Baker City, Oregon
Vera Mae Thorne Lethlean, 76, of Baker City, died Sept. 25, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Care Center after an extended illness.
Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane. A concluding service and dedication of the grave will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be until 7 o’clock tonight at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.
Vera and her twin brother were born prematurely on April 22, 1926, at Holdman to Walter J. and Evelyn “Eva” Olive Corporon Thorne. Weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, she survived the first days of her life in a shoe box in the warming section of the wood-burning cook stove. She was one of seven children.
She grew up in the Hermiston-Stanfield area. At the age of 16, she moved to Muddy Creek where her family farmed and ranched. She graduated from Muddy Creek High School.
While attending Muddy Creek High School, she met classmate Dale Lethlean. On Dec. 22, 1945, the high school sweethearts exchanged wedding vows at El Paso de Robles, Calif., while Dale was on a three-day pass attending military training during World War II.
Vera and Dale had six children; J.D., Linda, Kim, Jim, Tim and Kay. Being a wife and mother was the center of her life. She was always worrying about her family who she wished to be safe and happy.
“We could always count on Mother to be there for us,” her children said. “Not being able to turn to her anymore in this life will be difficult. Her love and devotion to her family was immeasurable.”
Vera’s favorite seasons were spring and summer. She loved the sunshine and the longer days it brought. She enjoyed being in her yard.
Every year new batches of petunias, especially Cascade Red Petunias, would be placed in her garden where one could always find multiple birdhouses and hummingbird feeders. This last season she watched from her chair as more than 100 hummingbirds visited the feeders.
Vera and Dale purchased the In & Out Drive-In on Jan. 1, 1957. She took an active role in building the business. She enjoyed serving the customers until two years ago when her health began to fail.
Vera was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Vera and Dale and their family were sealed for all time and eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple on June 12, 1965.
Vera’s generous nature was felt by those who were a part of her life. Her presence here on earth will be missed greatly not only by her family but also by many friends and loved ones.
Survivors include her husband, Dale Lethlean; sons, J.D. and his wife, Linda, Kim and his wife, Gladys, and Tim and his wife, Kelly, all of Baker City; daughters, Linda and her husband, Russ Canham, of Portland, and Kay and her husband, David Carlson, of Vale, daughter-in-law, Shannon Lethlean; grandchildren, Joe, Julie, Scott, Bill, Dustin, Michelle, Allen, Larry, Melissa, Josiah, Erica, Lauren, Noah and Japheth; great- grandchildren, Acia, Asher and Anya; sisters, Margueritte Dillow of Silverton and Ruby Halvorson of Hermiston; nephew, Howard Thorne of Portland; and numerous nieces and other nephews.
Vera was preceded in death by her son, Jim Lethlean; her parents, Walter and Eva Throne; brothers: Frank William Thorne and Daniel Lewis Thorne, and twin brother, Vernon Throne; sister, Ella Frankie Thorne; and stepmother Lula Thorne.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Carcinoid Cancer Treatment Center through the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR. 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 4, 2002
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor