Cherie Mae Hartwell, 89, died Aug. 10, 2006, at her daughter’s home in Baker City.
At her request, there will be no funeral. There will be celebrations of her life in many locations, to be announced later .
Cherie Mae Hartwell was born to Irene Gray Patrick and Charles Mortimer Hartwell at Buhl, Idaho, on Aug. 2, 1917. The family moved to Oregon two months later.
Her mother and father had been raised on neighboring ranches near Roseworth, Idaho, with nine and 11 brothers and sisters. They moved from there to a home at Sisters and then to a ranch up the McKenzie River, settling on a farm at Riverton.
She attended school there until she transferred her senior year, graduating from Coquille High School with the Class of 1934.
Her love for learning and teaching earned her a Montgomery Ward scholarship to attend Southern Oregon Normal School (now Southern Oregon University) at Ashland. Cherie Mae worked on the family farm, raising award-winning silver foxes. She sold pelts at fur shows in markets as far away as New York.
She earned money and awards to help further her education (at one time family members won five of the top 10 awards in the nation for their show pelts).
She was the first woman to earn a letter in mountain climbing at the college. She graduated on July 16, 1937, with her teaching certificate and later went back to get her bachelor’s degree.
Cherie Mae taught in several schools in the Coos County District, the first being at Bridge, then Marshfield, Coquille, and Bandon. In 1957, she transferred to schools at San Rafael, Calif., and then in 1964 to Indio, Calif. She received her life teaching diploma from the California State Board of Education on July 6, 1964.
She went on to receive many honors and grants that helped pay her way to travel to many places in Europe and Africa to see the sites and further her education about many different cultures of the world. She was able to see the 350th performance of “The Passion Play.”
She was still teaching underprivileged students when she moved from Rancho Mirage to Baker City in 2001. As a devout Christian and teacher, her hobbies and other activities included such things as camping, fishing and spending summers here with her grandchildren.
As a Campfire leader in Coos County, she made sure that she wrote to each of her girls once a year, sharing her life and embracing theirs. A month prior to her death, she was able to spend a week at the coast with her daughter, Carol, as well as several of her girls and a former colleague.
She also enjoyed rock hounding, and being the editor of the Lik ‘n’ Lap publication for the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies for which she won many awards.
She was president of the California Teachers Association, president of her chapter of Toastmistresses, chairman of the election board (she was a staunch Republican), president of her homeowners association and reading a good book, plus the Bible.
She married Wayland Laban Buoy on March 17, 1945, at Vancouver, Wash. They were divorced in 1969.
Survivors include her daughter, Carol Irene and her husband, Steve Guthrie, of Baker City; her grandsons, Brandon Levi Guthrie of Salem and Derrick Kyle Guthrie of Baker City; a brother, Miles Mortimer Hartwell, and his wife, Marty, of Salem; nephew, Charles David Hartwell, and his wife, Dianna, and daughter, Heather, of Bandon; and numerous grandnieces, nephews and friends too numerous to count.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Charles Grant Hartwell of Coquille; and a granddaughter, Amy Annette Guthrie of Baker City.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to MayDay or the Baker County Mounted Posse through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 15, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor