Ernest E Brown, III
Published 6:24 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023
Oct. 24, 1941 – April 09, 2023
Ernest E. Brown, III “Ernie”, 81, of Natchez, MS, died peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, at Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville, TN after battling Dementia and Parkinson’s. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren in the days leading up to his passing.
Ernie was born on Oct. 24, 1941, in Natchez. He was raised in the Catholic Church and served as an altar boy at St. Mary’s Cathedral and attended Cathedral High School where he was a football and baseball letterman before graduating in 1959. He attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) for two years before enrolling in the Navy and serving a one-year active-duty tour during the Cuban Missile Crisis and four years in the Reserve. After completing his active-duty tour, Ernie returned to Ole Miss and graduated in 1965 with a degree in Business Administration. Immediately following graduation, Ernie moved to New Orleans for his first job as a bank examiner which eventually led him to Gulfport, MS to begin a career as an investment broker until 2012 when he retired and moved back to Oxford, MS. Hotty Toddy!
Email newsletter signup
Ernie was a true Southern gentleman. He was well dressed, well spoken (even when swearing up a blue streak), charmin’, suave, and invariably polite to the opposite gender, whom he often referred to as dawlin’. Ernie had a deep faith in his Catholic religion, endless love of his Italian heritage, Ole Miss, and history. Ernie was fascinated with the Civil War and would read and talk about many of the battles and make you feel as if you were there. If you weren’t a Southerner, Italian, Catholic, or Republican, didn’t love John Wayne, or cheered for Ole Miss…well, it just took you a little extra time to earn his respect. He loved and adored his hometown of Natchez. His favorite drink was Barq’s root beer and not too long ago it was a Schlitz beer. He loved music and among his favorite artists were Andrea Bocelli, Joni James, and Elvis, and of course the Ole Miss Marching Band. Ernie loved two kinds of baseball, Ole Miss and the 1950s through the 60’s New York Yankees baseball teams. He was a savant at recalling stats for several players during this era, but Mickey Mantle was his favorite, “he was #7 in your program and #1 in your heart”.
Ernie had many friends across the country, but he held a few of them very close. Primarily, childhood friends from Natchez and a couple of college mates. These guys took trips together, exchanged jokes daily, went to football games, attended each other’s children’s life highlights, and best of all, enjoyed talking about the good ole days. Ernie loved nothing more than to reminisce about the good times and relive old stories with his life-long friends. Watching Ernie’s belly laugh from an old story was something you would never forget. If you didn’t understand the story, well, you just laughed because he was laughing hysterically. His laugh was infectious, and his sweet smile was unforgettable. Ernie’s friends stayed by his side, each in their own way, until the end.
If you asked Ernie who was the “apple of his eye”, he always said his three daughters. He stayed very connected and close to each. Ernie was very loving, involved, and understanding of his girls. He was there for them no matter the cost. If there were a storm six states away, he was calling each of them to make sure they had gas, milk, and candles. He always worried about his girls. Ernie was the glue to his family, the tradition, the stories, the love, and the wisdom. His guidance, strength, and love with which he touched their lives will be the precious gift that will always live on within each of them. Ernie had a nickname for everyone, sometimes two but his Bunnie, Ally-Garoo, and WooWoo will miss him dearly.
In addition to coming up with nicknames, Ernie had countless sayings. In recent years if you asked what he was doing, he would say “I’m sittin’ on the levee waitin’ on the Robert E. Lee”. If you asked him if you could get anything for him, he would say “Yes, I am looking for a rich widow woman and if you can’t find one, I’ll settle for a well-to-do widow woman”. One of his most favorite sayings was “until that time” and it could not have more meaning than right now.
Ernie is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest E. Brown, II and Guelma Viccinelli Brown, and his brother, George Brown.
Ernie is survived by his three daughters; Amanda Bryant and husband, Al Bryant, Allison McNair, and husband, Peter McNair, and Rebecca Brown; eight grandchildren who lovingly referred to Ernie as “Capo”, Carly Bryant, Elie Bryant, Natalie Bryant, Tyler Young, Chelle Johnson, Amir Darwish, Miranda Darwish, and Noor Darwish, as well as his three great-grandchildren. He is survived by his two sisters, Guelma Hopkins and Ida Brown.
The family would like to extend special thanks and love to a few of Ernie’s longtime caregivers: Shelby Townsend, Maggie Perez, Kaye Griffin, Christy Bianchi, Jennie Talvitie, Diana Dawson, and Cassey Jensen. We would also like to extend a very special thanks to the Baptist Reynolds Hospice House in Collierville TN.
The Visitation and Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Basilica in Natchez on Friday, April 28, 2023, beginning at 10 a.m. The burial will immediately follow the Mass at the Natchez City Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to join us for lunch at The Carriage House Restaurant, following the burial.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.