Roddey Caldwell Brown, a Charlotte native and longtime employee of Lance Inc., died December 29 at Southminster Hospice at the age of 84. He is survived by Caroline, his loving wife of 62 years, their son Keith (Connie), daughters Julie (Frank) and Robin, grandchildren Justin and Brooke Pollock, and great grandchildren, Abigail and Franklin Pollock, and a brother Harry of Charlotte. His brother, Boyce, died in 2015. Roddey was born August 7, 1932, the son of Boyce and Annie Lee Cunningham Brown. He attended Elizabeth Elementary, Alexander Graham Junior High and Central High Schools, graduating in the class of 1950. At Central High he played on the football team. He was often elected to class offices, usually as treasurer, evidence of his classmates’ respect for his reliability and integrity. In his teenage years he was a member of the “Colonial City” boys who hung out at Colonial Park and played sports together. Within that group Roddey usually stood at the edge of the crowd, listening to the banter and occasionally summing it up with droll humor. From Central High he entered Presbyterian College at Clinton, S.C., where he joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps. Upon graduation in 1954 he married his high school sweetheart, Caroline Hawkins. They were the first couple married in the sanctuary of the newly constructed Covenant Presbyterian Church. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army he was assigned to active duty from 1955 to 1957 in Nuremberg, Germany, where their first child, Keith, was born. During that period Roddey and Caroline bought a 1942 Ford and enjoyed excursions to many of Europe’s most celebrated cities including Paris, Venice, and Austria. On returning to Charlotte in 1957, Roddey and Caroline had two more children, a daughter Julie and a daughter Robin. In the mid-1960s he joined Lance as an office manager and later as an administrator of its real estate holdings. He was assigned for two years to New Orleans, where he and Caroline often enjoyed the music of Pete Fountain and the jazz at Preservation Hall. Later Roddey was assigned for five years to Lance’s Atlanta office. On their return to Charlotte, the Browns lived in Battle Forest subdivision and later settled in the Cotswold area where Roddey was an active gardener, sharing his plants and vegetables with neighbors. As a talented master craftsman, he made some of the family’s furniture and stained glass windows. He also began collecting decorative doorknobs and distinctive keys. In the mid sixties Roddey and Caroline helped organize a gourmet club which met quarterly until this year with Roddey acting as Caroline’s sous chef. As a member of Sharon Presbyterian Church Roddey served as an elder. He also volunteered for Hospice and Friendship Trays. After retiring from Lance he joined the Philip L. Van Every Foundation as an administrator. One of the joys of his adult life began in 1990 when Central High classmates asked him to help convene a 40th annual reunion, the first of seven successful reunions he helped organize in the following 25 years. In addition, for 26 years he convened monthly class luncheons, concluding each with a tale of wry humor. He died as he had lived his life, a calm, reassuring spirit. He knew he was dying and did so gracefully, confident in his salvation through the love of Jesus Christ.
Thursday, January 5th, 2017, Sharon Presbyterian Church
Thursday, January 5th, 2017 11:00am, Sharon Presbyterian Church
Sharon Presbyterian Church Cemetery