On September 2, 2019, I lost my best friend, the father of my daughters, and the love of my life, Peyton Goolrick Brown, VMI '69. From a friendship that began in early elementary school, we weathered the storms of life together. Nothing will be the same. Peyton was born on April 24, 1947, in Bedford, Virginia, to the late Hagerman Brown and the late Maria Boan Brown, youngest brother to the late Hagerman Channing Brown and the late Benjamin Boan Brown. Peyton was an athlete, bird hunter and sports fan. At Bedford High School and Liberty High School he played football, basketball and pole vaulted. He was recently inducted into the Liberty High School Sports Hall of Fame. He took his basketball skills to Virginia Military Institute, and one of his less-than-stellar performances is detailed in Pat Conroy's book, My Losing Season. Perhaps Ralph Wright, Denny Clark and Coach McPherson are helping him prove his true skills to Pat today. An avid bird hunter, he was predeceased in March by Ned, his last faithful English setter. They are today taking a walk through the woods with Hagerman, so glad to be together. Peyton was a true and loyal friend, and many have heard him say, "Love you, man," which he sincerely meant. From his high school friends to his hunting and golfing buddies to his teammates and brother rats, he was proud to be among you and to share so many good and sometimes crazy memories. Peyton was a fighter in every sense of the word. He survived the rigors of VMI and the army. He battled and won the fight with cancer, but the final fight was one he could not win. Peyton is survived by his best friend, Robert Blackburn Booth of Greensboro, North Carolina; and two truly wonderful daughters, Jennifer Elizabeth Brown and friend, David Seton Cribb and Susan Brown Cole and husband, Alden Brewer Cole Sr., all of Wilmington, North Carolina. He is also survived by twin grandsons whose activities amazed and delighted him, Alden Brewer Cole Jr. and Peyton Wallace Cole, also of Wilmington. Finally, he is survived by me, Gail Fellers Brown, his wife and partner of 54 years. Rest in peace, brave heart. The service celebrating Peyton's life will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2019, at St. John's Episcopal Church in Bedford, Virginia, at 10 a.m. with visitation immediately following the service next door at Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory. In lieu of flowers, consider the D-Day Memorial, the VMI Keydet Club or St. John's Episcopal Church in Bedford. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.

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