Elizabeth Elam Braislin

May 1936 - August 2008

Jacksonville lost a very gracious lady when Liz Braislin passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, August 16, 2008, following a brief bout with cancer.

Born in Kansas City, Kansas, to Lorin and Lorraine Elam, Liz moved with her family to Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1946 where her father worked on the Manhattan Project. The family later settled in Santa Ana, California.

Following her graduation from Garden Grove High School, Liz went to work for GMAC. She was soon transferred to Pasadena, Calif., which became her home for the next 40 years.

Liz always focused on improving herself and her community. While working for GMAC during the day, she taught ballroom dancing for Arthur Murray Dance Studios and attended Pasadena City College at night, subsequently completing her B.A. at Pepperdine University. She married Jack Corey in 1962, and managed his architectural firm for several years while lending her organizational skills to local non-profits.

She was a longtime docent at the Gamble House in Pasadena, eventually becoming president of the Gamble House Docents Council. Visitors always enjoyed her architectural tours of this preeminent Green & Green designed Craftsman "bungalow" built for the Gambles of Procter & Gamble.

In the late 1970s, Liz joined the staff of the Pacific Asia Art Museum, one of only four institutions in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. For 17 years she served as director of Volunteers and Events, becoming responsible for over 300 volunteers and playing a major role in the museum's annual Festival of the Harvest Moon.

After retiring, Liz moved in 1996 with her husband, John Braislin, to Jacksonville, Ore., where she became known as a wonderful hostess, community activist, and "volunteer extraordinaire." During their first year in Jacksonville, 168 friends enjoyed the overnight hospitality of the Braislins.

While preferring to be "low profile," Liz could be counted on to get things done. She was treasurer and board member of the Jacksonville Booster Foundation and active on many Boosters Club committees. She "flew the flags" on major holidays, co-chaired the Garage Sale pricing committee, was casting director for "Meet the Pioneers" cemetery tours, and helped tend Britt Gardens. In 2006, she was Jacksonville's "Booster of the Year."

Liz and the family dog Cinnamon were the top fund raisers for the Jacksonville Woodlands annual Hike-A-Thon for several years. Liz was also active in the Jacksonville Garden Club, producing programs, hosting "potting parties," and manning sales booths. She volunteered with the SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) reading program and served as a CASA (Court appointed Special Advocate) for Jackson County.

She was always a pleasure to be with and her company was much in demand. She maintained a schedule that included clubs, bridge groups, exercise classes, travel, and social activities. However, if a friend or family member needed help, Liz gave generously of her time and skills.

A friend summed it up well: "Liz Braislin was a class act!"

Liz is survived by her husband, John Braislin; her sisters, Susan Lack, and Linda Elam; her brother, Lorin Elam; her nephew and niece Roger Brazil; and Yvonne Fengler whom she helped raise. She will be dearly missed by countless family members and close friends.

Her ashes will be interred in the family plot in Fallan, Nevada. A Celebration of Liz's Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, 2008, at the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church, 425 Middle Street in Jacksonville, Ore. Memorial contributions can be made to the Jacksonville Boosters Foundation, P.O. Box 81, Jacksonville, OR 97530, or to the Jacksonville Woodlands Association, P.O. Box 1210, Jacksonville, OR 97530.