Browns’ Valentine Story: Over 50 Years of Marriage


Violet Korpal, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

English teacher Carolyn Brown has an amazing love story that has lasted over 53 years and still continues today. 

It all started at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, when Brown went to college “to find a man to marry” and found James Michael Brown (Mike Brown).

“I was playing ping pong with his roommate at a welcoming mixer, and Mike came up and played doubles with us,” said Brown. 

At the time Mr. Brown was a junior in college and Mrs. Brown was a sophomore.  

Two days later he pretended to unintentionally see Mrs. Brown while walking to class and presented her with a ticket to go and see Simon and Garfunkel with him. 

“I would’ve gone to hear Simon and Garfunkel with a dog,” explained the teacher.

They went and have been in love ever since. 

Mr. and Mrs. Brown married in June 1969 in her hometown of Winnsboro, Texas, after they both graduated. 

“We even skipped graduation,” said Mrs. Brown

Engraved into both of their wedding bands is “I need you,” which Mrs. Brown describes as the truth of every relationship.

“We were both very committed to our kids too, which helped a lot. Every sporting game our kids played in, even when he worked in downtown Chicago, my husband made sure to get there,” said Mrs.Brown. 

Their honeymoon was in New Orleans where they went as a special re-visit for their 50th wedding anniversary with their sons and families. 

Brown and her husband have lived in many places all over the country, including Texas, North Carolina, Kansas, Illinois and finally Wisconsin. 

Over their years of marriage Mr. Brown has supported Mrs. Brown’s desire to stay in the classroom and teach. 

Factors like both being Christian and committed to their faith as well as both being very independent helped their marriage succeed. 

“You are both needed to be complete in a relationship,” said Mrs. Brown.

And her ultimate advice for a lifelong marriage? 

“Listen to each other, talk about things and, just like the Bible says, don’t go to bed angry.”