Jul 13, 1919 – Feb 20, 2019
Catherine Fuller Porter Brown died in Seattle on February 20, 2019 at the age of 99. She and her husband, Dr. William Marion Brown, had moved to Seattle from Little Rock, Arkansas in 2003. He predeceased her in February 2012.
She was born July 13, 1919 in Athens, GA to Edward Fuller Porter of Charleston, SC and Cecile Howland Coleman Porter of Milwaukee, WI. In her early teens her family moved to Memphis, TN where Catherine (affectionately “Boots”) graduated from Miss Hutchison’s School for Girls. She attended Fairmont College in Washington, DC, learned French and visited the Roosevelt White House. Back home in Memphis she met her future husband at a debutante ball. They married in February 1941 and moved to Marianna, a small town in the Arkansas Delta where he had established his dental practice. No small town girl, she was in effect rescued by World War II. After Navy Lieutenant Brown’s service in the Philippines, they moved to Little Rock, their home for 56 years.
Catherine led a full life in Little Rock, with good friends, volunteer work, bridge games, the Junior League and Colonial Dames. Though they traveled the world, her happiest hours were spent on Gulf Coast beaches, book in hand. In her 80s, with her husband in failing health and their only child in Seattle, they reluctantly moved west. Childhood summers in Charleston and Milwaukee had given her a life-long love of the water. A lakefront retirement home in Seattle, close to her large family, was a consolation. (Alas, this girl of the Delta and the Lowcountry found Mt. Rainier overrated.) Catherine and her family so appreciated the warm embrace she received from new friends and the caring staff at Parkshore. All admired her grace and beauty, her stylish clothes and perfect carriage. Always tall and slender, she never saw the point of exercise. She preferred to play bridge, read novels and work puzzles.
Catherine’s sister, Cecile Piplar of Memphis, predeceased her. Catherine is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Thurston Roach; her grandchildren, Cecile Howland Delafield (J.D.), Catherine Cawood Roche (Stephan), John Thurston Roach III (Stacy) and Marion Alexander Zaniello (Ben) and by 11 great grandchildren, all of Seattle. Boots will follow the route of her husband’s final journey from Little Rock down the Arkansas River, through the Arkansas Delta, then down the Mississippi to her beloved Gulf Coast.
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.