Shirley L. Brownell

Shirley was the daughter of Russell Franklin Messenger and Stella Bessie Horacek.

Shirley was the shy child of the Messengers. Shirley and her family moved from the area of Valentine, Fergus County, Montana when she was 3 years old. She was raised in the area of White Star and Elma, Washington. She was educated in the White Star School and Elma School. She is the last of the Messenger and Horacek family. She was preceded in death by husband Harry L. Brownell, parents Russell and Stella, and her five siblings, Frances, Floyd, Alice, Violet and John Messenger.

In 1950, Shirley married Vincent Charles Harmia, and soon after the couple had three sons and one daughter; Lewis of Lacey, Washington, Charles of Tacoma, Washington, Robin of Philippines and daughter Rose (Timothy) Mitcham of Lynnwood, Washington.

On Jan. 18, 1957, she married Harry L. Brownell, and with this marriage she became a mother to other children, David and Elizabeth Brownell; and within six years they became parents of three more daughters: Shirley (Robert) Pruett of Toledo, Washington; Barbara (Thomas) McCormack of Bonney Lake, Washington; and Virginia (Matthew) Horrace of Winlock, Washington.

Shirley had a pioneer spirit, just like her great-grandfather, and was a country girl at heart. She loved her family, and her siblings were very dear to her because of the loss of her parents so early.

Shirley had a green thumb in the flower garden in the spring and late summer, and delighted in growing her own food from seeds. She appreciated seeing the different birds that visited feeders, and loved seeing the deer and other animals coming and going in her front yard, as she would stand looking out her window in the early morning or late evening. She loved her cats.

Shirley had a funny sense of humor and wit. As she aged, she become more outspoken and had a desire to share her wisdom with her children and grandchildren, most of all teaching the girls how to make “Her Apples Pies.” She was a magnificent baker. She relished her time spent with Harry and the girls, going to the Grange to dance to country and western music. She had a laugh that filled your heart with joy when she was very happy. The main joy in her life was her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, knowing her life will go on through them. She enjoyed knowing that her family was going to have a new addition because it was a part of the two men whose lives touched hers and she had loved. Most people really don’t know she was a very private and shy person in the beginning of her life.

Most of all, she loved reading her Bible at night and early in the morning, and most of the children never knew. Her love for God; He is the one that carried her through the last half of her life during the loss of her parents and other family members, and mainly during the passing of husband Harry, and many other times of hardship. She had a great desire to help and love another, when needed, who had less than herself.

You are in a better place; you’re with our Family who showed kindness and love to you; most of all you are with our Lord.

Arrangements are under the care of Cattermole Funeral Home, Winlock, Washington. Condolences for the family may be sent to Rose Mitcham, 1329 149th Street SW, Lynnwood, Washington 98087. Those wishing to make a donation in Shirley’s name may donate to the Disabled American Veterans organization.

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