Bertha (Bert) Claudine Langston Leach died on Sunday, April 21, following a lengthy illness.

Bert was born Nov. 6, 1931, in Dongola, Ill., to Clyde and Syna Langston.

In 1950 she met the love of her life, Bill Leach, and they were married April 6, 1951. They shared a breath-taking life together. They were married for 62 years and raised five children together.

Bert worked in restaurants and bars after moving to Burns in 1973 with her husband and three of their children; Scott, Gigi and John. Belinda arrived in 1973 and Debbie came along in 1977. Bert always enjoyed having her family close. She enjoyed working in her yard and creating floral arrangements for weddings and graduations.

Bert loved her husband with her every breath, good or bad, along with all her children and grandchildren, and anyone else who happened to need a smile, or a slap, she was always there. She may have only been 4 feet 9 inches tall, with fire engine-red hair, but she had the heart of a giant and was the love of our lives.

Bert is survived by her husband, Bill; sons, Scott Leach of Madras and John Leach of Burns; daughters, Debbie Boren and husband Tom of Hines, Belinda Garatea and husband Jodi of Oregon City and Gigi Black of Hines; 22 grandchildren and countless great-grandchildren; and lifelong friends, BC and Mary Ray.

Bert came from a large family of 16 brothers and sisters, including Roberta Perkins and husband Neal of La Pine and Evelyn Wilson and husband Ray of Illinois, and was preceded in death by all the others and her parents.

Bert’s family will be holding a potluck celebration of life from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Valley Golf Club in Hines. The family invites everyone who knew Bert to attend and celebrate her life. Donations may be made in her name to the Kids Club of Harney County or to Eastern Oregon Academy.

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