Jerry Joe Brown, a long-term resident of Coronado, California, dedicated husband, father, Papa, friend, neighbor, baseball coach, and accomplished veteran of the United States Navy, passed away of natural causes at his home on October 15, 2023. He was born on April 29, 1944, and was 79 years old at the time of his passing.
Jerry’s life was a testament to his unwavering commitment to service, honor, duty, and, most importantly, family. For a remarkable 33 years, rising to the rank of Navy Captain, he proudly served his country first as a United States Army Field Artillery Officer and then in the United States Navy as a P-3 Orion Naval Flight Officer (NFO).
The youngest son of Dale Marion Brown and Mary Avis (Hamilton) Brown of Guymon, Oklahoma, he was born and raised in this small town in the Oklahoma Panhandle with his six siblings Patricia, Dorothy, Doris, Arlys, Colin, and Mary Lynn. Throughout childhood, he played sports and he often reminisced about his accolades on the basketball court and baseball field, and the trouble his older brother Colin would get him in. While in high school, he would meet the love of his life, his lifelong best friend and wife of more than 55 years, Courtney Sue (Slater) Brown. In 1968, Courtney and Jerry married and started a journey encompassing over 20 moves across the country and across the world.
After five years in the Army, he returned to college and graduated from Panhandle State College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After working nearly four years as a Rock and Roll/Country music concert promoter, he needed stability for his growing family. In August 1974, he decided to join the Navy, and was commissioned through the Aviation Officer Candidate School and designated as a Naval Flight Officer, receiving his wings in April 1975.
In October 1975, he reported to his first squadron, Patrol Squadron EIGHT in Brunswick, Maine, where he made three deployments serving as Tactical Coordinator and Training Officer. In November 1978, he reported to Naval Facility Pacific Beach, Washington, to serve as Operations Officer. His next tour of duty would take him across the Pacific to Kamiseya, Japan, to serve as the Air Operations Officer for Commander Task Force 72 from August 1980 to December 1982.
Following his tour in Japan, he attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, where he received a Master of Science degree in Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Analysis. In September 1984, he reported as Operations Admin Officer, USS AMERICA (CV-66) in Norfolk, Virginia, where he qualified as Officer of the Deck Underway (OOD) and completed two deployments.
In January 1987, he returned to the P-3 community in Brunswick, Maine to serve as Operations Officer for Patrol Squadron TEN, where he again deployed to Spain and the North Atlantic. In March 1989, he returned to Monterey, California, to serve as Assistant Director of Programs and Dean of Students. During this tour, he would be selected for initial aviation command.
In March of 1992, he reported to Tactical Air Control Squadron Twelve to serve as Executive Officer and subsequently as Commanding Officer in June 1993. This tour gave Coronado, California, a piece of his heart. After a brief, two-year tour as Chief of Staff in Brunswick, Maine, he was selected to serve as Commodore, Tactical Training Group ONE, Coronado, California from June 1997 to June 2000. Captain Brown finished his career as a Senior Board Member at Naval Medical San Diego until his retirement in December 2004.
Beyond his military service, Jerry was a devoted family man who treasured his relationships. He was the loving husband of the late Courtney Sue Brown, his cherished wife of 55 years, who preceded him in death last June. Their enduring love served as an inspiration to all who knew them. Together, they had three children: Derek Brown, Amy Dull (Tom), and Jesse Brown (Courtney). He was the most amazing Papa to his grandchildren Dalen Dull, Ema Brown, Sydney Dull, Tommy Dull, Garrett Brown, Harley Brown, and Cole Brown, and the Great Papa to Aubrey Mae Dull-Stacy.
Jerry had a deep passion and love for the community that extended beyond his immediate family. He served as Coronado Little League Coach for both his son Jesse and Grandson Tommy, and Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at Coronado High School for more than 17 years. On the weekends, Jerry played and coached in the Adult Men’s Senior Baseball League (MSBL). He was an elder and frequent volunteer at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, sharing his experience with the Alzheimer’s Support Group. This past year, he joined Coronado Rotary and believed that becoming a Rotarian was one of the most important things in his life, allowing him to continue to put “service above self.” Jerry’s legacy will forever remind us of the importance of service, sacrifice, generosity, and the profound impact one individual can have on the lives of many.
A memorial service to honor Jerry J. Brown’s life will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 700 D Ave, Coronado, CA 92118, on November 12, 2023, at 2:00 PM, appropriately on Veterans Day weekend. Friends, family, and all those whose lives were touched by Jerry are invited to attend and pay their respects.
If you would like to donate to Jerry Brown’s memory, he cared deeply for those lives touched by Alzheimer’s. Therefore, the family suggests that donations be made to The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, an organization working to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Jerry was deeply concerned about dementia and Alzheimer’s since it took the love of his life, Courtney. Jerry was also a staunch supporter of Sharp Hospice Care, Rady’s Children’s Hospital-San Diego, and St. Jude’s.
Psalm 139:9-10, 91:14
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
“’Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.’”
Submitted by the family