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Mrs. Barbara Brown (Deceased)

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Scholarship to honor Acadiana High School educator’s memory – Barbara M. Brown Scholarship Created

Amanda McElfresh, Daily Advertiser, Mar. 3, 2014

For nearly four decades, Barbara Brown affected the lives of thousands of Acadiana High School students.

She worked at the school for 34 years, mostly as an English teacher and at times, the head of the English Department. She worked with senior students on research papers that gave them a head start on the kind of work they would need to do in college. In addition, she led the yearbook staff for 18 years. For nearly six years, she was the school’s head librarian.

Brown died suddenly in December 2012, leaving a host of teachers, students and alumni shocked and saddened. Now, her widow, Bruce Brown, is honoring her legacy of education with a new scholarship.

Bruce Brown, a former Daily Advertiser reporter, said he got the idea last year.

“I thought, ‘What can I do that would honor Barbara’s memory’?” Bruce Brown said.

Unsure how to go about establishing a scholarship, Bruce Brown worked closely with the Community Foundation of Acadiana and the school. That led to the creation of the Barbara M. Brown Scholarship Fund. The money will go to one Acadiana High student who goes to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to major in education. It will cover one year’s worth of tuition.

“The notion is it’s a foot-in-the-door kind of scholarship,” Bruce Brown said.

A committee composed of Acadiana High administrators and staff members will select the scholarship recipient this spring. Bruce Brown said the idea is for the award to go to a student who demonstrates a strong involvement in his or her school and community, as well as academic achievement.

It’s also a way to keep Barbara Brown’s memory alive. A plaque will be placed in the school library, naming each year’s scholarship recipient. Bruce Brown also hopes that the scholarship will be a way to pass on his wife’s love of education. It is also helping Bruce Brown remember his mother, who died in January 2013 just weeks after his wife’s death. His mother was also a longtime educator, teaching at the University of New Orleans, Xavier University and Loyola University.

“In a way, it’s a Barbara thing, but it’s also something to honor my mother’s legacy and do something she would be proud of,” Bruce Brown said. “It’s kind of a way to remember both of them.”

Athletic Network Footnote: Bruce’s monthly “Spotlight on Former Athlete” can be viewed monthly on the Athletic Network. He has also contributed to other university publications and wrote Prides of Acadiana in 1980.
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Obituary:
Barbara M. Brown

LAFAYETTE – Memorial services will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM in La Chapelle de Martin & Castille for Barbara M. Brown, 59, who died on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at Lafayette General Medical Center in Lafayette surrounded by her family.

Reverend Steve LeBlanc will officiate the Memorial Services. Karen Broussard, organist and soloist, will sing for the services, “Amazing Grace,” “On Eagles’ Wings,” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

She leaves to cherish her memory, her beloved husband, Bruce Brown of Lafayette, LA; her parents, Earl and Ethel Leger Mayfield, Sr. of Jennings, LA; one sister, Patricia Mayfield of Lafayette, LA; one brother, Earl Mayfield, Jr. and his wife, Marilyn of Woodstock, GA; one niece, Beth Gearheard and her husband Nall of Sandy Springs, GA; one great niece, Ella Grace Gearheard; and two great nephews, Eli and Walker Gearheard.

She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents.

Barbara was born and raised in Jennings, where she developed an early love of reading nurtured by frequent trips with the family to the Carnegie Library. She also enjoyed a love of sports, tagging along with her umpire father to the ballpark and to football games. Both interests would prove formative in her adult life.

She attended USL (now the University of Louisiana), majoring in English education and library science, and was a member of Honors Seminar. Barbara received her BA degree in 1975 and taught for three years at Paul Breaux Middle School before spending the remainder of her 37-year career in education at Acadiana High. While at AHS, Barbara taught English as well as directing the school’s yearbook for a successful 18 years. She has been an AHS librarian for the last 5 years, bringing modernization and innovation to that task and relishing the chance to share her love of reading with others while teaming with Lori Fangue.

Fellow educators knew her as a dedicated professional who put students first and was always willing to help other teachers. She was active with the school’s honors night and graduation programs, and never shied away from added duties.

While attending USL, Barbara met and fell in love with Bruce Brown, The two became inseparable almost from their first date in 1972, and they married on Dec. 20, 1975. Joining her sportswriter husband on many assignments, Barbara became a skillful statistician and helper as they attended football, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer games and became fixtures at track meets.

Theirs was a pairing made in Heaven, heightened by her fierce loyalty, devotion, gentle humor and undying affection.

Addressing life’s challenges piqued Barbara’s interest in solving puzzles, and she typically threw herself into such tests with zeal, whether for the family or for friends. Throughout her life, Barbara was always concerned with the needs of others above her own.

She found peace in her garden, joy in Sunday morning walks around the USL campus with Bruce and their dogs Sophie, Minnie and Buddy, contentment snuggled with warm toes and a good book, and humor in the little gems life offered.

Barbara was smarter than she would admit, stronger than she realized and braver than anyone knew, a noble heart now silenced.

The family requests that visitation be observed at Martin & Castille’s DOWNTOWN location on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 10:00 AM until time of services..

View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com

Martin & Castille – DOWNTOWN, 330 St. Landry Street, Lafayette, LA. 70506. 337-234-2311