Obituary: Shirley Katherine Browning

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Shirley Katherine Browning

July 15, 1943 – March 16, 2017

Port Townsend, Wash.

Shirley Browning was born in Klamath Falls, Ore. July 15, 1943 to Elsie Katherine and Francis Gavin Miller. Shirley’s father passed away when she was eight years old. Her mother then moved Shirley and her siblings to Seattle, Wash. where they were raised in humble beginnings.

When Shirley was just twelve years old she got her first job and met her future husband Larry. Larry Lee Browning was fourteen years old when he met twelve year-old Shirley. The night they met he gave her her first kiss. They dated for a few years until eloping to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on April 23, 1960 where they were married at the Hitching Post. Shirley was seventeen and Larry was nineteen.

Shirley and Larry moved to Spokane, Wash. where they had their first two children Laura and Scott. After just a few years they returned to Seattle. A job offer relocated Shirley and her young family to the Skagit Valley where they welcomed youngest son Larry Jr. to their family. In Skagit Valley, Shirley and Larry took over as owners of their first restaurant, The Chuck Wagon and later the L&M Drive-In. They then went onto owning Crazy Eric’s in Sequim, and the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Deming. In June of 1984 the Browning family settled in Jefferson County where they owned the Chimacum Cafe for 12 years. To this day you can find Shirley and family’s pictures in the entry way of the Cafe. Along with the Cafe, Shirley’s family owned The Bayview Restaurant in Port Townsend for 23 years. Outside of the Bayview overlooking the bay sits Shirley Browning Park. After retiring, Shirley and Larry lived in their Kala Point home until Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and eventually moved into San Juan Villa Memory Care Home where she was lovingly looked after and cared for.

Shirley attended many churches over the years, most recently Grace Community Church in Port Ludlow. She belonged to many clubs throughout her life where she was always asked to take on leadership roles due to her friendly and hospitable personality. She found much joy in giving back to those in need, taking many trips to Thailand where she would bring toys and sewing machines to the Hill Tribe people. There she also did missionary work for a church in Chiang Mai. She was known to happily open up her vacation home to deserving families. Shirley loved to donate to Salvation Army and the Union Gospel Mission.

She spent her days traveling the world with her husband and family. She and Larry spent winters in Panama City Beach, Fla. and would summer in Lake Chelan, Wash. Shirley had a passion for skiing, and would take the ski bus up to Stevens Pass. She loved to dance and was a part of the Port Ludlow Follies. She was a seashell collector, a flower planter, and cook. She enjoyed walking, swimming and bike riding.

Shirley was a loving, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend. Shirley passed away in the evening of March 16, 2017 after her long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Shirley is survived by her husband Larry Lee Browning Sr.; daughter Laura Blake and her husband James; son Scott Browning and his wife Lori; son Larry Browning Jr.; brother Dean Miller, brother Jerry Dare, sister Sharon Miller; her beloved nieces Tammy Scott and Andrea Boyd; ten grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren.

Memorial Gifts may be made to: Salvation Army, Union Gospel mission or the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

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