Jan. 19, 1922-Aug. 10, - Ethel Mary LaFave Miller Brown of St. Helens, born in Wisconsin; died at age 95 in Portland.

Ethel BrownBeloved wife and mother, Ethel Mary LaFave Miller Brown of St. Helens, was born on January 19, 1922, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin to Charles and Leona LaFave.

She passed away on August 10, 2017, in Portland, Oregon at the age of 95.

Ethel was an excellent wife and homemaker. She loved to host family celebrations and was known for her cooking abilities. For several years she made beautiful wedding cakes for many family members and friends.

She was raised in Minnesota and lived in International Falls, Proctor, Duluth, and Minneapolis. During her younger years she worked for the railroad where iron ore was transported, she was a "WOW" Women's Ordinance Worker during World War II, she worked in paint and wallpaper, worked at a soda fountain, and was a disc jockey for a 'canned music company' where music was piped into many restaurants and department stores.

In the early 1940s Ethel and most of her family moved from Minnesota to Oregon, which she always considered "God's Country" and where she remained the rest of her life.

In 1945 she married Claude "Bob" Miller, but she was widowed just a year later when he was killed in a hunting accident.

Ethel married the love of her life, Bob Brown, on September 17, 1949. They lived together in St. Helens, where they raised their daughters, Cheryle and Sandy, and in Columbia City, until his passing in 2014.

Ethel is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Cheryle and Bob Peterson of Beaverton; her daughter and son-in-law, Sandy and Ron McMillan of Columbia City; grandchildren, Christena Thornton, Daniel and Mary Thornton, Emily and Tim Ray, Genevieve and Andy Shapley, and Zach McMillan; great-grandchildren, Kelsey Thornton, Atom Frame, Gracie Shapley, Maggie Shapley, Sofie Ray, and Landon Ray; and many nieces and nephews. Ethel was preceded in death by her birth father, Charles LaFave; her mother and dear stepfather, Leona and Charles Lease; brothers, Earl and Ron; sisters, Pearl, Blanche and Genevieve; and son-in-law, Vince J.C. Boylan.

A memorial service will be held Friday August 18, at the Columbia Funeral Home in St. Helens, at 11 a.m., with a luncheon immediately following at the Christian Church, 185 S. 12th St., St. Helens.

Remembrances can be made to Columbia Pacific Food Bank, 474 Milton Way, St. Helens, OR 97051.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Columbia Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, 503-397-1154.

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