Julian M. Brown of Gloucester, Carteret County, NC
Julian M. Brown

Julian Monroe Brown, Sr., 79, of Gloucester, Carteret County, died unexpectedly on April 24 at his home.

Brown, who was known as “Beartrap” and “J.M.,” owned Brown’s Seafood and supplied several island restaurants with fresh seafood for many years. He was gregarious and kind, said Pattie Johnson Plyler, manager of the Ocracoke Seafood Co.

“He was a great storyteller,” she said. “He was the most helpful, courteous man you could ever meet.”

Born Oct. 13, 1937, in Hatteras, he was the son of Mogieannah Austin Brown and Julian Brown, Jr.  His parents soon moved, and he grew up between Hatteras and Marshallberg, Carteret County. As an only child, he was very devoted to his parents.

Brown attended school at Smyrna Consolidated School, where he was class treasurer and voted “Most Popular,” “Best Dancer,” and “Most Courteous,” attributes that accompanied him throughout his life.

He married Patricia Ann Chadwick in 1960 and they had four children: Julie, Julian Jr., George, and Beth.  After Patricia died in 1990, he later married Patricia Murdoch, and though they dissolved their marriage years later they remained friends until his death.

Brown attended East Carolina Teachers College where he earned a bachelor’s degree. His first teaching job was in Engelhard, Hyde County, and later eighth grade at his alma mater, Smyrna. He then went on to get his masters in administration, all while working and supporting his family.

He was employed as director at Carteret Technical Institute, working with the “Carteret Tech” founder and chief administrator, Major McGee. Julian was the mechanic who kept it running. He was also a leading mover and shaker in the County bonding movement that would go on to create Carteret Community College.

He left Carteret Tech in 1971 and returned to his roots as a “Sound Sider” by starting a seafood route, supplying the markets and restaurants on the Outer Banks from Ocracoke to Colington. He bought his seafood at many different fish houses, from South Carolina to Virginia. Being a local, and having a sterling reputation as a truthful and honest broker, he was never at a loss for customers.

In addition to seafood sales, he always was on the lookout for an “honest hustle,” buying and selling boats or property, as well as bay scalloping and sink netting with his wife in the 1980s.

Over his lifetime, he built several boats: the Julie Marie and the Lady Beth, and helped his sons build the Mogie, Rhonda Sue and the Chelsea Girl, several of which are still plying the waters from South Carolina to the North Atlantic.

His primary business partners were his children. They always knew they could come to him with a plan, no matter how big or small and he would back them 100 percent with his encouragement and signing a note if they needed it.

Some plans worked well and some didn’t. He always said, “We win some and we lose some. It ain’t what you handle, it’s what you come home with. We have to keep on looking for another hustle!”

He worked hard to send his two daughters and his wife to local universities and a son to technical college.

He enjoyed growing his garden, as well as catching and harvesting local delicacies for his dinner table, which he would share with countless friends, relatives and neighbors.

He is survived by his children, Julie Brown Pittman and Glenn Lewis; Julian Monroe Brown, Jr. and Jennifer Davis Brown; George Brown and Rhonda Goodwin Brown; and Mogieannah Beth Brown-Ivey. His grandchildren: Amanda Marie Pittman and Rodney Cahoon, Patricia Noel Behan and Daniel Behan, Franklin Monroe Pittman, Chelsea Caroline Brown, Danielle Mogieannah Ivey and Maya Beth Ivey.

Also, three great-grandchildren, Melodie Julieannah Pittman, Emma Elise Cahoon and Joseph Julian Behan.

He was remembered with a celebration of his life with good food, good friends, and the sharing of memories. His ashes were strewn alongside the shore of Brown’s Island, that the family owns in Carteret County, and which he loved so much.

–Obituary information supplied by the family

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  1. Thank you for publishing this Ocracoke Observer. We sure do miss him. He was loved very much.

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