Obituaries

Obituaries » Irene Myrtle Francis (Mackie)

Irene Myrtle Francis (Mackie)

December 21, 1920 - October 8, 2010

Viewing will be from 4:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday, October 13, at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, October 14, also at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel, 1443 Long St., Sweet Home, Oregon, 97386.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Irene’s name to the Casey Eye Clinic in Portland or the VFW in Sweet Home.

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Irene Myrtle Francis, 89, of Sweet Home passed away Friday. Irene was the fifth of fourteen children born to William S. and Iva Gertrude (Lucha) Mackie, and she was the third oldest of the ten (nine girls and one boy) to reach adulthood. Her birth was recorded at Bonners Ferry, Idaho shortly after the family left Lethbridge, Alberta. About five years later, the family moved to Sheridan, Oregon.

She graduated from Sheridan High School and married Cluff E. Francis of Buell, Oregon on June 5, 1939. Late in 1940, Cluff was severely injured in a dynamite/logging accident. Following the birth of their son in May, 1941, Irene became the main support for the family for a number of years. During WWII, she worked in a sawmill in Willamina, Oregon as a sawyer.

By 1946, the family had grown to four. Irene, Cluff, and the two children moved to Sweet Home, Oregon and remained there the rest of their lives. They loved the outdoors and the wilderness of the Cascade Mountains. For many years, they worked as fire and equipment watchers for several logging companies and lived up in the mountains at the logging sites all summer and into the winter. On several occasions, their RV trailer had to be brought out of the mountains behind a caterpillar because of deep snows.

In the 1960s, they began trips south for the winters to the “Slabs” at Niland, California and to Yuma and Quartzsite, Arizona. Cluff died in 1997. Irene continued these winter trips south, going to the Wickenburg, Arizona area, for about 10 years.

Irene is survived by her son, Larry E Francis, and his wife, Donna Arlene, of Salem and her daughter, Donna Raye Thurman, and her husband, Darrell, of Scio. Additional survivors, all of Sweet Home, are: grandchildren, Teresa “Terry” Thompson and Larry Thompson; great-grandchildren, Sandy Thompson, Katie Ensley, and Wyatt Ensley; and great-great-granddaughter, Kadence Thompson.

She is also survived by sisters, Doreen Remington of Canby, Dorothy Wyss of Sheridan, and Shirley Chamberlain, also of Sheridan, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Viewing will be from 4:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday, October 13, at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, October 14, also at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel, 1443 Long St., Sweet Home, Oregon, 97386.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Irene’s name to the Casey Eye Clinic in Portland or the VFW in Sweet Home.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.