Nancy Ann Niles de Brasch
Nancy Ann Niles de Brasch “fought the good fight” but lost her battle with cancer on Sunday, November 22, at home and surrounded by family. She was 87 years old.
Brasch was born on July 8, 1928, in Columbus, Ohio, to Millard James Niles and Virginia Rhoades Niles. She began her college studies at Duke University, and completed her degree in Early Child Development at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating in 1951. Brasch was an active member of Pi Beta Phi at both schools. When at Wheelock, she accompanied her father to Mexico City for a business conference, where she met Carlos Brasch Worner. A long distance romance ensued, leading to their marriage in 1951. The couple settled in Mexico City, where their five children were born.
The family moved to Guadalajara in 1970. Brasch was an active member in the Junior League, the School for Blind Girls, the Mexican American Cultural Institute, the American School of Guadalajara and St. Mark’s Anglican Church, where she was a member of the vestry and sang alto in the choir. She participated in a number of other activities, charities and clubs over the years.
Brasch was the image of diplomacy and “political correctness” long before the term was coined and was sometimes called upon to informally arbitrate conflicts. At the same time, she was known to go out of her way to help others and had a special sympathy for foreigners on their own in Mexico, offering comfort to several foreign friends on their deathbeds. She will be sorely missed.
She is survived by her sister, Diane Mackie, and her four children: Cristina, Carlos, Nancy and Karina, along with ten grandchildren and three great-grand children.
A memorial service was held at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Guadalajara on November 25.
June Knight de Leon
Longtime lakeside resident June Earline Knight de Leon died peacefully in her Chula Vista home on November 5, at the age of 79.
Knight de Leon was born December 22, 1935 in Beaumont, Texas, the daughter of Christine Collins and Harry Knight. She graduated from Beaumont High School in 1955 and attended Lamar College of Technology (later advanced to Lamar University), receiving a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1967.
She married Joe Alex de Leon on April 21, 1957. She worked as a research chemist at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, staying at her new husband’s side while he completed medical school, internship, medical residency and cardiology residency. The couple moved to Port Arthur, Texas where Dr. de Leon started a private practice and she set up their home. They raised a son, Mark, born in 1961 and a daughter, Christina, born in 1965.
Knight de Leon was an active member of the Jefferson County Medical Ladies Auxiliary, the Port Arthur Junior League, the annual CavOILcade festival honoring the petroleum industry and Parent’s Teacher’s Association of the Port Arthur School District. She supported many charities there and helped fund students to attend schools and colleges.
She and her husband moved to Mexico in 1998, making their home in Chula Vista. She was a member of Laurie Smart’s Garden Growers, the Garden Guild and the Orchid Group. She truly enjoyed participating in these organizations, especially the luncheons and the Garden Guild’s annual flower show. She relished gardening and working with flowers all of her adult life, treasuring the many friends she met through sharing these interests. She donated generously to enable students to attend school and college in Mexico and towards the construction of a class room at the Conalep high school on the Libramiento.
Knight de Leon is survived by her devoted husband of 59 years; son Mark and his wife, Sylvia, of San Angelo, Texas; daughter Christina and her husband Iain Richard Day, of Dallas, Texas; granddaughter Elizabeth de Leon Day; several aunts and uncles and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death her half sister Elouise Purswell.
A celebration of Knight de Leon’s life will be held Saturday, December 12, 2-4 p.m., at Hotel La Nueva Posada in Ajijic, and at a later date in January 2016 in Port Arthur, Texas.