Bob Browning

Thursday, August 25, 1932 - Monday, October 12, 2015

In Loving Memory

Photo of Bob  Browning  - 1932-2015

Canton - As a soft rain fell across the mountains during the peaceful night hours of Monday, October 12, 2015 our community lost a man who was a true southern gentleman, a man who was loyal, a man who was greatly respected, a man who always honored his word, a man who gave back to his community and a man who loved his family with all of his heart and soul. James Robert “Bob” Browning, age 83, of Canton departed this life for his eternal journey into his Heavenly home.

As a young man Mr. Browning proudly enlisted in the United States Air Force to honorably serve his country. After his military service he married the love of his life and his best friend, Joan Ford and together they began a blessed life together and shared 70 wonderful years of marriage. A true self-made man, Bob was always proud to call Canton his hometown and had resided here all of his life. Together he and Joan began their business careers in 1959 with the establishment of Browning Construction Company which was involved in numerous construction projects throughout the southeast. Bob was a true entrepreneur and real estate developer, owning Browning Tire and Browning Storage that were well known businesses in our community and were managed by Bob and Joan’s beloved daughter, Robbie. Browning Trucking and Equipment Sales was also one of his main established businesses. He was also involved in the automobile racing industry, having owned, driven and sponsored several racing cars through Browning Tire. Bob’s vision to develop his real estate holdings into major businesses in the town of Canton included Rite-Aid, Advance Auto, and Chris May Auto Sales which have truly become vibrant assets to the town. His community and civic service was an example for all of us to follow. He had served as a board member of First Citizens Bank, Haywood Regional Medical Center, Robertson Memorial YMCA, Canton Papertown Association, FOCUS on Greater Canton and a past member of the Canton Lion’s Club. As our community remembers Bob Browning, we see his construction work of Canton’s River Walking Trail, we remember his generous gift of donation to purchase and train the first drug detection dog for the Town of Canton, his dedication to Bethel Christian Academy and his concern for the children of our community and also his volunteer efforts to always help Habitat for Humanity. Retirement was not in Bob’s plans and he never stopped working, caring and giving back to his community. When Mr. Browning’s name is mentioned there are always personal stories of his kindness and his giving heart that have helped so many in our community. Whenever Bob and Joan did decide to take some private time away together they enjoyed spending time at Lake Chatuge and traveling in the winter season to Florida. Mr. Browning had attended Canton Central United Methodist Church. In memory of James Robert “Bob” Browning let us reach out to help someone in need or just simply perform a small random act of kindness. Bob would be pleased. Bob considered his greatest blessings in life to be his family and it is certain that his memory will forever remain a part of each of them forever.

He leaves his loving and devoted wife, Joan Ford Browning ; his beautiful and cherished daughter, Robbie Browning Patterson and her husband, Earnie Patterson( who was just like a son to Bob) of Clyde; a granddaughter, Felecia Patterson of Canton; great-grandchildren, Sidney Barrett, Daniel Barrett and Morgan Riley Patterson; his special bulldogs, Mollie and Oliver and a great host of friends.

The funeral service will be held at 3:00 pm Friday, October 16, 2015 in the chapel of Crawford / Ray Funeral Home with the Reverend James Parham officiating. Burial will be in Crawford / Ray Memorial Gardens in Clyde. Serving as pallbearers will be Jerry Smith, Bill Whiteside, Jamey Gibbs, Dillon Hawkins, David Hawkins, Mike Ray, and Brady Barrett. The family will be receiving friends at the funeral home from 1:00 until 3:00 pm before the funeral service.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Browning family.

Condolences from family and friends

Joan, I know this is a very hard time for you and your family. Just having Doris go, and now Bob. My heart hurts for you. Bob was my friend, and if he was your friend, there wasn't a more loyal one. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers
Juanita Dixon
Bob was such a great person and will be deeply missed by all, our prayers are with your family at this time.
Robert & Deborah Gaddis
Bob was a wonderful neighbor to us for twenty-one years. We will never forget his kindness when snow had us unable to drive off of our property and he met us to drive us out to the main road so that we could catch a ride to school. We will miss getting to see him in his yard with his constant companion, Molly. Our hearts go out to you and please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jim, Cindy, Sarah, Kathryn, and Jamie
dear Joanne and Robbie, I am so very sorry. Bob was really good to me and I will always remember him. Love to both of you.
Janet "Face" Conner
I am sorry to hear about Bob the family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Billy Johnson
Sorry to hear about Bob. Enjoyed working on his race car. He was a Gentleman. Thoughts and prayers with the family.
Ken Kennedy
I would like to send my condolences to the family. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Bob and my father raced together back in the 50's and 60's. We would go to Jonathan Creek dirt track and Joan and Robbie would come and set with me and my mother. I was six or seven years old then. After my father passed away I would go down to the Bob's shop and set and reminisce about their racing days. A wonderful man that will be greatly missed. Rest in peace dear friend.
David and Jackie Hannah
So sorry for the loss of Bob. I'm sure he is in good hands with the Lord. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Bob will be missed greatly!
Stephen & Kathy Ammons
Joan and Robbie: Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you both during this time. We both thought a lot of Bob and have many fond memories of him throughout the years. He will be greatly missed. Our love to you both!
Mitch and Nancy Allen
I have a lot of fond memories he helped me a lot working on my street rod he would always take time to help me, I remember Joan as a nurse at Dayco and Champion,We will all miss bob, I hadn't seen Bob in several years, I will always remember fond members of racing he was a competer. Our prays are with you all.
Harold Barbara Hannah
We are very sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Suzanne and Mardi Porche
Joan & Robbie, we just heard about Bob and wanted to let you know how sorry we are for your loss and that Bob will be greatly missed. We don't get much local news in Marion and regret we were not able to attend. Please know that Bob was loved and that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Mike & Pat Carswell
Dear Joan, I am so sorry to read that Bob has passed away. He was a true southern gentleman and all who knew him will miss him. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am certain my father was there to greet him. Much love always, Laura Rogers
Laura Littlejohn Rogers