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Virginia Irene (Simpson) Buchfinck

October 19, 2023 (age 104) 104 Years Old

Virginia Buchfinck Obituary

Virginia was born in Cunningham, Washington, on October 10, 1919. She passed to join her heavenly father on October 19, 2023.

 Virginia grew up in West Linn, Oregon, with her parents, James and Esther Simpson. She attended schools there and later Business College in Portland.

Prior to her marriage to Erhardt Buchfinck, Virginia worked as a receptionist for Zell Bros. and in the office of Crown Zellerbach before ultimately taking up residence in Baker, Oregon, where she and Erhardt built and ran the Oregon Trail motel for over 40 years.

They expanded and added a pool, restaurant, a second story, and a spa through the years. The final construction was built just in time to house executive personnel from the cast of the Hollywood film Paint Your Wagon—who were shooting out in the woods near Baker. The Oregon Trail is still in business today.

Virginia was always very active in her community. She served as Chairman of the junior high and Baker County Parent and Teachers Association. She served on the Baker County Governors Committee for Children and Youth and was a member of Baker County Chamber’s Civic Improvement Committee. And while a motel owner, she was the governor of the local and regional Friendship Inns of America.

Virginia was a member of the 1st Lutheran Church, and with her love of music, she was the church organist for 60 years. She was heavily involved in the church governance at the church, but also at the District and Conference level. She was a member of Baker Christian Woman’s Club, served on the Red Cross, and was a member of P.E.O. -- a philanthropic and educational organization giving thousands of women the ability to attend college.

Virginia established the Kids Club at First Lutheran Church, an organization that offered after-school Christian activities and was involved in a leadership role for over 35 years. This had a positive influence on hundreds of children over the years.

Virginia and her husband enjoyed travel, with a trip to The Holy Lands of Rome and Greece being a highlight. They also took numerous trips to Alaska to visit their daughter and saw more of Alaska than most residents.

Travel continued to be a big part of her life, especially during the last eight years when she and her caregiver traveled extensively from coast to coast. Virginia had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed visiting family and seeing new places.

Virginia lived a full and rich life with her family, her faith, and her music, the constants throughout her life. She had a tremendously positive influence not only on her daughters but also on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be sorely missed.

She is survived by daughters, Kathryn Sandstrom and Sherril Miller; grandchildren, Shannon Bergman (Gil) and Christopher Sandstrom (Kirsten); great-grandchildren, Mitchel Armitage, Jeremias Sandstrom, Leesha Kotsch (David), and Tiffany Sandstrom; great-great-grandchildren, Kadence Sandstrom and Jamari Thomas. She is also survived by her sister, Sue Coleman.

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Funeral Service
November 4, 2023

11:00 AM
First Lutheran Church
1734 Third Street
Baker City, OR 97814

Interment following funeral service
November 4, 2023

Mt. Hope Cemetery
South Bridge Street
Baker City, OR 97814


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