Mary Ellen (Starks) Reser

June 22, 1927 ~ September 22, 2018 (age 91)


Mary Ellen Starks Reser, 91, died at her home in Condon, Oregon on September 22, 2018. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Condon. A meal will follow at the St. John Catholic Parish Hall.

She was born in Pendleton, Oregon on June 22, 1927, the daughter of Lloyd and Ellen Keller Starks.

The family lived in Athena, Oregon until she was ten years old, at that time her father bought a farm in Creston British Columbia, Canada where they lived for a time before moving to Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Mary Ellen attended school at Bonners Ferry where she graduated from high school. She went on to attend Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington where she majored in nursing. Before finishing her degree in Washington she moved back to her favorite town of Pendleton to live with her beloved grandmother and attend St. Anthony Academy of Nursing.

Mary Ellen’s dream was to marry an Oregon farmer, and while in nurses training on August 1st 1948 she met and fulfilled her dream by falling in love with her Oregon farmer when Jack Reser was injured in a combine accident and was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton. They were married on February 22, 1949 at Bonners Ferry, Idaho. They made their home at the family farm on Matney Flats in Condon, Oregon, where they raised eight children. She was a homemaker, taught 4-H knitting for five years, was a member of the Condon American Legion, and also belonged to the St. Johns Altar Society.

Travelling was one of her hobbies, she saw the Mona Lisa, Pearl Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and Mt. Rushmore. Mary Ellen loved going to the beach and walking in the ocean. She was an avid seamstress, sewing lots of clothes for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also a very proficient knitter, knitting many baby outfits and Christmas stockings for family and friends. She won the Homemaker Award at the Gilliam County Fair for many years. Winning the last award at 90 years old in memory of her granddaughter Mikaela Reser.

Survivors include her eight children: John, Sue (Gary Hardie), Fred, Jimmie Joe, Patricia (Jimmie Guzman), Olin (Mary), Elizabeth (Tim Campbell), Anna (Jerry McElligott), 21 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, plus numerous other children whom she considered grandchildren and great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband John R. (Jack) Reser, a baby sister, 2 brothers and a sister, and granddaughter Mikaela Reser.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Travis & Beverly Cross Guest House, 9320 SW Barnes Rd., Portland, OR 97225 or to the charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Ellen (Starks) Reser, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
September 26, 2018

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery
Airport Road
Condon, OR 97823


Travis & Beverly Cross Guest House
9320 SW Barnes Road, Portland OR 97225

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