Panola Pepper founder Bubber Brown was remembered in Washington, D.C. by Representative Ralph Abraham on Tuesday.
Grady “Bubber” Brown passed away on February 10, 2018 in Lake Providence, LA. Born on March 8, 1934 he was the son of the late William Denis Brown, Jr and Martha Wyly Brown.
During college at the age of 19, he and his younger brother, Philip, were given 48 acres of land to farm rice during summer break.
That year they made $800 and immediately spent it on an airplane.
Buzzy Tomlinson had a plane for sale, and they bought it with the agreement that he would teach them to fly. He gave them about 5 hours of lessons and sent them on their way.
They landed it in the front yard as proud as could be to show their parents their new purchase.
Steve Guenard did give them official lessons, and both received their pilot’s licenses.
After graduation from LSU, he joined the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School.
He spent the next 4 years flying F-J3s, F-J4s, Chance Vought F8U-1 and F8U-2.
He had 2 Mediterranean cruises, 1 North American cruise and a 3-month tour off the coast of Cuba.
He made over 400 landings (day and night) on air craft carriers.
His father died in 1961 so he decided to resign his regular commission and return home to manage the family “Panola” farm.
In 1966, his cousin, Brenda Brown, came home from college with her roommate, Jennie Lou Ropp. Bubber and Jennie Lou met and a year later they were married.
They have 3 children, Grady Jr., Glen and Katie.
He was always involved with the children’s activities. He was President of St. Patrick’s school board for 12 years, baseball coach, flight instructor, hunting guide and more.
He not only taught both his sons to fly but also a nephew.
He was so very proud of how great of pilots they all are.
Bubber was an entrepreneur. He was the first farmer in this area to utilize second growth farming. He was always coming up with new projects.
In 1983, Bubber decided to start a new business, Panola Pepper Corp., making his mother’s recipe for hot sauce.
The idea was to employ his farm workers in the winter to give them employment.
Creating jobs in this area has been a mission for him… even starting a second food company in 2014, Providence Foods.
Bubber was on many councils and committees and received numerous awards. He served on the Louisiana Rice Council for many years and was actively involved in the LSU Rice Research Station.
He was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church where he was on the Church Building Committee, Parish Council, Finance Council and an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
He was also a lecture, usher and Eucharistic Minister. In 2003, he received the LA Small Business Award.
In 2005, he was asked by Gov. Blanco to travel to Cuba with her delegation.
Bubber had 7 grandchildren: Wyly Brown, Lauren Brown, Emma Brown, Carter Coullard, Will Brown, Ben Coullard, and Andrew Brown.
He loved his grandchildren and was proud of them all.
Bubber’s legacy is that he taught his family how to be Christians.
He taught them all about goodness, kindness, patience, peace, hospitality, generosity, joy, faithfulness, self-control, and most of all love.
Bubber was the epitome of the true Southern Gentleman.