Lisa Hamilton Stringfellow was born on a beautiful autumn day in Dayton, OH on October 8, 1954, at the age of 68 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s she passed through these earthly bounds on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 6:52am. Her legacy continues on through her three beautiful children, Kyle Brazil, Margaret McKay, Ian McKay and all the people she touched throughout the years.
Lisa was an avid reader and a lover of the arts but also had her feet firmly planted in health and nutrition. She was a member of the Impala’s elite running team out of San Francisco and competed in one of the early all-women’s triathlons in the Bay Area. She was a passionate runner with several marathons to her credit and countless other 10k and half-marathon events. She even did the famous Bay to Breakers race on a gurney at 8 months pregnant pushed by several runners disguised as doctors just in case things go out of control. She was caught on camera and interviewed by a local TV station and was the “talk of the town.”
As the daughter of an Air Force Pilot, her father, Colonel Stringfellow had his family on the move every few years to places across the globe. Including Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Southern California, Germany and more. It was this constant exposure to new people, new friends, new schools and new environments that gave her an exceptional ability to deal with people of different backgrounds, different interests and sometimes even completely different cultures. This was a positive force on Lisa and she learned to adapt and make life-long friends in particular Shelley Reecher who until Lisa’s death was always a presence in her life.
Lisa earned her Bachelor degree from University of Colorado at Boulder in German with a minor in English in 1976. A few years later she attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism and graduated in 1980 with her master’s degree, receiving several honor’s including: Outstanding Print Reporter and Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant. A gifted writer as she would later work for several marketing firms and then start her own writing business called “Simple Truths”. Her book “The Very Best Opportunity for Women” was on the top seller list in our household.
After finishing her undergraduate degree in Colorado she began her professional journey and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she took a job as a fitting model for Koret of California—the “perfect size 10” as she was called. It was in California that she met Wayne Brazil and married in 1980. The marriage lasted a few years, but they did have a child Kyle Brazil in 1986. Lisa would go on to apply her unique writing skills for a local San Francisco affiliate of ABC news and later for CBS television network KPIX. After a few years of the rough and tumble life of a network journalist she took a job with Shaklee Corporation as a creative leader for all things print. Shaklee was at the forefront of health and nutrition and Lisa thrived there.
It was at Shaklee where Lisa then met and later married the love of her life, D’Arcy McKay and in 1988 they were married and remained married for the rest of her 35 years.Together they had two children Margaret McKay (1989) and Ian McKay (1995). In the early years they lived in Orinda, CA then moved to Rigby, ID where Lisa was finally re-united with one of her passions—riding horses. The family moved one final time and settled in the bucolic city of West Linn just outside of Portland, OR.
Lisa was known for her enduring way of making people feel like their jokes were the funniest and their stories were the most interesting. She was always inclusive, making sure everyone felt seen and acknowledged. She was quick witted and always on top of the most recent crime adventures. Her love of the outdoors took her to the depths of the Grand Canyon to the heights of the Grand Tetons to the backcountry of the Smokey Mountains to skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland. Riding Horses was a huge passion for Lisa. She learned to ride from a German riding instructor Herr Weiss at the Tattersall stables on the 2nd story riding arena just outside Wiesbaden, Germany. Her love and appreciation of horses was never ending and even after her diagnosis she still retained detailed and specific knowledge of all her horses.
Her generosity for the less fortunate was moving as she would often pull out a handful of cash and present to someone asking for a little help. For many years Lisa would drive a local homeless woman…much to the chagrin of her kids to and from the library, store or wherever she needed. Lisa was always thankful for what she had and took every opportunity to give back whenever she could.
Lisa is survived by her son Kyle Brazil, her daughter Maggie McKay and wife Lauren Hall, her son Ian McKay and fiancé SunWoong Park and sister Mary Bromwell, and brother John Stringfellow…and her horse Aleigha. Lisa was proceeded in death by her sister Leslie Haydel and her parents Glassell and Karen Stringfellow.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday February, 21, 2023 at 2pm at Holman’s Funeral Service 2610 SE Hawthorne Portland OR 97214 in the old historic building built in 1901… The family asks that those who are able can donate to the Alzheimer’s Association through Lisa’s Tribute page on website http://act.alz.org/goto/lisa-
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Time: 02:00 pm
Holman's Funeral & Cremation Service
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The last fond memory I have of Lisa is when she came to Canada for a family reunion and she, Uncle Darcy and I went for a Bike ride together. We went quite a ways and I loved her endurance and spirit! We had a great bike ride and a great reunion with lots of laughs! I am really sad not to have been able to spend more time with Lisa as she was obviously quite a wise and thoughtful woman. I would love to get my hands on her book/writings. She would have had a lot of wisdom to share with our daughter Ally who is also a writer and soon to be graduating with her first degree in English. Lisa, you were way to young to leave us but we will always have wonderful memories of you. You and your family are in our heart and prayers xoxo.
Murray and I have very fond memory of Lisa. It was our thanksgiving and we went to Portland to stay with them for the weekend. Lisa had just been diagnosed shortly before that. Lisa toured us around on Saturday, with Murray being the driver . We saw Frank Lloyd Wright home in the Oregan Gardens. She insisted she make us lunch because she figured we had spent enough money driving down. She made us grill cheese sandwiches, they were no ordinary grilled cheese. She had filled them with jalapeno peppers . They were the best! Hot as the dickens , I think Murray used extra ketchup that day. The next day D'Arcy and Lisa toured us around Portland, my highlight of the day was going to the huge bookstore. Lisa and I came back with beautiful coloring books and felt pens. We colored our afternoon away and it was most enjoyable. Lisa had the most sweet spirit about her. Our sympathies and prayers to all the family . Jean & Murray Romain
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Lynn Keller posted on 2/12/23
I loved Lisa from the day I met her. When you were with Lisa, you knew something especially fun or magical was going to happen. Her belly laugh was like that of a child. Infectious. And her ability to see the good in others was equally childlike. I met Lisa when she was 'the perfect size 10'. We were in our 20's. Our friendship went for decades, and while those around her aged, Lisa never did. Her openness to the world and people around her, and her ability to see the beauty in the simplest things will always remain with me when I think of her. Some people bring a special magic to this world. Lisa was one of those people.