Anna “Lorene” Lewis Ladiges, a wonderful woman who is loved; will always be missed and cherished, passed away at home on April 13, 2018. of complications related to dementia. The hardest thing is watching somebody you love, forget they love you. She was surrounded in love by her family who brought laughter, tears and beautiful goodbyes to her bedside.
Lorene was born on her parent’s farm in Glenwood on Jan. 25, 1924. She was the youngest of eight children born to Aubrey and India Ada Lewis. Being the youngest by five years, her older brother Clarence affectionately called her his kewpie doll and was spoiled by the rest of the family.
In 1925, her family moved to Bingen where her father had a grocery store and a wholesale feed business for several years. When Lorene was a freshman in high school, her family moved back to the farm in Glenwood where Lorene finished her school years as the only member of the graduating class of 1942.
She met the love of her life, Henry Ladiges Jr. (Hank). They had a whirlwind romance which included horseback riding at Skunk Canyon for their second date. She was hooked on the cowboy and they were married in Vancouver on Feb. 2, 1942. They were married 50 years before his passing on March 7, 1992.
Hank and Rene bought their farm in Glenwood in 1949. They raised three children Kathleen, Warren, and Anita. In addition to farming, Hank worked as a logger and Lorene worked as a cook at the school. It was here that she perfected her skills to bake the best bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls ever. After she stopped working at the school, she enjoyed cooking big meals for the farm hands and helping Hank around the farm where they raised cattle, hay and later grew potatoes for Frito Lay.
She got her first speeding ticket at the age of 65 when she was on her way to meet a potato truck in BZ Corner. She always had a good laugh about how long it took her to finally get caught speeding and was proud of her “lead foot.”
In her spare time, she decorated cakes, made jewelry, crocheted and baked. Everybody loved her chocolate chip cookies. One time, somebody asked for her secret recipe. With a giggle, her reply was “Oh, it’s no secret; it’s on the back of the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip bag!” Her secret was she made them with love. Hank loved her apple pie and later in life she made her famous (and grandson Len’s favorite), Apple Bars. She loved to do jigsaw puzzles and read romance and mystery novels set in the 1800s.
Lorene was happiest when her family and friends would visit, especially rodeo weekend when hordes of people would camp in Hank and Rene’s yard. Some years there would be up to 100 people enjoying big potlucks and cook-outs. Memorial Day weekend was also a special time for her when all of her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews would visit to celebrate the extended family with a picnic and potluck. She really liked being a hostess and making sure everyone had a great time and ate lots of food.
Family holidays and long winter nights always included several hands of pinochle and sometimes Yahtzee. She loved pinochle so much that even a hurricane was an opportunity to play. Daughters Kathleen and Anita, along with Anita’s husband Bob and granddaughter Jolene were on a trip to Disney World in Florida in 1999 when Hurricane Floyd interrupted the trip. She had conveniently packed a couple of decks of cards, so few rousing games of pinochle were played by candlelight while the hurricane force winds blew outside.
She enjoyed several Caribbean cruises, traveling to Reno and spending time with family and friends. She liked going to Friday night pinochle games at the grange, going on the senior bus to the casinos as well as reading, puzzles, and baking.
Rene was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother. She is now enjoying a reunion with many family and friends she has not seen in a long time.
Her spirit is carried on by her three children, Kathleen Pinheiro (Manuel), Warren (Vickie), Anita Seagle (Bob) and over 100 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Most people knew who you were talking about when you said, Grandma Rene. She loved all of her kids, grandkids and all the special people in her life, who she always considered family.
We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from her during her 94 years. Always be positive, love one another and there is good in everybody. Do your best, follow your arrow and make something amazing out of your life.
There is one thing that cannot be taken away, and that is love. Love is not a memory - it’s a feeling that resides in your heart and soul. Cherish the time you have with your loved ones.
A funeral service will be held at Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon on Friday, April 20, 2018, at noon with interment at the Mount Adams Cemetery in Glenwood and a luncheon following at the Glenwood School. There will be a memorial potluck party on Saturday, May 26, at 11 at Lorene’s home.
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