Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Retired Chancellor Woodrow W. Brand Jr. died Nov. 1

November 5, 2018

Retired Chancellor Woodrow Wilson Brand, Jr. of Houston died at his home on Nov. 1. He was 85.

A funeral service was held Nov. 3 at First Baptist Church in Houston. Judge Brand was buried with military honors in Houston Cemetery.

Retired Chancellor Woodrow W. Brand Jr.

Judge Brand served as chancellor of the 14th Chancery District from 1970 to 1998.

He was born Sept. 15, 1933, in Houston, Mississippi, the son of Woodrow Wilson Brand, Sr. and Sarah Cornelia Smith. His first jobs were delivering milk and working as a grocery boy. He graduated from Houston High School in 1951 and attended Mississippi State University, graduating in 1955. He earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1958 and began practicing law in Houston, where his father also practiced.

He was elected mayor of Houston in 1961 at the age of 28. At the time, he was the youngest serving mayor in Mississippi. He served two terms as mayor, from 1961 to 1970, then became chancellor of the 14th District, which includes Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Webster counties.

He joined the Mississippi National Guard in 1955, serving with the 223rd Engineers. Later he became a JAG officer. He retired in 1986 at the rank of colonel with 31 years of service.

He served on the board of Community Bank of Mississippi and the Executive Council of the Pushmataha Area Boy Scouts.

He was a pilot and loved flying his small plane. He and his wife of 62 years, Betty Gordon Brand, traveled the country in their motor home. He enjoyed golfing with friends and family, hunting, camping and Mississippi State football.

He was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Houston, where he served as a deacon, led the men’s Sunday School class and sang in the choir.