Gentria Taliaferro Sipp, 85, of Portland and Sumpter, died Aug. 1, 2007, at her home in Sumpter.
Graveside inurnment will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Gentria was born on Sept. 25, 1921, to Gentry and Pearl Gibson Taliaferro. She spent her early childhood at Sumpter where she attended school for the first several years. She then attended school at Baker and was a 1939 Baker High School graduate.
Her summers were special times when she returned to Sumpter and later to the Independence Mine near Granite where her father was the manager. She always looked forward to returning to the mountains she loved.
In 1939, after the death of her father, Gentria and her mother moved to Portland. She attended college for one year and in 1940 she married Harold Sipp of Baker City. Opportunities were better in Portland and so the couple remained there until recently.
In 1941, her first daughter, and namesake was born and her career as a homemaker and volunteer began. Her second daughter was born in 1950 and Gentria focused her free time in a variety of activities centering around her family.
She was a Blue Bird and Campfire Girls leader, was involved with her church and her daughters’ school activities and always maintained an active volunteer calendar. She particularly enjoyed introducing her daughters to the Eastern Oregon she loved.
Many happy family times were spent at the cabin near Granite. Her daughters loved the fascinating stories of their parents’ heritage and the history of the area. Fishing, hunting and gold mining were the central activities on several yearly trips “east.” Exploring the Sumpter and Granite areas filled the girls with a rich and loving appreciation of their Eastern Oregon heritage and their parents’ pride in where they came from.
Her membership in the Order of the Eastern Star began in 1955 when she joined Portland Chapter No. 97. She continued her membership for 52 years, including her recent dual membership in Alpine Chapter No. 82 at Sumpter.
She previously joined Amaranth in 1947 at Sunnyside Court No. 4 (now Colonial). These memberships provided many years of happy associations, close supportive friends and continued service to the Masonic family circle of philanthropic efforts. She always felt that this was a continuation of the work began as a Rainbow girl in Esther Assembly No. 20 in Baker.
She worked outside her home on many occasions, but found her greatest joy and success centered around her family. After retirement, she and her husband spent much of their time at the family beach home at Yachats. They enjoyed the beach activities and their wonderful neighbors and friends.
Winters often found them in Arizona where a particular destination was Parker. As her husband’s health declined, more time was spent in Portland. Harold died in October of 1997, just three weeks before their 57th wedding anniversary.
The next two years were spent with her own health issues and the decline of her older daughter’s health. Her daughter, Gentria Lee, died in October of 1999.
She spent the last eight years with her own health in decline related to rheumatoid arthritis, which she suffered with for almost 58 years. In 2006, Gentria and her daughter, Elena, started work on their new home in Sumpter.
She always referred to Sumpter as home and was happy to return to the place she loved.
Survivors include her daughter, Elena Sipp; sister-in-law, Helen Wirth of Baker City; and numerous nieces and nephews and many dear family friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice, Home Endowment fund or the Shriners Hospital for Children through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 6, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor