Florence Roweena Erickson Lemcke died March 15.

Florence was born Feb. 24, 1922, the only child of Ray and Olive Erickson, and raised on the Antone Ranch in Wheeler County.

She shared her childhood years with her aunt, Phyllis Paine, the youngest of the 11 Paine sisters. She attended grade school at Antone, riding horseback to school. She then went to Grant Union High School  (GUHS) where she was very proud of the fact that her class was the first four-year class to graduate from GUHS, and very proud of the Prospector mascot.

She married her high school sweetheart, Bob Lemcke, Sept. 5, 1948, making their home on the 96 Ranch in Bear Valley.

Florence was an outdoor woman. She loved hunting. She killed an elk two years in a row sitting under the same tree, and won the big buck contest one year. She could sit for hours on a hunting stand and never move an eyelash. She also loved fishing, catching fish in holes on Scotty Creek that others had just fished in.

She had a wonderful vegetable garden in both Bear Valley and Canyon City. Florence loved to cook, and cook she did. Whether it was a hay crew, family get-together or just her and Bob, she put on a spread.

And she loved cows, especially Herefords. She loved when her grandchildren came for a visit, making them feel warm and welcome with a smile on her face. She loved having great-grandchildren around with their antics and mischief. She loved “The Cabin,” snowmobiling, riding horses, shooting squirrels, making ice cream in the winter with ice from the creek, traveling in her motorhome, a good gin and tonic and life.

Florence was stricken with Alzheimer’s in 2002. The disease robbed her of her memory, but not her spirit or spunkiness. She was feisty, frisky, playful and funny until the very end. Most days she had a twinkle in her eye and a playfulness that brought laughter to those around her.

Florence is survived by her children and theirspouses, John Denton, Susan and Leon Pielstick, and Jim and Heidi Lemcke; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A private family graveside service was held March 22.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Driskill Memorial Chapel in John Day.

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