In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Please pray for Joyce Bailey Rider

Joyce has had a massive stroke.  She has had two or three before this, but not this severe. She is fairly non-responsive, except for a little smile and squeezing the nurse's hand when asked. Please pray for Joyce and her family.

Have mercy, O loving God,

upon Joyce who has suffered a stroke.
Remove all fear and give her courage
in the struggle to recover what has been lost.
Grant her strength and hope to envision new days ahead
and a spirit of faith to take the risk of living fully once again.
We pray for your comfort for Joyce, her husband and family.Amen.

We ask for the intercessions of the Archangel St. Raphael, one of seven archangels standing before the throne of God.  St. Raphael, angel of health, we pray for Joyce and her recovery to good health.

Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Medical school founder Dr. Richard Brown retires from his 'people job' after 38 years in practice

By Mark McCarter |
July 31, 2011

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Richard Brown was an engineer by trade, but he had an epiphany. He wanted "a people job, not working with designs and machines," he said. "I got this real strong tug."

Dr. Richard Brown with long-time patient
Anne Speake during his retirement ceremonies

The tug led him to apply to medical school.

"We thought, 'Why not? We can do that,'" said his wife, Paula.

A school adviser told him why. Med schools accepted only straight-A students, or those from rich families who donates tons of cash, two criteria Brown didn't meet.

"You might as well just go back to engineering," the adviser said.

That was more than 40 years ago.

Brown got into med school.

He did it one better.

He even helped start a medical school.

He was one of the founders of the University of Alabama School of Medicine's Family Medicine Residency program in Huntsville.

"Truly a pioneer," said his colleague, Dr. Tim Howard.

On Friday afternoon, Dr. Rich Brown sat in a near-naked office, the walls and shelves cleared of pictures and memorabilia. A stack of files sat on a cart. A stethoscope was on the desk.

A crowd was forming down the hall at Gleneagles Family Medicine, with patients coming to pay tribute to 70-year-old Brown on his final day as a physician after 38 years.

"It's a little bit bittersweet, saying goodbye to these hundreds and hundreds of people who have been regular patients of mine for more than 30 years," Brown said. "We've become close friends, and I'm having to say goodbye to all that."

He plans to enjoy more family time - he and Paula have a son, Christopher, and daughter Dr. Allyson Maske. Allyson and husband Jim have two children, Emma Stewart and Jamison Davis.

There are also some small-mouth bass at Tims Ford Lake, where he and Paula have a house, calling his name.

Brown was a young physician in Oklahoma when he was called to Huntsville by Dr. Roger Leinke, who was starting a residency program for family practice. The Browns arrived during the second week of April. The dogwoods and azaleas were in full bloom. They toured the historic district, appealing to Paula's desire to renovate an old home. Said Brown, "She was sold."

Leinke and Brown were soon joined by Dr. Gayle Stephens, who'd become the first dean of what would initially be called UAH School of Primary Medical Care, and by administrator Dr. Silas Grant.
It was a critical time. A survey revealed that 69 was the average age of family-care physicians in the state of Alabama in 1970.

"We recognized we couldn't keep on this course, with all the family doctors getting that much older," Brown said. "We needed a fresh infusion of family doctors."

The medical school he helped grow has trained hundreds of residents who would go on to their own practices, many remaining in North Alabama. In a tidy bow to wrap it all up, a member of the current faculty is Dr. Bill English. He was one of the first three residents in the program in 1975.

Brown continues to serve on the volunteer faculty for the medical school. Along with Howard, he established the Community Free Clinic and has been a physician for the Downtown Rescue Mission.

"I always felt that I was guided by the Holy Spirit of God and was doing what I was supposed to be doing," Brown said. Even when others doubted a U-turn in his career path, "I knew I was headed in the right direction. I kept feeling this pushing in the right direction, and I just followed it and it has never betrayed me. I know now that I have fulfilled what I wanted to do."

As guests began to arrive for his farewell, Brown shrugged into a navy blazer to go with his blue shirt, tan pants and saddle Oxfords. He walked outside, leaving behind an empty office. And taking with him a life lived in full.

Contact Mark McCarter at
© 2015 All rights reserved.


Richard Allen Brown, MD

JANUARY 7, 1941 - JANUARY 4, 2015

After his short struggle with Lewy Body Dementia, on January 4, Richard abandoned his life's true passions of faith, family, fishing and the practice of family medicine for his place in God's heaven.
Richard was born and educated in Meridian, MS. He attended San Diego State University his freshman year of college, but Mississippi beckoned him home and he graduated from Ole Miss in 1962 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

In the spring of 1963, Richard reported as a Second Lieutenant to the U.S. Ordnance School at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. When his training was finished, he was posted to Fort Benning, GA to begin specialized training with the 11th Air Assault Division, a helicopter experimental group preparing for war in Vietnam. When he finished his active training, he was given the Army Commendation Medal and after his commitment was completed retired as a Captain.

During this time, Richard made the decision to go to medical school, and after discharge he attended the Medical College of Georgia. Family Practice was a new specialty which appealed to him as he would be able to care for the whole family. When he graduated in 1970, he interned at City of Memphis Hospitals and completed his residency at Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. At that time, Oklahoma City was one of only three Family Practice residencies in the country.

Alabama was expanding their medical education programs, and Huntsville was selected to develop a Family Practice Residency. Richard moved from Oklahoma to become the first director of UAH's residency.

Two years later, Richard resigned from the residency program to open a private practice. He maintained a commitment to medical education by having medical students spend time in his office to learn the skills of a family physician and emphasize the needs of overall family care. Over the years, his practice grew to several thousand patients. At one time, he was caring for five generations in one family. He was a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Huntsville/Madison County Medical Society.

In 2011, Richard retired feeling he had accomplished his goals of compassionate, comprehensive medical care to his patients.

Richard also served his church and community. He was a life-long Presbyterian serving as a deacon, elder, Bible and Sunday School Teacher, and member of the choir. As a member of the Huntsville Rotary Club, he was a Russell Barber and Paul Harris Fellow. He served on the board of Boy Scouts, the Huntsville Boys Club, and Hospice Family Care.

He was a loving husband to his wife Paula for 51 years, devoted father to Allyson Maske (Jim) and son Topher, and loving “Poppa” to Emma Stewart and J.D. Maske. His surviving siblings are El Brown (Dale), Beth Ifju, and Mike Brown. Many nieces and nephews and their children claim him as Uncle Richard.

Services are at First Presbyterian Church at 308 Gates Avenue, January 10th, with visitation at 10 a.m. and a celebration of Richards life at 11 a.m.

Donations in memory of Richard’s life can be made to, donor advised fund, Richard Brown Fund. This fund was established to support medical care, education, and research. Donations may also be made to the charity of your choice.


O God our Father, Creator of all the living, 
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

Eternal rest, grant unto Richard, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.