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Celebrating the life of

James Oneil Brown

Passed away on April 29, 2023

James Oneil Brown

James Oneil Brown: A Life of Joy, Adventure, and Faith.

James Oneil Brown, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on Saturday, April 29th, 2023, at the age of 86, surrounded by his loved ones. James left a legacy of contagious joy, humor, compassion, and love.

Born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina, James attended Edmunds High School, where he graduated in 1955. He was only person in the family to graduate High School.

Even at a young age, his adventurous spirit and love for life was evident. In high school, he joined the Civilian Air Corps and, together with his brother Johnny, formed a dirt track racing team that competed in regional NASCAR events.

James' dedication to his country led him to join the Army National Guard in 1954. He served as a Cannoneer for three years. He then joined the Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1962.

A lifelong Gamecock fan, he attended the University of South Carolina to play football for two years before leaving to pursue his entrepreneurial spirit, opening his first grocery store and gas station in Sumter in 1958.

His charm and business acumen endeared him to local businessmen in the booming manufactured housing industry who bought gasoline for their delivery trucks from him.

In 1961, James moved to Beaufort, South Carolina, to open his first manufactured housing sales lot.

He thrived in this industry, working in every aspect of it and providing affordable housing for families throughout the southeast. His ventures included opening a manufacturing facility and a mobile home finance and insurance company.

He moved to Savannah in 1970 and opened his second sales lot where he met his wife, Nita, bringing James both professional success and personal happiness.
James eventually sold his finance company, Certified, to The First National Bank of Atlanta and served on their board of directors.

A devout Christian, James was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of the Islands, where he served in many capacities, including as a member of the Good Neighbor Sunday School class. He spread the word of God through his love and compassion.

James was avid lover and owner of classic Studebakers, enjoyed playing golf, watching college football, and, of course, auto racing. He once quipped, "I'll watch anything race.”

James was predeceased by his father, Edward "Neeley" Brown; mother, Hennie Timmons; brother, Johnny; sisters, Earline, Bessie, and Lottie; his first wife, Peggy; and his daughter Debbie.

He leaves behind his loving spouse of 47 years, Nita; sons, Jay (Sherrie), Ronnie (Teresa), Dewayne (Karen), and Brian (Ainsley); grandchildren, Chris (Özgün), Russell (Nicole), Lori Kate (Alan), and Mary Louise (Ethan); and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends, all of who he loved with all his heart.

James Oneil Brown’s life was a testament to his infectious happiness, unwavering faith, and boundless love. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

The Funeral Service will be 12:00 noon, Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at Fox & Weeks, Islands Chapel.  The visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon.  Burial will be in Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.  



I am sadden by the passing of my dear friend. He was a very special person and will be missed. James rest in the arms of Jesus and know how much we loved you . God’s blessings and peace be with the family.

- Patricia Henline, Savannah , Ga

James Brown ( better known by us as JOB) was such a dear friend and fine Christian gentleman !! He and Nita were clients of ours for many, many years !! JOB loved life and people !! He always v would like to share special moments that left us all in laughter !! Since moving to SC , I continued to communicate with JOB via cell phone ! Finally JOB was very dear friend and fine Christian gentleman!!

- Herman & Margie Mongin , Elgin , SC

I loved you so much. I loved your laugh. I will miss you tremendously.

- Teresa Ann Brown, Middleburg, FL

Sorry for your loss

- Randy & Edna Meeks , Savannah, Georgia

I am so sorry to hear about James passing. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your entire family. Remember grief is the price we pay for Love. All my love to all. ❤️

- Luree Bonner, Thunderbolt, GA

I was blessed to have known James. I was always impressed by his work ethic, faith, and positive attitude.

- Adam Walters, Savannah, GA

Our deepest sympathies to the Brown family during this time of sadness and loss. We send prayers and good thoughts to everyone. Rest in peace, Mr. Brown.

- V. Keller Staubes, Jr. and Jennifer F. Seo, Charleston, SC

i will always remember my uncle James telling me stories of my grandmother and saying how much i reminded him of her. he was always so nice and loving. he will be greatly missed. rest now uncle James say hi to grandma for me.

- teresa hudson, summerville, sc

A candle has been lit!

- teresa hudson, summerville, sc

When God calls our loved one home, look beyond the sorrow and with faith’s eye look to God above because He will take your sadness and give you His peace.

- Robbie Faust, Savannah , Georgia

Uncle James was my mothers uncle. Although we didn’t get to see the family as often as we would have liked, I will always carry the memories of visiting James and Nita at their beach house in Savannah. His smile would light up a room and I will always remember him as smiling. He will be missed and I am sorry my family and I cannot be there to say goodbye one last time. My thoughts are with Nita and family as they get through this difficult time. Love, Cassandra and Ryan Stone

- Cassandra Stone, Jacksonville , Florida

My deepest sympathies to Nita and family. We both had offices in the same complex for many years and Jim always had a kind word.

- Chandler Kinsey, Savannah, GA

James welcomed our family into his home with a generous Southern spirit that made us feel comfortable and at ease. We send our sympathy and love to the Brown family.

- Jeff, Lois, Alisia Waller & Stephen Bailey, Boston & Providence, MA & RI

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Islands Chapel