David Lane Brown, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who opened his practice in Longview in 1994, died Saturday, November 29, 2014, at a local hospital, where he was being treated for lung cancer. David’s three-year fight for survival became well-known in the community, and his optimistic approach to dealing with disease was inspiring to his family and friends. His determination to survive was focused on spending as much time as possible with his wife, Laurie Drayer Brown, and their three children, Sarah Lynn Brown, a senior at Texas A&M University, Hannah Claire Brown, a senior at Longview High School, and Aaron Lane Brown, a sophomore at Longview High School. David was born December 14, 1961, in Houston, to Lane Baxter Brown and Betty Philpot Brown. He grew up in Houston and Walnut Creek, California, and graduated from Stratford High School in Houston. It was at Stratford that David earned his Eagle Scout designation from Boy Scouts of America, and that appreciation for the value of scouting lasted throughout his life. He was proud to know that his son, Aaron, is following the same path. Also a very proud Texas A&M Aggie, David received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 1984. He then completed medical school, a general psychiatry residency and a child and adolescent fellowship at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He was chosen Outstanding Graduating Resident by the UTMB faculty, and he became board-certified in both adult and child and adolescent psychiatry. It was during his time in Galveston that David met his wife, Laurie. They were married June 3, 1989, in Galveston, and moved to Longview after David completed his training in 1994. In June of this year, David and Laurie celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Until his lung cancer diagnosis almost three years ago, David maintained an active private practice in child and adolescent psychiatry. He touched many lives with his kind compassion. He also served multiple terms as medical staff president for a psychiatric hospital in Longview and practiced in community health centers throughout East Texas. As much as David enjoyed his practice and loved his patients, he also had a love for teaching. After his diagnosis, he worked as an adjunct professor the University of Texas at Arlington Nurse Practitioner program, and he was a guest lecturer and visiting professor in Longview for medical students at North Texas School of Medicine, nursing students at the University of Texas at Tyler and residents of the UT Health Science Center training program at Good Shepherd Medical Center. In addition to his family and his profession as priorities in his life, David also felt a commitment to his community. For many years, he was active in efforts to establish a children’s museum in Longview, and he took great pride in the development of Longview World of Wonders and the programs they offer. He served as board president of Children’s Hands of Longview, which later became WOW. At the time of his death, David was a board member of Crisman Preparatory School and a member and endowment chairman for Longview Rotary Club, and he was a past board member of Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center and Longview Museum of Fine Arts. David, Laurie and their children are members of Congregation Beth El in Tyler.
Sadly, Dan passed away after fighting bladder cancer for two years. It broke my heart when he passed away because he fought so hard to live. My favorite memories of Dan was from the "dinner parties" we would have a Cathy Sparks' house. Dan had the best smile and laugh!
Trevor lived in New York and worked down in Times Square for Viacom. He did International Tax for Viacom and he also handled International HR. He was extremely successful. But, and the big but is that he suffered from chronic depression. Trevor tried getting professional help for years, medications, etc. but to no avail. He suffered most of his life, even though to the outside world he was the ‘entertainer’, always made people laugh and was always there if they had problems, he was well loved world wide, literally. So, at 39 he said he realized that he and the doctors couldn’t alleviate the depression and he just didn’t want to get married have children, which he wanted very much, and possibly pass the gene on or be a burden to his future wife. So, he decided to take his life at his home on June 18th 2001. He had a wonderful 100 year old home he bought in Mamaronek, NY, about a 30 min train ride from the city. It has been a very sad time. He had two brothers who were devastated but at least Trevor finally got some peace.
In NY we set up a memorial fund for people suffering from depression (which almost no one knew he suffered). I don’t remember the name of the group now. We had two services for him, one in New York and one in Victoria, BC, which is where he was from originally. (sent by Trevor's mother - Judith Sansom)
Trevor, I think of you all the time. Yes, you were the entertainer and listener to everyone's problems. I sorely miss our conversations. You had great insight to what a person was feeling. I guess it's because you were in so much mental pain. I could not believe it when they told me you took your life. I could not accept it, but I now can, because your mother gave me the missing pieces. You did not want to burden anyone else with your depression. At least you tried to do something about it. You live in my memories and my heart.
