NEWPORT NEWS - Florence "Marie" Brown Carithers, daughter of Percy and Roberta Greene Brown, died on Monday, Feb. 8, 2010, in Newport News, Va.
Born in Gates County, N.C., on May 6, 1922, Marie moved to Newport News with her parents when she was four years old. She graduated from Newport News High School in June, 1939, and attended Newport News Business College. In 1941, she accepted a position as a Receptionist and Medical Assistant in a local physician's office, and worked there for eight years. She also worked for another physician in Alabama during part of WW II, and as a Laboratory Technician.
In 1952, Marie became a Licensed Registered Agent for all types of insurance and worked with her husband in his firm. After that business was sold in 1963, she obtained a Real Estate broker's license. She was a Realtor, a graduate of the Realtor Institute, and a member of the local, state, and national boards of real estate until her retirement in 1987.
Marie was a member of First Baptist Church of Newport News for more than 70 years. She sang in the Sanctuary choir for more than 50 years, and served as a section leader and soloist for 12 years. During this time, she sang at both the downtown and suburban location each Sunday. She was piano accompanist for the Primary and Junior choirs for eight years, and a charter member of the Senior choir, "The Swinging Singers." She was active in many aspects of the church, including Sunday School teacher, Training Union leader, and Women's Missionary Union President. She served on many committees, including the first Building Committee when the church started building at the suburban location on Warwick Blvd.
Marie met her late husband, Paul Norman Carrithers, at First Baptist Church. At the time of his death in 2000, they had been married for 56 years. They had three daughters.
Marie was an avid gardener, and enjoyed reading, and music. She especially enjoyed singing. After recovering from a serious illness at the age of 51, she began taking voice lessons. She sang her first solo on Good Friday in April, 1974. As her love of singing grew, Marie decided to pursue a music degree at Christopher Newport College. In 1986, at the age of 64, she graduated with honors and earned a B.A. in Fine and Performing Arts, with a concentration Vocal Performance.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her three brothers, William Newell Brown, Percy Leonard Brown, and Harold Starling Brown; and her sister-in-law, Gladys M. Brown.
She is survived by her three daughters, Faye C. Roberts (Claude); Kaye L. Carrithers (Thomas J. Meeks); and Gaye C. Bruce (Thomas). Also surviving are six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12, at First Baptist Church, 12716 Warwick Blvd, Newport News 23606, with the funeral immediately following at 11 a.m.
Funeral arrangements are with Weymouth Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published by Daily Press from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12, 2010.