Niola H. Pumphrey, 85, of Pendleton and formerly of Union, died May 24 at The Odd Fellows Home in Walla Walla. Funeral services begin at 10 a.m. Monday in the First United Methodist Church, 352 SE Second St. in Pendleton. She will be buried in the West Lawn Cemetery in Gering, Neb. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.
Niola Pumphrey was born May 28, 1922, to Hollis L. and Carrie M. (Knapp) Chapman in Spencer, Neb. She spent two preschool years in Florida with her parents. She started grade school in Nebraska and spent several years at Fairview No. 34 in Morrill, Neb.
Niola graduated from Morrill High School in 1940, and then attended the University of Nebraska, graduating in 1944 with a bachelor of science degree in home economics and a secondary certificate in vocational education. At that time, money was not plentiful and she worked part-time.
Niola found teaching home economics rewarding. She had been director of the cafeteria at Lemoore High School in Lemoore, Calif., for two years. She spent summers as a jitney driver at an Army Supply Depot in Tracy, Calif.
Niola married Floyd Vance Pumphrey on Dec. 28, 1945, after he returned from two years in the South Pacific during World War II. Her homemaking started in June 1946 in Lincoln, Neb. Part-time work in the College of Agriculture in Nebraska was secured. The family moved to Mitchell, Neb., in 1944, then to Union in 1957 and then to Pendleton in 1970. Three children were born to the family.
She enjoyed volunteer work starting with her experience as a 4-H leader while in high school. Niola continued her 4-H leadership and 4-H community leadership for 22 years. She volunteered as a Make-it-Yourself with Wool director for 16 years and as a Cub and Boy Scout leader. She volunteered doing church activities too including weddings, receptions and banquets. She was involved with Helping Hand and with Eastern Oregon Historical Society and with the library and community fairs. Niola was a member of several organizations including the Federated Woman’s Club for 50 years, as well as the American Association of University Women for 50 years, the Home Extension Club (now FCE) for 50 years, the United Methodist Woman, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Pioneer Ladies.
She is survived by her husband, Vance of Pendleton; son, Keith and his wife, Jane, of Walla Walla; two grandsons; and one great-grandson. She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Wayne; a daughter, Pamela; and a brother.
La Grande Observer – May 29, 2008