was born in Stockton, California on July 7, 1919.
When I was about two years old, my father died. My Mother went to work
on a cattle ranch because she could keep me with her. After
numerous scares, like me wandering in among the cattle, trying to see
the bottom of the well, and other events, she decided that wasn’t
a place to raise an inquisitive youngster.
Mother had a brother, aunt, and uncle in
Idaho, so we moved there. She worked in a boarding house, cooking and
serving meals. I was left in the care of my aunt and uncle during this
time. Mother met and later married Albert Petersen and when I was six
years old, my brother Stanley was born. Albert adopted me when I was 12
years old. He was a wonderful father to me. He had worked underground
in the mines
“miner’s con,” consumption of the lungs.
Doctors thought he would do better at a lower elevation, so we then
moved to the Lewiston Orchards.
I attended the Old Orchard School
through the 8th
grade, then attended high school in Lewiston, graduating from there in
1937. My father, Albert, passed away when I was 16. I knew then, there
was no chance for further education. I met LeRoy and we were married on
January 31, 1938. Many said it wouldn’t last as we were too young
to know what we were doing, but we managed 63 years and eight months
before he passed away. We had two children, Diana and Robert, and
between them, they had eight children. I’ve lost one grandchild,
David Meyer. Of my 18 great-grandchildren, Kyle Meyer died. Of the five
great-great grandchildren, I’ve lost one, Tori Ruchert. My
husband LeRoy was a carpenter, raised by his grandparents. His
grandfather was a talented architect who built the first sidewalks in
Clarkston, the original Clarkston High School, the original Asotin High
School, and many other structures in this area. His sons were
in the building trade. In 1941, LeRoy, his Dad
and Uncles, started a home for us at 1136
9th Street in Clarkston, but the war came along and
we were unable to get materials to finish it.
LeRoy was turned down by
the military services, so he went to Portland to work at Swan Island
Shipyard. The children and I joined him later. After
we came back to the Valley, he worked for PFI. Years later, he was
injured on the job and could no longer do the work he’d been
doing. From then on he worked all over the western states. I remained
in Clarkston to keep the children in one school as I didn’t
want them to change schools as often as
he was moving with his jobs.
In 1959, I started working part-time as
for Grimes Appliances in Clarkston. It soon turned into a full-time job
and I worked for Les Grimes for about six years. Then I worked at
Speer, Inc. in Lewiston as a bookkeeper for five years.
One of the interesting things about my
that he was born on the church parking lot. Not as it
is today, of course, but when he was born in his grandparents’ home,
it was next door to the current house north of the parking lot on 12th
St., next was the manse and then the Old Presbyterian church.
That was still the arrangement when LeRoy and I were married. I
don’t recall the year that the new Church was started, but I do
have a picture of when they moved his
The largest part of my life was, and is,
with Clarkston Presbyterian Church. I joined the Church when George
Hendrick was our Pastor the first time, probably in the 1950s. LeRoy
started coming to church with me at that time and was very active,
along with Mel Hand, in maintaining things. At one point, LeRoy went to
Hanford to find work, so we moved to Richland, Washington. There we
attended the West Side Presbyterian Church which LeRoy joined, and then
we both transferred our membership back to Clarkston when Will Ackles
was Pastor. I worked in the office as receptionist for awhile. When I
started going to First Presbyterian, we had Women’s Circle
meetings once a month; also Women’s Association Meetings. At that
time, there was a group of ladies who served luncheons to various
groups like the Rotary Club. I remember our group consisted of Mabel
Smith, Katherine Slocum, Lulu Prince, Martha Barkley, and myself. We
had so much fun putting on those luncheons.
LeRoy and I were among the first ones
who were on
the OWLS Travel Committee. We enjoyed many years of traveling with
them. We made our last trip with them in September 1999 when we
traveled to Edmonton, Canada. I only made one trip with them after
LeRoy passed away.