Ernest E. Brown, 79, of Paducah, loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle, passed away at 6 a.m. on Aug. 5 after an extended illness. Ernest was born Oct. 19, 1934 in Clarksville, Tenn., to the late William Brady Brown and Lucille Elinor (Moorefield) Brown. He was a 1953 graduate of Augusta Tilghman High School. He attended Paducah Junior College and Murray State University before graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1959 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he served his country in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, now known as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). He received Commission as an officer and advanced to his highest rank of Lieutenant JG in 1961 before resigning to return to Paducah, where he co-owned Four Rivers Construction Company with his father. He worked as a civil engineer for the Kentucky Highway Department and for 30 years at Union Carbide/Martin Marietta before retiring in 1995. He is a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as well as being a fellow in this society. He is also a lifetime member of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE). He was honored as Engineer of the Year for Achievement in Industry by the KSPE in 1983. In his retirement, he kept his professional training current and took pride in the fact that he was still registered as a professional engineer and land surveyor in Kentucky. He was also recognized as a Kentucky Colonel and Duke of Paducah.
Upon retiring from the atomic plant, he served on the board of the Paducah Housing Authority for five years. Before resigning from this board, he had the Ernest Brown Center for Elder & Resident Services in Pierce Lackey Court named and dedicated in his honor. He was a devoted and loyal athletic booster and supporter of Paducah Tilghman High School for the past 40 years and was inducted into the Paducah Tilghman Hall of Fame. He was also an avid bass fisherman and longtime member of Triangle Hunting and Fishing Club. He was an officer in the local chapters of both MathCounts and the Republication National Committee. He was a University of Kentucky basketball and football season ticket holder for many years and was able to enjoy the 2014 SEC Men’s Basketball tournament in Atlanta during his battle with cancer. He was a lifetime member of the University of Kentucky Alumni Club for over 40 years. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Paducah for many years and more recently was a member of St. Paul Lutheran in Metropolis, IL. He was particularly fond of talking with and about his grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, as well as his beloved golden retriever, Arby.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Barbara (Kauth) Brown; his son, Evan (Karen) Brown, his daughter Claire (Brian) Elder, and two grandchildren, Eli and Abigail “Abby” Brown, all of Paducah; two sisters, Ellen (James) Glasgow of Frankfort, KY, and Belinda Hurt of Dalton, GA; a brother, James “Jay” Brown of West Palm Beach, FL; fifteen nieces and nephews, and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
Preceding him in death were one sister, Cecelia Hromyak of Frankfort, KY, and his parents.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 at Milner & Orr Funeral Home in Paducah with Rev. Preston Foster officiating. Burial to follow at Mt. Kenton Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8 at Milner & Orr.
The family would like to especially thank the staff at Purchase Cancer, and the guardian angels from the nursing staffs of Professional Case Management and Lourdes Hospice for their care.
Contributions may be made in his honor to the American Cancer Society, Lourdes Hospice, or to the athletic programs at Paducah Tilghman High School.