Cover photo for Mary  Lou Wilson's Obituary
Mary  Lou Wilson Profile Photo

Mary Lou Wilson

January 26, 1928 — March 26, 2013

Mary Lou Wilson, age 85, of La Grande, died Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at her home. A celebration of life will be held on Monday, April 1, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 7th Street in La Grande.

Mrs. Wilson was born on January 26, 1928, the daughter of Odden Lee and Virginia (Rinehart) Dickens in John Day, Oregon. She was active in music activities including choir, band with the clarinet and playing piano in church and for other groups while growing up. In 1945 she moved to La Grande to attend Eastern Oregon College instead of attending her Senior year in High School. While at Eastern she met Howard Wilson and they fell in love and were married on December 29, 1946. Howard played cymbals with the Drum and Bugle Corp and they traveled with that group and she also became active with the Blue Mtn. Juniors Extension Homemakers. In 1955 they moved out to a home in Fruitdale and they farmed 10 acres and raised sheep, cattle, chickens, horses, dogs and cats. Even though she suffered chronic migraines she was very active. They raised three children and she was active with PTA, serving as Secretary and President and was a 4-H Leader in sewing and knitting for 15 years. She enjoyed camping, gardening, canning, cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and the like. In 1962 she went to work at the Demonstration Library until 1963 when she went to work at Eastern Oregon College as secretary in the Registrar's Office. She and Howard joined the Maverick's Horse Club and were active members. In 1967 she went to work as secretary at the Union County Extension Service and retired from there in 1976. They enjoyed Square Dancing and she made many square dance outfits; petticoats, dresses and matching shirts. They traveled with the Square Dancers to Hawaii, Reno, Oregon State Festival, Idaho, Washington and Canada. In 2002 they sold their home in Fruitdale and moved to the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence and she joined the Red Hat Society. In 2003 she lost her loving husband of 56 years. In 2004 she moved to Moses Lake, Washington to be near her daughter and her family. In 2007 she moved back to the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence. She enjoyed reading, playing Bingo and going to local concerts and plays. In 2009 she moved to Willow Creek Terrace in Heppner, Oregon, again to be near her daughter. In 2011 she again returned to Grande Ronde Retirement Residence on the Assisted Living side.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Ronald and Marta (Mikkalo)Wilson of Arlington, Oregon, Nancy and Gerry Arnson of Heppner, Oregon and Steven and Danelle Wilson of La Grande; nine grandchildren; fifteen great grandchildren and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her sister, Virginia Lee Wilson and her granddaughter, Megan Anne Wilson.

Those who wish may make contributions in her memory to the 4-H in care of Daniels~Knopp.


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