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Baker City, Oregon
Mildred Bertha Felts, 99, of Baker City, died Aug. 29, 2004, at her home.
Her funeral was Friday at the Murman and Wilson Funeral Home in Johnston City, Ill. Interment was at Lakeview Cemetery in Johnston City. The Rev. Shelly E. Forrest of the First United Methodist Church in Johnston City conducted the services.
There will be a memorial service for her at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Baker United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St. The Rev. Jack Bynum will officiate.
Mildred was born on Aug. 5, 1905, to Simeon Addison Gore and Mary Catherine Roach Gore at Elvira, Ill. Elvira was a small neighborhood area consisting mostly of her grandfather, Dr. T.B. Gore’s, general store, doctor’s office, post office, home, and small farming area.
A few relatives and neighbors were scattered in the area. When she was 3 or 4, the family moved to Buncombe, Ill., where her father accepted a job as rural mail carrier on a 30-mile route out of Buncombe. She had three sisters, Edythe, Beulah, and Blanche; and three brothers, Ralph, J.C. and Everett. She and her brothers and sisters attended the Elvira and Buncombe schools until she was 15 and the family moved to West Frankfort, Ill., and on to Johnston City, Ill., where she graduated from high school in 1924.
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She worked at the Johnston City ice plant for two years after her high school graduation. She then was employed by the CIPS (Central Illinois Power Service) from 1927 until her marriage to William “Wesley” Felts. They were married on Oct. 10, 1939, at Johnston City.
Mildred and Wesley had one daughter, Mary Catherine Felts Cunningham. Wesley died in 1979. The couple had been married for nearly 40 years. In 1982, Mildred moved to Baker City to be close to her daughter.
Mildred was raised in a close-knit family where she was made aware of God’s love and care for us. She was taught honesty, integrity and love for one another.
At the age of 12 she accepted God as her savior at a Brush Harbor meeting. She was immersed in baptism into the Presbyterian Church of Buncombe, Ill. In 1924, she became a member of the First United Methodist Church at Johnston City where she was an active member for 80 years. She continued to communicate with her many valued Illinois friends after her move to Oregon.
In 1982, when she moved to Baker City, she became an active member of the Baker United Methodist Church congregation where she attended regularly and made many dear friends.
Mildred had been a member of the Royal Neighbors of America since 1928. For many years she was an active member of Home Extension in Illinois. During her working years, she also belonged to the Business and Professional Women’s Club at Johnston City.
Throughout the years, Mildred, the homemaker, enjoyed cooking, arts and crafts, reading, working in her yard and garden, and visiting with her friends and family. Mildred, the artist, began painting in 1968. She continued to paint until her death.
She completed several art classes at John A. Logan College at Carbondale, Ill. When she moved to Baker City, she and her close friend, Maxine Foster, received instruction from Western artist Berger Fagenstrom at his art gallery on Resort Street.
Her favorite medium was oil. She painted landscapes, flowers, wildlife, still lifes, clowns, and anything else that caught her eye. She painted several outstanding pictures from her childhood memories and a self-portrait. Since she began painting, Mildred always gave God the credit for completing her work through the gift he gave her to paint.
In February of 2003, a new little painting buddy, Katy, an adopted 4?-year-old black-and-white fox terrier mix dog joined Mildred. Katy sat and watched her paint, followed her around everywhere, and snuggled with her in her favorite chair. Katy will miss her dearly.
Mildred was a loving mother and friend. She was loved and cherished by her family, relatives, and friends, who will miss her dearly. She cared deeply for others and was an inspiration to those who knew her.
Mildred had a passion for life filled with many adventures. God was always the top priority in her life and she enjoyed sharing her faith with others. She was looking forward to her 100th birthday next year and the new adventures she might encounter along the way.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Wesley Felts; her parents, Mary Catherine and Simeon Addison Gore; her sisters, Edythe Sheffler, Beulah Swedlund, and Blanche Ferges; her brothers, J. C. Gore, Everett Gore, and Ralph Gore; nephews, Donald Sheffler, Albert Gore, and Meddie Gore; and niece, Geraldine Snyder.
Survivors include her daughter, Mary Cunningham of Baker City; nephews, Joe Gore of Poseyville, Ind., Jim Gore of Evansville, Ind., Walfred Swedlund of Lombard, Ill., and Addison Gore of Nashville, Tenn.; nieces, Mary Lee Holland of Lilburn, Ga., Medora Morris of Suwanee, Ga., Betty Freeman of Raleigh, N.C., and Frances Paker of Florissant, Mo.; Vera Jane Watson of Smyrna, Ga., and Edith Vaughan of Wauconda, Ill.; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker United Methodist Church of Baker City, First United Methodist Church of Johnston City, Il, or the American Heart Association through the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR, 97814 or the Murman and Wilson Funeral Home, 211 W. Broadway Blvd., Johnston City, Illinois.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 14, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor