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In Memory

Edith Brown

Edith Brown

Deceased ClassmateEdith Brown
Date Of Birth: 
Date Deceased: 
Age at Death: 
Cause of Death

Classmate City: Clawson
Classmate State: MI
Classmate Country: USA
Survived By: I assume the man I spoke with was her husband when calling the class lists. He said she'd died 3 years ago.

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10/26/10 05:22 PM #1    

Michael Stecker MD

Edith Brown's 2001 auto-biography, as well as those from others Mumford '61 clssmates can be read at:



Edith Brown


Dear Classmates,

Wow! It is awesome reading the bios, so much to reflect upon. I remember putting green food coloring in my hair on St. Patrick's Day. What else would a good little Irish girl do?! Calling teachers a "schmuck" and Lord only knows how many others. It wasn't until I called Sharon Shapiro a schmuck, that she explained to me what it meant. Heck, I though it was a cute slang name and no big deal. Excuse the pun! Although I had some amusing times, I must say that high school was not one of the most enjoyable experiences in my life. I was but one among many, possibly, going through all of those perceived insecurities at that time in our lives.

I left high school a bit shell shocked, not really sure what I wanted in my life; however very happy to be out. I did know, if it was to be, it was up to me. So I took some time to work for companies and absorb the real world and what business had to offer.

Two very large companies (Michigan Bell and Burroughs) hired me, but when it came time for the physical and they found out that I was a juvenile diabetic, I was promptly let go. (My how times change) Got a job with a large food chain distributor, as one of Hoffa’s teamster girls. Very interesting experience. I was later offered a management/buyer position. They felt I was very qualified because of my experience on the firing line with my union status job, (my first experience at learning the contrast in pay between a woman with more work experience and a man with considerably less experience in the same job). Another reality check.

Married in 1963, to my "Jimmy Dean" love of my life, Bob Zahler. We had our first child in 1964, a son, Robert Jay. Then over the next 5 years, a 5-month miscarriage (girl) and a full term stillborn (boy). Feeling very sorry for myself and “why me?” feeling that things always happen to the other guy. I was now the other guy! Last time I ever asked "why me?" The situation made me much more insightful, appreciative and grateful to have our only child. Another reality check.

When our son was about 2 years old, I went to beauty school (must have been influenced, by my green hair days in school). I had a salon set up in our home, so I could have the best of two worlds. I could raise our son and do something that I had loved from a young girl. My ultimate dream was to have my own salon business one day.

At age 30, I was told that I had a terminal skin disease and had only 3 months to 3 years to live. I lost my mother, the following month and my father, 10 months later. Wow, what a kick in the tush and another of life's reality checks. After almost five years, I found out that I had been misdiagnosed and had something very rare from a flu virus, with a low mortally rate.

Hearing this made me realize there is no tomorrow. Don't procrastinate, do what you want now. So I did! I opened up my own salon business, "Tortoise & the Hair, Ltd", (great seventy's unisex name), in
Troy, MI. (I never really left far from home.) Shortly after, I opened a second location and after about 3 years, sold it. I've had the original business now for 24 years, purchased the building and have trained and employed innumerable employees. The decision has given me some of the most gratifying experiences in my life.

I did attend some advanced developmental and management classes. I didn't go for the degree, but what I got was something so truly extraordinary. The faith and trust from clients, being there for their baby’s first hair cut, home coming dance, proms, graduation, shower, wedding, a pick-up after their babies birth, a new look during a mid-life crisis or divorce, or for the funeral service of a loved one. And of course, for all the times in-between. I'm so fortunate to have been able to take part in a profession that has given me such a tremendous opportunity, to participate in the most important occasions of another person's life.

My profession has also offered me the opportunity to be a State of
Michigan, Cosmetology Educator, competition judge, platform artist, and a motivational beauty school speaker. My husband has been a wonderful supporter in my dream. I had a quintuple bypass 13 years ago and now I manage the business and look to new opportunities within it. We're also considering developing some acreage that we have by our home up North on the Tittabawassee River. This will be another new adventure and we're looking forward to the task.

Our son was also a juvenile diabetic at the age of 10. He is a licensed builder. Just as his business was getting off the ground, he ended up with kidney failure. He went to the
University of Wisconsin and had a double organ transplant (kidney and pancreas) that saved his life. The ravages of the disease still didn't stop. He had one leg amputated and is trying to save the other. He married a wonderful girl named, Pam. She's a nurse that he met, while being carried for at William Beaumont, Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. Bob has a great attitude and a wonderful sense of humor. He hopes to begin again, moving forward in his career. No grandchildren, as of yet.

The positive wonders of what an organ donator can do for another person and his family is totally indescribable!!! My hope is that others would at least consider being a donor to help another to live.

My husband has been in construction all of the 38 years of our marriage. He retired this past year; however, he is still working full time and enjoys it, along with his fishing. Now it's by his choice!

I enjoy our family, friends and home immensely. Along with decorating, gardening and tending to our three little Shih Tzu's, "Shasta, Ranger & Riley," I go to the gym several times a week and after 54 years of diabetes with many complications, feel very fortunate that I still can.

I will not be attending the reunion because of health reasons. I know that you'll all have a wonderful time and reminisce the night away.

For a quiet, shy girl in school, I certainly made up for it with this lengthy bio! Another reality check!

"As long as you're green, you grow. Once you become ripe, you rot."

Much good health and happiness to you all.
Life is good!

Edie (Brown) Zahler
e-mail: shasta2is@home.com


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