1924 - 2012
Bernadine Towne, Weston, passed away Jan. 27, 2013, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, at the age of 88 years. Funeral services will be Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Duane Geyer officiating. Concluding services and interment in the Weston Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice through the funeral home.
Bernadine was born Aug. 12, 1924, in Weston, the daughter of Roscoe and Winnie York Beamer. She attended the first three grades of school at the Dry Creek School. The school closed in 1933 and she continued her schooling in Weston, graduating from high school in 1942. During the summers Bernadine cooked for her aunt and uncle for the harvest crews. In 1943 Bernadine began working at the McCaw Hospital in Walla Walla in the Post Engineers Office. In 1944-1945 she worked at the U.S. Bank in Athena. In 1946 she began working as the only employee in the office of the new Eastern Oregon Canning Co. She ordered all the machinery and equipment from New York and Michigan. On Jan. 31, 1947, she married Lester E. Towne in Walla Walla. In her spare time she was a member of the PTA, den mother, room mother, church choir, square danced, drove school bus for 17 years and one year at Mac-Hi, attended football, basketball and baseball games, working with the cheerleaders, and bowling. She was an avid Mariners fan and rarely missed a game. Bernadine had worked for 17 years at the cannery in the scalehouse. She retired in 1981 to enjoy her yard and flowers and attending her grandchildren’s ball games, sometimes two or three a day. In 2003 she was named Queen of the Pioneer Picnic. She considered it quite an honor as she hadn’t missed one in 79 years. Mr. Towne preceded her in death on Oct. 5, 1996.
She is survived by three sons, Melvin Towne of Union, Ore., Jim Towne of Pendleton, Jerry Towne of Stockton, Calif.; three daughters Vickie Kessler of Milton-Freewater, Patti Greiner of Selah, Wash., Debbie VonBorstel of Athena; a sister, Joanne Fox of Athena; a brother, Larry Beamer of Athena; 17 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.