I had lunch with Bill a few months ago because we both live in the Dallas area. What struck me during lunch was how well Bill has stayed in touch with so many in the Class of 1980. He got me caught up on many people and mentioned that a reunion was being planned. His friendships with many of y'all were so meaningful to him. So sad to see in the email from Debbie that Bill passed. - Carol Carr (Kiburz)
The last time I saw Bill was at The Comedy Workshop performing on stage. It was the funniest night. He will be greatly missed.
I went to a comedy club one night in El Paso in the late 80's, and coincidently Bill was performing. Great show as usual and we visited after the show. I told my friends how interesting he made our psychology class in high school. I'll never forget on the first day of class the teacher gave us a piece of construction paper and a crayon and told us to write or draw whatever psychology meant to us. Bill drew a picture of a hippie, smoking a joint and wrote "Life is like an apple, when it rains it pours". I laughed so hard, because it was so bizzare! - Tony Endlich
Bill was the greatest person to walk this planet because he spoke the truth. - Michael Myers
One of the most memoriable moments of high school for me was the Senior Talent Show with Bill and Mr. Allen as the Masters of Ceremonies. I wished we had a tape of that show because those two together were a class act, 'The Buddy & Bill Show'.
-Debbie Franklin Green
Hicks was hilarious...him and Dwight Slade doing stand-up in the courtyard is a great memory...how many Spring Forest Bobcats out there remember that Hicks was the starting tailback??? Granted we might have won one game, but Bill Hicks was quite an athlete too!!! Certainly a talented life that was cut way too short. -Bill Alford
I have been staring at this memorial page thinking about the folks we have lost, how lucky we were to have them in our lives...and how much they are missed by all of us.
Dang it! I was hoping that someone else would write something appropriately awesome about Ken, because I still find it hard to talk about him. Even though I have had over twenty years to sort out his departure.... these kind of goodbyes are hard. Suicide sucks....plain and simple.
I hate that so much of his life is now overshadowed by his final choice.... because he was such an amazingly talented guy with a huge heart.
I met Ken when we were Freshman in "that room" that no popular person dared to enter... the dreaded Drama Room (scary music-slightly off key).... the social kiss of death.... the high school leper colony. It was kind of like "The Island of Misfit Toys" from that Rudolph holiday special.... A Charlie in the Box, a train with square wheels, A cowboy who rides an ostrich, a lisping elf who wants to be a dentist, and a doll that no one really knows what's wrong with her (probably emotionally).... ANYWAY, this is where all of those misfit "Freaks of Drama" met, and waited out the storm of growing up slightly out of step. We were truly close and many of us have stayed close to this day. We unfortunately lost Ken along the way.
Ken had a deep rich voice. He sang beautifully at our graduation. He played guitar and wrote music effortlessly. He was a loyal friend and cared deeply about people. One thing I remember about him was, THAT KID WORKED SOOOO HARD. He always had a job, rarely slept, and NEVER complained. While the rest of us were hoping to get a bitchn' Camaro Z28 for our 16th birthdays, he was working at Alfred's Deli in Town and Country or the Memorial City Movie Theater (riding his bike there and back every night until he bought his own rusty used car). He never had it easy and he always had to work for the things he got... even his clothes. A lot of people didn't realize this, because he was always trying to be a nice guy... make them laugh... sing them a song...make them happy.
Ken was an actor in Los Angeles in the early eighties... he even appeared on Dynasty... which I thought was pretty flippin' sweet at the time. But LA is not for the faint of heart (or anyone without bullet proof coat of armour) and it took it's toll on him.
One of the last times I saw him, I told him about the SHS five year reunion.... who I saw....and who was nice....told him that Lori Roundtree asked about him.
