Darlene Bradshaw Brown was born in Carter County Kentucky on November 29, 1930 to a mother with advanced tuberculosis. Adoptive parents Harvey Bradshaw and Katherine Childers Bradshaw raised her in Sciotoville, Ohio. It is reported that despite the hardships of the depression and several children of their own, Katherine and Harvey could not resist Darlene’s beautiful blond hair and took the toddler in.
Darlene married Robert Paul Brown in 1951 in northeastern Kentucky. They spent their early married life in Tarlton, Ohio where their two children were raised. In 1971 Darlene and Robert moved to Islamorada Florida where they spent a decade managing a small resort in the Florida Keys. In 1995 they moved to Bastrop where Darlene spent over 15 years working at HEB.
Following her husband’s death, Darlene continued to work, retiring at 79. She was able to live independently until shortly before her 89th birthday and treasured the small apartment that her daughter would fill with seasonal decorations.
Throughout her life, everyone who encountered Darlene was taken in by her sweet nature. She truly never said a cross or judgmental word to anyone.
The blond locks that inspired many of the waypoints on her life journey remained naturally blond until her 80’s. Her preoccupation with her hair was legendary. In the nursing home, in the last weeks of her life she still slept with a head full of old fashioned brush rollers and her bag of rollers and picks was always within reach.
Darlene was preceded in death by her husband Robert Brown. She is survived by her daughter Karen Brown Strick of Florida and son Robert Paul Brown of Bastrop and their spouses, Martin Strick and Carol Brown. She is also survived by her three grandsons Collin Strick, John Brown and Maxwell Brown – all who adored her beyond measure.
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