JAMES A. BROWN, SR.

James Arnold Brown, Sr., 73, of Wilmington, DE, formerly of Newark, DE, and Barberton, OH, died peacefully and surrounded by family on Friday, August 18th, 2017 at home. He bravely battled esophageal cancer since January 2017.

Jim graduated from Barberton High School in 1961. After being recruited to play football for the University of Delaware, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1966. While at UD, he was a member of the 1963 National Championship Football Team. He earned his master’s degree from Wilmington College in 1992.

His first teaching job out of college was at St. Elizabeth’s High School in Wilmington. After a year, he joined the staff at Mount Pleasant High School in 1967 where he remained for the rest of his career. At Mount Pleasant, Jim taught biology, health and physical education and was part of the football coaching staff. In 1975 he became the school’s athletic director and continued teaching physical education. After earning his master’s degree, Jim served as assistant to the principal while continuing to be the athletic director. He retired from Mount Pleasant in 1996.

During his time at Mount Pleasant, Jim coached the Green Knights in football for eight years, wrestling for 23 years, track and field for 15 years and soccer for one year. While teaching and coaching, Jim served as secretary for the Blue Hen Conference for four years and as president for 10 years. He served on the Delaware Secondary School Athletic Association Board (DSSAA is now Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association/DIAA) four terms representing New Castle County. Jim also taught physical education and recreation to inmates at the Women’s Correctional Institution in Claymont.

Jim was honored to be named State Athletic Director of the Year in 1988 as well as Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 1989. He was inducted into the Mount Pleasant High School Hall of Fame in 2016.

As many teachers do, Jim had other jobs when school was closed in the summer. He began working at the Brandywine Raceway as a waiter in the early 1970s and worked his way up to maître ‘d of the dining room. He also later worked at Delaware Park in food service and as the wine steward. He was part of Shoe’s Crew, a group of fellow teachers who did repairs and painting during their summers in the 1980s and 90s.

Jim enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren as well as watching sports and the weather on television. He and his wife loved to spend time at their trailer near the Delaware beaches. Jim was very handy and often helped his family and friends with construction, painting and repair projects.

He is preceded in death by his father, Arnold J. Brown and mother, Mary Brown (nee Radivoj) of Barberton, OH, and former in-laws R. Frank Ischia and Josephine Ischia of Newark, DE. He is survived by his devoted wife of 19 years, Betsy K. Brown (nee Clothier and Garland); his three children James A. Brown, Jr. (Stephanie) of Newark, DE, Jennifer B. Webb (Randy) of San Carlos, CA, and Jessica C. Brown-Strott (Matthew) of Baltimore, MD; two stepchildren Scott Clothier (Anna) of Wilmington, DE, and Matthew Clothier (Emily) of Kansas City, KS; and his three siblings Natalie Ott (Pat) of Barberton, OH, Jeanne Winkler (Steve) of Barberton, OH, and Tom Brown (Jeanne) of Philadelphia, PA. He was first married to and remained close friends with his first wife and mother of his children, Janet C. Brown (nee Ischia) of Newark, DE. His beloved grandchildren are Teagan Webb, Mackenzie Webb, Miles Webb, Aidan Brown, Josephine Strott, Mallory Strott, Drew Clothier, Sarah Clothier, Ava Clothier, Noah Clothier and Madeline Clothier. He also survived by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Services for Jim will be on Sunday, September 3, 2017 at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803. The family will receive visitors from 11:00a – 12:00p followed immediately by a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to a charity of the donor’s choice or simply doing something nice for another person.