Gloria D. Brown, 70, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 7, 2021 in Portland.
A celebration of her life took place on Sept. 25 at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Portland.
Gloria was born on May 7, 1951, in Washington, D.C., at DC General Hospital to the marriage of Harry G. Foster and Ruby Foster. Gloria was the first born to this union, giving her the rights to be a natural born leader to her younger siblings. Gloria had two older sisters as well.
As a child, Gloria was very inquisitive and adventurous, and she loved reading books. She always dreamed about what her life would be like and the books she would write. Most of her daydreaming was done while she attended her home church, Russell Temple CME Church. The church is still standing strong today and her family is still in attendance.
As Gloria entered womanhood, she was offered a job in 1974 with the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service. She married the love of her life, Willie James Brown. They raised three children: Camille, Catrina and Andre.
In September of 1981, Gloria lost her husband to a drunk driving accident. She was enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, during this time and went on to complete her degree. She continued her education later in life at Oregon State University in Corvallis, where she completed her master’s degree in Forestry.
Gloria’s career was very adventurous and led her all over the United States. Beginning as a secretary in Washington, D.C., she moved to Missoula, Montana, and then on to Oregon, first with the Willamette National Forest and then the Siuslaw National Forest, where she became the forest’s first African American female forest supervisor. Following this achievement, Gloria went on to the Mt. St. Helens Monument, and her second supervisor position at the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara, California.
Gloria also worked as the Baker Resource Area manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Baker City in the 1990s.
After 32 years with the Forest Service, she retired in 2007.
Gloria found a new love in Phil Wikelund in Portland in the 1990s. Together they resided in Lake Oswego. As a resident, Gloria participated in several civic organizations, the most recent being Respond to Racism.
During Gloria and Phil’s time together they traveled around the country, hosted many dinner parties, and spent a great deal of happy days at their home in Southern Oregon.
Gloria’s crowning achievement was when she published her memoir, “Black Woman in Green.” Her greatest moment in her life was when she was reunited with her firstborn child, Andre Wallace.
Gloria leaves to mourn her death her partner, Phil Wikelund; her sons, Andre Wallace and Reginald Andre Brown, and his wife, Nichole Brown; her daughters, Camilla Brown and Catrina Brown; loved like her own children, Lisa Brown, Michael Brown, Dwayne Harris and Kim Brown; her grandsons, AJ Brown, Aubrey Wallace and AJ Wallace; her granddaughters, Alana, Victor and Nyeelah; her great-granddaughter, A’Kari Symone; her brothers, Michael and Larry Foster; her sister, Lisa Foster; her uncle, Charles Emery; her aunt, Mertle Baldwin; the Baker family; as well as a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, friends and colleagues.
Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Ruby Foster; her sisters, Joanne and Evelyn; and her brother, Tony.