Thelma Barnes Otley 1925-2012

Posted on February 29th in Obituaries

Thelma Barnes Otley, 86, died Feb. 23 at Harney District Hospital.

She was born on April 1, 1925, in Burns to Charlie and Fannie Holloway Barnes.

She was the third of six children and was raised on the family ranch near Frenchglen. She attended grade school in Frenchglen and would walk with her siblings 1 1/4 miles to school about every day. She attended high school in Crane, staying in the dormitory and not being able to come home very often because of the long distance and lack of transportation except for holidays.

After high school, Otley worked at the Edward Hines Mill as a switchboard operator before marrying her friend and partner Darrell “Red” Otley. They lived in Happy Valley all their married life until November 2011, when they sold their Steens Mt. Ranch and moved to Hines. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Dec. 21, 2011, at their new home in Hines that they purchased after the sale of the ranch.

She cherished her life on the ranch working hard to maintain that lifestyle. Otley was a dedicated, hard-working ranch wife and mother, raising her three children. She spent many years cooking large meals in the summer for the hay crew while raising a garden and nurturing her yard that she loved and reluctantly shared with the local deer. Otley also had a great love for “Red’s” paintings and was one of his biggest fans, encouraging him for many years.

Otley was the Diamond School clerk for over 30 years, was a member of the Sunrise Garden Club and volunteered much of her time to the Diamond Community by donating and sharing some of her favorite pies, salads and rolls for different community functions.

The past 16 months Otley lived in The Aspens in Hines but loved her new home in Hines and would go there as she could. She loved her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren very much.

Otley is survived by her husband, Red Otley; her three children, Janyce and husband Dan Courtney of Drewsey, Ross of Diamond and Rod and Debra of Burns; brother, Don “Jiggs” Barnes and wife Lucille of Burns; sisters, Fern Cagle of Hines, Jennie Otley of Princeton and Donna and husband Loren Jordan of Pilot Rock; grandchildren, Debbie and Kirk Mylander, Rena Sitz, Jeff and Jennifer Sitz, Shane and Crystal Otley, Sterling and Kim Otley, Morgan and Connie Otley, Lisa and Brenda Otley. Jamie and Mitch Siegner and family and Chad and Katie Courtney; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charlie and Fannie Barnes; sister, Jo Urizar; and son-in-law, James Sitz, Jr.

Contributions in Thelma Otley’s memory can be made to the Harney County Cattle Women Scholarship Fund or Water For Life in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720. Go to  www.lafollettes
to sign the guestbook and send your condolences to the family.

Funeral services will be held Friday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at the Burns Elks Lodge.

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