Shumway, Letha M. Laxson Mrs. – Obituary

Letha Shumway, 91, of Baker City, died Feb. 1, 2006, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Her graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Ed Niswender of Calvary Baptist Church will officiate. Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Coles Funeral Home.

Letha M. Laxson Shumway was born on June 10, 1914, to Jess P. and Susie Mae Laxson at La Grande. As a girl, she spent time at Cambridge and Weiser, Idaho, and at Mount Vernon and Baker City. She lost three brothers in a house fire at Weiser, Idaho, in July 1924. Her surviving brother, John E. Laxson, lives at West Linn.

Letha was a 1932 Baker High School graduate. She married Charles H. Shumway at the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City on Jan. 20, 1935.

They had five boys, Charles D., James L., Vereen E., Marvin G. and Thomas P. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles H.; and her sons, Vereen E., and Thomas P. Letha had 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great- great-grandchildren.

She worked for the Montgomery Ward store for several years in the 1950s in Baker City. She was employed in the shipping and receiving department.

The Shumways operated a small ranch and dairy from 1951 until 1969 in the Old Auburn area. They sold the land in 1969 and bought a small farm in the Baker Valley on Highway 86 where they continued to operate a small dairy.

After the death of her husband in 1974, Letha continued to operate the dairy along with her son, Charles D., until 1980.

In 1982 she opened a small rock and gem shop in her home on Elm Street in Baker City where she bought and sold rocks and gem stones from around the world. Letha and her husband spent many years as very serious rock hounds.

After closing her shop, Letha spent several years as a volunteer in the rock and gem portion of the Oregon Trail Regional Museum. Some of her stones are included in the museum’s collection.

Letha was a 4-H leader for many years with a geology and minerals club.

She was baptized in the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City as a teenager and maintained her membership for about 80 years. She started singing in the choir sometime in the early 1940s. Letha was the AWANA leader for several years in the church.

She was the last person to have lived on Burnt River in Burnt River Valley before the Unity Dam was built.

Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church of Baker City or to Pathway Hospice of Ontario.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 3, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor


White, Judy Wallis. Baker County, Oregon Obituaries. Published by Copyright 1999-2013, all rights reserved.

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