Joseph C. Sheirbon, 91, a longtime Odell, Ore., resident, died Dec. 17, 2009, at his residence.
Services will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at noon at the Odell United Methodist Church. Visitation will be on Monday, Dec. 28, from 4-7 p.m. at Anderson’s Tribute Center.
Joe was born in The Dalles, Ore., to Joseph and Eva (Stockli) Mellquist and moved with his family to Parkdale soon after. Joe was orphaned at an early age and was adopted by W.H. and Della Sheirbon.
After graduation from Odell High School, Joe made a down payment on 10 acres and began farming. He saw it all, from paddle wheel boats on the Columbia to sailing ships; logging with horse, ox and donkey engine and riding the steam engine and “The Goose” (now parked in Parkdale) from Hood River to Parkdale in the 1930s. By wagon it took all day, he claimed.
On Dec. 27, 1942, he and Gertrude (Tommie) Moore were married at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in The Dalles. Joe farmed with two teams of horses; one for him and the other for his wife, Tommie. The harnesses are still in his barn where he took them off in 1950. Their neighbors claimed they were the hardest-working people they ever knew.
Joe was proud of his fruit-picking roots. He bragged he picked 1,000 pounds of cherries on big trees and he and Tommie could pick nearly a ton in a day. He also claimed he could pick 200 boxes of pears in a day and even more with apples.
Joe and Tommie worked hard, helped the community and worked to raise their family well. Joe helped his and Tommie’s family often and never complained.
Joe was proud of his farm, now one of the largest in Odell. He enjoyed working fruit and cattle. He had more than 100 head of cattle in the 1960s and still has 40.
During the 1950s he and his family custom cut, raked and baled hay from Windmaster Corner to Parkdale and Dee to the top of Pine Grove Butte and further east. He also owned one of the few combines in Hood River and harvested his and his neighbor’s grains in the mid 1950s.
Through hard work Joe and Tom did well and had a good long life in Odell. In Joe’s 91 years, he lived eight years in Parkdale, south of town, approximately 20 years in Odell, Ore., on the family farm which is now John Weber Business Park.
Joe and Tommie rented a house in Odell for about a year and then bought the family farm where he lived for more than 50 years. Always the business man, he bought the only house he ever rented in Odell when he and Tommie were first married in 1942 this year.
Joe will be missed by his family, Tommie’s family and his neighbors, especially Henrietta Willey, Pat Steagers and Lois Slegers. He was preceded in death by his wife Gertrude E. Moore Sheirbon, (Tommie); brothers Leonard Sheirbon, Everett Hawthorne and Fred Moe; half-brother James Mellquist and half-sister Doris Mellquist Nelson; and granddaughter Sarah Sheirbon.
Joe is survived by his son, Joseph W. Sheirbon and his wife Dianna Kay; daughter Marilyn Jeanne McDonald and her husband David; son Thomas M. Sheirbon and his wife Donna, and son Gerald L. Sheirbon and his wife Sunny; grandchildren Joseph C. Sheirbon, Marcie Lynn Sheirbon Stewart, James McDonald, Jennifer Hanson, Andrea Hulse and Stevie Sheirbon and step-grandchildren Robert, Richard and Rachal McCorquodale. Numerous great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews also survive. Vault interment will be at Upper Valley Cemetery in Parkdale, Ore.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Odell Fire Department or the Odell United Methodist Church in care of Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031.
You may visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note or memory.
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