Mr. Bill Brown, Jr., former principal of Oak Hill School and respected citizen of the community, passed away Monday morning, 3 November 2008. Mr. Brown had been in declining health for the past several years. He was 84 years old.Mr. Brown was born in Nebo, NC on 25 September 1924 to the late Will Brown, Sr. and Nora Jimerson Brown He graduated from Nebo High School in 1942 and attended the University of North Carolina until he entered the Army Air Corps in April 1943. Mr. Brown participated in numerous battles of World War II, including the battles of Rome-Arno, Southern France, Normandy, the Rhineland, and Central Europe. He participated in the D-Day Invasion, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and the liberation of the Nazi Concentration Camps. For distinguished service, he received the EAMET Campaign Medal with six Bronze Stars, the Victory Medal, and the Distinguished Unit Badge. Mr. Brown was discharged from the Army in December 1945, and resumed his education at Appalachian State Teachers College (now ASU), where he received his BA and Masters degrees.In 1949, Mr. Brown came to Oak Hill School as a teacher and shortly thereafter was named Principal. He spent his entire career as an educator at Oak Hill until his retirement in 1979. Some of the greatest joys in Mr. Brown’s life centered around Oak Hill School and his former students. He often remarked at how blessed he had been to have had the opportunity to serve with so many fine teachers, and to have had the privilege to have known so many fine young students and to see them grow into adults. It can be said in all honesty that Mr. Brown remembered every single child who attended Oak Hill School and could call each one by name.In addition to his parents, Mr. Brown was preceded in death by his wife, Letha Dobson Brown, sisters, Thelma Brown, Sara Brown Lewis, and Hazel Brown, and a great granddaughter, Ashley "Madison"Brown.Mr Brown is survived by his son, William F. Brown, III and wife, Anne, and his daughter, Pam Brown Lookadoo and her husband, Scott, as well as eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.The family will receive friends Thursday, November 6, 2008 from 5 to 8 PM at Sossoman Funeral Home in Morganton, and the funeral will be held at 4 PM Friday at Oak Hill United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Bill and Letha Brown Scholarship Fund, c/o Oak Hill United Methodist Church, 2239 NC 181, Morganton, NC 28655.Bill Brown lived a rich and full life. He was blessed with a close and loving family, as well as a huge "extended family" that included the hundreds of former Oak Hill students whom he considered as much "family" as his own. All who knew him will dearly miss him, but his legacy of love, compassion, service, and wisdom will endure for generations to come.

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