Beulah Fay Herman passed away on Jan. 2, 2019, at her home in Hood River, Ore., with family by her side. She was born on Jan. 22, 1922, and was 96 years of age at the time of her passing.
Beulah was born in the country near Soper, Okla., along with her identical twin, Eulah, to Marshall Hollie Ray and Nora Ethel Whitlock Ray. The twins joined three sisters: Opal, Ruth and Helen. Later, three boys and two more girls would join the family.
Growing up on the farm during the Depression, it was a lot of hard work for the 10 Ray kids. They never went hungry, but as Beulah would say, the soles of their shoes got very thin before spring arrived each year.
She attended Buckhorn Elementary School through the eighth grade, but had to drop out because there were no school buses to the high school 10 miles away. Living in the Depression, she learned that neighbors helped neighbors and it would impact her life of volunteer work in her community for the rest of her life.
On the farm across the road from the Ray family was the Herman family. On July 24, 1939, Beulah married Wiley “Mutt” Herman. They celebrated 66 years of marriage before his death in February 2005. They lived in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico before moving to Mosier, Ore., in September 1948 with their three daughters and a son. Their youngest daughter, Brenda, was born in 1955. In 1962, they moved to White Salmon and to Hood River in 1963.
It was in 1950 that, for a year, she added “substitute Mom” when she helped care for five children who had just lost their mother. She would later recount that it was one of the most gratifying times of her life.
Beulah began working seasonally at AGA in the cannery and then packed fruit full time at Diamond Fruit for 36 years and Wells for two years before retiring in 1986. Wiley and Beulah were then able to travel, taking an extended trip to New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Hawaii, as well as others to Florida, Canada, and many visits to her siblings in Oklahoma and Texas. They were very active in the Good Sam Club and enjoyed the many trips with their RV friends.
Beulah and Wiley had a huge vegetable and flower garden, which were shared with family and friends.
But the bulk of Beulah’s time was spent with her family and volunteer work in the community, which extended from teaching sewing to 4-H in Mosier, refurbishing stuffed animals and dolls for children and volunteering at the History Museum of Hood River County. In 2005, Beulah was honored as Providence Volunteer of the Year for over 25 years of working in the gift shop at Providence hospital.
Beulah was an active member in the Hood River Valley Christian Church, especially the women’s group, the CWF, working in the thrift shop as well as the kitchen serving various events. Flowers from her garden were always visible in the church sanctuary.
She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Anna Maria Pittman Chapter, the Emblem Club, the Hood River Gardening Club, the Rebekah’s and on the scholarship committee at the Providence Foundation.
Beulah was predeceased by her husband, Wiley “Mutt” Herman, and her youngest daughter, Brenda Herman; as well as brothers, Marshall Ray and Melvin Ray, both of Salem; sisters, Opal Post and Ruth Crowley of Soper, Okla., Helen Jordan of Boswell, Okla., Mamie Bruce of Antlers, Okla.; and her identical twin, Eulah McKee of Soper, Okla.
She is survived by her children, Roberta “Bobbi” Reisner of Hood River, Ruby Pantalone of Salem, Dorothy Herman of White Salmon and Jim Herman (Luci) of White Salmon. She is also survived by brother, Frank Ray of Antlers, Okla.; and sister, Willa Mae Orta of Fort Worth, Texas; grandsons, Neal Reisner, Don Reisner, Mike Pantalone, Nathan Herman, Brad Herman, Jeremy Herman, Jason Herman and Kevin Herman; granddaughters, Kim Reisner-Hernandez and Cindy Schnurbusch; 11 great-grandsons, nine great-granddaughters, two great-great-grandsons and three great-great-granddaughters; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Beulah was a 29-year survivor of breast cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the Cancer Society or Hospice of the Gorge.
Funeral services are planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12 at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road, Hood River. Graveside rites will follow at Idlewilde Cemetery of Hood River.
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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