Longtime Lenoir County Commissioner Jackie Brown Dies
Photo by William "Bud" Hardy
A strong advocate for Lenoir County and pillar of local government for more than two decades has died.
Jackie Brown, 74, died Wednesday morning at Greendale Forest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Snow Hill. Brown spent 21 years on the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners, representing District 4 — an area including Sand Hill, Southwest, Woodington and four of Kinston’s nine areas: 1, 2, 3 and 8.
Along with her work as a commissioner, Brown also served on the Department of Social Services board, multiple committees within the NC County Commissioners Association and was active in the Lenoir County school system as well as Greene Lamp child development.
Brown served on the Board from 1996 until 2017, when she stepped down due to health issues. Preston Harris, who replaced her on the board, said he had been a supporter of Brown over the years and had been her neighbor for about 20 years.
“She was a very stalwart member of Kinston and Lenoir County,” Harris said. “She was always an active voice in the community and I had always been with her to make sure she was supported. She worked hard for Kinston and Lenoir County, and will be missed greatly.”
Roland Best, who worked with Brown for seven years, said he learned quite a bit from her while serving on the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners.
“She was my mentor and someone who was very familiar with the people in the county,” Best said. “I learned a lot from her as far as government and how everything operates. I remember going to several state and national conventions with her and she was very well-known wherever we went. Her knowledge of the community went well beyond just this job and it’s just a shocking loss.”
Fellow Lenoir County Commissioner Reuben Davis said Brown was a very valuable member on the Board.
“She always came prepared, was very intelligent and knowledgeable,” Davis said. “She made the best decisions she could and was willing to listen to the community. She was an outstanding person and we had a tremendous relationship. I think the only people who said negative things about her didn’t know her.”
Kinston resident Candance Lynn Howard said she had high praise for Brown.
“She was a very sweet lady,” Howard said. “We became friends back in 2003 when I was in the Horticulture Program at LCC with her. We stayed friends all of these years. She will be missed by so many people.”
Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Superintendent Galen Trebel said Brown assisted the department greatly over the years.
“She was such a positive person and was extremely helpful for us in recreation,” Trebel said. “She will surely be missed in the city and the County of Lenoir.”
Jackie Brown's daughter Christal Brown posted the following message online:
"It is with great sadness and respect that I convey the passing of my mother. A legend, a warrior, a leader, and my hero. We will miss her here on earth but I assure you her work is not done."
Christal Brown's post also stated a visitation for her mother would be held on Saturday, June 23rd from 5-7pm at Mills Funeral Home at 1300 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. A memorial service will take place Sunday, June 24th at 1 pm at St. James AME Church in Kinston, located at 402 E Shine St.