Geneva Brown’s legacy remains intact, daughter says

Geneva Brown’s legacy remains intact, daughter says
April 02
00:00 2015

Well-known educator and former school board member Geneva Anita Bland Brown made a tremendous mark on the community that endures to this day, her daughter said.

“The work that she started is still going on,” said Wynne Brown, the director of student health services at Winston-Salem State University. “The impetus that she provided is like a train that can’t be stopped.”

Geneva Brown died at her home at age 84 on Thursday, March 26 after an extended illness. A public community celebration of her life has been scheduled for Saturday, April 25 at 4 p.m. (The family has changed the time from 1 p.m.) at Atkins High School.

Geneva Brown’s commitment to everything she did stands out in Wynne Brown’s mind.

Most people know Geneva Brown as an innovative teacher, principal, administrator and former member of the Board of Education for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system.

“She did spend a lot of time with her teachers and her students,” her daughter said. “I think that’s a big part of her life.”

She worked in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System from 1954 to 1992 in various positions, retiring from the system after working in the front office.

Brown had students who would come up to her and say hello, praise her, thank her and tell stories about their interaction with her, her daughter said.

In 1992, she was elected to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, where she served for 18 years. She retired in 2011.

When Geneva Brown was on the school board, her focus was to “provide the best environment for students and help parents do the best they can,” Wynne Brown said. She also was concerned about the staff and teachers at the schools, regardless of their race.

“She knew there were disparities in the system and there still are,” but she spoke out to try to change the system, her daughter said. She tried to make sure all had the same opportunity.

“She didn’t get to where she was by tiptoeing through the system,” her daughter said. “She learned the system and mastered it.”

In fact, that is what Geneva Brown did throughout her life. She mastered whatever she took on.

Take athletics.

Geneva Brown was an athlete in her younger years, playing softball and basketball. She later turned to golf and played with her husband of 44 years, Wendell Delworth Brown, before he died. She won many awards. She even announced the top 30 golfers in the world at the Master’s Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, for three years. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. sorority and was director of the AKA annual golf tournament for 10 years.

All of the work Geneva Brown did was bolstered by “a divine connection that carried her,” Wynne Brown said.

She was a member of First Baptist Church, Highland Avenue, since 1955, serving as a Sunday school and Bible Study teacher, trustee, deaconess, and a member of the Women’s Service Council.

“She had challenges; we all do,” Wynne Brown said. “But she never let that stop her.”Many might not know another aspect of Geneva Brown, her daughter said.

She was “very kind, compassionate and extremely sensitive.”

The April 25 celebration at Atkins will have a formal

program, designed to

represent various aspects of her mother’s life, Wynne Brown said.

“She couldn’t be contained in a box, so we hope to capture some of that in the memorial.”

Wynne Brown said her mother’s legacy is an enduring one.

“Our community will never be the same,” she said. “We can’t go back.”

To see the full obituary of Geneva Brown, go to

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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