Lorraine E. (Alexander) Valentine, 89, of Baker City, died April 30, 2018, at her home in Baker City. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 13, 2018, at 1:00 PM at the Baker City Christian Church with Pastor Jesse Whitford officiating the service. Following the memorial service a procession will lead family and friends to Mt. Hope Cemetery for the Interment. Everyone will be invited back the Baker City Christian Church for a reception in the Fellowship Hall.
Lorraine was born on May 25, 1928, in Delta, Colorado to Ross and Edna Alexander. She was the eighth child out of eleven children. She graduated from Delta High School in 1946 and soon after moved to Baker to support her parents who had just lost their son, her brother Glenn. She began working at Montgomery Ward and became busy in the Church of God. She played piano and taught Sunday School, which she continued to do for approximately 60 years. In the fall of 1946, she met Darel Valentine. On New Year's Eve, Darel gave her an engagement ring and they were married on February 2, 1947. Their family began with the birth of Steve on January 19, 1948. Eleven months later, Linda arrived on December 21, 1948. The family grew again on July 17, 1950, when Bruce was born, followed by Craig, who was born on January 21, 1952.
Darel and Lorraine purchased a home on Hwy 7 and lived there for 18 years. This home welcomed many cousins and friends who were always given loving attention, support, and a home-cooked meal. They often shared their home taking in nieces and nephews, their kids' friends from school, as well as foster children. Lorraine was very faithful to the Lord and raised her kids in Church and Sunday school. She and her “Alexander Sisters” sang at many occasions throughout her life.
In time, the kids left home one by one; their boys entered the military and Linda left for college. These were difficult years with worry for the boys serving in the military and the loneliness of an empty house. As the kids returned and settled into their lives, they married and started families. Darel and Lorraine sold the farm and moved to town as the grandchildren were born. Lorraine became a grandma to 10 grandchildren and was extraordinarily generous with her time, love, and attention.
Lorraine worked several places thru the years, but primarily at Sears and at the Baker County Library, where she retired in 1988 after 21 years. Upon retiring, she and Darel traveled for a couple of years before returning to Baker to be close to family. She was involved in starting the Christian Women's Club, the Community Concert program, and was a founding member of the Baker Community Choir. She served her church as treasurer and later as a Trustee. She hosted home fellowships and mailed “Home Touch” to shut-ins. She loved walking and books were always her companions. Music was very important as she sang with her sisters, children, and grandchildren. She endured the loss of brothers and sisters and out of that came “Sisters Week,” special time set aside with her remaining three sisters.
Darel and Lorraine were married for 63 years before losing him in August of 2009. Another difficult loss was her son Bruce in 2014. Thru these losses, she came to believe that love was the most important value. She said, “The love of God is the most wonderful thing you can experience. Love expressed in any way forms us, motivates us, applauds us.” She was very proud of her large family and the love that is shared by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ross and Edna Alexander; her brothers, Dale, Glenn, Ray and Wayne; and her sisters, Donis, Lela, and Helen. She is survived by sisters Mildred Peterson (Hugh) of Baker City, Bernadine Nichols (Tom) of Springfield, OR and Fern Beck of Portland, OR, her children Steve (Genia) of Richland, Linda (Steve Tipton) and Craig of Baker City, and daughter-in-law Sheila of Haines, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made in honor of Lorraine to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or Boys Town through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel at 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.