Fern Marie Ritchie
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Fern Marie Ritchie
  • May 2, 1936 - August 19, 2011
  • Prineville, Oregon

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Fern Marie Ritchie, a Prineville resident passed away on Friday, August 19, 2011. She was 75 years old.

At her request no public services will be held.

Fern was born in Burns, Oregon on May 2, 1936 to Elva M. Arion & Elsie Marie (Iscasson) Smith. She grew up in the Paulina area on the "Bar 34 Ranch".

She attended Paulina & Suplee Schools, and then her Freshman through Junior year at Crook County High School. She graduated from Springfield High in 1954. After High School Fern lived in Alaska for a couple of years. Then moved back to Oregon, in the Springfield area where she worked a variety of jobs and raised her first two girls. After her third daughter, she moved to Kelso, Washington for three years, then back to Eugene, then to Paulina where they lived on the ranch. Fern moved to Prineville in 2006.

She worked as a fire watch for the U. S. Forest Service at Pisgah, and several others for over 20 years, retiring in 2002. She was known as the "Eyes of the Ochoco's" & "The Tower Lady."

Fern loved the outdoors, camping, fishing, hunting, riding & training horses. She was the very first Paulina Rodeo Queen. Fern was an excellent gardener, raising flowers, and vegetables, and canning.

Fern is survived by her daughters Juanita Rodrigues & her husband Marvin of Eugene, Melodie Southwick and her husband Dave of Long View, Washington, and Shannon Ritchie of Prineville, Oregon, three grandchildren; Timothy Abshere of Bend, Oregon, Valley Abshere of Eugene, Oregon, and Brandie Friermood of Prineville. Three great grand children; Michaela & Mckenzie Faiman both of Eugene, and Aiden Abshere of Bend.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother; Harvey Smith, and sister; Esther Wood.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association
9320 SW Barbur Blvd. Suite 140, Portland, OR 97219

Arrangements are in the care of Prineville Funeral Home.