Halfway, Baker County, Oregon

Marie Christene Bennett Thomas, 91, of Halfway, died Jan. 9, 2003, at her home.

Marie requested that should she die during the winter months, a service be delayed until spring so that all of her family could travel on safe roads. And so in honoring her request, there will be a celebration of Marie’s life in the spring.

Marie was born on Aug. 12, 1911, at Baker City to Claude Eugene and Agnes Gertrude Miles Bennett. She was educated at St. Francis Academy and graduated in 1931. On June 12, 1932, she married Edgar LeRoy Bennett in Baker City. They had four children. Edgar drowned with his brother and father during a fishing accident on May 18, 1941.

Several years later, Marie met Robert Thomas. They were married in April of 1950. They had one son, Bob Thomas. Robert died on Aug. 23, 1985.

Marie enjoyed ranching and loved fishing and traveling. After Robert’s death, she liked to spend most of the winters in Arizona with daughters, Dorothy and Fran. In 1989 Dorothy took Marie and Marie’s youngest sister, Sister Nadine Bennett, to Claresholm, Ontario, Canada, where Marie visited the site of the old homestead where she spent some of her childhood.

During her life she worked in Baker City as a nurse’s aide at St. Elizabeth Hospital, at the sawmill, as a clerk at Montgomery Ward and as a bartender at the Clipper Club, where she met Robert. She was also a 51-year member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.

Marie was preceded in death by her husbands, Edgar Bennett and Robert Thomas; her parents, Claude and Agnes; brothers, Curtiss, Franklin, Leslie and Donald; sisters, Edna, Lois, Fern and Nona; three grandsons, John Knighten and Johnny and Jimmy Yardley; and granddaughters, Kittatina Kay Yardley and Sandra Knighten.

Survivors include her daughters, Dorothy Brower of Halfway, Elizabeth DeNure, and her husband, Bob, of Grants Pass, and Frances Bennett of Springfield; sons, Randall Bennett, and his wife, Lela, of Eugene and Bob Thomas of Halfway; brother, Glen, and his wife, Vi Bennett, of Quincy, Wash.; a sister, Sister Nadine Bennett of Tacoma, Wash.; brothers-in-law, Joe, and his wife, Marian Epler, of Seattle, Wash., and Vernon and his wife, Arlene Thomas, of Halfway; grandsons, Gary, and his wife, Donna Tarter, of Scappoose, Paul and his wife, Terry Tarter, of Richland, Rod and his wife, Heather Tarter, of Halfway, Troy and his wife, Laura Yardley, of Lewiston, Idaho, Steve and Rachell Knighten of Canyonville, Lucas Thomas of Chahalis, Wash., and Jerome Clemons of Tucson, Ariz.; granddaughters, Lisa Higgins of Sand Gap, Ky., Ivy and Scott Voxland of Seattle, Wash., Annie Burnoos of Lewiston, Idaho, Jennifer and Fred Hadley of Lewiston, Idaho, and Michelle Thomas of Bend; 16 great-grandchildren and several stepgrandchildren and one great-great-grandson; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ladies VFW Auxiliary or to the Halfway/Oxbow Ambulance Service through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January, 17, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor