Claire Giddeons Brown

July 8, 1930November 18, 2021

Claire Giddeons Brown died peacefully on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina, surrounded by her loving family. She was born at home in Rocky Mount on July 8, 1930 to Mary June Hudler Giddeons and Godfrey Giddeons. Following graduation from Rocky Mount Senior High School, she entered East Carolina Teacher’s College.

Claire met Harry Elmore Brown, the love of her life, on a blind double date in Burgaw. While she was paired with another young man, she knew before the night ended that Harry was “the one” for her. They were married at First Baptist Church in Rocky Mount on June 24, 1951. Theirs was a beautiful story of love and faith, and the firmest of foundations upon which to raise their three children. Claire and Harry were married for 47 joyous years, traveling nationally and internationally with Harry’s work before returning to North Carolina in 1963.

Claire was happiest being a wife and mother, and was quick to declare that she took great pride in being a homemaker. Never idle, she took enormous pleasure in gardening, cooking and entertaining for family and friends, sewing window treatments, reupholstering furniture, and making wonderful clothes. For twelve years she gladly followed Harry to the next job site, cheerfully packing and unpacking, always managing to create a happy, nurturing “home” no matter where their family landed. Truly, home was where the Brown family’s hearts were — whether that was in tropical Trinidad of the British West Indies, Australia, or a dusty triplex in Amarillo, Texas. It was the happiest of homes, always filled with music and song — whether from the hi-fi, the radio or the joyful voices of Harry and Claire.

Claire loved the Lord, and exemplified His grace and compassion throughout her life. She was always involved in Bible study, church activities and commitments, and encouraged the same in her children. Her love of Christ and belief in the power of the Holy Spirit was her compass, and she bore witness to her faith every day of her life.

Claire was predeceased by her beloved husband of 47 years, Harry Elmore Brown, in 1998, and also by her father, Godfrey Giddeons in 1962, and her mother, Mary June Hudler Giddeons in 2002.

Surviving family members include her three children, daughter Sharon Brown Norman and husband Charles Hamilton Norman III, son Michael Louis Brown and wife Jenna Pakhchanian Brown, daughter Elizabeth Brown Privette and husband James Atlas Privette, Jr.; grandchildren Misty Brown Bassignana and husband Ray Bassignana, Joseph Brown, Matthew Taylor Norman and wife Chandler Woodall Norman, Emily Ashford Norman Richards and husband Brian Charles Richards, Taylor Matheson Privette, and Cameron Ashford Privette; great-grandchildren Claire Ashford Richards, Merrill Elizabeth Richards, Sanders Reid Norman, Lilly Marshall Norman, Nicolas Palmer, and Fiona Bassignana.

Other surviving family members include Claire’s younger sister, June Elizabeth Giddeons Braswell, niece Susan Braswell Pierce (Dallas), nephew Charles Linwood Braswell, Jr. (Tammy), niece Mary Ellen Braswell (David Livesay), nephew John Umstead (Nadine), nieces Ouida Farmer Tisdale and Martha Farmer King.

A service of witness to the resurrection will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro on Monday, November 29 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive visitors immediately following the service. Masks are required.

Claire’s family wishes to express deep appreciation to the many devoted staff and nurses who cared for her at Moses Cone Hospital during her month-long illness, with special thanks to 4 East for their generous, thoughtful care. In particular, they extend their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Pahwani for his exceptional professional care, compassion and respect during Claire’s final weeks. The family also wishes to acknowledge Nurse Tori and CNA William for their excellent and devoted care.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to First Presbyterian Church’s Hot Dish & Hope, 617 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.


  • First Presbyterian Church's Hot Dish & Hope


  • A Service of Witness to the Resurrection

    Monday, November 29, 2021


Claire Giddeons Brown

have a memory or condolence to add?

Diane Giddeons

November 22, 2021

Remembering Uncle Godfrey and Aunt Mary June through this picture of such a classy lady. Regrets of not having spent more time together but warm memories of Claire’s endearing personality.

Gretchen King

November 20, 2021

So sorry to hear of Aunt Clare’s passing. I have so many fond memories of visiting Harry and Clare when I was young. My thoughts and prayers for Beth, Sharon and Mike. I love you all.