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North Powder, Union County, Oregon
Violet Louise Parker Dodson, 101, of North Powder, died July 21, 2005.
Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the North Powder Community Church. Pastor Robin Harris of the Cornerstone Baptist Church will officiate. A graveside service will be at the North Powder Cemetery.
Mrs. Dodson was born to Thomas Henry and Violet Kelsey Parker on Jan. 30, 1904, on an Anthony Creek ranch that is now the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife elk feeding station. Born in the middle of a blizzard and weighing only 2 pounds, it was surmised that she wouldn’t be long for this world.
Her father, the first forest ranger in the North Powder District, and her strong pioneer mother fostered a love for the mountains and the outdoors that she cherished her entire life. She attended grade school at Mount Caramel until her father’s death in 1916.
Louise, her brother, Gifford, and her mother, Violet, then moved to one of the family farms closer to North Powder. She attended North Powder School, where she graduated in 1921.
Deciding that teaching would be her career, she attended college at Monmouth and Corvallis, and completed her degree at Eastern Oregon College in La Grande. While teaching at Mount Caramel she met the love of her life, Harold Dodson. They farmed and worked in the Powder Valley until Louise began a long and successful teaching career at Vale, returning to North Powder during the summers.
Mrs. Dodson taught for 17 years at Vale and two years at Juntura. She and Harold retired to North Powder in 1971 to enjoy camping, traveling, fishing and spending time with family.
After Mr. Dodson’s death in 1975, Louise continued to enjoy life to the fullest. She actively traveled, camped, picked huckleberries and played pinochle with friends to the very end. Mrs. Dodson loved to paint, write poetry, sew and grow bountiful gardens for all to enjoy.
She was involved in many community activities and was the bookkeeper for the senior meals. She had an incredible zest for life and an immense love for her family, always asking how could she be so lucky?
Louise spent many hours teaching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the joys of the outdoors. She has truly left a heritage and a legacy for the lives she touched.
Her knowledge of the history of the Powder Valley was impeccable and was captured in a local historical journal. She was a true matriarch of her family and she will forever be missed.
Survivors include her children, Don Dodson and his wife, Jessie, Joy Harrod and her husband, Howard, all of North Powder, and Dale Dodson and his wife, Shirley, of Baker City; grandchildren and their families, Sandra Richelderfer, of Wasco, Cheryl Martin and Janet Dodson of North Powder, Randy Dodson of Baker City, Gayleen Dodson of Boise, Richy Harrod of Leavenworth, Wash., and Ron Harrod of Estacada; 13 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the North Powder Community Center Fund at Community Bank.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 29, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor