Keith & Keith Funeral Home
Born Aleene Anderson in 1936 in Yakima, the first child of Donald and Gladys Anderson of Tieton, Washington, Aleene Brown passed peacefully surrounded by loving family members at the age of 77 in Kennewick, Washington. Aleene had a wonderful childhood that included meeting Clinton Galloway in her sophomore year of high school. Aleene and Clint married soon after high school and raised two lovely daughters, Cynthia and Shari.
Having worked as a grocery checker in high school, Aleene’s career path continued after the family moved to Benton City in 1958, soon owning a fruit farm. Aleene worked as a grocery checker until 1972 when she began working for the Retail Clerks Union. She moved through the ranks of the union and upon merger with the Meat Cutters to become the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Aleene became the Recording Secretary of the merged local.
The union organization recognized her talents and she was soon elected as a Vice President of the Washington State Labor Council. In 1984 she was appointed as the representative for the Northwest Region that included Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Montana to the UFCW Working Women Committee. Her work helped nominate Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro for President and Vice President of the United States. Following this, then Governor, Booth Gardner appointed Aleene as a trustee of Columbia Basin College.
Taking the opportunity in 1986 to work as a Business Agent in Anchorage, Alaska, Aleene moved north. This brought her closer to her daughters and their families who were living in Alaska. Aleene and Clint amicably went their separate ways in 1978 remaining good friends. Aleene met and married Bill Brown in 1987, who also worked as a Business Agent for the UFCW local.
Aleene’s always active approach to life included membership in several organizations. She was the labor delegate on the Board of Directors for the Food Bank of Alaska, a member of the Executive Board of the Anchorage Central Labor Council and a member of the Executive Board of the Bartlett Democratic Club. All this while meeting her responsibilities as a Business Agent and traveling to Alaskan cities such as Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Fairbanks.
A life-long active member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Aleene supported their efforts in many ways including being instrumental in the building of a new church in Pasco, being a regular monitor of the Reading Room and acting as Second Reader.
Moving back to Richland in 1991, Aleene resumed her job as a Business Agent for the UFCW local 1439. Soon after returning, Aleene received the Glass Ceiling Award for Eastern Washington by the United States Department of Labor and the Washington State Labor Council in recognition of having broken through a male dominated hierarchy.
Throughout her life she loved many pets and rescued dogs and cats many times before it became popular. During her later years Aleene loved playing bridge, organizing events at the retirement community and dancing. She met Tom Lee through dancing and they were companions in her last years.
Aleene always bragged about her four grandchildren, Lauren, Nicholas, Stephanie and Kathleen. All four have become successful, loving adults with unconditional affection for the wonderful grandmother they were blessed with in Aleene. She was a woman of tremendous energy and commitment who gave to those around her the tremendous gift of her love.
She is survived by her daughters, Cynthia Swain (Donald), and Shari Jones (Shawn); grandchildren, Lauren Hunt (Isaiah), Stephanie Lingen (Carl), Nicholas Jones (Annie) and Kathleen Swain (Patric); great grandchild Jace Hunt; sister, Nancy Lester (Mick); brothers, Rusty Tillett (Ava) and Rodney Tillett (Cindy); her significant other, Thomas Lee; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Brown, her father, Donald Anderson and her mother, Gladys Tillett.
Viewing will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 12, 2013 with Aleene’s Funeral Service starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Keith & Keith Funeral Home. Burial will follow at the Naches Cemetery. To share a memory of Aleene, visit www.keithandkeith.com.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to A.S.P.C.A. org for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.