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Joseph “Joe” Earl Brownlee

Laurens, South Carolina

Joseph Earl Brownlee, age 76, of the Hickory Tavern Community, and husband of Frances Melton Brownlee, passed away on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, peacefully at his home.

He was born in Laurens and was a son of the late Willie Capers and Ena Abercrombie Brownlee.

Mr. Brownlee retired from Industrial Distribution Group and was a member of Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church where he was as a former deacon. He was a Mason and Past Master at Schroder Lodge in Gray Court. Joe was a loving father and grandfather who loved the Lord and enjoyed gardening and passed that love on to his family.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by: his children, Tammy Emerson (Gene) of Matthews, NC and Brian Brownlee (Stephanie) of Laurens; his grandchildren, Lauren and Wyatt Emerson and Matthew and Rebekah Brownlee.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, James Carroll Brownlee.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM on Friday, May 13, 2022, at Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church conducted by Rev. Alex D. Henderson, with burial to follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends at the church from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.

Condolences can be expressed to the family at


  1. Paul Waters on May 11, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    I’m sure I speak for all of my family when I say my cousin, Joe Brownlee, was perhaps the most humble man I have ever met or will meet. His name will always be synonymous with kindness, gentleness, loyalty, faith, love, and firmness of character and Christian beleif. We all shall miss him at reunions but we will see him again in Heaven!

    Our best and our loving prayers to sweet Frances and the family.

    • Joy Waters Martin on May 12, 2022 at 6:58 am

      My heart breaks to hear of Joe’s passing. We will surely miss his kindness and love. He was such a good man. Our love and prayers for God’s comfort to all his family during this time of grieivng his passing. Until we meet again, we sure will miss you, Joe.

  2. Dorothy Starrett on June 29, 2022 at 11:22 am

    We are sorry for your loss. We just found out. Mr. Joe and I talked several times about “okry”. My dad always grew okry and it was the best! Along came Mr. Joe and he was now the best. I am so grateful for meeting him and him sharing with the community all his wonderful vegetables. He knew me as “the okry” lady! He will be missed but I know Brian will carry on. May God bless each of you. I know Mr.Joe is gardening all over heaven! Dorothy and Terry Starrett, Lake Rabon.

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