Pastor and funeral home proprietor the Rev. Edward “Eddie” D. Brown II died Sunday morning, according to Franklin Funeral Directors.
Arrangements for Brown are incomplete at Franklin Funeral Directors and will be announced when available.
Brown, 54, Hopkinsville, was pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Guthrie, co-owner of Redd and Brown Funeral Home in Hopkinsville and a partner, embalmer and funeral director at Franklin Funeral Directors in Franklin, which is coordinating his funeral arrangements.
Whenever people crossed his path, Brown was dressed to the nines with a sharp pair of shades and a positive word from God to share.
SP Church members opined on Facebook how much they loved Brown for his charismatic personality and welcoming demeanor.
Former colleague and funeral director Tim W. Thomas said Brown approached his work in the funeral business the same way.
“He was very particular about the bodies that he worked on and making sure the services were carried out classy and stylish,” Thomas said. “He was very engaging with families and was so down to earth that he was able to meet people, no matter what level they were on, he could meet them at their level.”
Another one of his colleagues, Roth Mason, who sits on the state board of funeral directors and embalmers, said he’ll miss Brown’s friendship the most.
“Mr. Brown and I went to mortuary school together,” Mason said. “We studied together and we kept in touch as much as possible, but I’ll miss just having someone in the same business that I could turn to if need be.”
The two graduated from Mid-America College of Funeral Service and became members of the Kentucky Association of Morticians.
Brown went on to work 20 years under Edward W. Babbage, who owned Babbage Funeral Home until his death in 1997. The funeral home went through several owners until it was renamed Redd and Brown Funeral Home in 2017.
Under Brown and co-owner Robert Redd, the long-standing funeral home at 202 S. Campbell St. featured new staff, new vehicles, a lounge area for families, a conference room, a casket room, a 200-seat chapel and redecorated interior.
Brown said to the New Era in 2017 that he wanted to make the funeral home have a “home feel” for customers. But even with his own ideas, Brown leaned on the things he learned from Babbage.
“He used to give out these rulers that said, ‘Treat others as you would want to be treated,’ ” Brown told the New Era in 2017. “He taught me to treat every family the same and to treat them how they’d want to be treated. Every family is different and special.”
In addition to owning the local funeral home, Brown worked with Jerry Taylor at Franklin Funeral Directors up until his death. Taylor said Brown touched the lives of many people through his ministry and mortician work.
“He was a great embalmer and a good guy, a good man and a good preacher,” Taylor said. “He was all of the above, and I will truly miss him.”