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Honoring a very good friend and fashion role model

One of my closest friends and fashion role models is Ethel Brown. On Dec. 31, she joined me in retirement after 30 years of employment at the Alcohol Safety Action Program, and on Thursday, Jan. 19, the employees at ASAP gave her a retirement luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn.

At the time of her retirement, she was a case manager. Her duties were as follows: monitored and accessed DUI-drug referrals; served as a Suspended Operator License Facilitator, that involved 15 students in a class being counseled by her twice a month; visited Suffolk schools to give out public information on drugs and safe driving and conducted speech presentations; and served as a liaison officer for the General District Courts and Circuit Courts in Southampton, Isle of Wight , Franklin and Suffolk.

Brown has always been known as being a compassionate and friendly person who likes to look her best, and shop. These qualities were brought out during the luncheon, in which Clifford Hoffman, Southeastern Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Director, served as master of ceremonies.

Reflections by co-workers and friends highlighted the luncheon and Hoffman regaled the group with humor, speaking on the many hairstyles that she wore and an unforgettable trip to take her home during a snowstorm.

Sharon Scott, one of her seven instructors, stated that they missed her already.

“The work that you do will always speak for you,” she said.

Others on the program were First Lady Jamie Russell, and her uncle, Deacon Carl Boone, from St. Paul Baptist Church on Lincoln Avenue. They spoke of her faithfulness and loyalty to the church and to her family.

Marjorie Lee, grand daughter ruler of Norfolk Temple 1A, of which Brown is the grand district deputy, brought congratulatory greetings from that group.

Marie Washington, a close friend who resides in Newport News and has traveled the United States with Brown, witnessed that no matter where they went, Brown could always find a place to go shopping.

Hoffman also read a congratulatory statement from Judge Rodham Delk Jr., from the Fifth Judicial District of Virginia.

Brown plans to write an autobiography on her life with the ASAP Program, travel, and shop, shop, shop.

She has been married to McOlzer Brown for 40 years and they have two children and four granddaughters.

In today’s job market, and because of the economy, the prospects of keeping a job that you love are not good Therefore, my definition of a successful career is when you have reached the age where you can retire from a job when you chose to do so.

Congratulations Ethel. God has blessed you to still be young enough to now enjoy a life of retirement after you gave your all to a successful career.

Evelyn Wall is a retired News-Herald reporter and regular columnist.