Lorabelle Winetta Meeker was born in Portland, Oregon on August 21, 1919 to Edwin Arthur Bertelsen and Etta Letitia (Anderson) Bertelsen. On September 8, 2019 - shortly after her 100th birthday - she passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus while listening to hymns.
She grew up in Multnomah, then just outside the Portland city limits. As a teenager, she professed faith in Christ and became a member of Multnomah United Presbyterian Church. She was a popular teacher of preschoolers at the Sunday School in West Slope that eventually became Valley Community United Presbyterian Church. She corresponded with missionaries overseas and considered becoming a missionary.
After graduating from Lincoln High School, she attended Multnomah Junior College at the downtown Portland YMCA, where she met her husband Dave. They raised their four children in Portland, Corvallis and New Jersey.
While Dave was earning his engineering degree at Oregon State, she studied dressmaking. She did not complete a degree, but was awarded a PhT (pushing husband through) upon Dave's graduation.
She worked for the Weather Bureau (taking and recording measurements on the roof of the old Custom House), for Hooper Holmes (typing reports at home), for Discount Fabrics (selling fabric and notions and teaching classes), and for H&R Block (as a tax preparer). She later served as a volunteer tax preparer at the Elsie Stuhr Senior Center.
She was a fun-loving tease. On a "James Bond" cruise in the Carribbean, she revelled in the fact that her mostly 20's and 30's fellow travellers thought she was a "mole". She also enjoyed trips to Europe, to Canada, to Israel and Egypt, to Korea and China, to Nepal, India and Pakistan, to Australia and New Zealand, and several cruises to Alaska.
She enjoyed crossword puzzles, knitting, raising African violets, writing backwards, and keeping track of how much change she found each year on her walks. She also made and sold dolls and other crafts under the name "Lollipops by Lorabelle".
Her husband David Denman Meeker preceeded her in death in 1981, as did her brothers Edwin Arthur Bertelsen Jr. and Alfred Robert Bertelsen, who both died in 1979.
She is survived by her four children, Roberta Jean Edwards (and Bobbie's three daughters and seven grandchildren), Harriett Belle Sparrows (and her three children and eight grandchildren), Charles Edwin Meeker (and his two children), and Thomas Denman Meeker; a total of four children, eight grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 21st at Evergreen Presbyterian Church, 7275 SW Hall Boulevard, Beaverton, Oregon. In Lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Francis Dining Hall, a ministry to the homeless in Portland (stfrancispdx.org).
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