Wilma Geddes Henner, l00, died Saturday, April 12, 2003.
Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Haines Methodist Church. Pastor Sally Wiens of the church will officiate.
Wilma was born on the corner of Madison and Grove streets in Baker City, the daughter of LuLu and Frank Geddes. Her grandfather owned and operated the Geddes-Pollman Butcher Shop on First Street in Baker City.
Later the family moved to the Missouri Flats area, and then again to Hereford where her mother provided the daily lunch for the stage driver and passengers. After receiving her teaching certificate from Baker High School in 1920, she taught school at Muddy Creek
Bertha Warfield Boesch, Oral Ensminger Aldrich, Cora Mae Fidler, Doris Loennig, and Russell Williams were all students of Wilma’s. In 1921, she married John E. Henner. They had been married for 65 years when he died in 1986. Her son, John Jr., was born in 1924.
Wilma and her husband, John, shared many interests. Among them were hunting, fishing, huckleberry picking and rock hounding. Some of their rock finds can still be seen today around her house in Haines and beside the Haines City Hall.
In 1939, in Haines, John and Wilma established the Henner Garage where Treeline Woodworking is currently. John and Wilma worked side by side there until they sold it in 1962. Wilma was the “gofer,” driving by herself to Ontario and to La Grande over the old Bidwell Hill road.
Wilma and John were instrumental in helping to establish the Eastern Oregon Museum. They donated many things from their own antique collection to start the infant museum.
In the late ’30s, Wilma began braiding rugs using a unique four-braid system that required no sewing together of the braids. Although legally blind in the last 10 years of her life, she continued to braid. Her rugs can be found all over the country.
She was an active member of the Haines Methodist Church, sang at many functions throughout the county and entertained many people as a member of the Senior Citizen Kitchen Band.
It was a great joy for her when her beloved grandson, Jack Henner, and her great-grandson, Brandon, came to live next door to her in Haines and when her great-granddaughter, Lora, came for her yearly visit. Wilma enjoyed gardening, flowers, playing cards and her many dear, dear friends and relatives. She was much beloved and cherished.
Survivors include her grandson, Jack; great-grandson, Brandon; and her great-granddaughter, Lora; many nieces, nephews, and cousins on both the Geddes and Henner sides; and John Sr.’s sister, Edna Jordan, of Grants Pass.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John; her son, John Jr.; daughter-in-law, Dorothy; and her two brothers, Otto and Joe.
The family requests no flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines Methodist Church, the Eastern Oregon Museum or the Pathway Hospice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 18, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor