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Zella Deborah (Potter) Brown

June 30, 1951 ~ May 28, 2021 (age 69)


      In humble submission to the will of God we respectfully announce the earthly slumber and the eternal awakening of Mrs. Zella Deborah (Potter) Brown on May 28, 2021 in the Washington Nursing & Rehab Center of Chipley, FL.  She was 69 years old and a life-long native of Washington County, FL.        

Zella Deborah Potter Brown was born June 30, 1951, to the union of Wilmon Potter and Louise Harmon of Washington, County FL. She was the youngest of four children, who were all raised by their maternal Grandmother Claudia Harmon- after the untimely passing of their mother.  Zella grew up surrounded by the unyielding love of her Aunts, Uncles and cousins and flourished into an exceptional student who loved to learn. Graduating from Chipley High School in 1969, she later received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida in 1981. 

      Zella married her middle-school sweetheart Frederick Eugene Brown, Jr.  on February 19, 1971. From their loving union grew a family of three girls, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Being a mother was Zella's highest joy and she loved watching as each of her daughters grew into motherhood themselves. Zella also loved to shop, travel with her church, go fishing, spend time talking to her friends & family as well as crafting and sewing.

      Serving young people was Zella's lifelong mission. Over her more than three decades of teaching, she taught every elementary grade level, hundreds of students and within several school systems-  with her longest tenure being at Waller Elementary School in Youngstown, FL. Zella was a lifelong member of  her childhood church, St. Joseph A.M.E Church in Washington, County FL. where she held many leadership positions, including being President of both the Young People's Department and the Women's Missionary Society for several years. Zella also served in several leadership roles throughout the Northwest  Florida Conference  of  11th Episcopal District of the A.M.E church, most notably as President of both the District's YPD & WMS. Zella was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. 

      A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, Zella leaves to cherish her memory: her husband, Frederick E. Brown, Jr. of Chipley, FL; three daughters, Tishelia P. Thompson (Ronnie) of Lloyd, FL, Niambi B. Sampson (Jamal) of Atlanta, GA, and Sasha Z. Brown of Tallahassee, FL; nine grandchildren, Jemika  Pollock, Jakari Pollock, Zenobia Williams, Ginasys Andrew, Ganiah Andrew, Zakiya Thompson, Adina Roberts, Avery Sampson and A'Daviyon Roberts;  and three great-children Akevya Farmer, Aniyla Bynum  and Ayanna Norton.  Zella also leaves behind two siblings; Earnest Potter (Barbara) of Chipley, FL and Lonnie Potter (Vickie) of Atlanta, GA; as well as a host of loving nieces, nephews and cherished relatives.

      Where the family is currently experiencing deep sorrow from this great loss, they remain reassured that Zella has gone to a place of rest in the loving arms of her Heavenly Father- reuniting eith her cherished family members who will rejoice upon their reunion. 

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Zella

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 Celebration Service Program


Celebration of Life
June 5, 2021

3:00 PM
St. Joseph Cemetery
Monoroe Sheffield Road
Chipley, FL 32428

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