Mildred B. Goe (Millie), age 94, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in Hood River, Ore. She was born July 29, 1923, in Whittier, Calif. to Frederic “Irwin” Bowerman and Marjorie Osborn Bowerman.
Millie is survived by her middle daughter, Terri Stone of Hermosa Beach, Calif., her granddaughter Whitney (John) McSwain of Scottsdale, Ariz., and grandson Adam Stone of Hermosa Beach, Calif., her only son Bill (Marlee) Goe of Hood River, grandson Aaron (Shannah) Goe of Parkdale, Ore., two great-grandchildren, Cale and Sadie, grandson Kerry Goe of Bend, Ore., granddaughter Tara Goe of Pittsburgh, Pa., and grandson Eric Fritz of Eugene, Ore. She was preceded in death by her oldest daughter Angela Fritz and her husband Gary Fritz, her parents and her brother George (Mary) Bowerman of Longview, Wash., as well as many other relatives.
Millie graduated from Odell High School in 1941. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master’s degree from Portland State University.
In the course of her life, Millie taught home economics (cooking, sewing and food preservation) as well as business education (typing, shorthand, personal and household finance and bookkeeping) at Hood River High School, Wy’east High in Hood River and Reedsport High School, ending her teaching career in Monument, Ore. The number of texts, emails and Facebook posts the family has received since her passing attests to the fact that, while she was strict, she was a well-liked and respected educator. “She was my favorite teacher,” was heard by the family over and over.
After retirement, Millie relocated to Eugene to assist with the care of her eldest daughter. During that time, she became very active in the Sight and Hearing Association, due to her increasingly diminished hearing. After Angela’s death, she returned to the Hood River Valley.
Millie was a very active member of the Methodist Church during her lifetime. She organized and participated in numerous activities, such as the Walk to Emmaus, Wallowa Lake retreats and was for many years the secretary of the Board of Methodist Women for the Oregon/Idaho Conference.
Additionally, Millie participated in weekly bible study, prayer groups, and was a long-time active member of the Hazel Rebekah Lodge. She could always be found at every church or lodge bazaar, donating food and items for sale, as well as selling to the visiting folks.
A life-long desire to learn new and interesting hobbies led Millie to take up photography in 1994, after the family teased her that she always cut off heads in photos. She returned to the University of Oregon and took classes, learning how to shoot pictures that were truly enjoyable. The new interest in photography led Millie to enjoy travelling to such places as Ireland, serving as a kibbutz volunteer in Israel, visiting Jerusalem, riding camels in Egypt, camping throughout Canada, deep sea fishing for salmon in Alaska, building homes in Guatemala and Mexico, and also visiting Hawaii and Australia. Millie also escorted, after her retirement, a group of teenagers, cross country by bus, to visit the sights of Washington, D.C., and New York (heaven forbid!). Her daughter met her in NYC and can attest to the fact that it truly was a challenge.
Millie moved back to her family home on Odell Highway in 1998, creating beautiful flower and vegetable gardens that were enjoyed by everyone who passed by her house. She studied and became a Master Gardener. She gardened well into her 94th year. She had huge gardens in which she grew and gave most of the produce away to family, FISH Food Bank and her fellow members of the church. She created a beautiful memorial garden for her oldest daughter, Angela, under the big tree on her property. Most days found her outside pulling weeds, planting, picking, and sharing with the community at large. Her energy was unstoppable. During this time, she also purchased a piano and organ, teaching herself to play and sing the songs and hymns she so loved (though she never shared this talent with the family).
Millie enjoyed playing bridge with her group of women for nearly 60 years. She also bowled until her eyesight would no longer allow her to play (she wasn’t that great of a bowler to begin with, but eyesight became her downfall). Those of us who knew her well knew her love of butterflies, rainbows and sunflowers. Also, there wasn’t a day that she didn’t praise the beauty of Mount Hood right in her back yard.
Ultimately her participation in bowling, bridge, driving and gardening became limited due to blindness caused by macular degeneration, but her spirit remained strong. She signed up for a Macular Degeneration Study at Casey Eye Institute, knowing full well that whatever was discovered during trials wouldn’t help her, but her hope was that it could help her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in years to come.
The family would like to thank Providence Hospice of the Gorge for the care and comfort in her final weeks and the staff and residents of Parkhurst for their support and kindness.
Millie left detailed instructions for her children to celebrate her life at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Wy’east Community Church (the little brown church in Odell), 3422 Odell Hwy., Odell, Ore., and her body will be laid to rest at Idlewilde Cemetery in a separate private ceremony.
At Millie’s request, Memorial contributions may be made to Wy’east Community Church in Odell.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www. AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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