April 26, 1930 - July 2, 2010
Fern Irene Irving of Athena died July 2, 2010, of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at 4 p.m. at the Athena First Baptist Church in Athena. Interment will follow at the Athena Cemetery. Viewing will be held on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, from 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater. Those who wish may make memorial contributions in memory of Fern Irene Irving to the First Baptist Church in Athena, the Memorial Rose Garden at the City Park in Athena or charity of choice in care of the funeral home.
She was born in Geary, Okla., on April 26, 1930, to Jessie Raymond and Thelma Elma (Burns) Baker. When she was 12, her family moved to Athena, where she attended school and lived the rest of her life.
Fern married Robert E Irving on July 25, 1947, at the Athena Christian Church. In addition to raising five children, she worked alongside her husband "Bob" at their business, The Athena Press, for nearly 40 years. Many summers she also drove wheat trucks for Wendell Clore. She was quite athletic and good at anything she tried. Fern bowled in league for years and participated in area horseshoe pitching tournaments whenever she had the chance. She enjoyed camping with her family, watching her children play sports, bowling and spending time with her extensive family in the Athena area. Fern took care of people her whole life. As the second oldest of nine children, she first helped care for her younger siblings. Then, after her marriage to Bob, she raised five children. She was a wonderful mother. Shortly before her last child moved out, she became the primary caretaker of her mother-in-law, Eleanor Cooke. Soon after Eleanor's passing, she began providing comfort and care to her husband Bob, for the last seven years of his life. She loved taking care of people. Most recently Fern volunteered as a driver for patients needing transportation to medical treatments. She enjoyed going to garage sales, playing cards and traveling with her friends. She loved her family and friends.
Survivors include three sons, Curtis Robert Irving of Eugene, Alan Clifford Irving of Portland and Mark Steven Irving of McMinnville; a daughter, Marilyn Irene Arellano of Portland; four sisters, Florence Hodgson of Athena, Freda Koch of Pendleton, Faye Case of Athena and Fleeta Schnebly of Burian, Wash.; two brothers, Forrest Baker of Quartsite, Ariz., and Farrin Baker of Bogue Chitto, Miss.; 10 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is preceded in death by her husband, Bob; her son, Garold Raymond Irving; her sister, Francis Exon of Upland, Calif.; and her brother, Fred Baker of Hermiston.