A resident of Baton Rouge, Ossie Brown passed away Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008, surrounded by his loving family. Survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Faye Underwood Brown; two sons, Dana Brown and wife Natalie and Kirk Brown, of Napa, Calif.; daughter, Kelli Leon; four grandchildren, Brycyn Brown, Max Brown, and Alexa and Amber Leon; and four great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his parents, George F. and Lovie Phenald Brown; three sisters, Mary Lenora Brown, Faye Jean Brown and Dr. Helen Brown; and three brothers, George Rudolph Brown, Dr. Raymond Brown and U.S. Army Col. Robert Wilburn Brown. Ossie Brown was born in Winnfield in 1926 to George and Lovie Brown. He was raised in Baker and graduated from Baker High School. While attending Baker High, Ossie composed the Baker High School Alma Mater. He was also elected to Louisiana Boys State and subsequently elected to the presidency of Boys State. Ossie attended LSU, where he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in pre-law. While at LSU, Ossie was given the honor of being chosen as the drum major for the Golden Band from Tiger Land. He also lettered in basketball and tennis for the Tigers and served as president of Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduating from Napa Junior College, Ossie served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Navy. Upon completing his tour of duty, he received his bachelor's and law degrees from LSU. After graduation, Ossie began his practice of law, which extended for the next 50 years. He grew into prominence as a nationally known criminal defense attorney. Ossie's list of former high-profile clients is extensive and he became known as the defense attorney who could win the cases that couldn't be won. Ossie's most memorable victory was in the 1970 My Lai massacre trial held in Fort Hood, Texas. U.S. Army platoon members were tried for war crimes allegedly committed against the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. Ossie defended a young army sergeant by the name of David Mitchell. His client, Sgt. Mitchell, was the only defendant acquitted of all charges in the incident. Ossie had an extensive history of public service. He served as Baton Rouge City Court judge and after many years of criminal defense work, he was elected by the people of East Baton Rouge Parish to serve as the district attorney for the parish and its capital city. Ossie served as district attorney from 1972 through 1984. While serving as district attorney, he was elected president of the Louisiana State District Attorney's Association. He was instrumental in the creation of the Rape Crisis Center, the Pretrial Intervention Program, the Victim and Witness Assistance Program and I Care, which is a local drug prevention program for young people in East Baton Rouge Parish that continues today. He also authored "You and the Law," a book used in civics classes throughout the East Baton Rouge Parish school system. Because of his efforts, Ossie was chosen to serve as the chairperson for the initial I Care Week recognized in East Baton Rouge Parish. He also served on the executive council of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement. While D.A., he was a member of the National District Attorney's Association, having served on various committees within the association, including acting as chairman of the first child abuse committee of the association. Ossie was ultimately elected to the presidency of the prestigious association in 1981. His commitment to our local community is further shown by his past service as a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America Istrouma Council. He was actively involved in the Muscular Dystrophy Association and served as the host for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for many years. He also served as the host of the Lion's Club Crippled Children's Telethon. Ossie and his family have been active members since 1964 of Florida Boulevard Baptist Church, where he taught the Fellowship Bible class for many years. Prior to that time, he served numerous churches in the capacity as music director. After leaving the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office in 1984, Ossie once again focused his efforts in the private practice of law. He ultimately retired from The Law Offices of Ossie Brown and the active practice of law in 2000. Special thanks to the administration and staff at Landmark of Baton Rouge as well as Dr. Maurice Nassar and Dr. Joseph Deumite for their friendship and years of compassionate care. Memorial donations may be made to the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home, Monroe. Visiting at Florida Boulevard Baptist Church on Friday was from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visiting resumes at the church Saturday from 9 a.m. until religious service at 10 a.m. Entombment in Greenoaks Memorial Park Mausoleum. Pallbearers will be Hillar Moore, Judge Lou Daniel, Judge Tony Marabella, Walter Monsour, John Williams and Tommy Damico. Arrangements by Greenoaks Funeral Home.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Aug. 29 to Aug. 30, 2008