He was a great guy- the world was better while he was here. -Mike Conway
Mike, I don't think that anyone could have written a better tribute, good job : ) - Jodi Seaback
I remember Ken from English IIK when he was undergoing a dramatic change in his life. He gave up athletics (track, as I recall) for a newly found interest in drama. Peer pressure was really something, but he followed his heart in making that decision. It was painful to hear about his passing; I won't ever forget him. - Grace Anne Baker
John was a super friend, a great teammate, and always made anyone he talked to feel special. I miss you John. - Pope (Bryan Luciani)
We love you, John. Michael Myers
My favorite memory from our 20th reunion was after it was all over and a bunch of us were sitting in the back of the ballroom near the table set up with Stratford memorabilia, laughing at my pathetic Spartanaire wig. In this group was John and we all talked as if we hadn't ever lost touch with each other. Several days later John called me to thank me for the reunion because he had such an incredible time. His doctor had just giving him great news and told him to go and live his life, have a family and be happy. He was so excited about life. Little did we know that much too soon, things would end the way none of us wanted. John was a very special and wonderful person whose heart and soul radiated happiness. I will always treasure that long phone call we had that day and every time I think of it, a wave of peace and happiness fills me. Like so many of the other wonderful classmates we have lost, it is hard to understand why the truly good and kind are taken first. - Debbie Franklin Green
Like Debbie, I spent most of the 20th reunion talking with John. He was always such a sweet soul. My father was spending some time at MD Anderson at the same time that John was there (I believe it was John's last stay at MD Anderson), I would go see my dad and then go visit with John. He always had a smile on his face and although I know that he was in pain,he never let it show. John did so much for fellow patients that also had brain cancer. He was a true blessing to all of us that knew and loved him. I will truely miss talking to him at the 30th.
Still love you John : ) -Jodi Seaback
He was a very good friend to all that knew him and had a good soul. We reconnected at the 20 year reunion and stayed in touch until he passed. I will always remember his kind ways and he even helped with the planning of my 40th birthday. I miss John immensely and the way he touched my life. - Kelly Coker Bailey
John Middleton was truly one of the finest people I ever knew...he was friends with everyone!!! - Bill Alford
Phil struggled with family issues growing up and unfortunately those struggles lead him down the wrong path. Phil was my next door neighbor from 8th grade through high school. Good ole Memorial Club Days which include many fond memories. Little Phill was truly loved by all my family and was actually considered part of it! We took him with us on many family vacations and I'm thankful we had those days growing up together! He was a great friend! - Yvette Hipp (Holland)
Jeffery Wells, 58 years old, born in Houston, Texas passed away peacefully at home on June 22, 2020. Jeff was a Texan and married the love of his life on August 23, 2004. He attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos but had to fight and overcome Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1982. Choosing a new career as a flight attendant, after 26 years, Jeff retired from United Airlines in 2018. Jeff enjoyed naming the livestock, pets and locations on their ranch. Maintaining the ranch became his favorite hobby so that while Jeff worked on one project he was already formulating the next one in his mind. Although life sent him many hardships, he always quietly persevered. Jeff was always friendly. He never met a stranger. Making others comfortable and listening to their stories, Jeff lived the Beatitudes.
Jeff was preceded by his father Joe Wells, mother Betty Wells, brother Michael and nephew Nicholas Wells. He leaves behind his dearly beloved wife Mary, older brother, Joseph E. Wells, II, his wife Susan, niece Cassidy and his step mom Mary Huddleston
Jeff was a great father of 3 boys, loved his wife, Kathleen dearly, and was a devoted Christian. He owned a successful Property Management Company, Williford Property Group. Jeff lived life fully and will be remembered by all who knew him for his unending optimism, inspiration, dedication, creativity and sense of humor. Even during his battle with cancer, he inspired those around him. I was blessed to have him as my twin and think about him every day. - Jenny Williford Hunt
Jeff was always the one you could count on to have a smile on his face and in his heart. We miss you. - Les Asel
Jeff was another wonderful person taken much too soon. It's funny how you break away from high school and yet years later, you seem to come full circle back. Years ago, my husband's good friend came into town and we went to meet him at his parents' house for a small get together. I walk in and to my surprise, the first person I see is Jeff. Turns out Jeff's wife's best friend is Tommy's wife. We just talked and laughed that night. Then over the years, we would run into each other at the SBMSA football field and other random places. I will never forget the day I heard the news about Jeff's cancer. It was Good Friday and my 40th birthday and actually a great day until I heard the news. My heart just sank with so much sadness and it stayed that way for days. Jeff was such a fighter and he kept fighting for over 4 years. His memorial service was incredible and a true sign of the legacy he left. St. Martin Episcopal Sanctuary was completely filled up from top to bottom with hundreds of people whose lives had been touched by Jeff. I was amazed that day to find out how many friends (non Stratford) we had in common. Jeff was one of a kind and he definitely made a difference in this world. - Debbie Franklin Green
I remember Jeff with the smile that was always ready for everyone he met. He was always a warm and friendly guy to me without a pretentious cell in his body. I loved that about him. - Alan Peters
Jeff was a true friend from Kindergarten thru High School, College and as young adults. He was an inspiration in so many ways and is truly missed. - Lee Ann Keplinger Scott