Olga LaRue Brooks, 97, died May 21, 2007, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
Her graveside service was Friday at Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Gordon Bond of the Richland Christian Church officiated. Friends joined the family afterward for a reception at the New Bridge Grange.
Olga Larue was born Jan. 24, 1910, to George Walter and Ida Thompson Miller at Halfway. Her father was a forest ranger. He began his career working out of Wallowa County and later transferred to Baker County. He and his family lived at Halfway and he worked out of Pine Valley.
Olga had two brothers, Dalton and Rupert Miller, and three sisters, Constance Weatherspoon, Chris Benehoff and Audrey Witham. She attended first grade at Halfway and then completed the rest of her education at Richland.
Her folks owned and operated a hotel and restaurant at Richland. She met her future husband, Paul Brooks, while attending high school at Richland.
She and her sister, Audrey, helped her mother run the hotel and restaurant. The hotel burned down and her folks moved back to Halfway where they owned a grocery store and flourmill.
She married Paul Loren Brooks on May 14, 1927, at the Baker County Courthouse. They made their first home at Richland where they raised three boys, Stanley, Dwight and Charles.
They worked hard during their married life, running a cattle ranch and milking cows. Olga raised a big garden, did the milking and was an excellent cook – her bread and buns were especially loved. Her daughter-in-law continues to use some of her recipes.
Paul changed vocations in the 1940s. He and Olga went into a partnership with Tiny Jones in a truck line and service station. Later they sold their share of the business and returned to cattle ranching.
Their house burned down in the early 1950s. They lost everything and moved to town and operated the ranch from there. They sold their 1,700 acres in the 1970s and retired. They took two trips to Hawaii and also went south for the winter several times.
During her life, she worked in a grocery store, grew beautiful flowers and enjoyed reading and crocheting. She was very involved with her church and taught Sunday school. She also enjoyed playing cards and was a member of the Pinochle Club and Bridge Club.
In May of 1994, she moved to Meadowbrook Place Retirement Home where she celebrated her 97th birthday. “She is a very special lady and greatly loved by her family,” family members said.
Survivors include her sons, Stanley and LaRue Brooks of Richland and Dwight Brooks and his wife, Donna, of Union; daughter-in-law, Mary Lee Brooks of Baker City; 11 grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Paul, who died in 1989; a son, Charles, who died in 2005; and great-grandsons, Matt Halley, who died in 1992, and Rory Huff, who died in 2005.
Memorial contribution may be made to the Richland EMTs or the Shriners Children’s Hospital through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, May 25, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor