Marie J. Brown, 94, passed away April 4, 2019, in Lacey, Wash. She was born in Enumclaw, Wash., in 1924, to parents, Mary and Jens Pedersen.
In her early years, she attended public schools in Enumclaw and graduated from Enumclaw High School. Immediately after graduation, she entered the war effort, and rather than becoming a “Rosie the Riveter” in nearby Seattle, she joined the White River Lumber Company (later Weyerhaeuser) as a cook’s assistant. Transportation to and from the camp was by company railroad, horse or foot.
She married John Butkus in 1946. To this union two children were born, Pete and Susan. In the mid 1950s, the family moved to Chehalis, Wash., to reduce John’s commute time to his Weyerhaeuser office (Timber Cruising) in Centralia. That union ended in divorce. She later married Arthur Brown of Chehalis, but the two were later divorced.
In 1992, she married Duane “Zeke” Ruzicka and found her true love. She assisted Duane in his business, enjoyed recreation in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii and lived her values of resource conservation on several levels. Duane passed away in 1996. Following Duane’s passing, Marie continued maintaining her home in Chehalis and enjoyed some international travel.
Marie is lovingly remembered by her children, Pete (Carole) Butkus of Harstine Island, Wash., and Susan (Jesse)Wallace of Lacey, Wash.; two grandchildren, John (Cassandra Moore) Leer of Tacoma, Wash., and Mark Campbell of Shoreline, Wash.; and sister, Leora Barber of Palm Desert, Calif.
Marie was an avid reader, consuming several books a week. She was an accomplished flower and vegetable gardener during the summer months. She had an extensive “bucket list” with just three items remaining, to travel to Australia, take a ride in a hot air balloon and live to be 99 years old plus 365 days.
A celebration of Marie’s life will be held Saturday, June 29 2019, at 1 p.m., at Eagles Aerie #1550, 1993 S. Market Blvd., Chehalis. Memorial gifts in Marie’s name may be made to Pope’s Kids Place, 230 Washington Way, Centralia, WA 98531.