Marjorie Mae McAllister, 86, of Milton-Freewater, a former Baker County and North Powder resident, died Feb. 24, 2008, at St. Mary Medical Center at Walla Walla, Wash.

There will be a celebration of her life at 11 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion Hall in Milton-Freewater.

Marjorie McAllister was born on Oct. 16, 1921, at Haines to LeRoy Albert and Lela Cross Speelman at Haines. She was a 1940 Baker High school graduate.

She married John Stell at Weiser, Idaho, in 1941. He died in 1964.

Marjorie worked in restaurants in North Powder and Baker City and owned Virgil’s Drive Inn in Baker City for several years. She was well-known for her pies.

Marjorie moved to Milton-Freewater in 1954 and purchased the J&M Cafe. She sold the restaurant in 1964 when she married Orville “Red” McAllister. They operated McAllister orchards and Marjorie became the bookkeeper and sold fruit from her home.

Marjorie was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary at Milton-Freewater and cooked many lunches for the Rotary when it was the auxiliary’s turn in the kitchen.

She also was a member of the Washington Horticultural Society. She was named Woman of the Year by the Horticultural Society in 2000.

Her sister, Cora Lois, moved in with her in 1991. They loved going to bingo together and playing their daily Yahtzee games. Marjorie loved her home, her family, her flowers and her dog, Juniper, who was her companion for 14 years.

Survivors include her stepson, Don McAllister of La Grande; her stepdaughter, Ginger Steele of Portland; three granddaughters and several nephews and nieces, including Patricia Chappell and Claudia Allen, both of Milton-Freewater.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands; a brother, Claude Speelman; and sisters, Jewell Wright and Cora Lois Moberly.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Society or a charity of one’s choice through Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 28, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor