Baker City, Oregon
Edith Elaine Vallier Bootsma, 58, died June 28, 2003, at her home after a year-and-a-half battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family and friends until the end.
Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Elkhorn Baptist Church, 3520 Birch St. Pastor Ron Bissonnett will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at 2604 11th St.
Visitations will be until 8 o’clock tonight at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.
Edith Elaine was born on Feb. 17, 1945, at Long Beach, Calif., to Lila May and Everett Keith Vallier. Her childhood and teen years were spent in the Long Beach area.
She attended John Muir Elementary School and Stevens Junior High. In 1962 she graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School.
After her graduation, she worked as a switchboard operator at Bell Telephone in Long Beach, Calif. As an operator in 1963, she always remembered how the entire switchboard lit up when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
In 1963 she met and married Tom Bootsma and started their family of seven children. Ernie and Tom Jr. were born at Gardena, Calif. They moved to Lakewood Village, Calif., in 1970 and had Edward, Tena, Erik, Trisha and Ted.
In 1977 they moved to Baker City and lived in the same well-known house, the Granite Burr Castle, at 2604 11th St. As time went by, she spent a lot of time keeping busy with her children and taking them to their many activities.
All the boys in the family were involved in Boy Scouts with all their campouts and hiking and backpacking trips. She loved to hear the stories of all the trips to the National Boy Scout Jamborees the boys had gone on.
Many a spring and summer were also spent at numerous Little League and Babe Ruth games. On many occasions you could find her helping out behind the snack bar counter.
Later the family took up snow skiing, and she spent many Thursdays skiing with friends. She said it made the cold winters seem shorter.
In later years, she spent time going to yard sales with her daughters and special friend, Roberta Brinton. She also loved spending time with her 12 grandchildren.
She had many creative talents including painting, antique doll repair and restoration and sketching portraits of the family. Many of her paintings and sketches have been given to family and friends over the years. She also had financial and management skills that were well appreciated at her husband’s construction business for 26 years.
Survivors include her husband, Tom Bootsma Sr.; son, Ernest Bootsma and his wife, Barbara (Marsh), and their children, Mollie, Maggie, and Megan of Portland; son, Tom Jr. and his wife Michele (Sieckman), and children, Tegan, Sam, and Tobie of Baker City; son, Edward Bootsma of Boise; daughter, Tena McKim and her husband, Erik, and their children, Alexander, Elizabeth, and Karli of Baker City; son, Erik Bootsma of Ann Arbor, Mich.; daughter, Trisha Cowen and her husband, Michael, and their children, Ashley, Aimee, and Anthony of Baker City; son, Theodor Bootsma of Baker City; her mother, Lila Vallier of Baker City; an uncle, Dwight Tracey of Los Angeles; and sisters, Linda Baum of Kalispell, Mont., and Barbara Olmstead of Portland.
She was preceded in death by her father, Everett Keith Vallier.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Billie Ruth Bootsma Cancer Fund at St. Elizabeth Health Services through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 4, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor