Ralph Courtney Brown Sr., 86, of Statesville, N.C., passed away on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at his residence.
Ralph is survived by three children, Ralph Courtney Brown Jr. and wife Kathy, Ellen Brown Meihaus and husband Stan, and Wilson Jay Brown Sr. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Cordia Matthews (Christian), Caroline Hofler Brown, Wilson Jay Brown Jr. and Lawson Mae Brown; one great granddaughter, Stewart Ruby Matthews; and a sister, Frances Brown Dorwood of Etowah, Tenn.
Mr. Brown leaves behind a long-standing legacy and a story of the true American dream. Born July 9, 1933, to Bruce McNeely Brown and Elsie Bostian Brown, he grew up on his family’s dairy farm learning the ways of agriculture. Later he aspired for more in life and knew agriculture would not be able to sustain the life he wanted to provide for his wife, Christine Freeze Brown, and their family. Mrs. Brown passed away April 29, 2020.
During his early years, Mr. Brown was active in the 4-H Club and elected to the State Office. In 1949, he was elected as the National Health King for 4-H, which allowed him to visit Chicago and meet the head of Kellog Foods and other noteworthy celebrities, including Gene Autry and Babe Dickerson Zaharis. He also had the honor of traveling to the White House and meeting with President Harry Truman in the Rose Garden as a representative of the National 4-HClub.
In 1951, Mr. Brown began college at North Carolina State University and soon after volunteered for the Korean War. After training in Fort Campbell, Ky., he was stationed in Munich, Germany, as a Highway Patrol-Military Policeman. He served two years and returned in February of 1956. After his return, he continued pursuing his degree at N.C. State living in Raleigh and working at the FCX. The FCX Company promoted him to locations in China Grove and Statesville, which lead him to return to his local communities.
Early in 1963, he saw the need for security at the newly formed Lake Norman. Brown established Lake Norman Security Patrol Inc. (LNSP) beginning as a security checking patrol which grew into 24-hour alarm and fire security. The Corporation was incorporated on June 7, 1967, and presently has two divisions, AlarmSouth and Security Central, which are operated by three generations of the Brown Family (Courtney, Ellen, and Caroline).
Mr. Brown was first appointed to the Private Protective Services Board in September of 1977 for a term of four years, which lead to his later appointment of a three-year term on the North Carolina Alarm Licensing Board.
In 1977, Mr. Brown became the first president of the North Carolina Alarm Association. As the security industry grew in North Carolina, so did LNSP. In 1981, the business moved to its present location on Security Drive in Statesville. Since moving LNSP’s headquarters to its current location, an additional two buildings have been added to the complex. The Security Central division, focusing on monitoring services, has expanded to three locations, Statesville, Hickory, and Knoxville, Tenn.
In May of 1990, Mr. Brown was awarded the “Small Business Person of the Year” by the Statesville Chamber of Commerce.
The North Carolina Alarm Association presented Brown with an Honorary Life Membership in 1999. This presentation was made at the Annual Meeting of the Association on November 10, 1999. At the time, the president of the Association, his eldest son, Ralph Courtney Brown Jr. made the presentation.
On December 4, 2014, the North Carolina Electronic Security Association presented Brown with the first Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding leadership model as a pioneer through a career of dedicated service who mentored all professionals unselfishly to better the security and life safety industry. This award continues to be presented annually to an exceptional individual in the security industry and was named Ralph Courtney Brown Lifetime Achievement Award.
After years of working around the clock, Mr. Brown enjoyed retirement and playing golf at Diamond Creek, the Dunes Club, Elk River Club, the Floridian, and Harbor Ridge Yacht & Country Club. Another favorite hobby of his was flying his Cessna 172 and he had many hours of pleasure during his flights. One of the most special events of Brown’s life was traveling with his beloved wife around the world by private jet in 2008 sponsored by National Geographic.
Together, the Browns established the Ralph C. and Christine F. Brown Scholarship at the Bryan School of Business at UNC-Greensboro to help academic scholars in need of financial support. They gifted the Wake Forest Golf Athletic Program by building the number one tee box on the practice facility and the Women’s Locker Room.
Additional noteworthy pieces of Brown’s life are his involvement in First Presbyterian Church, serving as a Sunday School Superintendent and teacher. He was a life member of the North Carolina State Alumni Association. Along with his wife, the Browns were the primary builders of the Brown Lower School Cafeteria for elementary students at Forsyth Country Day School in honor of their grandchildren Caroline, Wil and Lawson. He was a lifetime member of Masonic Lodge #690 for 52 years and a member of Oasis Temple-Shriners for 50 years.
Graveside funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Oakwood Cemetery in Statesville with Rev. Grant Sharp officiating.
The family would like to thank the staff and nurses of Sherry’s Home Health Care, also a tremendous thank you to Arlie Brewer, Lisa Nettle Wald and Samuel (Sam) Ray Jordan for their love and support.
Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, 950 W. Faris Road, Greenville, SC 29605 or American Heart Association, 128 S. Tyron Street, #1588, Charlotte, NC 28202. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.troutmanfuneralhome.com.
Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.