Nellie Jean Hjaltalin passed away on Jan. 3, 2017, at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore.
Nellie was born May 6, 1927, in Gresham, Ore., to Ellert Ingumunder Hjaltalin and Lillian Nealeigh Hjaltalin. She grew up in Gresham, graduating from Gresham High School in 1945. She continued her education at the University of Oregon, graduating in 1949 with a degree in arts and advertising and a minor in art history.
After completing college, she went to work for Meier & Frank Department store in Portland. When the Korean War started in 1951, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving her country for four years in the Supply Corps. She continued to serve in the Naval Reserve for 31 years, retiring as a Full Commander in 1982.
Nellie retuned to Meier & Frank in 1960. She worked her way up in the company, starting out on the sales floor, then worked as a buyer and finished out her career managing the sales audit department. In 1989, she retired, having worked at Meier & Frank for 29 years.
After retiring, Nellie moved to the family farm in Hood River, Ore. She was just as busy in retirement as she was in her work, volunteering her time and substantial energies to the city’s Landmarks Review Board, Hood River County Museum Board, the Columbia Art Gallery Board and the Hood River Historical Society Board. She volunteered at the adult center in various capacities and delivered meals on wheels to local seniors until last spring.
Friends and family will remember Nellie for her strong will, fierce independence, big heart, thrifty ways, strong opinions, intelligence, wit and friendship.
Nellie is survived by cousins Deane Seeger, Gene Boles, Ron Hjaltalin, Bonnie Nealeigh, Ben Krohn, Betty Massey, Carol Connelly, Rosalie Ferguson and Donald Nealeigh.
Nellie’s memorial will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. at 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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