By ADRIENNE WALLACE
Feb 20, 2017, 15:17
ADRIENNE WALLACE/Staff Photo: Erma and Floyd Brown, Sr. still share a special bond after 57 years of marriage. The two are seen here at their home off of Lamore Drive.
PRINCE GEORGE – Floyd Sr. and Erma Brown have always found time to give back to their community. The two volunteer at several organizations, from their work with the First Baptist Church of Disputanta to the Prince George Rotary Club and so many in between.
While they have dedicated themselves to selfless service, they also have always found time for family.
The two were married on Dec. 27, 1959 and since then have been blessed with the birth son Floyd Brown, Jr., Ronald Brown and Keith Brown, all of whom they instilled with a strong sense of community spirit.
Their proudest accomplishments include the fact that they raised three boys who not only give back to their community, but have been successful and provide for themselves.
What is the secret to their success?
Dedication. That’s dedication to their family, each other, their church and the county in which they live.
“Working together,” is how Erma, a Petersburg native, explained has made their marriage work for all of these years. “We talk things over, and I think that is very important – you have to listen to each other and be there for each other.”
They are also there for others. “We love to help people,” Floyd said.
And they do just that, their church comes first, Erma notes. She is the vice chair of Deaconess and was the first to organize the very first ladies ministry. “Oh there is so much,” she said.
Floyd is a Deacon and serves on the Finance Committee.
They are both past presidents of the Prince George Rotary Club and still serve on the organization today. Erma serves on the Rotary Eastern Star and is past grand matron, as well as the youth coordinator.
Through their work in the county, both Floyd and Erma have made history. He was the first black person to serve on the planning commission, while she was the first woman (and black woman) to chair the Board of Zoning Appeals.
On two different occasions, Mr. Brown, a Prince George native, was called to serve on the Board of Supervisors and also works with the Crater District Planning Commission.
Floyd has been a member of the Masons for more than 50 years, and his contributions to organizations continue to grow.
He first began service in the U.S. Air Force, marrying Erma before he retired serving across the country and in foreign lands including Japan and Korea. Floyd then worked with the Department of Rehabilitative Service where he also retired.
Despite not working full-time jobs, both Erma and Floyd are busier than most who do. To keep it all organized, Erma says they have to update the calendar and keep each other abreast of meetings and other commitments. And they do it together. The two attend most Board of Supervisors meeting.
“We don’t have to wait for someone to tell us what is going on, we know what is going on,” Erma says. “That’s one of the many good things about being involved in the community.”
Another is helping others, Floyd comments while neither do any of their work for recognition, but merely to give back to the community.
“Though we are busy and do a lot, we are always willing to answer the call if someone is in need or we are asked to volunteer,” he added.
Staying this busy, keeping their love alive and being involved in their chlidren’s and grandchildren’s lives keep the couple young.
“I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon,” Floyd said. “I think it keeps me healthy and mentally sharp. We are blessed to have our health, and as long as we have our health, we will do things in the county for the citizens.”
Today, Floyd and Erma will celebrate nearly 60 years of Valentine’s Days – their advice to others to keep the love alive: Respect, honesty and communication.