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Evelyn Ruth (Keller) Brose
September 29, 1931 ~ June 16, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Evelyn Ruth Brose (Keller) passed away peacefully on June 16, 2023, surrounded by her family at home in Edgewood, Washington. Evelyn was born September 29, 1931, in Portland, Oregon to her parents, Carl and Martha Keller, who owned a dairy farm in nearby Stafford. Evelyn spent her first seven years living with her family in Stafford. Then in 1938 her parents purchased land on Sauvie Island, Oregon and moved their dairy operation there, adding to it a contract with Blue Bell Potato Chip Company to grow potatoes for them. Evelyn finished grade school on Sauvie Island, and then attended Jefferson High School in Portland for all four years. Evelyn played saxophone in the high school band and had a wide circle of friends. Her decision to attend Jefferson was aided by the family’s decision to purchase a house in Portland where they lived for three years, returning to live in their Sauvie Island home in 1948. After Evelyn graduated in 1949, she enrolled in Cascade College in Portland, where she met the love of her life, David, in the college cafeteria.
Dave and Evelyn married in June 1952 at First Evangelical United Brethren Church in Portland, and then promptly moved to Temple, Texas, where David was undergoing the delights of basic training in the US Army. Evelyn often recalled with fondness life in Texas, in spite of the heat. It was in Temple that Evelyn also got her first taste of working in retail sales, something she continued to do after the young couple moved to the Keller farm on Sauvie Island after David’s discharge from the Army. They lived happily on the farm where Dave worked for Carl in the dairy and raising turkeys, and it was there that they raised their first two children, Michael and Mark. Meanwhile, Evelyn worked at Rhodes Department Store in downtown Portland.
1968 was a momentous year in Evelyn’s life for two reasons; the family moved to Edgewood, Washington, where Dave had found his first job as a professional psychologist with the State of Washington, and their third child, Michelle, was born. The family also joined First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, where Dave and Evelyn continued to minister as leaders of the youth group, as an Elder (David) and Deacon (Evelyn). First Presbyterian became their home church and most important faith and social community for the rest of David and Evelyn’s lives. In addition to decades that Evelyn worked as a faithful Deacon for First Presbyterian, she also found time to work as a Nurse’s Aide in rest homes in Puyallup and south Seattle for several years. These jobs really provided an outlet for Evelyn to be able to exercise one of her greatest gifts, serving other people.
Evelyn was a gifted and loving caregiver for young and old. Over the span of more than two decades she provided childcare for six of her grandchildren and numerous children of friends in the community. If you were in her home, she treated you like family. For many summers, Evelyn and David happily hosted foreign students and teachers, primarily from Japan and Taiwan, some of whom they would later visit in their home countries. They enjoyed introducing these visitors to our beautiful Pacific Northwest. In the last twenty years of life, Evelyn was thrilled to be surrounded by children, grandchildren and eventually great-grandchildren who lived on the surrounding property.
Evelyn was preceded in death by David (August 2022) and her parents and sister. Survivors include sons Michael (Marianne Kamp) of Bloomington, Indiana, Mark (Karen) of Edgewood, and Michelle Martinez (Aaron) of Edgewood, as well as seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial service to honor Evelyn’s life will be held at First Presbyterian Church Tacoma at 11:00am on Saturday, September 23, 2023. She is buried at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington.
Memorials may be given to The Coffee Oasis Memorial Fund at First Presbyterian Church Tacoma, 20 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, WA. (The Coffee Oasis offers a homeless youth shelter and youth drop-in center in Tacoma. Their mission statement, “Restoring community through compassionate youth programs and coffee businesses.”)