Photography

Nettie Ruth Brown

December 2, 2023

Nettie Ruth Brown Obituary

Nettie Ruth Brown, 93 of St. Augustine, Fl., passed away peacefully on December 2, 2023, at W. Wells Nursing Home. In the unexplained twists and turns of life, Nettie was joined in death fifty-four minutes later by her sister, Betty Madden, from Anderson, S.C. Nettie is predeceased by her parents, her sister and brother-in-law Claudine and Berry Rhoden; her brother and sister-in-law Ray and Eve Brown; her sister and brother-in-law Betty and Marvin Madden; her brother and sister-in-law Marcus and Delores Brown; and her nephew Robert Dean Rhoden. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law George Marvin and Helena Brown; her sister and brother-in-law Marjorie and Ray Dunn; and her sister Athena Gail Brown. Nettie is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews. She was looking forward to greeting a first great-great--great-niece or nephew in March, 2024. Nettie was born February 11, 1930, in Baxter, Florida to Ray L. and Athen Raulerson Brown. She was so proud of her family heritage in Baker County. Her maternal grandparents were Alvie Alonzo and Katie Fish Raulerson. Her paternal grandparents were George Colquitt and Minnie Taylor Brown. Her roots ran deep in the pioneer spirit of these families who were instrumental in the development of Baker County. Nettie began her education in 1936 in a one-room schoolhouse, The Knabb School. She would walk to school everyday with her older family members who also attended the school. With the opening of The Taylor School in 1937, she began second grade and graduated from The Taylor School in 1948 with a record of 12 years of perfect attendance. While attending The Taylor School she saw a magazine advertisement for Berry College in Rome GA. She applied for their work/study program and was accepted. When she arrived at Berry College and after working in several positions Nettie convinced the powers that be that she would make a much greater contribution to the college by serving as a guest hostess who greeted the distinguished visitors who came to Berry campus. Working at Berry campus is how Nettie covered her tuition and board. To her last day, she could recount in great detail the fascinating visitors she got to meet. Nettie graduated from Berry College in 1952 with a BS in Home Economics. After graduation she completed graduate studies at Cornell Universityand the University of Florida. Nettie's professional career began in McMinn County, Athens, TN, as the Assistant Home Demonstration Agent. During this time 4-H Clubs were held in the schools. Nettie would go to the schools and teach classes in growing crops, canning, preserving food, food preparation, sewing, and dairy farming. In addition, she would be the 4-H Youth Program Leader. Nettie's move to St. Augustine, FL. in 1960. She continued as the St. Johns County Home Demonstration Agent. She served as the Acting Extension Director of St. Johns County, St. Johns County Extension Home Economist and the St. Johns County 4-H Youth Program Leader. During her career in Tennessee and Florida, Nettie had many state and national winners in the 4-H program. Nettie's professional career earned the title of "Organizer Extraordinaire!" To quote an article written about her: "Anyone who knows Nettie Ruth Brown will tell you three little words she sometimes utters that put fear in the hearts of even the bravest: I've been thinking!. Let it be known here and now that when Miss Brown has been thinking, everyone is going to work." Nettie served in a host of leadership roles in local, state, and national organizations. Some of them included: President of the National Association of Extension Home Economists; Chairman for Seminars and Workshops for the National 4-H Agents Association; President of the Florida Association of Extension Home Economists; Chairman of the Florida Association of State 4-H Agents; Charter Member and Past President of the American Association of University Women; St. Johns County American Cancer Society; St. Johns County Red Cross Beta Sigma Phi Sorority; St. Johns Pilot Club; St. Johns County Board Member of the Friends of the Library; Vice-President of the Cherokee Garden Club; St. Augustine Chapter of Sister Cities International. Nettie's dedication to her career has been recognized with a variety of professional awards. They included Distinguished Service Awards from Florida Association of Extension Home Economists, Florida 4-H Agents Association; Epsilon Sigma Beta, Baker County High School Hall of Fame; St. Augustine Record Newspaper; St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, St. Johns County Board of Public Instruction; Who's Who in American Women; Berry College Distinguished Service Award; 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award. Nettie's service will be held at Guerry Funeral Home Chapel in Macclenny , FL. Visitation will be Tuesday, December 5th from 6 to 8 P.M. Funeral services will be at 11 A.M., Wednesday, December 6th. Interment will be held at a later date. A memorial service will be held in St. Augustine at Nettie's Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church at a later date. To quote one family member, "with Nettie's passing, an era has ended. She was a strong independent woman who lived her life on her own terms. Nettie saw no limitations to success for any one person who was willing to get an education and work hard to achieve that measure of success. She was our family hero and the second matriarch of our family after the passing of our mother. Nettie always looked for the positive side in her dealings with people in any personal and professional situations. She was a role model of success for every generation of our family. Nettie loved her family, friends, and colleagues. She will be missed by them all." In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to Nettie's scholarships: The Nettie Ruth Brown Scholarship c/oSt. Johns County 4-H Foundation 3125 Agricultural Center Drive St. Augustine, FL 32092 The Nettie Ruth Brown Scholarship c/o The University of Florida Foundation 1938 W. University Ave. Gainesville, FL. 32603

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Services

Visitation
Tuesday
December 5, 2023

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Guerry Funeral Home - Macclenny
420 E Macclenny Ave.
Macclenny, Fl 32063

Funeral Service
Wednesday
December 6, 2023

11:00 AM
Guerry Funeral Home - Macclenny
420 E Macclenny Ave.
Macclenny, Fl 32063

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