Gladys Lea Nelson
Gladys Lea Nelson
  • August 12, 1930 - September 4, 2017
  • Rogue River, Oregon

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Gladys "Lea" Nelson, age 87, of Rogue River, Oregon, passed away on September 4, 2017.

She waw born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. to Ross and Jane Aston. Her father was a farmer and acquired the family farm in the Land Rush of 1889. Her mother was a homemaker.

Lea was kind, loved life and was a wonderful mother to her four children, William Lee Cease, Jr. (Susie) of Wimer, Ore., Carma Myers (Craig) of Salem, Ore., Tina Williams (Dave) of Grants Pass and Rita DeSadier (Rob) of Mandeville, La.

She moved to Rogue River in 1962. On her ten acre farm outside of Rogue River she raised livestock. She also taught kindergarten, worked harvesting hops and bulbs, worked at Oregon Technical Products, Rogue Leather Co., making chaps, and at Sharp's Tarps. She was a community favorite as co-owner of Blind George's Newsstand on Historic "G"Street in Grants Pass. There she was always ready with a smile and cheerful chat for the many customers who came for the fresh popcorn and newspapers. She shipped popcorn all over the world from Blind George's.

Later she enjoyed helping her husband with three bus conversions. These motor homes allowed then to travel extensively. They became snowbirds in Yuma and Lake Havasu City, Arizona. In Lake Havasu City, she loved walking beside the lake, golfing and lunches at the community center.

Locally she enjoyed dancing at the Rogue River Community Center and at "The Barn" on Rogue River Highway. She belonged to Curves, exercising more than 2300 times. She belonged to the Laurel Hill Golf Course ladies golf league and a bowling league at Caveman Bowl. She also enjoyed the classes and trips at the local YMCA.

Lea picked blackberries annually and gifted friends and family with cases of homemade blackberry jam and amazing blackberry cobblers. She would also pick up walnuts, dry, shell and chop them for gifts. She loved crocheting afghans for family and friends, yard sales and thrift shops, as well as collecting baseball caps, collectibles and yard art. She was frequently seen walking the three mile circuit from her home and through the City of Rogue River.

She loved the color red, mowing her lawn with her riding mower and her view of the mountains around Rogue River. She participated in the Grants Pass Chapter of the Stonecroft Christian Women's Connection and attended Grace Baptist Church of Rogue River..

Lea will be missed for her wonderful and cheerful demeanor, ready laugh and mischievous wink.

She was preceded in death by her seven siblings and her parents. In addition to her four children, survivors include her seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Donations in her honor may be made to the Rogue Community Center, PO Box 295 or 132 Broadway, Rogue River, OR 97537; or Grants Pass Family YMCA, PO Box 5439, Grants Pass, OR 97527.