Edward Brown

Obituary of Edward Ryland Brown

Edward Ryland Brown, Sr, of the New London area of Bedford County, passed away peacefully in his home on the family farm August 21, 2018, at age 94.

Ryland was born on that farm on August 2, 1924, the second child of Orran Leftwich and Lula Mason Brown. He was predeceased by his parents and his wife of 63 years, Anne Lee Brown, who died on May 15, 2015. Ryland is survived by his three sons, Edward Ryland Brown, Jr., of Forest, Orran Lee Brown, Sr. of Richmond (Ellen), and Harold Mason Brown, who lives on and operates the family farm. Ryland also leaves older sister, Virginia Hodges, and younger sister, Peggy Brown, as well as eight grandchildren, Amanda Cocke (Jason), Lindsay Painter (Matt), Orran Lee Brown, Jr. (Chris), Anne Carly Buxton (Garrett), Read Brown, Drew Brown, Jacob Brown (Lemma) and Lucas Brown (Jessica), and eight great-grandchildren, Travis Cocke, Camryn Cocke, Reese Painter, Tyler Painter, Anne Ryland Brown, Orran Lee Brown, III, Rose Buxton and Ian Brown, with a ninth great-grandchild due to join the family in September.  


Ryland was a lifelong farmer. He spent his youth working the fields for his father from a very young age, growing up with his sisters and enjoying many outdoor activities, including catching minnows in the creek and walking to Timberlake to sell them to fishermen and trapping game in snares for his mother to cook for their table. He walked to and from New London Academy for school, graduating in 1942. Ryland proudly served his country in the Merchant Marines from 1944 to 1945, after which he returned to working the farm. He and Anne married on April 5, 1952. Assuming full operation of the farm in 1958 as his chosen career, he raised dark tobacco as his main crop, milked cows by hand twice a day for years, hoed tobacco and corn, picked corn by hand, baled hay, combined grain and cut and sold firewood, pulpwood and saw logs, performing without complaint the many arduous demands of farming and becoming an expert in the many skills required to succeed in his vocation. He took deep pride in what he produced, with his tobacco bundles tied with utmost care and precision, his sticks of pulpwood each cut to the correct length, and his fields, barns and equipment meticulously maintained in good order. Through their diligence and effort, he and his wife provided a secure and happy life for their family.  His work ethic became a life model for his descendants.

Ryland also served the needs of his community, holding positions on the Bedford County School Board, the Bedford County Social Services Board and the Bedford Tax Assessment Board.  He also volunteered for the United Way and as a poll worker. He was a founder and member of the board of directors of Liberty Bank of Bedford and a director of the Bedford Southern States Cooperative. He and Anne worked countless hours for the Academy Presbyterian Church, for many years Ryland was a long-term member of the New London Ruritan Club, serving as its president in 1968, the same year he and his family were honored by Bedford County as the “Outstanding Farm Family of the Year.” He delighted in finding arrowheads in his fields, was an avid reader of newspapers, magazines and books, and always was fully informed on the news of the day. He was a man of wit, humor, open-mindedness and tolerance who sought neither fame nor recognition.

In his later years, though he turned running the farm over to his son, Harold, Ryland continued to help on many tasks until the last two weeks of his life. He lovingly cared for his wife, Anne, as her health declined, and cherished every moment he had with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters and other family members, and his many friends.

His family thanks Ryland for living his exemplary life of honor, character, humility, strength and confidence in the face of adversity, diligence and dedication to his family, for being a superior role model of a father and loyal friend, and for instilling in them a deep appreciation for hard work, pride in a job well done, honesty, respect and caring for all persons, and service to others.

Visitation will occur from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, 2018, at Diuguid Funeral Service-Waterlick Chapel at 21914 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, Virginia. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018, at King of Kings Free Will Church, 12371 E. Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, followed by a private interment at Virginia Memorial Park. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue, 1185 Turning Point Road, Bedford, Virginia 24523.

Diuguid Waterlick Chapel, 237-2722, is serving the family. On-line condolences may be sent to www.diuguidfuneralservice.com.