Elaine Helen Teague Brownell

1922 - 2013


Elaine Brownell, 90 years old, passed away on, March 8 from cancer at Wheatland Village, Walla Walla. Born October 17, 1922, in Baker City, Oregon, she was the eldest daughter of Wilker (Bill) and Marjorie Teague. Growing up in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, she moved with her family to Walla Walla in 1937 when her father was offered the Ford dealership, which opened in 1938. Elaine graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1939 and went on to Washington State College in Pullman where she became a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. One evening, one of the cafeteria waiters approached her to ask her name. Her sorority sister quickly blurted out “Isabella” and Elaine added “Picklebucket”. The bewildered waiter retreated and relayed this information to his fellow waiter, John Brownell, who was too shy to ask himself and was also a bit confused by the name. However, not long after John came to her sorority asking to see Isabella Picklebucket. This was the beginning of a very long love affair of 70-plus years. After John graduated in 1942, he was hired by General Electric and sent east to Boston to help develop jet engines in World War II. Over the long distance, he asked her to marry him. She came out by train and they met in the appropriately named town of Loveland, Ohio, marrying on December 29, 1942. John and Elaine made their first home in Lynn, Massachusetts, where “Skipper” (John’s pet name for Elaine) gave birth to the first of their five children, Patricia. As the war ended and companies were paring back, Elaine’s father offered John an interim job at Teague Motor Company in Walla Walla, and sixty-seven years later they still remain. Together they were pillars of service to Walla Walla and key members of the community. In that period, Elaine became Chair of the Diaconate of the First Congregational Church; President of the PEO chapters CI and GO and PEO State President in 1975; Chair and Vice Chair of the Walla Walla Republican Party Central Committee; Chair and Treasurer of the Carnegie Center; President and Secretary of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority Walla Walla Alumni Association; Women’s Board and Life Member at the Walla Walla Country Club; and on the organizational committees Fort Walla Walla Museum, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Jaycee Janes and Walla Walla Junior Club; and member of numerable school and charity support groups.In raising the children, an important aspect for Elaine was to give them “roots and wings”. She believed that strong family bonds provided the firm foundation so her children could try new roads. She and John also had many wonderful adventures traveling to various places as well as where their children lived including; Spain, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Alaska, Guam and across America. Their favorite vacation spot had to be Hawaii, only equaled by the numerous family “rebellions” and get-togethers. In her free time, Elaine enjoyed reading mystery novels, completing di˙ cult crossword puzzles, playing “friendly” bridge, and taking continuing education courses in French and world events. Without a doubt her favorite comfort foods all included anything with chocolate and Arnold Palmers, with lots of ice and not stirred.Elaine is preceded in death by her parents; husband John; children Bruce Brownell and Katie Brownell Panet-Raymond; and her sister Susan Teague Lake. She is survived by daughter Patricia Frazier Brunzell (John); sons Steven Teague Brownell (Zoe), Doha, Qatar, and John M Brownell, CAPT USN Ret. (Kay), Burke, VA; daughter-in-law Cindy Loiacono Brownell, Walla Walla; son-in-law Marc Panet-Raymond, Portland, OR; and brother-in-law William Lake, Walla Walla. Her grandchildren include John Frazier (Andrea), Mercer Island, WA; Jim Frazier (Kendall) Seattle, WA; Jeff Brunzell, Bellingham, WA; Julia Brunzell (Michael Read), Vancouver, BC; John Brunzell Jr (Ashley), Vancouver, WA; Ian Brownell (Saori) Sapporo, Japan; Geri Bartz (Matt), Vancouver, WA; Eric Brownell, Arlington, VA; and Megan Brownell, Seattle, WA. Great-grandchildren include; Austin, Jake, Phil and Teague Frazier; McKenzie and Carson Frazier; Fischer Brunzell; Katy and Camryn Read; Wren Brunzell; Leia Brownell; and Hadley Bartz.Smart, brave, beautiful, loving, strong-willed, caring, giving and astute. She was friends to all who knew her; her core of inner strength was daily displayed by her openness, willingness to listen, and help to others. Combined with a quick and sharp sense of humor, Elaine always kept perspective and never lost her sense of being young. Known by some friends as Mrs. Broomhandle and to her grandchildren as Mimi, there is no better fitting description than great-grandson Teague Frazier’s, “Mimi is Awesome!”Graveside service will be March 15, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery with the memorial service beginning at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church PEO Chapter GO, Walla Walla Community College Nursing Scholarship Program or the charity of choice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA 99362. Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book at www.herringgroseclose.com


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