Audrey Christian Brown, 94, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 21, 2022.
Born on a dairy farm on Dietz Road on January 15, 1928, she observed hard work and a commitment to selflessness during the Depression as her father, County Commissioner Tom W. Christian, donated labor and milk to people in need. Just as he was instrumental in building the Tri-County Hospital (Hutcheson), so too was building wherever she went. Even with debilitating arthritis, blindness and recent falls, his tenacity, charm and humor shone through.
A teacher of commerce at Lakeview High School from 1948 to 1966, Audrey, a beloved teacher, was responsible for many of the most cherished traditions in existence today. She has sponsored: Annual, Echo, Tri-Hi-Y, Senior Class, Washington Tours, Junior Plays, Senior Plays, FBLA, etc. She developed “Class Night” which still achieves its original purpose. The signings of the annual “Teacher of the Year” awards, the Catoosa County Community Service Award, the Georgia Business Education Teacher Excellence Awards were fitting tributes, but so are the hundreds of heartfelt cards and letters sent by her former students over the years that reveal the level of encouragement she gave to so many people. She wanted the hundreds of people who attended her 90th birthday party to be warmly thanked for “allowing her to witness her own wake.”
In addition to helping develop Lakeview High School, she and her husband, Lloyd, were founding members of a new church that met on a bus. In 1952, she and Lloyd set up their own house as collateral for the financial loans that would soon launch Fort Oglethorpe First Baptist where she would again build a youth program with everything from singing in the choir to typing and writing. “Mimeography” of the bulletin every Saturday night for more than a decade. During this time, she also earned a master’s degree (Cum Laude) from Chattanooga University.
In 1966 she moved to Avondale High School, near Decatur, where again her students won state competitions. She sponsored The Blue Star newspaper and received teacher awards from students. She also earned an Education Specialist degree from Georgia State and taught at DeKalb Community College. After eight years at Avondale, she was one of four DeKalb County teachers selected to train master teachers and help beginning teachers reach their potential. She worked with twenty-five high schools as a new teacher evaluator from 1973 to 1983. From 1988 to 1990, after serving in numerous district and state offices, Audrey was elected state president of Georgia from Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society designed to recognize outstanding female educators. She was an exceptional speaker and workshop leader, repeatedly traveling throughout the state to develop selfless and scholarship programs. Lloyd was by his side every mile.
After retiring to Catoosa County, she taught the Lydia class at Fort Oglethorpe First Baptist for 17 years. She enjoyed spending countless hours studying the scriptures and bringing her famous blueberry cake and deviled eggs to church events. She was loyal to knocking on doors on Thursday evening visits, bringing weekly meals to the elderly, and constantly encouraging members of her class in countless ways. She also adored the time spent with her granddaughters, applauding their growth in various settings. She was proud of the enormous contributions they came to make to their own communities as they grew into leadership roles. They were her “suns”, and she is delighted that they have followed the heritage of her mother, “to whom we give a lot, we ask a lot”.
In lieu of flowers, Audrey requested contributions from the local Catoosa GA chapter of the Alpha Delta Kappa Scholarship Fund, which will support local high school students who wish to become teachers. Please send to: CT Turner, 282 Gladstone Avenue, Ringgold, GA 30736.
Many thanks to Amedisys North Georgia and Hospice of Chattanooga.
She was predeceased by Lloyd L Brown, Jr.; father, Thomas Watson Christian, mother, Mary Gladys Thorne, and sister Mildred Chapman (James)
She is survived by her daughter, Christian Brown Cundiff (Gary), her granddaughters, Heather Schmidt (Michael) and Caitlin ten Lohuis (Rogier); his beloved great-grandsons, Luke and Ryan Schmidt; great-granddaughter, Marlies Audrey ten Lohuis; nephew Richard Chapman (Pat) and niece Kay King (Tim).
Visitation is held at Heritage Funeral Home on Battlefield Parkway from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, August 26. Funeral services will be held at the National Cemetery at 2 p.m., with Ronnie Born and the Reverend Jason Thomas officiating.