Ralph T. "Teddy" Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund

Est. 2023 by Carroll E. Brown, Teddey Brown Jr., Erik Brown, and Shawn Brown

Carroll E. Brown vividly recalls meeting Ralph T. “Teddy” Brown. It was the Fourth of July, and she was on a blind date set up by her friend. Teddy was in the Air Force and was stationed in Seattle where Carroll lived. They’d gone to a park and when the group got into the car, he said, “Hey girl!” And she said, “I know you’re not talking to me.”

“Then he asked me, `Do you smoke?’ and I said no. `Do you drink?’ I said no. `Do you play cards?’ and I said no, and he asked `What do you do?’ And I said, ‘I go to church.’ And they all laughed. I thought my friend has messed up my Fourth of July setting me up with him.”

“And he ended up being my life; he was the foundation of my life.”


Carroll said that she soon discovered he was a “polite, kind, smart, and a good, good man.” They married and settled in Connecticut, where Teddy was from, and made their home in West Haven. Over the next six decades, they raised their sons, Teddey Jr., Erik, and Shawn, and became fixtures in the community both professionally and in their public service.

Carroll and her sons have chosen to honor Teddy’s legacy by establishing the Ralph T. “Teddy” Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide scholarships to students who want to shape their lives around the field of law and give back to their communities.

“They should be young people who care about serving others. That’s what Teddy always did. It was the life that we lived,” said Carroll.

Teddy was a well-known member of the West Haven Police Department, joining in 1977 and becoming the first African American detective on the force three years later. He served for 28 years, retiring as a detective sergeant. “He wanted to be a role model for our sons,” Carroll said. “He loved his work.”


They should be young people who care about serving others. That’s what Teddy always did. It was the life that we lived.

Carroll Brown

Carroll and Teddy Brown were a team, and they left an indelible mark on West Haven. Carroll founded the West Haven Black Coalition after noticing that there were no Black residents on the City Council or other administrative bodies. “I held a community meeting and 250 people showed up at the church,” Carroll recalls.

The West Haven Black Coalition grew exponentially as Carroll continually urged members and residents to get involved in all aspects of political and community life. The Coalition has celebrated community leaders and provided scholarships.

Teddy also volunteered his time coaching youth basketball teams in West Haven and New Haven. He was a deacon at the Dixwell Congregational UCC Church; he served on the West Haven Parks and Recreation Commission and was president of the West Haven Library’s governing board.

When Teddy died in 2023, hundreds of people attended his memorial service. Speakers included Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, former New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, retired Probate Judge Richard Graves, and WTNH Anchor Keith Kountz.

“He loved his family, and he loved his friends, and everybody loved Teddy Brown,” Carroll said.