John Cunningham Brothers MD

June 30, 1939November 9, 2013

John Cunningham Brothers, MD, age 74, died on Saturday, November 9, 2013 in his home. He was the son of the late Sarah White Cunningham Brothers and Mack Prater Brothers, Jr. and brother of the late Sally Ann Brothers Oliver (Tucker) and Mack Prater Brothers III.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Carter Brothers; children, John Cunningham Brothers, Jr. (Laura), Carter Randolph Brothers (Jennifer) of Roanoke, VA, and Robert Cary Brothers of Los Angeles, CA; he was the beloved "Babo" to his granddaughters, Courtney White, Anne Peyton, and Mary Burwell of Roanoke, VA, and Laura Grace and Sarah Madison; he is also survived by his brother, The Honorable Thomas White Brothers (wife, the late Lura Bainbridge Brothers) and sister-in-law, Ann Huddleston Brothers.

Dr. Brothers attended Parmer School and graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy, Tulane University, and Vanderbilt Medical School. After a residency in orthopaedics at Vanderbilt, he achieved the rank of Lt. Commander in the Navy and served his country treating wounded servicemen at Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston, MA. Some of his fondest memories came during this time living in nearby Marblehead, MA. He started his practice at the Nashville Orthopaedic Clinic in 1972 and helped introduce the technique of arthroscopic surgery in Tennessee. In addition, he took care of a generation of young athletes as the MBA Football team physician for the next 17 years. He co-founded Premier Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in 1996. John was adored by his patients for the old-fashioned way he cared for them, even making "house calls" when necessary.

He was a founding member and former President of the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Society and Chief of Staff at West Side Hospital. He served as President of both the Nashville and Tennessee Orthopaedic Societies as well as President of the Nashville Surgical Society. In addition, he was a member of the Southern Orthopaedic Association, the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, the Society for Arthritic Joint Surgery, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

He was a lifelong golfer as well as Vice-President and two-time director of the Belle Meade Country Club. In retirement, he set up a woodworking shop at home and joined the Tennessee Association of Woodturners. A wealth of friends led to many nicknames: Goober, Amazing, Dr. J, and Dr. B (especially to his dedicated nurse Sandi Johnson). He was a kind, gentle man who will be remembered for how much he selflessly gave to the lives of others, expecting nothing in return.

Long a champion of the teaching of young orthopaedists, his request was to remember these young men and women on his behalf with memorial contributions to the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Society in care of the Resident's Education Fund (Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Institute, Medical Center East, South Tower S-4200, Nashville, TN 37232-8774). Contributions can also be made to Montgomery Bell Academy.

Services will be held at St. George's Episcopal Church, where John was a member for almost 50 years. Visitation with the family will be from 2-4:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 17th. Memorial Service with Holy Eucharist will be at 3 p.m. on Monday, November 18th.


John Cunningham Brothers MD

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Barbara Wills

November 18, 2013

Knowing Dr. John Brothers as a doctor was a wonderful experience. We are the same age so our family has spent many years in and out of his offices. We continue to see doctors in his former practice. His bedside manner should be an example for all new physicians. We had a special bond as his sister Sally and her husband, Tucker, were the God parents for our oldest daughter. I will never remember him saying to us when working with our daughter, Samantha, after discovering that she would have to give up competitive swimming, that our family was just not put together very well. This statement has certainly been true. We continue seeing the ortho folks in his former practice with our grandchildren with all kinds of skeletal problems. Thanks to John and the other great folks who have worked with him we have continued to recover from a great many maladies.
We send our condolences to the family and know that they have many fantastic things to remember about this wonderful physician, husband, father and all around great guy.

November 18, 2013

Ann and Family - I could not begin to tell you the impact Dr. "B" had on my career. What an incredible surgeon-teacher and friend. Thanks for sharing him with us! Vince Palermo

Jay Foster

November 17, 2013

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Brothers. I have been blessed to know his son, Carter, for the past several years. All I can say is that Dr. Brothers must have been an amazing father. His legacy will certainly live on through Carter's good work and love for others.

Venieca Welch

November 16, 2013

I have been so blessed and honored to have worked with Dr. Brothers at our Centennial off. I loved filling in for Sandy Johnson. He was always kind and considerate of everyone. He was the true Southern Gentleman. I loved when he would brag on my cooking, esp my turnip greens. I will always cherish the memories I have. He will be missed! Thank you Dr. Brothers for a wonder 13 years if great memories!!

November 16, 2013

I went to a new doctor this week He has all it will take to be a wonderful doctor. I told him if he would take a patient's arm or hand while he spoke to them, he would be as good a doctor as the best doctor I ever knew. John Brothers

November 16, 2013


November 16, 2013

We were sadden by the news of Dr. Brothers passing. Bobby will always have fond memories of working with him in surgery as well as being his patient. He was a good man and made an impact on the lives he touched. "Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can't heal."

Bobby and Peggy Edwards
Nashville, TN

November 15, 2013

he was a wonderful person he took care of my son and i worked with him at westside hospital lisa kelley

Sharon Mosier

November 15, 2013

Dr. Brothers was one of the first physicians that I worked with at Westside/ Centennial. He was a wonderful person and very highly respected by the nurses, staff, and of course the patients that he took such excellent care of. I saw him not long ago and had a chance to tell him how much he was missed. Much sympathy to his family during this time of loss. He truly left a legacy at Centennial.

Beverly McCord

November 14, 2013

I worked with Dr. Brother for over 20 years. He was kind, gentle and compassionate. He was respectful of everyone who worked with us regardless of their job duties. He was great at making new nurses on our unit feel welcome. I feel honored that I had the privilege of working with him.
Beverly McCord RN
Retired Head Nurse of Orthopedics