Zena Beryl Edwards, 98, of Baker City, Oregon passed away on September 19, 2018, at her residence. A graveside memorial will be held on Monday, September 24, 2018, at 10:30 AM at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Baker City. Following the service, friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the Baker Elks Lodge.
Zena was born December 6, 1919 at North Powder, Oregon to Thelma Alice (Peterson) Lewis and Percy Huston Lewis. She was the second daughter, born 1 1/2 years after Fay and 1 1/2 years before twin girls, Adele and Elaine.
When Fay started first grade at the small Wingville school, Zena begged to go with her. The teacher consented to let her start school (for just a few days). But, Zena did so well that she continued. Being an excellent student, she was able to keep up with the studies and graduated from Baker High School at age 16 in 1936.
We have all heard stories that the four pretty teenagers were given a very stern warning by their parents to stay away from the wild and wooly neighbor boys by the last names of Rohner and Seig.
Zena and her sisters helped their parents in the drive-in restaurant and were probably among the first car-hops in Baker. Zena's second job was at Stoddard Box Factory. Because "girls like to have fun", Zena and her girl friends would attend the dances at the Oddfellows Dance Hall, and it was there that she met a handsome, tall, dark gentleman who would become her husband.
Zena and John Leonard Edwards were married in Weiser, Idaho on April 16, 1937. They had two children, Janice and Denny. Zena became a full time homemaker. She was excellent at that job also. Her house was always spotless and the food always made from scratch.
When her children were raised, she spent some time as a school bus driver. She tolerated no monkey business and the kids knew she meant it.
Her next job was as a bank teller for the US Bank, from which she retired in 1984. Since that time she has enjoyed keeping her yard and flowers almost perfect. Many friends have commented how they enjoyed driving by and seeing Zena in her blue bonnet, mowing the large lawn on the riding lawn mower. She was well into her 80s before she gave up the riding mower.
She loved golf, bowling and card playing. She played pinochle and loved bridge. Many local bridge players fondly remember Zena teaching them rules of the game and learning so much from her. She played bridge very well into her late 90s.
Zena is survived by her daughter, Janice Smull of Baker City, Oregon; son, Gene Dennis Edwards (Geraldine) of Hermiston, Oregon; grandchildren: Danna Rode Morgan (Floyd), Celeste Bennett (Vance), Dale Smull, Molly Smull; Joseph Edwards (Valerie) of Gilbert, Arizona; Sandra Edwards of Central Point, Oregon; and Katheryn Schindler (Chris) of Cornelius, Oregon; three step-grandchildren: Richard L. Smith (Chrystal), David L. Smith (Ann), and Tamara Barkley (Bob). She is also survived by ten great-grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren and many more step great-grandchildren and step great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leonard; her sisters, Fay Edge, Adele Williams, and Elaine Leigh; her grandson, Christopher Smull and her grand daughter-in-law, Sharry Smull.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre for renovation of the Orpheum Theatre through Gray's West & Company Pioneer Chapel at 1500 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, OR 97814.
Donations may be made to:
Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre c/o Gray's West & Co
1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City OR 97814