Henry Brown died peacefully on March 8 at Angel Genesis Guest Home, where he received compassionate care for the last 7 years of his life.
Henry was born in Pittsburgh, and he never knew his father. He lived in a household without a father figure until, when he was 12 years old, his mother married Jim Hanes. Henry learned to love and adore Mr. Hanes, and he frequently mentioned how well Mr. Hanes looked after Henry’ mother.
In 1943 Henry enlisted in the Army Air Corps. At that time American military forces were segregated, and Henry’s “colored” unit was sent to England, France and Germany. At the end of hostilities in Europe, his unit was sent to the Pacific theater of operations. There, he served on the islands of Guam, Saipan, Peleliu and Tinian. And then, after the end of the war he served in Japan. The U.S. military was not completely desegregated until 3 years after Henry was discharged.
Most of Henry’s working days were as a truck driver for Continental Transportation Lines. Henry drove for Continental for 40 years. Among other commodities, Henry carried shipments of chocolate candy for the Hershey Foods Corporation and newly printed currency for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Later, he was a uniformed limousine driver for Regency Limousine Service. Among his frequent passengers were some of the richest and most influential people in Pittsburgh.
In the first several decades of Henry’s life racial discrimination was the law of the land. And yet, when Henry would recount times of his life, they were always good times. And he would often say, “You know, I had a good life”.
Henry was first married to Lucille, with whom he had six children. Lucille died before all of the children were out of the home. After 5 years, he married Sarrah Taylor. Sarrah succumbed to heart disease in 2005; that’s when Henry moved to California.
Henry is survived by three children; Jean Cubbage, Richard Brown, and Denise Hall, and grandchildren Sam Cubbage and Cheryl Brown, all living in Pennsylvania.
To make a donation in Henry’s memory, please visit the website of his church: https://umchapelvalley.org.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Henry H. Brown, please visit our floral store.
United Methodist Chapel of the Valley
El Cajon CA