By Jimmy Braswell
One of my favorite memories of growing up in Odessa was seeing a man (middle aged then) running around the city of Odessa. He inspired me to start running every day. He would pass by our house at the end of the block off University Blvd. every evening about the same time. I didn’t know him then, but I came to understand He was Dick Brown. I admired his endurance and persistence. That has continued through my life. I learned he was a leading layman at Lutheran Church of the Risen Lord, the Sunday School teacher of several of my friends through the years, and eventually a co-chaplain at Home Hospice … the Icon of Chaplaincy at the Hospice House. He had worked with my father-in-law at Sears, who also admired him and shared coffee breaks and discussions in hardware. While a chaplain, he and I began a long friendship with series of theological discussions, lunches, and fellowship that were highlights of my work at Hospice. He taught me about God, living real life, marriage and family, and how to love people. Memorial Day brings a time of the year to remember — to remember those who have served our country — like the new memorial to the Medal of Honor Recipients at Sunset Cemetery (you need to go see it and read their stories) —to remember those friends and family who have died this year and years past — and Father’s Day is a day to remember those who have been like father’s to us -Today, I remember Richard M. (Dick) Brown and his gift of service to God and Odessa. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gifts.