Mar. 4, 2003 Vancouver Clark County Washington, USA
Thalia Laurel was born in Fresno, California to Ralph and Edna (Morris) Devin. In 1938 her father, Ralph M. Devin, founder of Bank & Office Equipment Co., left Seattle with his family for the Netherlands East Indies, where they established a mission station on Ambon Island. They remained there until the onset of WWII, and then went to Brisbane, Australia, nearly hit by a torpedo along the way.
After the War, the family returned to Ambon and Thalia met Robert Brougham, a Navy pilot for the Admiral commanding forces in Australia/New Guinea. He was also from Seattle, Washington. Completing her four-year missionary calling in Ambon and Ternate, Thalia returned to Seattle with her family and was married in Emmanuel Tabernacle on December 30, 1949.
In 1950 her father located and financially assisted in acquiring a 105-foot former Army rescue vessel to use for a mission outreach in the Spice Islands. They named the vessel "MV. Evangel" and the crew included Robert Brougham, Captain, with Thalia, her brother Morris, and others as crew. After an ardous voyage from Seattle to Jakarta, Thalia gave birth to her daughter Kerry 23 days after the arrival. Recruited to foreign service, the Broughams spent many years in Indonesia. Later the family served in Brazil, Washington DC, Thailand, Vietnam, Guam, and Nigeria.
She was a loving and caring mother of four children: Kerry, Mark, Devin, and Robert Jr.
Retiring in 1981, the couple traveled extensively in Europe and Singapore. Thalia related well to other peoples and cultures wherever she went. Fluent in Indonesian and Dutch languages, she also studied Chinese, brush painting and became proficient in art and music.
Wherever she lived, she was active in women's affairs and in her church. Her sight began to fail in 1963 and she was totally blind the last eight years of her life, but nonetheless continued to carry out her activities. All who were touched by her miss her elegance, wit, beauty, artistry, wisdom, character and profound love. She now rests in God's eternal care.