Gustie Otterstrom

Jan. 16, 1909-April 15, 2007

Gustie McConnell Otterstrom, 98, died on April 18, 2007 in Portland.

She was born Jan. 16, 1909 to George Butler and Lela (Goodnight) Butler in Cement, Okla. She received her schooling in Cement and picked cotton in the spring and summer months.

At age 16, her family moved to Southern California, and she went to work at an orange packing plant and packed oranges.

While attending a church youth event at a roller skating rink, she met her future husband, Roy McConnell. They were united in marriage in Hanford, Calif., in 1930. They made their home in Lindsay and began their family.

Besides fulfilling her duties as a wife and mother, she continued working at the orange packing plant.

It was in 1935 that the family moved to Oregon. Due to Mr. McConnell’s career in the logging industry, the family lived in various parts of Oregon and settled in Sweet Home in 1943.

The McConnells owned and operated a sawmill. Mrs. McConnell worked part time as a waitress. During the summer, she picked strawberries and beans with her children. In 1955, they moved to Gold Beach where they built, owned and operated a Laundromat and a sawmill. They later returned to the family homestead in Sweet Home and lived there until 1980 when they moved to Estacada.

Mrs. McConnell worked as a cook for the Oregon Seventh-Day Adventist Conference Center for many years.

Her husband died in 1984, but she remained in Estacada for a short time and then returned to Sweet Home.

While living in Sweet Home, she became engaged to Rolland Otterstrom. They were both 83 years old when they were married in 1992 at the home of her son and daughter-in-law. They moved to Estacada in 1999. Mr. Otterstrom died in 1999, and Mrs. Otterstrom moved to a retirement home a year later. For the last several months she resided at a nursing facility as her health began to decline.

Mrs. Otterstrom was an active member of her church. In 1934, she was baptized and became a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. She loved to serve, help others and to make her home a safe haven for fellowship and good food.

She loved to cook, entertain, garden vegetables and flowers and canning. She loved her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Great-great-grandchildren had an extra special place in her heart.

She is survived by her sons, Don McConnell of Clackamas and Darel McConnell of Sun City West, Ariz.; sister, Iva Lee Carpenter of Visalia, Calif.; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Vivian Eberspecher.

A graveside service was held on April 18 at Lewis Cemetery in Sweet Home.

Sandy Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Dorothy Thomas

Dec. 4, 1925 – April 22, 2007

Dorothy M. (Neal) Thomas, 81, of Sweet Home, died Sunday April 22, 2007, at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. She was born Dec. 4, 1925 in Elmira, the daughter of Elmer and Veleta (Deadman) Neal.

She was a lifelong Oregon resident, living in Eugene and later raising her daughter in Sweet Home. She enjoyed hunting all her life. She was already thinking of what tags to put in for next year.

Mrs. Thomas is survived by her son-in-law, Derrell W. Larsen, Sr.; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Hazel Larsen; husband, Woodrow W. Thomas; seven brothers and one sister.

No services are planned. Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.