On Thursday, June 25th, Gwen M. Healy, 91, passed away at home with many family members by her side. Gwen was born November 28, 1928 in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, to Ida and Melvin Gaarsland. The family moved West in 1935 and eventually settled in Ione, Oregon. Gwen graduated from Ione High school in 1946. In that same year she was on the Morrow County Rodeo court. In 1948.
Gwen married Jack Healy, The couple five raised raised five children in Heppner: Jean Marie, Jerry, Jim, John and Judy. Family meant everything to Gwen and she could never spend enough time with her 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren. The home of the “Healy Hotel” was always open with a place at the dinner table and an extra bed.
Her family was her life. In the past 60 years it would be impossible to count the times she spent at her “kid’s” sporting events, school programs and helping out wherever needed. She was also always available to her community. To Gwen: “Volunteering is just a part of life.” In 2001 she was honored by St. Patrick’s Catholic Church for all her years of service including designing and making banners for the church and altar cloths. Gwen also designed and made the original banners for the annual St. Patrick’s celebration in Heppner. She received the Town and Country Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, has delivered Meals on Wheels, participated in the SMART reading program, been a 4-H Club leader, and was involved with the Wranglers Riding Club. She was always ready to plan a fundraiser, a church dinner, or help a person in need. On Monday’s, for over the past 20 years you could find Gwen at the church hall with her “quilting ladies.” She has given many beautiful quilts to her family and friends, Veteran’s organizations, Children’s Services and fundraising raffles. In addition to her quilting, she was an excellent seamstress and made numerous prom gowns and wedding dresses.
Gwen loved to travel. A few of her favorite places were return trips to visit family in Minnesota, Ireland, New York, Hawaii and the Dominican Republic. Gwen always looked forward to the annual family trip to Eagle Crest and the Oregon Coast. Gwen was a great mother, fantastic grandmother and friend to many. She will be missed.
The family would like to thank Gwen’s niece, Marianne Fosmark, who wanted to come to Heppner to make it possible for mom to spend her final days in her home.
Memorial contributions can be made to Heppner Elementary School Parent Teacher Club, PO Box 367, Heppner, OR 97836,Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7000 SW Hampton St., Ste. 101, Portland, OR 97223 or to Pioneer Memorial Hospice and Home Health, PO Box 9, Heppner, OR 97836
Family graveside service will be held Thursday, July 2, 2020, at 12 noon at Heppner Masonic Cemetery.
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