Virgene Payton Fugit, 86, a life-time resident of Halfway, died July 22, 2009, with her husband Stan and her children and grandchildren by her side at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 25, at 2 p.m. at the Halfway Lion’s Club. Pastor Bill Shields of Pine Valley Presbyterian Church will officiate.
A reception will immediately follow the service. Private vault interment will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway.
Virgene was born March 31, 1923, in Halfway to Charlie and Josie Bassett Hulse. She attended school in Halfway and graduated from high school in only 11 years of schooling.
After graduation, she went to work in Baker for Montgomery Ward in the bookkeeping section and lived with her sister, Vivian Hulse Ginther.
She married Everett L. Payton on April 23, 1944, in Colorado Springs, Colo. After their marriage, she moved back to Halfway until Everett was discharged from the Navy. They briefly made their home in Bend, but returned to Halfway where she made her home for the rest of her life.
Virgene worked numerous positions in Halfway during her career, starting as a teller for US Bank. When the bank closed, she went to work as bookkeeper for Halfway Garage and Smith Garage and held numerous positions including City of Halfway Recorder, Pine Haven Cemetery recorder, Pine Valley Rural Fire Department recorder, Pine Valley Cattle and Horse Association recorder.
In 1963, she got her insurance license to sell for Farmers Insurance. She retired and sold the business to her daughter, Ronda Payton Dillman and continued to help her for years.
Her husband Everett passed away in 1993. In December 1999, she married Stan Fugit in Winnemucca, Nev.
Virgene never met a stranger and was a friend to everyone. She loved to visit and her smile lit up the area. She expected a hug from everyone. Dancing was a favorite pastime and she taught her children to dance and even was dancing this Memorial Day weekend with her sons-in-law and friends.
Her other favorite activity was playing “Ol’ Clyde” and traveling, especially to Jackpot where she thoroughly enjoyed playing the slots or poker machine. Her life-long best friend Glenna Smith was her partner in many adventures.
Virgene’s, or “Grandma” as she was known throughout the valley, greatest delight was being Grand Marshal for the Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo this year. She was a member of Pine Valley Presbyterian Church and the Ladies V.F.W. Auxiliary.
Virgene is survived by her husband, Stan Fugit of Halfway; her son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Beth Payton of Halfway; her daughters and sons-in-law, Ronda and Walt Dillman of Halfway, and Dawn and Roger Coles of Baker City; grandchildren, Josi Dillman Mack and her husband Larry of Baker City; Corey Dillman of Spokane, Wash., Billee Payton Mekosky and her husband Philip of Beaverton, and surrogate grandchildren Molly Smith and Brian Peterson; great-grandchildren, Shelby Prince, Hannah Prince, Colton Dillman, and Mikayla Dillman, all of Baker City; brother, Herb Hulse and sister-in-law, Corene Hulse of Pasco, Wash.; stepsons, Fred Berwick of Sacramento, Calif., and David Fugit of Halfway; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 49 years, Everett Payton; brother Daryl Hulse; sisters, Vivian Ginther and Maymie Jones; sister-in-law, JoAnn Hulse; brothers-in-law, Everett Ginther, Norman Mills and Burl Jones; niece Kolesta Alexander and grandson-in-law, Travis Prince.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Pine Eagle Clinic or the charity of your choice in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, Oregon 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 24, 2009
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor