Leona L. Church passed away Jan. 2, 2014 at her home in New Plymouth surrounded by her loving family.
Mom was born April 6, 1924 on her parent's farm near Goodland, KS. She and her twin brother Leo were the youngest of seven children of Louis and Mary Huber. The dust bowl and depression of the 1930's caused them to lose everything so her parents moved first to Oregon City, OR and eventually settled in Ontario, OR. It was at a Catholic Church dance that she met Joe Church. They married Sept. 12, 1945.
Leona will be remembered for her warm and friendly smile, and the unconditional love she gave to her family and friends. Her choice for a career was homemaker and stay-at-home mother, and as far as her 10 children are concerned, she was the best in the world at it. Mom was a wonderful cook and made the best homemade bread anyone ever tasted, in fact at the church auction a loaf of her bread sold for as much as $50 on several occasions. She knew how to prepare large quantities of good food, so it was a perfect fit for her to manage the hot lunch program at Fruitland Schools after her children were gone. She was a true inspiration to all who knew her!
Later in life, she enjoyed daily visits from members of her large family, and spending time with treasured friends at the New Plymouth Senior Center. She looked forward to "Seniors" several times a week.
Leona was preceded in death by Joe her husband of 52 years, her parents, three sisters and three brothers. She is survived by her children, Larry (Gail) Church, Fruitland; Tom (Ginny) Church, Wilder; Leon (Sue) Church, Amarillo, TX; Kathleen (Mike) Knee, Fruitland; Rosemary Keely, Fruitland; Teresa (Bruce) Garman, Fruitland; Patty (Bob) Dyson, Twin Falls; Jim (Julie) Church, Grangeville; Betty (Charles) Ledington, Midvale; and Irene (Roger) Schmick, Richland, WA; 29 grandchildren, and 39 great-grandchildren.
Leona was a devout Catholic and active member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fruitland. A viewing will be from 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 8th at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fruitland followed by a Rosary. Funeral Mass will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 9th at Corpus Christi Catholic Church followed by graveside services at Park View Cemetery, New Plymouth.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Corpus Christi Parish Building Fund or New Plymouth Senior Center, c/o Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, P.O. Box 730, Payette, ID 83661. Services and arrangements are under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, New Plymouth. Condolences may be made to Leona's family at www.shaffer-jensenchapel.com.