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James Brown, age 77 of Chattanooga, was called home to be with the Lord on March 6, 2020. He was Trustee Emeritus, Steward and a long-time member of Bethel A. M. E. Church.  James was a devoted member of the Howard High Alumni Class of 1963. He moved to Brooklyn, New York after high school and obtained his broadcasting license from Broadcasting School as on-air personality “El Ray James”. He worked for the Postal System in New York City before returning to Chattanooga. James retired from Dixie Savings Stores and retired from the Orange Grove Center. He joined Bethel A.M.E. Church in the 1960s where he became a devoted member of the church. James was a member of Bethel’s Men’s Club, Male Chorus, Senior Choir and managed the church facilities for many years. He also served as the Sunday School Superintendent and teacher for multiple terms. James would pick up children in the community for Sunday School, which was his “ministry on wheels”.  He was active in the planning of the Sunday School Christmas programs and the famous Easter Egg Hunts for decades. James spent most of his life with family, friends and serving others. He delighted others with his cooking, dancing and conversations. Bethel depended on him for many years to make breakfast for the members. James was always willing to assist the elderly and those in need. He loved to visit senior citizens, assist with chores or other tasks as requested. James was a former volunteer in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization.  In the 1990s, he participated in a Hamilton Place Mall promotions commercial as the entertainer “James Brown”. James is preceded in death by his parents Corine (Truiett) and Arthur Brown Jr.; sister Margerine Brown Sims; grandparents John and Nellie Truiett; uncles Mozell Truiett, Luther Truiett, James Brown and Henry Thomas; aunts, Dorothy Thomas, Beatrice Truiett, Minnie L. Nance, Annie Ruth Truiett, Eva Florence Fuller and Nana Mae Truiett. Surrogate father, “Papa Lyle”, David Lee Lyle, Sr. He leaves to cherish Julliette Brown; daughters, Kimberly Michelle (Jeffrey) Strong and Nicole Brown; grandsons, Christean Lamar James Anderson (Walla Walla, WA) and Tarel Kenneth McClurkin III; granddaughter, Amelia Ruth McClurkin (Memphis, TN); sister, Doris Cothern; uncle, John (Marie) Truiett (Cleveland, OH). Close relatives from the Truiett, Lyle and Cargle families, beloved in-laws Jackie and Lee Spratling and a host of nieces and nephews and close friends. Public viewing will begin at 12 noon Friday, March 13, 2020 and the family will receive friends from 6 -7 p.m. at John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 423.622.9995.  Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 2000 Walker Avenue, Chattanooga, Tn. 37404. Memorial contributions in honor of James Brown may be made to the Ruth S. Cargle Boosters Club at Bethel A. M. E. Church, 2000 Walker Avenue, Chattanooga, Tn. 37404. Arrangements by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Avenue, 423-622-9995.

James Brown
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  • Saturday, March 7, 2020
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ John P. Franklin Funeral Home
  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020
    Juliette, I am praying for God's peace and strength for you and your family at this time of " joyful sorrow" for we know that to be absent from the body means that your loved one is truely in the presence of God. Love, Rachel Pennington
    ~ Rachel S Pennington   CHATTANOOGA, TN
  • Friday, March 13, 2020
    Juliette, we lift you and the family up in prayer and send you love and light. Love and blessings, Sheral and Van Foster
    ~ Sheral Foster   Johns Creek
  • Friday, March 13, 2020
    Sending love and prayers for strength and healing to you and your family. JB will be truly missed by us he was more than a cuz after the uncle and aunts were gone he was always there for us. Forever in our hearts always on our minds.
    ~ Marvin & Sylvia Peoples Fuller   Chattanooga, TN
  • Friday, March 13, 2020
    Sending love and prayers for strength and healing to you and your family. JB will be truly missed by us he was more than a cuz after the uncle and aunts were gone he was always there for us. Forever in our hearts always on our minds.
    ~ Marvin & Sylvia Peoples Fuller   Chattanooga, TN
  • Friday, March 13, 2020
    It has been a joy knowing you and you will be missed.
    ~ Frances B. Rice   Chattanooga, TN
  • Sunday, March 29, 2020
    I will certainly miss my friend JB and the times we spent reminiscing at our “Class of 63” reunions. My sincere condolences to the family.
    ~ Walter McClure   DeSoto