Shirley Faye Brindel, 81

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Shirley Faye Brindel, 81

Shirley Faye Brindel, 81, passed away surrounded and held by love on Dec. 8, 2016, in Hayden, Idaho. Memorial services will be held on May 20, 2017, at the Rooty Branch Cemetery in Bristol, Tenn., where her remains will be interred at her family’s plot.

Faye was born on Aug. 23, 1935, in Bristol to Shirley and Jessie Evelyn Brindel. She grew up at her family’s farm in a valley outside Bristol, where she remembered seeing the dim flames of moonshiner stills in the mountains as they flickered in the moonlight. Faye attended high school in Bristol, where she volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol and played tenor sax in the school band. A lifetime learner, reader and writer, she attended Southern Missionary College in Collegedale, Tenn., Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Mass., and Lake-Sumter Community College in Leesburg, Fla. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a B.A. in English in June 1990.

In 1960, she married Fred Mickelson, with whom she raised two daughters, Robin and Teri. At Christmas, she would play the piano while the family sang hymns and carols. Faye and the girls moved often, following Fred’s jobs as a diamond core driller and heavy machinery operator. It was important to Fred and Faye that their children had the opportunity to pursue their interests and to find their passion in life because one’s passion wouldn’t just show up knocking at the front door. After their children left home, they primarily lived in Florida and Washington. Following Fred’s death in 2001, Faye moved to Eastern Washington and later to Coeur d’Alene, where she spent her final years.

In addition to being a stay at home mom, Faye worked as a bookkeeper, truck broker, typist, telephone operator, customer service representative and mental health ombudsman. A born storyteller, she wrote numerous short stories, many of which were published in literary magazines. She also participated in writers’ groups and acted in Spokane.

Faye loved books, animals, music, traveling and meeting new people. But she hated the outdoors, and had the blackest of black thumbs. Unless it was necessary for survival, she had no use for gardening or cooking. She also hid her talent for embroidery, knitting and quilting from her family. Faye was a sparkplug, a character and somebody you would never want to cross. She didn’t take nothing from nobody. You wanted Faye in your corner — although she claimed to have attempted to feed her sister to a circus bear once. Faye lived an interesting — and in many ways — unique life, and she is deeply missed.

Faye is survived by her sister, Judy Jessee of Tiffin, Ohio; her sister-in-law, Linda Brindle of Vancouver, Wash.; her daughters, Robin Jenkins of Rathdrum and Teri Williams of Mesa, Ariz.; her grandchildren, Jim Williams, Jody Sheets, Chris Robinson and Jessie Dugas; great-grandchildren Daisy, Lilly and Maya; and nieces Sherrie, Missy, Shirley and Brittany.

She was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, Billy Rutter; her brother, Tony; her husband, Fred and her beloved dog, Honey.

The night before Faye died, she spoke of her wish to go back to college and to drive across country and visit friends and her sister, Judy. To honor her lifelong ability to always look to the future with anticipation, the family would request that all who cared about her have a dream, make a plan and always look forward to the next great adventure.

English Funeral Chapel in Coeur d’Alene is in charge of the arrangements. You may view her online memorial at

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