CAPT Merilys Porter Brown, USHS (Ret), 101, passed away Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at the Wilmot Care Center. A private family burial will take place at a later date.
Merilys Porter was born on May 25, 1918, in Wilmot, South Dakota to Clement and Florence (Hill) Porter. After graduating from Wilmot High School she attended the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1942. After serving in the Army Nurse Corps as a Flight Nurse in WWII she returned to the University of Minnesota and completed her Master’s in Public Health in 1949.
From 1943 – 1946 she was a Flight Nurse with the 816th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron in the European Theater of Operations flying with Troop Carrier Squadrons of the 9th Army Air Corps. She evacuated wounded soldiers, including the first squadron in Normandy after D-Day and during the Battle of the Bulge.
From 1951 – 1971 she was a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) with service in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, AZ, Charlotte, NC, Arctic Health Research Center in Alaska and USPHS Nursing Research Center in San Francisco, CA. Her last assignment was with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. In 1965 Merilys had a short-term assignment with the World Health Organization (WHO) at the National Tuberculosis Institute in Banglalore, India and at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
On May 25, 1965, Merilys married Daniel G. Brown in Geneva, Switzerland. Together they lived in Arizona, Georgia, and California where they were active in the Beyond War Movement. They returned to Arizona in 1990 and lived in Green Valley for many years. Merilys returned home to South Dakota in 2017.
Merilys was an active member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson, the America Association of University Women, and a volunteer at the Adult Day Care Center at Casa de Esperanza. She was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Green Valley and a strong supporter of Common Cause.
Merilys is survived by Daniel’s children Virginia and Daniel Jr., her nephews: Burt, Marty, Rich Porter and niece, Carrie Tschetter.
Merilys was preceded in death by her husband Daniel, her brother Charles Porter and his wife Elaine, and nephew Keith Porter.