Woodworker and Hamilton business owner remembered for ‘really big personality’ dies at 57

Seldon D. Brown enjoyed fun pranks, talking with people and woodworking. Many enjoyed speaking with him when they visited him at The Little Woodshop on Main Street, and they are remembering those fondly this week.

Brown died unexpectedly Friday. He was 57.

One thing many people didn’t know about Brown was before he owned the woodshop, he had been a master draftsman at General Electric, where he worked on fighter jet engines, for which he won a prestigious award. The 1981 Hamilton High School graduate learned his drafting skills.

“He was super-super good” at drafting, said his son, Chris “River” Brown. He went through technical school with the high school, and, “His brothers had really funny stories about how they had the same drafting teacher and they would strike down their work because it was fine, but not as good as Seldon’s.”

He later attended the University of Cincinnati. He also was a draftsman for other companies, designing such things as light fixtures. He also drove a truck for a while. But one thing he did through the years was woodworking. He made picture frames through the years at his family home in Hamilton. After Hurricane Katrina, he went down to repair homes of a relative’s and other houses nearby.

Among the fun things he did were placing 60 plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins along construction cones along Main Street before Halloween in 2018 when the street was under construction. He also drove his mini “Tin Lizzie” car that he used for Shriner’s parades down Main Street one afternoon during construction and posted a video of it on Facebook.

“He was super-involved in sports with me,” Chris Brown, 34, said. “I started really young, like most kids in this town, let’s be honest. Everyone plays West Side Little League at some point. But he coached my first year of T-ball, I think he may have coached both years. It was so long ago.”

He also coached his son’s first year of hockey because a coach was needed, and he stepped up.

“He coached Golden Triangle Youth Hockey for one year,” Chris Brown said.

Friends of his and his son’s fondly recalled things he would do with them, like shooting blow darts. People left flowers on the front step to his store after his passing.

“He’s got a really big personality, but he was fortunate enough to surround himself with people that loved him and cared about him,” Chris Brown said. “And he really made a small community down there (at the wood shop). There were always people coming in and out just to sit and talk, which I would tell him, ‘Come on, man, are you trying to run a business or a council shop? ' But it’s his business, so who was I to tell him what to do?”

Visitation will be today at Webster Funeral Home from 1 p.m. until the funeral at 2 p.m., with Pastor Barry Wilson officiating. Burial will follow in Butler County Memorial Park.

Seldon Brown was born March 13, 1963, in Hamilton, a son of the Russell Brown and Thelma (nee Estep) Veroline. He was a Freemason and a past Master of Washington Post #17. Aside from his parents and son, he is survived by four brothers, Charles Brown, James (Kathy) Brown, Douglas (Kimberly) Brown, and Bill Brown.

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