Thomas G. Brown

May 3, 1947 ~ July 18, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old


Thomas Gregory Brown was born on May 3, 1947, in Portland, Oregon to Thomas Rufus “Buddy” Brown and Marjorie Ella Paschal Brown. He was their third child of four and was their only son. Thomas attended Boise Elementary School and graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School where he competed on the track team as a sprinter. After graduating from high school, Tom met Flora Idell Bradford and they were married in September 1966. Having been recruited for the Marines by his father-in-law’s cousin, Ernest Bradford, four days after he was married, he left to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Tom was sent to fight in Vietnam on June 30, 1967. Tom was shot on November 17, 1967, and shortly afterwards, Lance Corporal Thomas G. Brown, returned to the United States and recovered at the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina. Lance Corporal Brown later received an honorable discharge and the Purple Heart for his bravery and service as a Marine.

Tom returned to Portland, Oregon where he and his first wife, Flora, added to their union two daughters, Vernacheal Marie and Natel Elaine.

Tom enrolled in Portland State University in the early 1970s and stayed on the long track. When he graduated in the late 70s, he had earned two degrees; one in Journalism and the other in Communications.

The season for his first marriage ended. In 1973, he met Roberta “Bobbie” Giglio Castle, “the love of his life.” On November 26, 1978, Tom and Roberta were married, and their families blended with Derek, Grant, and Tyler (Twins).

Tom had four passions: writing, eating good food, cooking, and dancing. Tom would have us all to know that when it came to dancing or anytime that he stepped out for a special occasion, “He looked good!” His love for writing and covering newsworthy happenings led him to the position as the Film Editor for KATU Channel 2 News around 1979 and later served as the Assistant Assignment Editor around 1983 at KGW Channel 8 News. Family and friends would always look for Tom’s presence in the Holiday Greetings commercials on the news stations. Tom grew up in a household of good cooks. His mother and father brought with them from Arkansas their Southern culinary skills. His father “Buddy” would become the “Barbecue Man” of the neighborhood where he lovingly grilled ribs, chicken, beef brisket, and hotlinks, then made potato salad, adding a few slices of Franz bread, and sold dinners from the house. Tom followed in his father’s footsteps.

After his career with the news stations, he opened two restaurants: The Newsroom Café in Northwest Portland and later Mr. Brown’s Barbecue in North/Northeast Portland.

Three years ago, Tom shared with his niece Tricia, that when his life ended, he wanted everyone to know, that he “lived a good life.”

Tom was preceded in death by: Grandparents, Rutherford (R.F.) and Allie Mae Paschal; Parents, Rufus, and Marjorie E. Paschal Brown; Sisters, Helen R. Brown Bowden (Robert) and Brenda B. Brown; Nephew, Robert “Keith” Bowden, Jr.; Daughter in law, Susie Castle.

Tom leaves to cherish his memory: His wife, Roberta “Bobbie” Giglio Castle-Brown, who he always affectionately called his “Jellybean”; his sister, Gloria A. Paschal Brown McClendon, his children; Vernacheal M. Brown-Kennedy (Tim), Natel E. Brown, (Angela), Derek Castle (Cindy), Grant Castle (Jennifer), and Tyler Castle (Susie – deceased); his grandchildren, Alexandrea M. Brown, Dominica E. Joyner (Delfaio J.), Thomas W. Walker, Timea M. Kennedy, Matthew, Kyle, Finnegan, Weston, and Amber; his great-grandchildren; Arianna M. Brown, Landon J. Joyner, Delfaio N. Joyner, Jr. Aubriella M. Brown, King J. Joyner, and Ahlyza S. Joyner; Nieces; Victoria, Tricia, and Marjorie; Nephew, James “Jay”, along with several great-nephews and nieces and a host of cousins and lifelong friends. 


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Homegoing Celebration
August 15, 2023

11:00 AM
Bethel A.M.E. Church
5828 NE 8th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211

Video is available for this event


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