David Brown, Tishomingo resident and former lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation, died late Thursday, June 6, at the age of 70.
Brown was born to Mattie Brown at Chilocco Indian School June 20, 1942. He grew up in the Tishomingo area and graduated from Ravia High School.
Brown served as lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation from 1991 until 1999.
In his personal message to the Chickasaw people as a candidate in the 1995 election, Brown said that he wanted “to continue working with the people so that – together – we can make the Chickasaw Nation stronger, better and even more successful.”
Bill Anoatubby, governor of the Chickasaw Nation, said Brown had a passion for serving the Chickasaw people.
“Our condolences are with the family and friends of David Brown, a man who came from humble beginnings in rural Oklahoma to live and work in one of the largest cities in the country,” said Anoatubby. “Those diverse experiences helped him understand a broad range of life experiences when he returned to work for the Chickasaw Nation.”
As lieutenant governor, Brown was involved in repatriation of remains of 20 American Indians uncovered in an archeological dig in Tupelo, Miss. He was also involved in early efforts to repatriate prehistoric remains unearthed at a building site in Tennessee in 1997.
Chickasaw Nation achievements during Brown’s tenure in office include publishing the first Journal of Chickasaw History, opening successful businesses in Tishomingo and Ardmore, establishing the Chuka Chukmasi Home loan program and beginning the Upward Bound Program at Murray State College, as well as opening a community center in Achille and a senior nutrition site in Allen.
After high school, Brown served in the military then moved to Los Angeles where he served as chairman pro tem of the South Bay Indian Services Board of Directors. He also served as vice chairman of the Los Angles Indian Center and as chairman of the Long Beach Indian Center.
Brown studied at Chaffey State College, the University of California and California State University of Los Angeles.
Brown later returned to Tishomingo where he lived with his wife, Rhonda (Whittington), an instructor at Murray State College and a nurse practitioner at the Chickasaw Nation Family Practice Clinic. They have three sons, Jeff, Brandon and Bryant.
Brown taught as an adjunct instructor at Murray State College. He served as a member of the state executive committee of the Democratic Party of Oklahoma.
He served as a board member of the Tishomingo Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Tishomingo Planning Advisory Board. He served as member of the Ethnic Diversity Council for the city of Ada.
Brown also served on the Johnson County Industrial Authority and the Literacy Council of Johnston County.