Nina Lois Brown passed away peacefully at the Juneau Pioneers Home on the afternoon of Saturday, September 7, 2013. She was surrounded in death as in life, by family, friends and the caring staff of the Juneau Pioneers Home.
Nina was born to Nellie (Kindred) Park and George Park of Checotah Oklahoma on November 2, 1928. She always knew she wanted to be a nurse. Her first job was assisting local country physician Dr. Stubblefield, with delivery of babies and primary health care in their small community. She subsequently attended and graduated nurses training at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was during her nurses training that she met and subsequently married David Alfred Brown ("Brownie"), a US Army flight student at Spartan Air School.
Nina and Brownie married and moved to Juneau in 1950. She worked at St Ann's hospital and Brownie for Shell Simmons at Alaska Coastal Airlines. Their First child, Katherine was born in July of 1951. Oldest son David was born 14 months later in October of 1952, and youngest son James, in August of 1956.
Nina lived a full and rich life in Juneau raising children and grandchildren; working with the Sisters of St. Ann's, most of the doctors in town and with many visiting doctor-specialists. She delivered special duty hospital care to members of many Juneau families stricken with life threatening illness or trauma.
In the 80's Alaska Coastal Airlines merged with Alaska Airlines to secure the lucrative Juneau market. Alaska then moved its Juneau-based pilots to Seattle and it was during the Seattle years that Nina was finally able to finish her BS in Nursing.
For a time Nina worked as Emergency RN at Bartlett Memorial Hospital's ER. She also worked for a time at SEARHC Medical Center in Juneau. She was an early Hospice activist and along with several of her nursing colleagues, secured legislative funding for Juneau's first Hospice Program. Her medical service also included participation in the Alaska Nurses Association from its earliest days, and service as president of the Alaska Lung Association. Several years ago, in an effort to preserve pictures and first-hand accounts of nursing in the Juneau area, Nina helped organize a historical tribute sponsored by the Alaska State Museum entitled "Gone but Not Forgotten."
Those who knew Nina well were very much aware of her passion for gardening. Flowers could brighten her spirits in just about any situation. She was an active participant in the Juneau Garden Club, contributing her time to many gardening projects public and private. Her family always felt it was the "farm girl" asserting herself. In her later years at the Juneau Pioneers Home she continued to tend gardens and hanging plants to brighten the day of all who observed them.
Many dear and lifelong friends were made through participation in her "water aerobics group," and through membership in the Juneau Chapter of PEO. Some of her other affiliations include the Juneau Chapter of Eastern Star and the United Presbyterian Church.
Nina is survived by her daughter Katherine Brown of Keaau, Hawaii, sons David Brown and Jim (Heather) Brown of Juneau, and grandsons John and Alec Brown also of Juneau. She is also survived by granddaughters Colleen Ordway of Mesa Arizona, Heather Brown of Olympia, Washington, and three great grandchildren. She is further survived by brother Bob Park of Checotah, Oklahoma and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She is preceded in death by her husband Dave Brown, grandson Jimmy Brown, brothers Harold Park of Checotah, Oklahoma, Raymond Park of San Diego, and sister Geneva Farmer of also of Checotah.
A Memorial Service is scheduled for 2:00 pm Saturday, October 26, at the downtown Northern Lights Presbyterian Church. A short reception will follow at the church.
Those wishing to make Memorial Donations may submit them to Juneau Hospice and Homecare, 419 E 6th St Juneau, AK 99801, or to the Juneau Pioneers Home "Garden Project," 4675 Glacier Hwy Juneau, AK 99801, and Attention: JPH Administrator.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Oct. 10, 2013