Justapearl Brown dies at 100

Betsy PickleObits, South Knox

In three months, Justapearl Brown would have turned 101 years old, but she set a great example in the 100-plus she was given.


Justapearl Crain Fisher Brown was born June 8, 1918, in Palmyra, Mo. She passed away March 4, 2019, in Knoxville. In between, she was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, cousin, “grandma, great-grandma and a great-great-grandma … and always a friend to anyone she met,” wrote her daughter, Molly Myers, in a Facebook post the night Mrs. Brown passed away.

Her health declined rapidly over the past three weeks, her daughter said.

However, “She was always a blessing to those that knew her, (a) beautiful whole and true lady to everyone. She never was impolite and never had an unkind thought for anyone.”

In 2005, the then-octogenarian self-published a book, “The Life and Times of Justapearl Brown.” Veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw was given a copy, and he “responded in a personal note to her calling her the ‘Queen of the Greatest Generation,’” wrote Myers.

Mrs. Brown was the darling of the South Knoxville Community Center.

“It took 100 years to accomplish dreams of making so many people happy,” Debbie Beeler, recreation director at the center, shared with KnoxTNToday. “The past 15 she spent at South Knoxville Community Center she did just that.

“She was at the center almost daily until the past year. You could find her quilting, painting, swimming, playing bingo or Bunco, going on trips and listening to the Pickers and Grinners, just to name a few.

“She was always smiling and ready to make your day or help in any way possible. So many things we do at the center annually, she started, and we will continue. She was such an encouragement to others to watch her at 99 do all the things she was doing. She made us all want to do better and be a better person.

“The stories she told from her generation would keep our minds engaged for hours, listening to true stories about her life. She was a blessed woman, and so were we for being able to share in her life.

“And what a life it was. She will be missed but never forgotten as everywhere you look around here you see her handiwork.”

No services are planned at this time, but Berry Funeral Home is in charge. Friends may express sympathies and share memories on the funeral home website.

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