Cindy Brown was born on April 23, 1950, in Albany, OR to Gerald (Gary) Lee Knuths and Mildred Naomia Nickel (Nicky) Knuths. The family initially lived in a little house in Lacomb, OR before moving to Shedd (living with Grandpa Knuths), then to a rented farm in Brownsville, before settling into the farm on a mile-long lane between Brownsville and Halsey, OR (when she was in third grade) where her family farmed and ranched.
Her father was not only a farmer but a Mennonite minister. Being a PK (preacher’s kid) wasn’t the delight of her life, nor was being a “farm-girl” - the work was always very hard and seemingly endless, with miles of irrigation to hand-move in the pastures and bush-bean crops AND, for her, on horseback every day one summer, checking fences and monitoring and herding, as needed, cattle.
She attended schools in Shedd, Brownsville, and Halsey - graduating, with honors, from Central Linn High School. During high school she was an amazing javelin thrower, placing third in the state. Being smart, very out-going, and funny (a trait delivered from both sides of her family, Carlsons and Nickels), it is easy to see why she was selected as a finalist for Girls State and a student abroad program. She was in Honor Society, Culture Club, and held class offices.
Cindy’s first job was as the teller in a Harrisburg bank and later she worked at the Cascadia Post Office, later becoming the Post-Master (Mistress). She was great at these jobs.
She loved people!! Always… growing to be interested in all aspects of people’s lives. Like her dad, she could talk (and listen) for hours, and time seemed completely irrelevant! She gave of it, and herself, to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Married to Larry Brown for 25 years, they had two sons: Charlie Gary Brown and Lael Knuths Brown. While she completely loved her spunky Charlie Brown and treasured the memories he left (he preceded her to heaven), Lael was her earthly love, focus, and delight! She was so proud of him, concerned for him, and cherished being with him - spending precious one-on-one time with him in the kitchen, watching sports on TV, on cruises and week-long stays at the coast and Eagle Crest or elsewhere.
Speaking of cruises, she LOVED adventure and travel. When she was single and working at the bank, she would save her money with one focus - to travel. She would travel alone and loved it (Hawaii and Texas were two of her BIG destinations). In addition, she accompanied or hosted various family members on individual trips to the south, mid-west, and northeast. Late in life, she loved taking cruises - “Everything is right there, done for you. You don’t have to do anything but enjoy…and you can do anything you want, or not!” she would say. She took cruises in the Caribbean, to Alaska, and to Hawaii.
Though she spent many years enduring pain, Cindy could always find something to joke/wisecrack about (often being self-deprecating). She loved laughing and making others laugh. She also loved to cook and bake. Anyone who was the recipient from the generous giving of her delectable, upscale country fare will tell you that she was amazing in the kitchen.
Additionally, Cindy enjoyed music - she played tenor saxophone in junior high and high school, dabbled at playing the piano and guitar (self-taught), and could often be heard singing, humming, and whistling.
Aside from her boys, a couple of the highlights of her life were playing Aunt Eller, as a high school senior, in her school’s production of Oklahoma AND being selected to carry the Olympic torch flame.
At a young age, Cindy received Jesus Christ as her personal savior, and walked through her life with Him, most recently attending the fellowship at South Albany Community Church.
Preceded in death by her parents, Gary and Mildred Knuths; and her son, Charlie Brown.
She is survived by son, Lael Brown; and siblings, Jennifer Knuths, Carolee Harding (Dick), and Tim Knuths (Terri); as well as aunts and uncles, cousins, and a multitude of friends.
Cindy, as well as her family, wishes to express our most sincere thanks to Dr. Brian Druker, Diana Brewer and their team at OHSU for their remarkable care, compassion and friendship. It was Cindy’s desire that her participation in the research that is being done there would advance the treatment and cure of CML.
A visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12 at AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home. Funeral Service will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home. Private burial will take place at Willamette Memorial Park.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com )