On April 19, 2018, at 61 years old, Traci Lynne Brown flew away with the Angels. Born March 19, 1957, to Frances (Woolfolk) and James Eckel in Grangeville, Idaho, Traci grew up as a sweet dollop of icing sandwiched between an older brother, Gordon and younger brother, Lee. She attended Sts. Peter and Paul School until 7th grade. In 1969, the family moved to Harpster where she made many special friends and spent lazy summer days at the local swimming hole. She enjoyed cheerleading, drill team and dance and sharing secrets with her best friend and “sister” Joyce Konrad. She graduated Clearwater Valley High school in 1975.
After high school, Traci waitressed at local restaurants and worked at the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office.
On Aug. 14, 1976, she married the love of her life, Wendell Brown, a Kooskia, Idaho, resident and logger. They resided in Stites, Idaho.
Their firstborn, Brandi Lynne, arrived Sept. 29, 1977. Their son, Gailen Wendell, completed their family July 8, 1979. From the very moment Traci became a wife and mom, she dedicated her life to her family, putting them before all else.
In early years, living in the camper trailer while following Wendell from logging camp to logging camp made it easy for Traci to dedicate her life to her family. Days were spent exploring the forest, swimming, hunting huckleberries and garnets. Nights were spent around campfires and sharing potluck dinners with other logging families. Wendell and Traci settled in Deary, Idaho, in 1980.
Traci and Wendell enjoyed logging sport competitions, traveling to summer weekend events. Traci competed in crosscut and was a force to be reckoned with in the women’s axe throw. The family also enjoyed skiing and visited many Northwest resorts. As the children grew, Traci spent countless hours volunteering at school, organizing class parties and field trips, leading Brownies and Cub Scouts, heading up fund-raisers, the DHS Booster Club, parent teacher groups, serving as DHS cheer advisor and countless other activities. A stay-at-home mom for many years, Traci later worked as an exercise instructor at the University of Idaho and finally at Deary elementary and high school as a teacher aide until her retirement.
One of Traci’s favorite hobbies was golfing with Wendell, and this was a sport at which she excelled. Traci and Wendell frequented the course most weekends, making memories and lifelong friends. She also enjoyed camping, road trips to Arizona, riding side-by-sides and attending school sports events.
Traci watched her children grow into adults of whom she could be proud and was an integral part in all their life events. She always said she was so lucky God gave her another son (in-law), Ryan Griffin and another daughter (in-law), Elizabeth Brown. She was blessed to become a very special Nana to Nicholas Griffin (18), Brody Brown (16), Niah Griffin (16), Gracelynne Brown (13), Michael Brown (10) and Caroline Brown (7).
Traci absolutely loved all of her grandchildren and could always be counted on for hugs and encouraging words.
Traci is survived by her husband, Wendell Brown, of Deary; daughter, Brandi (Ryan) Griffin; son, Gailen (Elizabeth) Brown, the before mentioned grandchildren; brother, Gordon (Ardis) Eckel; brother, Lee (Terri) Eckel; mother-in-law, Jeannie (Nelson) Brown and many extended family.
Traci was affected by Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis early in her life. This disease certainly tested her. However her faith in God’s plan never faltered. She had an adventurous spirit and lived life to the fullest, with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. Those fortunate enough to be touched by this joy, understand her selflessness. To be loved by her was like nothing else. In Wendell’s words, Traci was my very best partner, absolute best friend and I loved her more than life itself. Be confident that she is keeping course with the Angels in Heaven, and that holds her arms strongly around each one of us.
Please join us in a celebration of life held Saturday April 28, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Trenary’s Funeral Home in Kooskia, Idaho, followed by a graveside service at Harpster Cemetery and dinner at the Harpster Community Building.
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