There are condolences waiting approval on James's Tribute wall
Celebrating the life of James Benjamin Brownstein
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of
This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate
the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate
to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
Obituary for James Benjamin Brownstein
James Benjamin (Ben) Brownstein passed away at St. Dominic Hospital Sunday, July 26 following a recent illness. He was born February 23, 1938 in Gulfport, MS to Gus and Mable Hinson Brownstein. Ben is the father of two sons, Todd Brownstein of Birmingham, Alabama, and David Brownstein of Jackson, who predeceased him six years ago.
Ben was warm, loving, big-hearted, known and loved by many. Those who knew him would say that he could “sell ice to an Eskimo” and would “give you the shirt off his back”. He loved life, loved being happy and harbored no anger. Ben loved his sons, Arkansas, peanuts poured in cokes, old friends, shooting pool, flying airplanes, making deals, the Razorbacks, golfing with buddies, lunch with friends and sharing stories about his sons. Ben led an interesting life growing up in Newport, Arkansas where he was very popular in high school and went on to play football on a scholarship at the University of Arkansas but left during his first season. He soon realized his mistake and went back later to finish his college career. Joe Lewis was a special friend who introduced Ben to fans across the country music world as “my brother”. That relationship led to a deep friendship with country music legend Conway Twitty. Conway loved Ben dearly and they shared many wonderful experiences as he often flew with or alongside Conway to his performances. Ben was involved in numerous business ventures, specializing in commercial real estate speculations. He loved new ideas and once developed a children’s rides show that was booked around the country with another great friend, Stanley Wedel. Ben’s sons loved Stanley and Fearless-Frank-the-Fang he created for their entertainment. Stanley remained a faithful, committed friend throughout the years…truly a friend to the end.In Maywood Mart shopping Center, Ben once asked a group of young boys if anyone wanted work. Allen Herrington volunteered and that was the start of a father/son type relationship that remained in place until Ben’s death. Allen was completely devoted to Ben. Ben was adored by his nieces and nephews. Michael remembers that “He was larger than life to us and I have fond memories of his smile and ‘tricks’ he would play on us. I will never forget one Easter when he hid the “prize egg” in his pocket and we little kids spent all day looking for it, until it eventually appeared behind someone’s ear!”. All the children anxiously awaited sitting on Santa’s (Ben’s) knee to get their special stocking every Christmas Eve until they were, as Susanna put it, too big to do so. He loved his in-laws, “Mama and Papa Pippen” and was proud to be part of their family. He so enjoyed " Mama Pippen’s" cooking and had fun taking Conway Twitty and his band to the farm to enjoy her good food. There were wonderful memories of big animal hunts to Idaho, Canada and Alaska with “Papa Pippen”. Ben was a very engaged father and believed Todd and David to be the smartest, most interesting people he knew. He was so proud of them! His younger son came back to Jackson and lived with Ben for the last few years of his life and Ben loved having his “baby boy” with him and relished their many late-night talks. He was in awe of Todd’s intelligence and his artistic abilities and felt great pride when Marcie Nessel held a show of Todd’s art pottery at her Fischer Galleries in Jackson.
A private family memorial service will be held later in Jackson. In addition, his ashes will be sent along with his son David’s ashes for interment at the gravesite of his parents in Newport, Arkansas where Ben and David will be remembered by several of his closest friends.
Memorial may be sent to the Billy Brumfield Shelter or to a charity of your choice.