Louessa Francis (Parke) Brown, 95, a lifetime Sunnyside resident, died on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at Hillcrest Manor in Sunnyside.

Louessa, was born April 3, 1916, at home in Sunnyside, the daughter of Ted and Pearl Parke.

Her siblings, all older, included brothers, Ralph and Cecil, and sister, Grace.

She graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1935.

On Dec, 26, 1937, she married Harold Brown, making their home in Sunnyside. In 1938, Louessa and Harold opened the Dog House Café, which they operated for two years before operating Brown's Café from 1940 until 1949.

In 1948, they built a horse racetrack and rodeo grounds between Sunnyside and Grandview, called Sunny-Grand. In 1952, they began racing hard top race cars on the dirt track. The next year, the Browns paved the track and changed the name to Sunny-Grand Speedway to race Midgets, Sprint cars, Modifieds, and motorcycles. In 1970 they sold Sunny-Grand Speedway.

Louessa also worked for Howard's Empire drug store, Eastway Pharmacy, and retired from JC Penney after more than 20 years.

For many years Louessa volunteered for the American Cancer Society, at Pioneer Elementary School reading with second grade students and at Sunnyside Community Hospital gift shop.

Louessa is survived by one daughter, Andrea (Tony) Mount of Grandview; two sons, Koert of Portland, Ore. and Kent (Cathy) of Redmond, Ore.; two grandchildren, Shane Galapia and Eshell Mitchell of Honolulu, Hawaii; and four great-grandchildren, also of Hawaii.

Graveside services will be held Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Garden in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to sign Louessa's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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