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Joseph "Little Joe" Brown, age 80, of Weaverville, radioman and genuine hometown hero, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 surrounded by his loving family at The Oaks at Sweeten Creek. A native of Avery County, he was a son of the late Rev. C. John and Edith Thomas Brown . He was also preceded in death by brothers: John Brown, Lee Brown and Finn Brown.
Joe was well known in Western North Carolina as a forty-four year radioman. His radio career started at the age of twenty-one with WTOE and included local radio stations: WBMT, WWNC, WISE, and WSKY, concluding with WFGW. He was the youngest station manager in the United States in 1960. Buncombe County officially named April 1st "Little Joe Brown Day" in honor of the many radio pranks Joe played on his beloved City of Asheville. After retiring, Joe hosted Billy Graham's Gospel Hymn Time on WMIT on Sunday mornings from 1996 through 2004. He also later published a book entitled Red, Wife and Children. In 2014 he was presented with the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, presented by the Governor of North Carolina for above and beyond service to the state. Joe's story is on display with his many awards at the Historical Avery County Museum in Newland. In addition to his dedication to radio, Joe also served as a Mason and a Shriner and was loving father, grandfather, brother and friend.
In 1970 Joe started Cancer Rama broadcasting in Downtown Asheville with friends and family raising money to help find a cure for cancer. Every November he would do a remote broadcast with Santa Pal to make sure children less privileged had a wonderful Christmas.
Left to cherish his memories is his daughter, Melissa "Missy" Pampel and her husband, Nathan, of Marshall; son, Joseph Sean Brown and his wife, Carol, of Arden; granddaughters: Alex Brown and Joy Shock, both of Asheville; sisters: Ann Shell and Mary Biddix, both of Weaverville, Pat Clark of Ft. Walton, FL and Shasta Duke of Cranberry; brother, Jim Brown and his wife, Sandy, of Clyde; former wife and close friend, Myra Pittman Ford and special friends: Steve and Fran Aceto, Jay Michael, Al Terrell and David Gant. Many nieces, nephews and cousins also survive, as well as Joe's grand-dogs, Bella and Ben.
Funeral and committal services will be private. A Celebration of Joe's Life will be held in Asheville at a later date and will be announced by Yancey Funeral Services.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to SECU Cancer Center in Joe's honor. Please make checks payable to Mission Foundation, at 890 Henderson Rd., Ste 300, Asheville, NC 28803 and reference "SECU Cancer Center in memory of Joe Brown" in memo.