Ozella Marie Hightower (Pickens) Berry, 85, a resident of Carmichael, Calif., from 1982 to 2006, when she moved to Hood River, Ore., to be closer to her family, died peacefully on March 17, 2010, at Parkhurst House of Hood River.
Ozella was born Jan. 9, 1925, in Durant, Okla., to Laurance and Alta Hightower, the second of four children. She spent her childhood, finished high school and continued her education at a teachers college all in Durant, Okla. It was where she met her first husband, William E. Pickens, and they married May 14, 1943, in Pueblo, Colo.
Ozella and William moved in 1944 to Tillamook, Ore. She was a devoted wife and loving mother to their three children: Tyrone, Steven and Nan. William worked for the Public Utility District as a lineman and Ozella was an active wife and mother. They moved to Lincoln City, Ore., in 1960. William died unexpectedly on Dec. 13, 1970.
Ozella continued to live in Lincoln City for several more years and worked as head housekeeper at Spanish Head Resort. It is while at Spanish Head she met and later married Jack Berry.
Ozella and Jack moved to Kodiak, Alaska, where she and Jack worked at the hospital. They enjoyed each other’s company at work and also fishing in the great Alaskan outdoors. Jack passed away in 1982 after his battle with cancer.
Ozella loved painting and was an artist at heart; her beautiful landscapes and ocean scenes decorate many walls. She was a seamstress, enjoyed knitting and other handiwork and singing. She was a devout Baptist and had a love of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Ozella is survived and will be dearly missed by her daughter, Nanette “Nan” Fortner, of Hood River; two sons, Tony Pickens, of Lebanon, Ore., and Steven Pickens, of Eugene, Ore.; granddaughter Michelle Pickens, of Canada; great-grandson Alex Pickens; two sisters, Leota Leake, of Palm Springs, Calif., and Ouida Steindorf, of Aloha, Ore.; numerous nieces and nephews including, Gordon Leake, Sandy Wallace, Betty Wyss, Mary Moon, Kathy Frye, Cheryl Steindorf, Linda Hart and Sharon Hightower; second cousin, Bill Cross; and longtime friends Aggie Philips and Jean Peterson.
Friends are welcome to join family during a time of viewing from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 19, at Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for her family.
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