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Michele Elaine Pierce

September 22nd, 2010

Michele Elaine Pierce date of death September 22 2010 Pierce, Michele Elaine, 59, 10/23/1950 - 09/22/2010 Michele was born in Olean, N.Y., and lived most of her childhood in Detroit, Mich., and the Chicago area. After graduating from Forest View High School in Mount Prospect, Ill., Michele moved to Kodiak, Alaska, with her parents. There she met and married U.S. Coast Guard pilot Charles Hughes, currently of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. They lived in Alaska and Honolulu and had two sons, Sean and Patrick. The couple later divorced, so Michele moved to San Diego, where she took a job working as a teller for Home Federal Savings and Loan. And, like the bright star that she was, she eventually worked her way up through the ranks to the position of branch manager, and subsequently managed the Poway and Visalia, Calif., branches. Following the savings and loan closures in the '80s, Michele found work as a trust manager at Danielson Trust Management in San Diego. She took night classes at San Diego City College for years pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a registered nurse. In the course of her studies at SDCC, she met Burt Pierce in the biology lab. In 1995 the two were married. In 1997 she entered San Diego City College School of Nursing; and in 1999 graduated with honors having earned her Associate of Science in nursing. Michele easily passed her board exams and, after a short tenure at Scripps Green Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., was soon working full time as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. While working full time at Rady, she continued her studies at University of San Diego, and University of Phoenix. She graduated from University of Phoenix in 2002, again with honors, earning her Bachelor of Science in nursing. In the fall of 2003, still working full-time, Michele entered the Loma Linda University Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program. She graduated, again with honors, in the summer of 2006 earning her master's degree in nursing. Following her graduation from Loma Linda, Michele accepted a one-year position as a neonatal nurse practitioner at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Then in the summer of 2007 Michele applied for, and accepted, a position at the neonatal intensive care unit at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. At that time, she and her husband purchased a home in the Portland area and with their three dogs, Yancy, Megan, and Beau; and their two cats, Abby and Katie, moved north. Michele was a loving mother and wife, as well as a hard-working, dedicated professional. She was widely regarded as a gifted nurse practitioner with a friendly, welcoming manner and a spontaneous sense of humor. Working in the intensive care unit at the hospital, she provided critical care to babies, some of which were small enough to hold in one hand. Care in this unit requires highly specialized skills, ability to make critical decisions, and frequent parental involvement. Michele approached both her clinical responsibilities and her interactions with families with honesty, sensitivity, and professionalism. Life had never come easily for Michele-her father died when she was a child and her relationship with her mother was adversarial. Still, Michele worked tirelessly to build a good life and provide for her sons, overcoming adversity, hardship, and pain. She was most definitely a self-made woman. Following Burt's retirement, and having achieved her goals, Michele was free to fulfill her dream of a life in the Northwest. Tragically, three years after the couple's arrival in Portland, Michele was diagnosed with advanced anaplastic ependymoma, a relatively rare brain cancer in adults. After a year-long struggle with the disease, she died at her home. Michele was predeceased by her father, Maurice Charles Montilluer; mother, Wyona Dawn Allen; and brother, Stephen Alan Montilluer. She is survived by her husband, Burton E. Pierce; sons, Sean Michael Hughes and Patrick Scott Hughes; and sister, Kathy Ann Montilluer. We love you sweetheart! Rest in peace. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 147 N.W. 19th Ave., Portland, OR 97209.

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