Dale Edward Brown

January 7, 1953 – February 21, 2008

How will I be remembered? This is a thought that most of us have at least once in our lives. What will people say about me? For the late Dale Edward Brown, it was his “willingness to help in any way that [he] could,” according to his now deceased and beloved Auntee Josephine. This dossier is an attempt to honor and uphold the humanity of Dale Brown and to magnify the loss that is created when a person dies behind bars. Dale was a son, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a friend and so much more. Dale was born on Wednesday January 7, 1953.

His parents were Joseph Edward Brown and Irma Hawkins, who I imagine were overjoyed to welcome a beautiful baby on what would have been a sunny but not too humid first week of the year. Records indicate that Dale’s father was born in New Orleans but it is uncertain where his mother was born. Given the amount of Dale’s immediate and extended family born and raised in the New Orleans area, it seems likely that Dale was also born in New Orleans. I was unable to confirm this however, as research into his vital records were not fruitful. It is unclear when Dale’s father Joseph passed away, but Dale’s mother, Irma Hawkins Brown died in 2004, four years before Dale. Dale also had a brother Dennis who passed before him.

Pink, single story home with blue trim.

Dale Edward Brown’s home

Both Dale and his mother had the same home registered as a place they lived in the last few decades of their lives. The home was on 4th street, just behind South Claiborne in Uptown New Orleans. The house, pictured, was painted pink as of March 2022, but it looks freshly painted and renovated and could have easily gone through many changes since the time that Dale and his mom lived there from 1987 to 2002. 

As I searched everywhere I could think of for clues about Dale, I ended each day with more questions than answers. What neighborhood did Dale grow up in as a kid? He lived Uptown before his passing, but his daughter went to highschool in New Orleans East, so maybe he lived there?  What was Dale’s nickname? What were his favorite ways to pass time? Did he have any pet peeves? Was he silly and funny, or serious and reserved? From trying to find neighbors near his old house to searching the library archives, I kept hitting dead ends. Eventually, I returned to Dale’s obituary. Reading the comments left there made it abundantly clear that he was treasured and greatly missed. From missing family gatherings, birthday celebrations, graduations and other such milestones to missing the tedious and the mundane. 

Demaras was only 25 years old when she lost her dad. And at fifty-five years young at the time of his passing, Dale had so much more love to give. From sharing words of wisdom or encouragement with his daughter to coming over to help fix something or share a dad joke–are those not the precious moments that we long for at the end of the day? That is what I kept returning to, the seemingly insignificant moments. The moments you are sitting with a loved one watching television and some commercial comes on that reminds you both of an inside joke, the kind that has you busting up laughing until you are crying and your stomach hurts. The moments your grandbabies get to the “why” stage and you try to answer the same question a thousand ways an hour. The moments your kid calls to complain about her kid and brings up something that she used to do when she was that age. For those of us who have ever lost anyone we know that there really are no such thing as insignificant moments. Because at the end of the day, when you love someone you would move the moon and the stars to get one more of any kind of moment with them. 

Picture of six of Dale Edward Brown's family members in matching shirts

Dale Edward Brown’s family

Dale’s time was cut short and his story feels just beyond reach. The story I have pieced together feels delicate, like wafer-thin paper you’re afraid to hold onto too tightly for fear it might disintegrate into the palm of your hand leaving you wondering if it was ever really there to begin with. When I look at pictures of Dale’s daughter and her family, I see Dale. I don’t know exactly what he looked like but I know he looked like her and I know he had the same love radiating from his smile. I choose to believe that he is with her now, in spirit. Watching over his loved ones and proud of all they have grown into despite losing such an important piece of their family. Regardless, I hope that more answers come to light and I hope more memories of Dale are shared and uplifted. They deserve as much and so does Dale. 

Author: Bernadette Fox


  • Dale’s Obituary, https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/dale-brown-obituary?id=14814733
  • https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/KMSY/date/1953-1-7
  • https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/irma-brown-obituary?id=15982243
  • Spokeo searches of Irma Hawkins & Dale Edward Brown, https://www.google.com/maps/place/2906+Fourth+St,+New+Orleans,+LA+70113/@29.9421931,-90.0931423,3a,75y,230.65h,95.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqvllJboaa6TTFK6vg8IU2Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!4m5!3m4!1s0x8620a5c7805b9bb9:0x20f6bf46935a3a68!8m2!3d29.9420839!4d-90.0932591
  • https://www.opso.us/dcktmstr/555555.php?&domagn=398489
  • https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/dale-brown-obituary?id=14814733
  • La. Stat. tit. 33 § 4712.25
  • https://www.facebook.com/demaras.wiley/photos
  • Sarah T. Reed Senior High School; https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/dale-brown-obituary?id=14814733