Joan Brown

Joan Sumner Brown


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Obituary of Joan Sumner Brown

Joan Sumner Brown, age 78 passed away September 7, 2021. She is a graduate of Bessimer High School in Greensboro, received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina-Sumter, and her Doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She was a member and lector at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Columbia before becoming a member of the Transfiguration Catholic Church in Blythewood, SC.

Joan was a loving woman, who saw the best in everyone. She loved spending her days doing crossword puzzles, crocheting, and spending time with her family. She graduated law school in 1988 and went on to practice law in Manning, Sumter, Winnsboro, and Columbia. She was a former employee of The South Carolina Bar, where she eventually retired. Joan was a devoted Catholic Christian and an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

Lencie, her 29-year-old granddaughter, and Joan’s daughter, Samantha, lived with Nana until Lencie was about 4 years old. Nana is the reason Lencie loves to read. Between Harry Potter and Stephen King, she grew up never getting enough. Joan wasn’t just a grandma to; she was Lencie’s best friend growing up. She was there whenever Lencie needed her. Lencie and Samantha lived hours away from her after they moved out, but those hours didn’t mean anything to Joan. Joan would drive to them and was there for them. Saying goodbye was the hardest part for Lencie before she passed. But to Lencie, it is not really a goodbye, but an “I’ll see you again.” It didn’t stop Lencie from crying when she left that last time two days before Nana passed. But once again, it’s not a real goodbye. Nana is looking down on all of us, and she knows one day they’ll be reunited and never have to say goodbye again. Joan “Nana,” your Pumpkin loves you with all her heart and “I’ll see you again soon.”

Danni, her 22-year-old granddaughter will never forget Nana either and will forever cherish the personalized cards that Nana sent out every Birthday. Nana always made us feel so special with every creation. Her visits with Danni will always remain special to Danni, especially when Nana cheered her on in pageants, band concerts, and graduation. Danni is thankful Nana did her best to stay in her life as well as the rest of her grandkids. Danni will never forget her warm, tight hugs and her telling Danni “I love you” in her ear. She will be missed very much but knows she loved each of them with all of her heart and wanted nothing but the best for us.

Donna, her 18-year-old granddaughter has always looked up to her Nana because of her strong, independent, and intelligent characteristics. Nana encouraged Donna to be the best woman she could be and was proud of Donna’s strong math skills and talent in bowling. Donna felt she could talk to her Nana about anything and knew she’d never judge. Donna admired her being an attorney and helping so many people while she was in practice. One of her favorite childhood memories of her Nana were the pencils Nana got for Donna with Donna’s name on them.

Joan Brown is survived by her loving and devoted husband of almost 35 years, Steve Brown; son Dale Watlington and his wife Trish, 2 granddaughters, Amber and Marley and 3 great grandsons; son David Richardson; son Ronnie Richardson and his wife Sondra, 1 grandson Logan, 1 granddaughter Ashley, and 2 great grandsons; daughter Samantha Thomas and her husband Barry, 2 granddaughters Lencie and Donna, 2 step-granddaughters Mercedes and Brittany, and 12 great grandchildren; son Rusty Richardson and his wife Julie, 1 granddaughter, Danni; step-daughter Reba Smith and her husband Tommy, 2 grandsons Chris and Darrell and 10 great grandkids and 1 great-great grandchild; and step-daughter Lou Cutter and her husband Jerry, 1 granddaughter Jane, 2 grandsons Max and Lyles, and 3 great grandkids.

There will be a funeral Mass at Transfiguration Catholic Church, 9720 Wilson Blvd, Blythewood, SC, on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served after the Mass.  Wilson Blvd is exit # 24 off I-77.  Go west and the Church is about 2 miles on the left.  White fence runs along the property line. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the South Carolina Bar Foundation or your favorite charity.    

South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book at 

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Funeral Mass

1:00 pm
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Transfiguration Catholic Church
9720 Wilson Blvd
Blythewood, South Carolina, United States