Jim Brown, NCJT’s long-time sponsor and legendary businessman in Greater Cleveland, was called to the first tee time in heaven on July 29, 2015. Mr. Brown had a passion for life and shared it by making a positive impact on so many lives. He was born in Canton, Ohio and graduated from North Canton’s Hoover High School, before attending Kent State where he earned a business degree. In 1979, he opened Classic Chevrolet in Mentor, Ohio. Since then, the Classic Auto Group has grown into a mega-dealership with 15 stores and more than 1,000 employees. His success with Classic has helped Mr. Brown become a monarch in the business community and a supporter of numerous groups and organizations throughout the region.
His love for golf and the passion he shared for young golfers lead him to support the North Coast Junior Golf Tour since its inception in 1992. Since then, his sponsorship has helped NCJT serve over 4,000 junior golfers in their quest to improve not only their golf game but, through the spirit of the game, also their take on life as they grow into adults. A large percentage of NCJT players have moved on to play college golf and dozens into the golf profession. Former players, Jason Dufner and Jason Kokrak have developed their games all the way from the North Coast Junior Tour to the highest level of golf on the PGA Tour.
“The entire NCJT community is deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Brown.” said Tony Milam, Tour Director and Chairman of NCJT. “They don’t make guys like Mr. Brown anymore, he was the best of the best in every way. Our high level of success and influence could not have been achieved without Mr. Brown’s support. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”
The tour players signed a special tribute card for Mr. Brown at the July 27 & 28 Tour Championship which has been delivered spiritually along with his official scorecard on the first tee in heaven.
A private memorial service and burial was held for Brown on Aug. 3. A public celebration of Mr. Brown’s life will be held on a date to be announced. Brown’s family requests that contributions in his honor be made to the Lake Humane Society.