Lorena Elizabeth Lessman, 86, of Baker City, died April 14, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.
Her graveside funeral will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery. Sister Kay Marie Duncan of Pathway Hospice will officiate.
Visitations will be today from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.
Lorena was born Oct. 31, 1918, at Kamiah, Idaho, to Jim and Martha Carrol Smith. The family later moved to Eastern Oregon. Lorena attended school at La Grande and worked for a short time as a cook on the Peach family turkey farm.
While in La Grande she met Glen Lessman, and the couple was married in 1939 at Boise. Two years later, Lorena gave birth to their only child, a son, Donnie Glen Lessman. To care for Donnie’s special health needs, Lorena went to nurse’s training and became a practical nurse. She devoted the next 52 years as Donnie’s at-home caregiver, a job she loved and lived for.
Travel was difficult for the family, so Lorena was always entertaining people in the home. She loved to cook, and she spent hours preparing food for family and friends when they visited.
Glen’s job working in the woods drew the family to the outdoors. Travel was difficult, but Glen and Lorena would clear trails for Donnie’s wheelchair so their son could experience the camping trips with them.
Donnie, who never spoke or walked, passed in 1985 from leukemia. He was a very loved and well-cared-for man, thanks to the special care from his loving nurse and mother, Lorena.
Lorena spent lots of time canning the fresh foods from her large garden planted every year. She had an appreciation for music, and she enjoyed dancing. Sewing was also one of her pastimes. When you approached Lorena she would always have a large smile to greet you. She had a good sense of humor and loved to play practical jokes on people.
Lorena is survived by her brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles and Wanda Smith of Boise, and Kess and Phyllis Smith of Portland; sisters, Mamie Woolhiser of Portland, Eva Woolhiser and her husband, Ron, of Vancouver, Wash., Frieda Burnett of Milwaukie, Martha “Alva” Key of Springfield, and Donna Marquand and her husband, Dean, of Waldport; sisters-in-law, Alice Lessman of Enterprise and Ruth Wicklund of Sequim, Wash.; friends and caregivers, Barbara and Herb Burton of Baker City; and many nieces and nephews.
Lorena was preceded in death by her husband, Glen; her son, Donnie; her parents, Jim and Martha Smith; a brother, Alfred; a sister, Alta; a sister-in-law, Rose Peach; and brothers-in-law, Ralph Lessman and Don Woolhiser.
Contributions in Lorena’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 25, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor