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home : obituaries : obituaries January 22, 2018

1/2/2018 6:50:00 PM
Helen LaVerne Goldsmith March 24, 1926 - November 15, 2017

She was born on March 24, 1926 in Chula Vista, California, moved to Oregon in 1946, and passed quietly November 15, 2017 in Bend.

A celebration of Helen's life will be held on January 27, at 1 p.m. at Sisters Community Church, 1300 W. McKenzie Hwy.

Helen was born "south of here" and was an inveterate orange juice drinker for her entire life having grown up in Orange County, California, when it was still filled with acres and acres of citrus trees.

After graduating high school from Covina Union High, she attended Pomona Business College, graduating in July 1943. She worked a couple jobs after graduating, finally settling in at Leavell Pure Juice Company in Pomona for several years.

She was always independent, driving her car up until the week before her death.

In 1946, when her family moved to Chiloquin, Oregon, to start a new business, she followed them to Oregon working for the Department of Highways and then her father's garage. In the fall of 1950, she began attending the Bethesda Bible College in Portland. It was there that she met the man who would become her husband in 1952, Ronald Goldsmith. She worked at the Wings of Healing (affiliated with the college) after graduating from Bible College, being able to take her children to work with her throughout their infant years. When her last daughter began elementary school she began working in the insurance industry, retiring from Marsh & McLennan. She and Ron raised their family in Portland, moving to Sisters after she retired in 1988.

She always said that when she retired she would take up quilting, keeping an old quilt frame in the attic of the family home in Portland for over 30 years. She had quilted as a young woman, making her first quilt in 1944 at the age of 18, but put it aside once she began working. Many beautiful quilts were subsequently made for family and friends. In 1996 she took first place in the Pine Brook Contest and was the featured quilter at the Sisters Quilt Show in 2001, the 26th person to be so honored.

Helen also learned traditional rug hooking, attending the annual Friends by the Sea rug camp in Rockaway for about 30 years. She inspired everyone there the year she was the featured artist with the 70-plus rugs she had on display. She made many friends, sharing her skills and encouraging and mentoring new participants, and is admired throughout the Northwest. She found a loving and supportive community within the High Desert Rug Hookers group in Bend and was also a member of the national group, ATHA (Association of Traditional Hooking Artists), participating in many Region 11 Northwest events. She had great fun dressing in costume and hooking at the High Desert Museum during Pioneer Days. As with her quilting, she made rugs for family, friends and newborns and was quite prolific, sometimes producing a rug a week.

Prior to her husband's death, they traveled throughout North America from Niagara Falls to Copper Canyon in Mexico; Montana to Missouri, visiting family and friends throughout the States. They made several trips to Alaska camping along the way in their Suburban and later an RV. It helped that over the years their children were scattered to New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Montana, Alaska and Washington giving them reason to hit the road.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 63 years, Ronald Goldsmith, and infant son, Keith Charles.

Surviving are her four children: Joanne Goldsmith and partner Craig Watson (Sisters), Wayne Goldsmith and wife Beth (Denver), Juanita Young (Wenatchee), Diane Hampton and husband Vern (Gladstone); brother Cecil Gard (Woodland, WA); sister Joy Collins (Portland); three grandchildren, Jason Bates, Alex Goldsmith, Ryan Hampton; and several great-grandchildren.

Donations may be made to Partners in Care Hospice or The Kid's Center, Bend.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 8, 2018
Article comment by: Barbara Gard Hunter

Sorry for your loss. Your family are in our prayers. I am the granddaughter of Arthur and Hazel Gard, he is Clifford Gards brother.

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