Cover photo for Beverly Ann Abel's Obituary
Beverly Ann Abel Profile Photo

Beverly Ann Abel

February 1, 1934 — June 13, 2024


Beverly, known by her middle name Ann, was born on the first day of February 1934 in La Grande at the original Grande Ronde Hospital. She was the youngest of three children born to Bert Franklin and Elvira (Arnoldus) Abel. She was raised for a time at Hilgard and then Starky. She loved to roam the meadows and forests with her dog (and best friend) Buster looking for wildflowers, mushrooms, and huckleberries. Throughout her life spring brought a longing for the first buttercups and mountain bluebells. 

In high school Ann boarded with Mrs. Richards during the week (as did her sister and brother before her), going home to Starky on the weekends. Ann graduated with the La Grande High School Class of 1952 and attended Eastern Oregon College. In 1953 she was married to Harry Allen Hunt, Junior in La Grande. Together they had four children, Karen, Carmen, Susan and Stephen. The marriage later ended in divorce.

In her youth, Ann joined the cadre of women - including her sister, nieces and two eldest daughters - who worked telephone switchboards. While raising her kids, she worked as a CNA at Grande Ronde Hospital and later as a bander for the original Boise Cascade. As a millworker, Ann was well known and respected as a person who pulled more than her weight and stood as a fierce defender for any and every underdog. She was also known as bright, funny, extremely generous in dispensing her opinion and was famous for giving as good as she received when it came to pulling pranks or giving a ribbing. 

Ann also worked at Tektronix in Beaverton and later at Fred Meyer in Portland until retiring when she was in her 80s. Ann’s cottage garden, with tiny stone houses, paths, and secret hiding places for the fairies, was a magical place for her grandchildren and delighted all who wandered through it. She enjoyed fierce political debates and making teddy bears for people out of their or their family member’s clothing. Her true love was dogs, although she was also a determined protector of stray cats and a family of raccoons. 

Ann returned home to Union County when her health started to fail in 2023. She was cared for with love, kindness, and humor by the staff at La Grande Post Acute Rehab - including her daughter Carmen, who held her hand as she left to join her family at sunrise, while her other daughter Susan curled up on the floor beside her. She died June 13, 2024 in La Grande at the age of 90. 

She leaves her children, Karen Waln of Happy Valley, Camen McElroy of La Grande, Susan Thompson (Ken Thompson) of Eugene, Stephen Hunt (Tauni Hunt) of Rio Rancho, New Mexico; niece Peggy Allen (Bill Allen) of Washington; twelve grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. 

Ann was preceded in death by her parents, brother Don Abel, her sister Jeanne Bird, and niece Cindy. Ann was the last of her family, including her cousins. She missed them terribly at the end of her life and longed to be with them once again.  

Contributions in memory of Ann Abel may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association, 3212 US 30, La Grande, OR 97850  

A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27, 2024 at the chapel at the Summerville Cemetery



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Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 27, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

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