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Obituary for Mike Brand

Mike  Brand
One of Newport's most treasured friends, Mike Brand, departed this life on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at the age of 71. He was born April 9, 1952, in East St. Louis, Illinois, the youngest son of John Alfred Brand and Etta Lou (Tennison) Brand.

The Brand family moved to Newport in 1955. Growing up in Newport, Mike followed his brothers, Rodney and Rodger as a star Greyhound athlete.

During his years as a Greyhound, Mike earned the 3-year letterman for Greyhound football as center and linebacker, earning All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State recognition and was a member of the undefeated 1968 Greyhounds. Mike was a member of the Newport High School Class of 1970 and was voted "Best All Around" his Senior year.

Following high school, he attended the University of Arkansas on a football scholarship, and worked 4 years towards a business degree. Mike played on the last “Shoat Team” at the University of Arkansas.

Mr. Mike Brand married Miss Kay Taylor in 1975, and together they made their lives in Newport, raising their two children there.

Mike returned to Newport in 1974, where he worked alongside his father at John Brand’s Body Shop, until Mr. Brand's retirement in 1980. Mike continued to grow and serve Jackson and surrounding counties at Brand Auto Repair until his retirement in 2017. Brand’s Body Shop was voted “Best Auto Repair Shop” by members of the Newport community for several years. He also served as President of the Northeast Arkansas Body Repair Association.

Mike was an active member of the Newport Community. Alongside his lifelong friend, John G. Pennington, with their devotion to the Newport High School Greyhounds restarted the Newport Booster Club. Mike also sponsored Friday Night Football for many years.

Mike was the epitome of an outdoorsman, an accomplished fisherman, duck hunter, and golfer. Mike started the Jackson County Bass Club and served as co-chair of the local Ducks Unlimited. He was a member of the Newport Lions Club.

Mike and his brothers were voted as three well-deserved members of the Newport Alumni Hall of Fame.

To know Mike Brand was to love Mike Brand. He lived his life with joy. Mike's laugh was as truly genuine as his soul and as honest as his speech. Mike lived every day to its fullest, he worked hard, played hard, and loved without reservation.

He was a man of quiet, strong faith and moral values. Mike was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church of Newport.

He was preceded in death by his father, John Brand, his father-in-law, Dr. Conrad Taylor and mother-in-law, Berna (Knight) Taylor.

Mike is survived by his wife of nearly 49 years, Kay Taylor Brand of the home; two children, Michael Taylor Brand of Fayetteville, and Michelle Catherine Foshee and husband, Justin of Newport; four grandchildren, Michael Brand, Bliss Catherine Foshee, Ella Faith Foshee, and Conrad Alan Foshee. Also surviving Mike are his mother, Etta Lou (Tennison) Brand of Newport; two brothers, Rodney Brand and wife, Kathryn of Oklahoma City, and Rodger Brand and wife, Carol of Newport; several nieces and nephews, and a lifetime of friends.

Friends may visit at the funeral home, Monday evening, May 29, 2023, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Funeral services are 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at First United Methodist Church of Newport, with interment in Walnut Grove Cemetery.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Dr. Mike Brown, Jerry Bullard, Joey DuPree, Howard Lynn Felts, John Pennington, Randy Ramsey, John Sink, and James Weaver.

Honorary pallbearers are Kearney Blalack, John Brand, John Brownd, Daniel Cherry, David Cherry, Larry Daniel, Dr. Guilford Dudley, Bill Knight, Joe Miles, Luke Ouellette, Donnie Prince, Dennis Ray, Bubba Sink, and members of the Newport High School Class of 1970.

Family request memorials be made to the First United Methodist Church, 217 Laurel, Newport, AR 72112.

Arrangements by Jackson’s Newport Funeral Home.
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