Zella Mae Couture

Sep 21, 1926 – Aug 23, 2018


Zella Mae (Shults, Brim, Landstrom) Couture, our beautiful and sweet mother, passed away on August 23, 2018.  She was born on September 21, 1926 in Tukwila, WA.  She passed away peacefully at Kline Galland where she had been taken care of for the last four years by an exceptionally caring staff.  Mother knew everyone there and loved them all.  Her family would like to thank Kline Galland for loving our mother and taking special care of her.

        Zella had a full and active life.  From an early age she began performing.  With the prodding and influence by Charles and Mabel Shults, her parents, she learned early to sing in front of a crowd.  When she was a young girl she sang with her father while her mother played the piano.  Later in life after moving to Palm Desert she found the Donna Halton Dancers and also Julie Andres Time Steppers at The College of the Desert.  They performed at hotel openings, new golf course openings, malls, and danced through several parades.  She loved it.  Later she joined a singing group call Sunny Singers.  While performing with Sunny Singers she discovered Danny Oliver’s Music Theory which he taught on an organ.  Shortly after she began organ classes, she purchased her first Hammond organ.  When she moved back from Palm Desert to Seattle she joined the Prosser Organ Company and began performing all over Western Washington with them.  It gave her so much pleasure and fulfillment. 

        During her life she worked alongside her husbands.  Her first husband and Zella got their California Real Estate Licenses. With her second husband she was the bookkeeper and a substitute truck driver. She then went to work for Jupiter Insurance Co. as the office manager and she got her Washington State Real Estate License. After moving to Palm Desert she became a Kelly Girl before she finally retired. 

        She was a life time member of Eastern Star, Delta Chapter 109 and The Daughters of the American Revolution. 

        She was a descendant of Charles Carroll of Maryland, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as well as Dr./Rev. George Whitworth..  Rev. Whitworth was the President of the U of W twice in its infancy and started Whitworth College now in Spokane. 

        Zella was married three times to three very lucky men.  Her first husband, Leroy Brim (deceased) was a survivor on the USS Zeller which was nearly destroyed by the Japanese in 1945.  They met at Trainon Ballroom in Seattle and it was a whirlwind romance.  They had two daughters, Denice Lee Chapman (David) of Milton and Deborah Minnette Smith (Robert) of Gig Harbor, WA.

        Later after returning from California she got reacquainted with Clifford Landstrom (deceased).  They had both graduated from Foster High School.  Cliff was the love of her life.  They were perfect for each other.  They got married in 1952 and had two sons,  David Rock Landstrom (deceased), Jeanie, of Lacey, WA and Jeffrey Clifford Landstrom (Kathy) of Tukwila, WA.

        Her third husband, Paul Couture (deceased), was from Manitoba, Canada.  They lived in Des Moines, Hood Canal, and finally Palm Desert.  They traveled, they boated in Hood Canal and they played golf in their retirement. After Paul’s passing, Zella moved back from Palm Desert to Des Moines, WA to be closer to her family once more.

        She has a sister, Kate Gunsul, (Alan) of Burien, WA, and had a  brother Charles W. Shults, Jr. who preceded her in death.  She has 12 Grandchildren, 16 Great Grandchildren and 4 Great Great Grandchildren.

        Mom we want to Thank You for all your love and support through out our lives.  We will all miss you but we know you are in heaven with the love of your life having one more twirl around the dance floor with Dad.    


This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.