Lane and Carli Rahal; the fond brother of Alvis Brown of Bear, DE, Edna Mae Smith of Roanoke, VA, Norma Jean Bragg and her husband, Clarence, of Daniels and Howard Brown and his wife, Erma, of Maple Fork; several nieces, nephews, many friends and neighbors also survive.

On Monday, June 20th, at 3 p.m. we will remember the life of James Nathan Brown with a “Service of Remembrance” at the Melton Mortuary Chapel. The Rev. Dr. Robert Stoddard and Rev. Gary Rumberg well be officiating. The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Melton Mortuary and one hour prior to the services on Monday.

Pallbearers for the services at the mortuary will be Nathan’s son, Gary, grandsons, Nathan Alan and Christopher James, his brother, Alvis, nephews, Dr. JC Leef, Greg Brown and Alan Bragg. Beckley Masonic Lodge #95 AF & AM will conduct graveside rites and serve as pallbearers at the Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity for Nathan’s burial service.

Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at

Arrangements by Melton Mortuary, Inc., Beckley