Claudette (Smith) Brown Obituary

JANUARY 19, 1938 – JUNE 10, 2024


Claudette Smith Brown passed away on June 10, 2024, in Nacogdoches, Texas at the age of 86. She was born on January 19, 1938 in Hallettsville, Texas to Walter and Oleta Smith.

Claudette was Valedictorian of Hallettsville High School in 1956. She held a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Claudette was a dedicated educator, teaching Government at Nacogdoches High School for thirty years. After she retired, she continued teaching dual credit government for ten years as an adjunct faculty member at SFA. For over two decades, she served as the beloved and legendary Student Council sponsor leading NHS to hold several state Student Council offices under her tenure.

In 1989, Claudette was the statewide recipient of the Leon Jaworski Award for Excellence in Teaching Law Focused Education. She was also honored as the Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding American History Teacher for the State of Texas, and in 2012 was inducted into the Nacogdoches Heritage Festival Hall of Fame.

Claudette was a member of numerous organizations including Delta Kappa Gamma, Alpha Delta Kappa, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and Heritage Club. In 1976 she served as a Presidential Elector for the state of Texas, being one of twenty-six electors to cast an official vote for President Jimmy Carter.

Aside from her family, Claudette’s legacy will live on through the students whose lives she touched. Claudette had a long history of serving Nacogdoches youth and adults with the highest level of instruction, knowledge, and exemplary American citizenship. She was grateful for the wonderful young people, faculty, and staff she had the privilege of working with over her forty-year span as an educator. She was especially proud as she watched numerous former students assume leadership positions here in Nacogdoches. She was extremely fortunate and blessed to teach at Nacogdoches High School in a career she truly loved.

Claudette was a devoted member of First Baptist Church where she served on many committees, taught Sunday School, and prayed weekly in the FBC prayer room. She was a good and faithful servant who loved the Lord, her family, and her friends.

Claudette was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Charles W. Brown, her parents, half-brother Marvin Smith, and brother Wesley Smith.

She is survived by her son Gregory Charles Brown and wife Melissa of Kilgore, daughter Sharon Anne Keith and husband Brian of Arp; grandchildren, Christopher Keith of Houston, Meagan Stevens and husband Ross of Tyler, Charles Keith and wife Kaitlyn of Lindale, step-granddaughters, Courtney Pickle and husband Jacob of Huffman, Caitlyn Tondre and husband Stanton, of Houston; great-grandchildren, Cooper and Harper Keith, and Grace and Blake Pickle. Claudette is also survived by her sister Cleo McVay of Castroville, sister-in-law Beverly Plank and husband Rhett of Canyon, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Home, Nacogdoches, Texas. Funeral service will be at 10:00 Friday, June 14 at First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches with Dr. Allen Reed officiating.

The family would like to extend special thanks and appreciation to Claudette’s caregivers, Mary Garcia, and Caitlin Mills, as well as the nurses and staff at Heart-to-Heart Hospice.