Avonne “Von” Mae (Hinton) LeaMaster, a longtime Haines resident, died March 22, 2008.
A funeral service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the Haines First Baptist Church. Long time family friend Clifford Cole will officiate. A private family internment will follow at the Haines Cemetery.
Von was born May 4, 1929, at Wallowa to Velma Margaret Davis Hinton Plass and Harry Hinton.
She grew up on the family ranch near Crow Creek a few miles northeast of Enterprise and spoke fondly of those childhood years. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandmother Myrtle Davis.
Von and her mother had a special passion for horses and her rural upbringing provided the perfect environment for her to become an expert rider. There were several instances when she would walk up to a bridled horse, grab the reins and tuft of mane, and swing herself up and ride off bareback to the wide-eyed astonishment of onlookers.
As the Great Depression years continued into the latter 1930s, Von’s family moved off of the ranch in search of employment. The family moved several times and eventually found steady work in Portland.
She attended her first two years of high school at Roosevelt High before moving back to Enterprise where she completed her senior year and graduated from Enterprise High School in 1947.
She worked several jobs following high school including secretarial work in San Francisco, hostess/usher at the Paramount Theatre in Portland, and later helped her mother with their restaurant business in La Grande.
She met a handsome young sailor, Carlus Raymond LeaMaster “Lee,” who was on leave visiting family and friends in Eastern Oregon. They dated for a few months and were married July 20, 1951, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The young couple moved several times during the 1950s as Lee was assigned to duty stations in Hawaii, Virginia, and Alaska. They eventually moved back home and settled in Haines in 1960 when Lee retired from the Navy.
Von’s life revolved around her family, community, and friends. She was the consummate stay-at-home mom, homemaker, and housewife. She was very involved in the Haines PTA when her children were attending Haines Elementary School. The PTA- sponsored “Hootinannys” of the early to mid 1960s brought the entire community together and have become legendary among longtime local residents.
She loved big band music and if a Glenn Miller tune came on she would leap to her feet, grab the nearest person and dance gleefully about the room.
She was a voracious reader and could devour long novels in just a couple of days. She especially looked forward to family picnics, dinners, gatherings, and visits from friends. If you knocked at her door you would be greeted with a warm smile, a cup of coffee (and perhaps a piece of pie) and an engaging conversation. She liked to talk and it was not easy to have a “short” conversation with her.
By far, she considered her grandchildren, Hannah, Jordan, and Clay LeaMaster her treasured blessings. She had an especially close and endearing bond with them.
Von was a loving mother, wife, grandmother and friend to many. She will be greatly missed.
Von was preceded in death by her father Harry Hinton, her mother Velma, stepfather Orville Plass and her husband Carlus.
Survivors include her half-siblings Thomas Hinton of Milton-Freewater and Sandra Johnson of Wallowa; son Brad R. LeaMaster and his wife Katherine of Dallas, Ore.; daughter Carla Michel and her husband Jim of Meridian, Idaho; son Blain LeaMaster and his wife Paula of Baker City, and grandchildren Hannah, Jordan and Clay.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines School Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 25, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor