Audrey J. Nemec, 85, a longtime Baker City resident, died Feb. 9, 2008, at her home at Settler’s Park Assisted Living in Baker City, surrounded by family.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

Audrey was born on July 20, 1922, at Baker City to Hans and Daisy Rizor Olsen. She was the youngest of nine children. She attended school in Baker City and was a 1939 Baker High School graduate.

She was working at the bakery in Baker City when she met Henry “Hank” Nemec Jr. He came in wanting to buy a day-old loaf of bread that the bakery would sell to folks in need, for a nickel. She refused to sell it to him because he didn’t look like he was “needy” enough.

Hank was very persistent and not only convinced her to sell him the day-old loaf of bread, but also to go out with him. They were married on September 20, 1941, in Weiser, Idaho.

In November of 1941, Hank joined the U.S. Air Corps and served in World War II in the European Campaign. Audrey later joined Hank while he was stationed in Alamogordo, N.M. He was a drill sergeant and she worked in base headquarters, which allowed them to spend time together during the early years of their marriage. Hank was discharged in November of 1945 at which time they settled in Baker City.

Audrey worked at Montgomery Ward while Hank worked for the city. In 1952 they bought a ranch at Lake Creek, where they continued to raise their family. They loved square dancing, hunting, horseback riding and sharing the workload required to run the ranch.

They were charter members of the Oregon Trail Riders and rode matching buckskins. Riding to a cowboy breakfast, then into town to ride in the Fourth of July parade, then on to the annual rodeo, was always the highlight of the year for them.

When Hank retired in 1979, they enjoyed spending their winters in Arizona with their many friends. Audrey will always be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with each and every one of her family.

She had the unique ability to draw people to her because of her warm and inviting personality. She was easy to love and will truly be missed by all who met her, her family said.

Family members expressed their thanks to the nurses, aides and attendants at Settler’s Park for all the love and kindness they gave to their mom and grandmother over the last four years.

“She truly loved all of you and really felt a part of your family,” they said.

The special friends she made there were all she could talk about. She was always talking about her dining room buddies and all of the fun they had doing things together. She always looked forward to the parties and different functions because of the fun times they always had.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and all of her brothers and sisters.

Survivors include her three children and their spouses, Jerry and Tina Nemec, Charlene and Bill Smith and Robert and Cynthia Nemec; six grandchildren, Aaron Nemec, Tierra Nemec, Tim and his wife, Molly Smith, Kim and her husband, Mike, Ogan, Amy and her husband, Justin Dusseau and Justin and his wife, Christina Nemec; nine great-grandchildren, Luke Nemec, Bryson and Spencer Smith, Aly Brendan and Kai Ogan, and Haley, Hanna and Benjamin Dusseau.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Settler’s Park Resident Fund for Living through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 14, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor