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Clyde L. Brown

February 8, 1938 — March 2, 2024

Nashville

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Clyde L. Brown, loving husband, devoted father, grandfather and friend, died March 2, 2024. He was born in Taft, Tennessee on February 8, 1938. He was preceded in death by his mother, LaVerne B. Fennessey, his stepfather, William “Bill Fennessey, and by his wife of 39 years, Helen Brown. He is survived by his loving daughter, Jessica L. Rich (Johnny) and granddaughters Helen and Lucy Grace. He is also survived by a sister, Fay Carr and nephew Wayne Underwood (Dee Dee) of Knoxville, Tennessee.  

Clyde exhibited entrepreneurial inspiration early in life. As a young boy in Columbia, Tennessee, he processed scrap pallets into kindling and peddled door to door with notable success. At age 10, he moved to Nashville and managed a paper route. By age 15, he was promoted to route manager with a “little empire” of 16 paper boys to supervise. His thriftiness supported flying lessons and he became a licensed pilot at age 16. He loved flying airplanes and helicopters and was a flying enthusiast throughout his life.  

Clyde graduated from West High School in 1956 and enrolled in Vanderbilt University Engineering School, graduating in 1960 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He fulfilled his military obligations as a 1st Lieutenant in the Army at Ft. Knox, Kentucky and afterward he became chief engineer at American Marine & Machinery Co. (AMMCO) He was a pioneer in the hydraulic dredging industry in which he worked for over 60 years. He purchased Dixie Dredge Company in 1968. Later, he acquired control of AMMCO. In 1987, he partnered with Bill Stocker to purchase DredgeMasters International Inc. Clyde continued to design and export high quality dredges internationally, supported by a loyal team of committed employees. Clyde never really retiredhe continued to work as long as he was able. Throughout his career, his work took him all over the worldCentral America, South America (including the Panama Canal)Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with many projects focused in Thailand 

He was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church. He loved music of all kinds and attending Nashville Opera performances with his wife, Helen. He enjoyed the fellowship of his senior living community, The Cumberland (Brookdale Senior Living). Clyde’s family would especially like to thank his wonderful caregiver, Yeshi Takele, for her exceptional skill and care.  

A private celebration of Clyde’s life will be held. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Dr. Helen Brown Memorial Fund c/o Friends of Nashville Opera. 

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