Wilma Brown, 99 years old and a 74-year resident of Underwood, passed away, Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at Parkhurst Place in Hood River, Oregon after spending a year at Down Manor.
Wilma was born October 22, 1918 in Harlow, North Dakota to Frank and Sophia Peterson. She graduated from Benson County Agricultural Technical School, in Maddock, North Dakota in 1937. In 1940, she married Kermit Brown and in 1942 they moved to Bingen and took up residence at the Jewett Apartments. They moved to Underwood in 1943, where she became the local Avon Lady. She and Kermit had six children.
Wilma ran Brown's Variety in White Salmon from 1962 to 1974 and Brown's Bargains/ Sewing Machine Repair in Bingen from 1974 to 1984. She started her career in retail because there was no place in White Salmon or Bingen to purchase sewing supplies. She was a self-taught sewing machine repair woman and sold many Viking sewing machines to local residents. Wilma organized the first annual Easter egg hunt and participated in organizing the first Huckleberry Festival in White Salmon in 1963. She was always active in the community and had a positive impact on many people.
Wilma loved attending the biannual family reunions in Tacoma and North Dakota and enjoyed coordinating and attending her BCATS class reunion until just a few years ago. Wilma had 13 brothers and sisters, 13 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. She was preceded in death by husband, Kermit, and granddaughters, Cristina Kay Edwards and Carol Ann McIntosh. Wilma is survived by brother Duane Peterson of Puyallup, sister Irene Treakle of Tacoma, children, Ralph and Ruth Brown of Bothell, Washington; Dick and Beverly Martin of Underwood, Washington; Kathy Layman of Delano, California, Judy Peterson of Warrenton, Oregon, Craig and Barbara Lester of Ocean Park, Washington, and Dez and Kerma Murphy of Beaverton, Oregon.