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04/06/1936 — 04/09/2022
From Richland, WA | Born in Mount Vernon, WA
Her heart will always be a resident of Hood Canal and Skagit Valley.
Beloved Wife, Beloved Mom, Beloved Grandma, Beloved Sister, Beloved Aunt, Beloved One.
Janet Brown is pre-deceased by her eldest son, brother, parents, grandparents, fond relatives, and dear friends. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, three sons and one daughter, a brother, many in-laws, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, and quilters.
Janet went peacefully to her eternal rest on a beautiful Spring morning at home surrounded by family. Her garden flowers opened and sang her praises, celebrating the colorful Redhead who expertly crafted Home for nearly seven decades. Together, the Browns literally built an oasis in the desert. They raised five children whose work has changed the world through their collective impact. Janet Brown was a Proud American, a Proud Parent (of multiple Eagle Scouts), a local leader in Campfire Bluebirds and Boy Scout activities. She was a Quilter extraordinaire.
Janet grew up on the west side of the mountains and graduated from BHS where she was honored by selection for Girls State and Rainbow Girls “Worthy Advisor.” Janet attended WSC in Pullman majoring in Home-Ec. At a campus card dance, she met her future husband who grew up in the Tri-Cities. The couple briefly lived in the Midwest and California before building their home in the Tri-Cities. Janet was a Junior Women’s League member and the family was active at local Protestant churches, including Southside, Westside, and C.U.P.
An expert in sewing and textile arts tools, Janet loved the way color and light danced together with texture in a quilt. For a time, she greatly enjoyed working short shifts at the local Fabric Store. “Color was what I loved to do” Janet said about the experience, “I just loved working with the yarn because of the colors.” She was also a Training Consultant for Bernina Sewing machines sales, and she gave presentations as a Clothing Textile Advisor for the County Extension Service.
A creative force in the early days of Tri-City Quilt Guild, Janet Brown convened the “Quilt & Lunch Bunch” in 1985 where, for decades she hosted many a quilter and numerous other past Presidents of the Guild on Monday afternoons. Janet had great joy in working with this
group of fabric artists during many Quilter Retreat trips to Leavenworth, and cross-country road trips to Paducah’s National Quilt Museum. With family she explored Canada, Yellowstone, the East Coast, and Amish Quilts in PA.
Janet had a keen ear. She experienced classical music so deeply it brought tears, especially piano. She could locate all 5 children simultaneously (and discern trouble underway). She was good in a crisis and tended to many an emergency (“Don’t bleed on the gold rug!”) She loved opera and figure skating, and a perfect round sugar cookie. She loved animals, children, and travel. (Never enough!) She made dozens of quilts with her initials in the corner, gifted to loved ones and cherished by all. Nothing made Janet happier than a new outfit (color-coordinated), a grand pattern, a perfect stitch, the feel of fabric, the joy of optimized symmetry, the quilter’s creative process and product.
Janet anchored the family. Like (and often with) her mother and grandmother, Janet Brown was a strong leader orchestrating large teams as they created amazing Home experiences highlighted by Holidays. Janet especially loved Christmas and Santa. Generations of children have magical holiday memories because of Janet and her team. As new babies joined the extended family, it was exciting for Janet to envision each unique personality. Janet was thrilled this past holiday season to greet great-grandchild #8 to personally gift her with her handmade baby quilt.
On her 80th birthday, a great many gathered for a grand celebration of her life. At home, near the creek in the desert, a special quilt was presented to Janet. Made from individual quilt blocks brought to the party by guests, the quilt was named “Janet’s Garden” and stitched together on the spot. Synchronously, the family yard was in bloom for a perfect joyous moment. In her precious lifetime, Janet held close 5 independent children, 4 exceptional grandchildren , 8 amazing great-grandchildren, and many loving relatives and friends. In her final days, she remained thankful for everyone’s participation, and with the greatest attention and care, Janet’s family returned to her the love and devotion she had sewn and sown.
Janet’s loving spirit is in the quilt that keeps us warm at nap, and in the crackle of a bright wood fire. Janet’s brave & energetic spirit is with us in the garden, where she embraced hard work, no match for a stubborn weed or hot summer day. (“Wear your Sunscreen !! “) Janet’s creative spirit is with us in a fun recipe, the joy of fashion, a fine design, a delicious date pinwheel, and the urge to make it better.
The fruits of Janet’s Garden of Life will gather privately where we will all share a spoonful of good custard, “just a little bit more, please.”
In lieu of flowers, cherish each other, and plant something today.
Much gratitude to Tri-City Chaplaincy Hospice whose help was a blessing following a period of declining health. Memorials may be directed to Lymphoma and Melanoma research, Hospice, and Columbia Basin Dive Rescue.
Private Services to be held.
I met you only a handful of times while crossing the state to visit family in Pullman. Each time you gave us something of a souvenir, a painting that hangs in our house, the lemon grove dishes that I’m now collecting more of to pass on to my kids and from uncle Russ, his father’s hefty (and of enormous capacity) architect filing drawers, which come to think of it, you probably wanted out of the house more than he did. LOL. It’s great for storing the kids’ schoolwork and everyone’s artwork, so thank you.
Robert and I missed the chance to see you lately, but you’re welcome to drop by and visit any time, our home is your home now too.
Janice (and Bob) Maddox
Wir möchten unser aufrichtiges Beileid zum Tode von Janet aussprechen und wünschen ihrer Familie viel Kraft in der kommenden Zeit.
Elke hat Janet für einen kurzen Zeitraum bei einem Familientreffen in Madison kennenlernen dürfen – sie erinnert sich auch heute noch gerne daran.
Janet was my inspiration from the time I was a little girl when she would visit our “homestead” farm. I, too, graduated from WSU in Textiles… I so wanted to be “just like my cousin Janet”. I cherish so many wonderful memories of her which will remain always in my heart.
What a lovely tribute to a charmed life. It’s not easy to celebrate while grieving but her love has made that possible. Take comfort in your many wonderful memories.
At one point your home was a second home for me and Janet another loving mother. I mourn your loss and will celebrate her life today by making a batch of perfectly round cookies.
We have heard so many stories over the past 35 years about the Brown family in Washington . These stories have mostly brought us joy and laughter. This story about Janet’s life also brought us joy and laughter and sorrow for everyone who will miss her., including those of us who never met her.