Irene Lahonta Duniphin

Irene Lahonta Duniphin

Monday, September 5th, 1932 - Monday, May 27th, 2019
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Irene Lahonta Duniphin passed away on May 27th, 2019 at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in Hood River, Oregon. She was 86 years of age at the time of her passing.

Irene had numerous notes left for her family and with Anderson’s with her personal wishes, instructions and she had even written her own obituary {below is what Irene wrote}.

“My husband, Jack, bless his heart, always said I was so stubborn that I would write my own obituary. He was partly right not that I was that stubborn mind you, but because no one knows me, like me.

I was born September 5, 1932 in Miami, Oklahoma, the second of five daughters to Burt and Meryl (Spicer) Ketcher. I attended McKinley grade school and Miami High School. I started working at 11 years of age, doing baby-sitting, cleaning houses and as a chamber maid at the James Hotel.

I was born without any talent, but loved doing cross-stitching, cross word puzzles, flower gardening, country/western gospel music, my mom’s fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, cherry cream pie, homemade ice cream, strawberries and Jan’s cookies, Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers. I told everyone that Roy and Dale were my parents but they were so busy making movies they let my parents raise me.
I lived for a short time in Utah and always remembered how I loved the mountains.

Although I was born in 1932, my real life started in 1940 when a certain boy moved in next door. He was just the boy next door until he rode past our house on his horse and dressed as a cowboy, oh my! He was not a Snow White’s Prince Charming, but he was my Prince Charming and I married him on September 5th, 1947. We paid $5 a week for a two room apartment and utilities furnished. We had two plates, two cups, two of everything to start our married life.

In 1949 Jack worked as a butcher at a local meat plant and my dad was a miner and both businesses were shutting down and my dad told Jack lets go to Oregon. We can get work there, so with my parents, sisters, and a future brother-in-law we headed for Oregon. There were nine of us in the car that was packed to the hilt and all we needed was a mattress or rocking chair tied to the top of the car and we would have passed for The Beverly Hillbillies. Jack and dad found steady work and Jack and I started our long married life together.
We arrived in Hood River in June of 1949 and when I saw Mt. Hood, I knew this was where I wanted to live and God had blessed me and here I have lived my life.

Our first son, Russell “Rusty” was born June 10th, 1950, our second son, Stuart “Scooter” was born December 12th, 1954 and our third son, Christopher “Chris” was born April 29th, 1957. How blessed we were. I was lucky to be a stay at home mother until our youngest son started school.

After putting my three sons on the school bus, I cried. I was just lost; Jack said you need a job, so I got a job. I thinned, picked, and packed fruit and I hated it. I couldn’t even eat it. A friend said come to work at the local nursing home, you’ll love it. I was never around sick people let alone take care of them. I had my doubts about it but it was there or the packing houses, so I went to the nursing home and did like the work. My patients were so sweet. I loved each one of them. I loved it so much that I went to nursing school in Bend, Oregon and got my nursing degree. Thanks to my husband and my boys for their support for I couldn’t have done it without them. I worked for Dr. Wells until he retired (as the nursing home was sold) Columbia Basin Care Facility in The Dalles, Hood River Medical Group and then found my dream job at Columbia Gorge Family Medicine and worked there for 29 years. I always was so grateful to Dr. Pendleton, Sherry Byran and the best boss ever Dr. Becker for hiring me.

To the best co-workers anyone could have; the staff at CGFM, thank you so much for all your love, respect, support, hugs and being there for me. Each of you have always had a special place in my life and memories and heart.

There are some very special people who have always been there for me through the good, sad and bad times. Thank you so much.

Dear friends like Sherry & Jerry, Ang & Jeremy, Jackie & Gary, Liz & Tim, Mark & Jan, Gina, Mariam, Missy, Tia, Lori & Kitty, Yo, The Johnson family, Erin, Dr. Foster, Buzz & Diane, the Stagers, Clara, Mike and Lynne Pendleton. Remember Mike, I can still send you to your room. Dr. Gay (the yellow monster can’t really hurt you). Linda, I’m sorry I didn’t get the interest paid, have Mark drive you up in my car to collect. To my very special friend, boss and Doctor, Steve Becker and to another very special friend John Smith Parsons, who always made life interesting. Thank you.

To my church family River of Life Assembly – Pastor Abbott and Pastor Walls, thank you for always being there with your prayers and support.

Last, but not least – to my loving family. Sisters Nokie Branson, Nita Applegate and Naveline Chapman, my sister-in-law Mildred Dunphin, Janice & Mike and all my nieces and nephews. To the greatest blessing of my life, my husband Jack. My sons, Russell, Stuart, and Chris and my precious grandchildren Jason, James, Scott, Miranda, Chrissy, Gaby (Taz), Alex (Buster), Sophia, Stash and Jorden.

Thank you for the honor of being your mother and grandmother. I love you so much and what a joy you’ve been. It’s hard to leave you but I’m tired and ready to go be with your dad and grandfather. I miss him so much and our son.

I have nothing to leave you except my love and wishes that each of you have a good happy life and that each of you turn to Christ so that we will meet again. He’s always with you if you let Him and He’ll never leave you no matter how hard life can be. Trust Him. Keep your faith in Him and we will see each other again for always. I’ll always be with you in spirit and love.

Hugs and kisses forever, Mom, Grandma”

Services are planned for 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 1st, 2019 at River of Life Assembly (979 Tucker Rd, Hood River, OR 97031) a reception will immediately follow then graveside rites at Idlewilde Cemetery
Viewing and a time to visit with family is planned for Thursday, May 30th from 5pm to 8pm at Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 30th, 2019 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, May 30th, 2019 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Anderson's Tribute Center
    1401 Belmont Ave.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, June 1st, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, June 1st, 2019 11:00am
    River of Life Assembly
    979 Tucker Road
    HOOD RIVER, OR 97031
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Terry Abbott
  • Interment

    Idlewilde Cemetery
    980 Tucker Rd.
    HOOD RIVER, OR 97031
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    River of Life Assembly
    979 Tucker Road
    HOOD RIVER, OR 97031
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Maria Kollas

Posted at 03:16pm
Dearest Irene, you will always be in our hearts. Every visit to see Dr Becker was anticipated with pleasure, because you would be there with your loving, gentle way. You never forgot the name of our daughter who had a baby while you were taking care during all her visits. When I encountered you last year somewhere in Hood River you still remembered our family - and of course I immediately felt the same affection I always did when seeing you. All your many friends will look forward to be with you again some day.

Wanda Taylor

Posted at 05:53pm
I am so sorry to hear of her passing.Although I am sue she is rejoicing of her home going!

Becky Veatch Posted at 12:48am

I will miss you Irene. You always made me feel special and you really made me laugh!! Jack is getting his sweetheart back with him and the angels are singing.

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