Cover photo for Allene Chatham's Obituary
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1945 Allene 2024

Allene Chatham

June 25, 1945 — March 18, 2024

Ocean Springs, MS

Allene Swafford Brown Chatham was born June 25, 1945, in North Carrollton, MS. She was the daughter of Loraine Flemmons Norwood and Glover Allen Swafford, Sr.

She attended elementary school in Carrolton, but spent her formative days in Grenda, where she graduated from John Rundle High School. She later moved to Charleston, where she started her family and formed many lifelong friends.

In the early 70’s she moved to Ocean Springs where she and her family settled in Winsor Park. She was a most beloved woman of the community, which she served for many years through her positions on numerous boards and agencies, including the Jackson George Regional Library Board as well as varying positions for minor league teams in the area. For the last 22 years, she has served as Director of Volunteers for the Walter Anderson Museum.

When she wasn’t volunteering, she worked in the St. Martin Library System and Jackson County Road Department. In 1994, she became vice president of Chatham Loss Control Services in Corp. where she worked with her second husband Leon, whom she has been married to for 19 years. 

She was a woman of faith and a longtime member and volunteer of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs as well as a founding member of the new Ocean Springs United Methodist Church.

She was proceeded in death by her parents; and her two uncles, Leon and a very special Uncle Leo Flemmons; as well as her first husband and father of her children, Ben Neely Brown Sr.

She is survived by her husband, Leon of Ocean Springs; brother, Glover Allen ‘Al’ Swafford, Jr. of North Carrollton; and half siblings, Ann Swafford Hite of Marietta, GA & Jeffery ‘Jeff’ Swafford of Dalton, GA.

She is also survived by her children, Allison Brown Sanchez (Craig) of Pensacola, FL, Ben ‘Neely’ Brown, Jr. (his partner Sheri) of Brandon, Michelle Chatham of Maui, Hawaii, and Micheal Chatham (Karen) of Bay Minette, AL; as well as 11 grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

She loved her museum and church families, as well as her special ‘fur baby’ family, ‘Coco’, ‘Ru-ru’, and ‘Beau’. She treasured the times she spent with family in Pensacola, Brandon, and Toomsuba. She had a great love for crafting, gardening, and spending time by the pool.

The family would like to thank the doctor’s offices of Dr. Bobby Swinney, MD, Dr. Michael Finan, MD, the Singing River Cancer Center and their infusion staff, the staff of SICU in Ocean Springs Hospital, Acadian Ambulance Personnel, and Deaconess Hospice of Biloxi. We would also like to thank special family friends, the Reverand Betty Weaver, and longtime family friends, Micheal and Virginia Montgomery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Ocean Springs United Methodist Church or the Walter Anderson Museum.

Visitation will be held Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the Ocean Springs United Methodist Church, 8900 Old Spanish Trail in Ocean Springs from 10:00 am until time of services at 11:00 am.  Please join us at the Ocean Springs Community Center, next to Walter Anderson Museum, at 1:00 pm to celebrate the life of this wonderful lady.

Riemann Family Funeral Home, West Jackson County, is proudly serving the Chatham family. Share memories, condolences, and photos with his family at
To order memorial trees in memory of Allene Chatham, please visit our tree store.


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