DeVearl Lee Brown

DeVearl Lee Brown

DeVearl Lee Brown passed away May 27, 2019, in Spokane, Washington at the age of 86.

She was born in Alva, Oklahoma on May 21, 1933, where she lived until the age of 7. Her father Earl Ivan Bloom owned and operated the Dipper Inn ice cream parlor, until he decided to take a construction job building bridges in Alabama and Ohio. In 1943, when she was 10, the family moved to Richland, Washington. She stayed in Richland until 1946 when her parents, Earl and Ethel Bloom, divorced.

She was 13 when she moved to Umatilla, Oregon, to live with her father. Her high school years were filled with accomplishments: she was Associated Student Body president during her junior and senior year, drum major in the marching band, lead trombonist in her high school wind ensemble and jazz band. After graduating at the top of her class, she left for Seattle to attend the University of Washington where she lived on a houseboat moored in Lake Union for a time. There, she met her husband, Kirk Alexander Brown, a United States Air Force pilot.

She was a dedicated officer’s wife throughout his career and a full-time mother who raised three daughters: Shauna, Tina and Lisa. She was an expert bridge player and hosted many bridge evenings at the house over the years. The family moved to different postings all over the United States until Kirk’s retirement at the rank of Colonel in 1974. During the winter holidays, the family took the train to Sun Valley for downhill skiing; in the summer, everyone headed out to a nearby lake for waterskiing. Dev was an expert seamstress, making costumes for the children and clothing for the whole family. She knit intricate patterned sweaters and also liked to crochet and embroider.

The family then settled in Spokane, Washington, where they enjoyed the great Pacific Northwest. In the summers the family took off in the Winnebago and boat and headed for the San Juan islands and Victoria, BC for the entire two months. Dev went back to school for a Bachelor’s degree in library science and secured a job as a librarian in 1980 for Loma Vista Elementary School in Spokane. While she was working, she attended night school to earn her Master’s degree in Education, with a major emphasis in reading, from Whitworth College in north Spokane. She worked as a third-grade teacher in District 81 in Spokane, first at Lidgerwood Elementary School, then at Ridgeview Elementary School, up until her retirement in 1998.

Dev relished spending time with her grandchildren and enjoyed attending concerts given by the Spokane Symphony. She traveled to France, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. She took cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean. She loved reading, gourmet cooking and going out to dinner with friends. And she rarely missed a trip to Starbuck’s for her daily short, extra-hot, extra-wet cappuccino. Dev was a member of Whitworth Presbyterian Church in Spokane from 1974 to 2012, the Spokane Club for 25 years, and was a Spokane Symphony Orchestra season ticket holder.

Dev is survived by her children, Shauna Brown of France, Tina Brown of Spokane, and Lisa (Rick) Gagliardi of Spokane; sister, Connie Cameron of Bellevue, Washington; and grandchildren, Alexis Gagliardi, Ricky Gagliardi, Joshua Brown, and Ryan Brown all of Spokane. She was preceded in death by her father and stepmother, Earl and Ada Bloom; mother and stepfather, Ethel and Everett Selmen; and brother, Ronnie Bloom.