June 14, 1937 – May 25, 2021
Our loving mother, Pauline Ann Brown, passed away peacefully into her Father's loving arms, surrounded by family on May 25, 2021 at her home in McKinney, Texas.
The daughter of Paul and Naoma Yeagley, she was born in Warren, Ohio on June 14, 1937. She grew up with our grandparents and Aunt Barbara in Newton Falls, Ohio. Mom graduated from Newton Falls High School in 1955. In spite of her dad's desire for her to go to Ohio State, she decided to further her education at the University of Michigan. That proved a momentous decision as, in 1958, she met our dad John on a blind date. A year later, they became engaged. In June 1960, she graduated from the U of M School of Nursing and began working as a delivery room nurse at the University Medical Center in Ann Arbor. On June 24, 1961, a week after Dad graduated from the U of M College of Engineering, the longtime sweethearts got married at the Newton Falls United Methodist Church. In July 1961, they moved to Cumberland, Maryland to start their married life together. Mom spent the next 34 years as a nurse, working in obstetrics, psychiatrics, child protective services and public health. In 1974, Dad was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah, where they spent the next 23 years. Mom retired as the Nursing Director for the Salt Lake City-County Health Department in August 1990 and continued part-time nursing until her full retirement in March 1994. She would receive many awards and accolades over her career, but she often said her proudest accomplishment was raising three (usually) wonderful boys.
Mom was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority at U of M, Sigma Theta Tau national nursing sorority, and for more than 50 years the Order of the Eastern Star. She served as VP of the Utah Public Health Association, and she was an adjunct professor in nursing at the University of Utah, BYU and Westminster College.
After retirement, Mom and Dad traveled the world visiting many amazing places, but nothing compared to their visits to the Oregon coast. In 1997, they bought land on idyllic Fahy’s Lake in Bandon on the southern Oregon coast, and soon thereafter built their dream home. They lived there for the next 21 years, loving every minute of it. Mom was active in the Bandon community, volunteering at the Chamber of Commerce (and ultimately serving as the Volunteer Coordinator) and at the gift shop for the Southern Coos Hospital Auxiliary. Mom and Dad loved visiting the gardens at Shore Acres State Park, playing cards with friends, square dancing in full costume, having meals in town, walking on the beach especially in the labyrinths drawn by Circles in the Sand, eating homemade ice cream at the Bandon Creamery, watching the gorgeous sunsets near the Coquille River Lighthouse, and hosting friends and family who came to visit and never wanted to leave. They were very active with First Presbyterian Church in Bandon, and previously with First United Methodist Church, North Bend and Christ United Methodist Church, Salt Lake City, and enjoyed serving their church community. Despite having moved from Utah, they remained ardent fans of the Utah Jazz (how ‘bout that Jazz!) and the University of Utah women's gymnastics team (go Red Rocks!), often traveling to see these events.
In 2018, they made the decision that they needed to move closer to family, and doctors, in McKinney, Texas, where two of their sons live. While it meant leaving what she thought would be their forever home, she knew it was necessary. Dad passed away in June 2019, and Mom spent the rest of her life surrounded by her children and numerous grandchildren. Our love for her was, and is, strong and she felt that to her final moments.
In 2014, Mom survived breast cancer, and she took extra precautions to prevent it from returning. In August 2020, she started experiencing back pain that became more intense with each passing month, but various doctors could not pinpoint the cause. On May 5, 2021, she went to the emergency room as we thought she’d had a stroke. A brain scan and chest x-ray were ordered. The brain scan showed no signs of a stroke, but her blood work showed extreme calcium levels, and the chest x-ray showed multiple cancerous lytic lesions in her vertebrae, ribs and other bones. The breast cancer had returned. A simple but not commonly ordered blood test confirmed breast cancer antigens. A breast cancer survivor is 40% more likely to develop bone cancer, especially in the spine, and that happened to Mom. She died 20 days after learning her breast cancer was back. If you know a breast cancer survivor who starts complaining of pain, especially back pain, please urge them to get a cancer antigen blood test. Doctors might catch it in time to treat it into remission again.
She is survived by her sons, Jeffrey (Debra) of McKinney, Texas and grandson, Chandler of Dallas, Texas; Michael (Felicia) and grandson, Gage and granddaughters, Isabela and Emery of McKinney, Texas; Patrick (Michelle) and grandsons, Wes and Everett and granddaughters, Lidiya and Natalie of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; son-in-heart, Charles Adler (Juli) of Vancouver, Washington; sister-in-law, Penelope Place (Barry) of Mesa, Arizona; and numerous nieces and nephews. As a legacy to her amazing love and friendship, Mom is also survived by many dear friends from every place she ever lived.
Mom said, "I don't want people gawking at me," so she asked that no services be held, and instead that the ashes of her and Dad be spread together near the Coquille River Lighthouse at a later date. We're working on those details and will let friends and family know, but in the meantime, memorial donations can be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 592 Edison Ave SW, Bandon, OR 97411 or to your local food bank, a charity that was always close to her heart.