Virginia McClain passed away on March 14, 2020 at Providence Brookside Manor of Hood River, Oregon. Virginia was born April 1, 1929 and was 90 years of age at the time of her passing.
Virginia was born in Hood River to Leo Felix and Frances Louise (Doggett) Rose. She has been a life-long resident of the Hood River Valley, in the shadow of Mt. Hood. She loved the mountain.
She grew up in the community of Mt. Hood on a small family farm with her parents and younger sister, Doris. During the Depression they didn’t have much money, but they always had something to eat (she told us often). Once her father helped them buy a bike. Virginia contributed her life savings, $1.50, and her sister a nickel (all she had). Virginia had the scars on her knee forever from learning to ride a bike on the long gravel road (a story that was related often). Her Dad would send her to the local store to get Prince Albert in a can. You could do that in those days!
Her entire pre-college/pre-marriage life was lived at her family’s farm at the end of Leisure Road. They had cows and chickens, and always a very big garden. She wore herself out churning butter when she was a child. She learned canning skills to preserve fruits and vegetables, that she continued all her life. She learned to be a very good cook, as she prepared evening meals for her family while her mother ended her day as a teacher.
Virginia was married to Jim McClain on July 23, 1949 at the Parkdale Presbyterian Church. Together they raised three children. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2019.
She attended school grades 1-8 at Mt. Hood School and graduated from Parkdale High School in 1947. She attended the University of Oregon the following year.
Her first work experience came while working in Portland and living with girlfriends between her college career and marrying Jim. Not many years after marriage, she began working in the packing houses as a fruit sorter and packer for Diamond Fruit. She completed 30+ years as a fruit packer. In her spare time, she was the secretary for the East Fork Irrigation District for many years. She participated in a group of her home-makers friends in the Hood River County Extension Service for many years. And she was also a longtime member and officer in the Parkdale Garden Club. Each Spring she would dig up starts to sell as a fund raiser during Blossom Festival. And her last job was as secretary/bookkeeper for JIMCO Cutters, her husband’s timber falling business.
In spite of her busy work schedule, she also raised a garden, and canned the produce and additional purchased fruit. She was an excellent seamstress and sewed many of her daughters’ clothes. She was a room mother at school, a Cub Scout Den Mother for her son, and 4-H leader for her daughter. She sewed and did cross-stitch as a hobby. And loved growing flowers and roses in her flower gardens. She also loved being a grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was always happy to see her great-grandchildren who came to visit and teach her how to play games on the iPad.
Virginia enjoyed travelling. She and Jim travelled to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji with the Oregon Loggers Association. They travelled together to Ireland, a country she truly enjoyed visiting and learning about, and developed a love for the Celtic Thunder Irish music. They also travelled on an Alaskan Cruise and took the train to Denali. They travelled to Disneyland and San Diego with her daughter’s family. And got a chance to see the interesting architecture and lifestyle in New England when travelling to visit their granddaughter in Boston Massachusetts with her daughter’s family. Virginia and Jim took regular Winter road trips to the Southwest and Midwest to site-see and visit relatives.
Virginia is survived by her husband of 70 years James O. McClain; daughters Kathy (Rocky) Rice of Hood River, Oregon; son Mick (Virginia) McClain of The Dalles, Oregon; daughter Diana (Larry) Hitchcock of Milwaukie, Oregon; grandchildren Darci Anderson of Vancouver, Washington; Rod Rice of Vancouver, Washington; Becky Rice & Darren Davidson of Portland, Oregon; Michelle & Jacob Krueger of The Dalles, Oregon; Chris & Angela Swindle of Seattle, Washington; Joshua & Michelle Hitchcock of Milwaukie, Oregon; Sara Hitchcock of Clinton, Massachusetts; Elizabeth & Roberto Aguilar of Keizer, Oregon; Seven great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Doris Chandler and grandson Jeffrey Rice
A family committal services was held 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 10th, 2020 at Pine Grove Butte Cemetery. A public celebration of Virginia's life will be held at a later date. Reflections of Life tribute video and recoding of the graveside committal can be viewed at www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com and you can leave a note of condolence for the family.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Providence Brookside Manor and Providence Hospice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.