A. James Brown, III.
(July 12, 1969 - February 18, 2012)
A. James ( Jimmy ) Brown, III, 42, of Narberth, while surrounded by his family, passed away due to cardiac and pulmonary complications on February 18, 2012 at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. As a 16-year-old, Jimmy was critically injured as a passenger in a one car accident in April of 1986. Recovery spanned 16 months at Bryn Mawr Hospital, Temple Hospital, and Moss Rehabilitation Center and left Jimmy brain injured, a quadriplegic, and confined to a wheelchair. Since the accident, Jimmy's mother, now a retired registered nurse, and father cared for him at home.
Despite the challenges Jimmy faced due to the accident, he never lost his spirit and love of life. He had an infectious smile, cheerful disposition, and compassion for everyone who crossed his path. Jimmy truly did not have a mean bone in his body. He was known to many as the unofficial mayor of Narberth as he would often park his wheelchair at the end of his street greeting all who would pass. He would share his story and picture books with passersby and would draw honks and hollers from all the school bus and UPS drivers as they drove by.
Prior to the accident, Jimmy was a standout student and three-sport athlete at Lower Merion High School. After his accident, Jimmy displayed his love of sports as an avid supporter of his brother's and sister's teams in high school and college and attended all of their games. He also loved to cheer on the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, and his favorite wrestlers. Jimmy had a love for music, movies, and sitcoms. He attended many concerts over the years and loved a night out at the movies.
Jimmy also enjoyed traveling outside the local area. Soon after the accident, Ted Goldsborough and the LM class of '87 created the "Jimmy Brown Fund" and raised $30,000. These funds enabled the Browns to purchase their first lift van from Len Seigel of Norristown Ford and the travels began. The Brown's crisscrossed the US and Canada taking Jimmy to all 48 contiguous states and most of the national parks and visited topical destinations in Mexico, Bahamas, and Jamaica. After a faithful life of service the first van was replaced in 2005 by the gift of a new van, complete with TV and VCR, from Stephen Spivak, Jimmy's classmate and best friend. For the past several years, Jimmy spent the winters at the family's condo in Bonita Springs, Florida where he loved going to the beach or hanging out with his snowbird friends by the pool at the condo complex.
Jimmy not only enjoyed recreation but also wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2003, Jimmy and his parents partnered with the "Cruisin' Not Boozin' Program" of the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center. Through this program, they presented the video "The Choice is Yours - The Jimmy Brown Story" many times at high schools in the tri state area. This video depicted Jimmy's life and sports achievements before the accident contrasted with his life and daily struggles after the accident. They hoped to inform students of the potential consequences of a bad decision and to discourage them from drinking and driving. In 2006, the American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division, awarded Jimmy and the Brown family the prestigious "Distinguished Service Award" in recognition of their work with the "Cruisin' Not Boozin' Program." To further support the "Cruisin' Not Boozin' Program", Jimmy's classmate and close friend, Julie Wool, created The Annual Jimmy Brown Alumni Classic basketball game held at Lower Merion High School. This game pits Lower Merion alumni against the current crop of Lower Merion seniors with all proceeds going to the "Cruisin' Not Boozin' Program."
Jim was the beloved son of Jim and Kaye Brown. Loving brother of Bandon D. Brown (Kelly) and Carly Leach (Gary). He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.
A Celebration of His Life will be held Saturday February 25, 1:30 PM at Narberth Presbyterian Church, 205 Grayling Ave., Narberth. Relatives and friends may visit at the Church after 12 Noon. Interment is private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Narberth Ambulance, 101 Sibley Ave., Ardmore, PA 19003 or to the Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital Cruisin' Not Boozin' Program, 414 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA 19355.