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Albert S. “Bert” Browning, III

Albert S. “Bert” Browning, III

Mr. Browning passed quickly in his home Monday evening, April 20, sitting with his new bride at age 85. Bert loved people, the mountains of western Carolina and was a friend to all who met him.

He was born in downtown Hendersonville on 6th Avenue in 1929 to Sara and Bert Browning, Jr. and drove a milk truck through town regularly at age 14, while younger drivers helped at home during WWII. He earned his pilot’s license as a teenager and graduated ROTC from Hendersonville High School in 1948. He graduated from NC State in ’52 and was directly commissioned as an Army Lieutenant Medic. Bert started his career with Merrill Lynch in Charlotte. He was promoted in ‘67 to their New York headquarters as a manager migrating the paper recordkeeping of the largest U.S. investment firm to computers.

Bert left corporate life and returned to Hendersonville in 1975 when he renovated the building on the NE corner of First & Main. He was instrumental in the federal designation of our Historic Downtown area. This brought the serpentine road design with its planters and benches that fostered the re-birth and added charm to our active business district. The Browning Title insurance agency served on the corner for more than 25 years during a time of tremendous growth in Henderson County.

Bert spent his retirement in Saluda, NC and was woven into the community socially and spiritually. One of the first things he did there was to help stabilize the library. Bert was a joyful and intelligent man, believing that we are all expressions of God. He studied numerous religions, cultures and philosophies. He enjoyed cooking for others and spoke from the heart to encourage and mentor friends of all ages.

He is survived by Dana Feaster Browning, his wife of four months with whom he shared a gentle peace and true love in his final days; his sister Virginia Turner of Hendersonville; three sons: Parker Browning, a tax advisor in Hendersonville; Tom Browning, a software engineer in Bellevue, WA; and Sidney Browning, a financial planner living in Alpharetta, GA with his wife Alia and Bert’s grandchildren, Laila (18) and Benjamin (15).

In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks that you mentor a youth, be generous and tell your friends that you love them.

There will be a private family service and Memorial Celebration for those that loved and supported Bert in the coming weeks. Remembrances can be sent to Sidney at sidneybrowning@bellsouth.net