In Memoriam: Sam E. Brown, S.E.C.

Sam Brown was born in Dalhart, Texas on February 17, 1921. The son of Mr. Eck Brown and his wife, Maude Culberson Brown. Sam had one brother, Billy N. Brown, who also because a Realtor.

Sam grew up in Dalhart, obtaining his Eagle Scout award and graduating from Dalhart High School in 1938.

In 1938, Sam enrolled in Texas A & M in College Station, Texas. He was proud to be an “Aggie” as students at the school are called, and began Civilian Pilot training during his second year of college. He was listed in the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1941.

In 1942 Sam graduated from College with a BS degree and answered the call of his country for pilots. Joining the United States Air Force, he became a Captain by 1943. He was the Group Operations Officer of the 325th Fighter Group, which served in North Africa, Italy and Russia. He was highly officer decorated earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six clusters and a Distinguished Unit Citation with two Clusters.

After his career with the Air Force, Sam moved to New Mexico. He continued to serve his country as a Pilot with the New Mexico National Guard and began his real estate practice in 1948. Sam joined the Realtors Association of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Board of Realtors and the Realtors Association of New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. He also earned a number of professional Designations including: Certified Residential Broker (CRB), Certified Property Manager (CPM) and was a Society of Exchange Counselor.

Sam was active in his local exchange market and a member of the Albuquerque Exchange Counselors. He was active in a number of other real estate associations including: the Farm and Land Institute, the National Institute of Property Management, and the Albuquerque Multiple Listing Service. His unwavering service to the business community was shown in his leadership of real estate organizations. Sam was a Director of the Realtors Association of New Mexico, a Director of the National Association of Realtors, President of Mortgage Bankers Association of New Mexico and Member of the Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Industrial Development Service. He was active in the SEC and served as a member of the Board of Governors and as the President of the Society of Exchange Counselors in 1983.

Sam was a builder, a developer and a tremendous real estate counselor. He developed three residential subdivisions, built four apartment projects and two commercial projects. A superb ranch broker, he sold over 22 ranches in New Mexico and Colorado. In 1979 he won an award from the Albuquerque Board of Realtors for $16,800,000 in personal production that year. Sam also was the recipient of the very prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Realtors, which has approximately 750,000 members., He was the 11th recipient of the award, today the number of members in this elite group of Award winners is around 20.

Sam was equally active in charitable and community organizations as well. In 1948 he became a Mason and in 1949 he became a Shriner and was a member of the Shrine Patrol for ten years. He was also a member of the New Mexico Elks. His love of flying was evident in his work to promote the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, serving as a member and on the Board of Directors for that event.

Sam was never too busy to help or take time to visit a friend. When Bob Elder, SEC, found himself in Albuquerque to take some real estate educational courses at the Albuquerque Board, he called Sam to let him know he was in town. Sam dropped what he was doing (moving to a new house) and drove to the Board office to take Bob out for lunch.

Real Estate was a family business for the Browns. His brother Bill was a president of the National Association of Realtors and his wife Dee Brown is still active in the Albuquerque market. When his wife Dee was asked about a trait that made Sam successful, she replied that “he was a list guy”, he was very organized. He kept lists on everything, current properties for sale, a list of golf partners, people he hadn’t seen in a while, a list of people he wanted to meet with, and a list of people never to do business with.

One of Sam Brown’s best friends was Jack Hunt, SEC. While visiting in Hawaii, the two of them came up with the cards shown below. It illustrates the sense of humor he had and their friendship serves as a reminder of the fellowship that can be found in the Society.

In Summary, Sam Brown was a business leader, community servant and devoted family man. His friend Jack Hunt says it best: “He was truly a fine human being….and more important than all the history of Sam is my knowledge of his absolute integrity in this personal life as well as his business life. A phone call from Sam saying he would do something was tantamount to being able to take that handshake to the bank.”

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