Booker T. Brown died on Monday, July 18, after battling an illness for several months. He passed away with his wife, Jacqueline Mayfield-Brown, at his side on their wedding anniversary, at the Kindred Hospital in San Gabriel Valley.
Mr. Brown’s football career began when he played at Santa Barbara High School and continued when he played for the Trojans at USC. The Trojans won the National Championship in 1972, when Mr. Brown was at USC. He was an offensive lineman in the NFL who would later play for the San Diego Chargers and signed with the Houston Oilers in 1975.
Mr. Brown met his wife in 1987, and they were married for 30 years. The couple met through Ms. Mayfield-Brown’s uncle, who was the first black fire station captain in Compton.
“He was a great father, husband and grandfather. He was a great man period. He was an awesome guy. He was a mentor to his community. He loved people and he loved helping people. He did it all,” Ms. Mayfield-Brown told the News-Press.
After his football career was ended by what turned out to be a benign tumor, he was brought on staff by a pastor at a church in Los Angeles. He later moved with his family to Mojave, where he pastored both Mojave Assembly of God and Straightway Missionary Baptist Church. He also spoke as a guest pastor at a number of churches.
Ms. Mayfield-Brown spoke to how his congregation felt about him: “They loved him. He was a great guy, they called him the singing pastor.” Mr. Brown was a pastor for 27 years.
He was also a school teacher for nine years at California City Middle School. His specialty was special education children. Mr. Brown started Toys for Tots in Mojave. Mr. Brown’s son James told the News-Press that he would host a thanksgiving feast every year for the community of Mojave.
“He was a father to us all, I couldn’t have anybody as a mentor. He went from growing up on a cotton farm to being the highest paid lineman at the time. I couldn’ have asked for anyone better,” James Brown told the News-Press.
The Booker T. Brown Foundation was established in 2018 with the goal of supporting underprivileged children and families. For information on the foundation, go to https://bookertbrownfoundation.com. Donation information can be found at https://bookertbrownfoundation.com/donations/.
“I know he would rather be here to speak for himself. All those that are reaching out to us I would like to thank for him on his behalf,” said James Brown.