June 19, 1916 to –
November 7, 2012
Elizabeth Palmer Preston was born June 19, 1916 in Tyrone, Oklahoma. She was the fourth of five children born to Lewis Stinchcomb Palmer and Nora Belle King Palmer. “Liz” was an excellent student and athlete, and she played center on the girls State championship basketball team of 1932. She formed lifelong friendships and enjoyed returning to class reunions for visits with friends in Tyrone.
Elizabeth was in high school during the awful dustbowls of the 1930s Depression. The day after high school graduation she moved to southern California to be nearer her sisters. In 1934, she attended Chaffee Junior College. She later worked at the Progress Bulletin Commercial Printing Division, where she met Willard O. Preston. She and Willard married December 7, 1940. During the war years they grew victory gardens and raised animals, including hogs and chickens. Elizabeth also became a Red Cross hospital aide.
While living in Chino California, four children were born: Noralou, Sara, Charles and William. Both the Palmer and the Preston Clans enjoyed many family gatherings during those years.
In 1955, the family spent 3 months traveling around the USA and then settled in Riddle, Oregon, where they lived next door to Willard’s brother Lee and his family. A fifth son, Michael Lee was born, but lived just a short week. Throughout their 14 years in Riddle, Liz was active in PTA and her children’s school activities. She was honored as “Mother of the Year” in 1959. She taught Sunday School at the Tri-City Presbyterian Church and was a Guardian during Sara’s years with Jobs Daughters. Her two sons remember that she never missed any of their games.
Liz and Willard moved to a 1905 farm house in Roseburg, Oregon in June of 1968. Liz spent the next 39 years involved with her family, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Family gatherings and reunions in Roseburg were special with outdoor barbeques and homemade ice cream in the summer. Christmas was marked by visits from “Santa Claus” and fresh baked cookies; little did her young grandchildren know that it was Liz dressed up in Santa’s plump red suit, complete with jolly white beard.
True to her Depression Era inspired values, Liz was an avid recycler, and reuser telling all her children, “You never know when you may need it.” These values extended to her work canning and drying fruit and vegetables from the abundant garden tended by Willard. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Melrose Grange, and volunteered at the Friendly Kitchen.
Liz and Willard enjoyed several USA bus tours with friends and traveled internationally with daughter Noralou, her husband Les Roos, Liz’s son Charles and his wife Ingrid. She loved her family and would visit her children as often as she could. She and Willard would travel around the state picking up grandkids and babysit them in Roseburg for weeks at a time during summer break much to the enjoyment of their parents and their grandkids. Her grandchildren remember hours of unrestricted freedom running through the fruit orchard, climbing into a walnut tree’s treehouse, and seeking out the sort of creative adventures that only happy contented children can conjure.
In 2007 Liz and Willard moved to Clatsop Retirement Village in Astoria, Oregon. Liz continued to enjoy giving to others and recycling. She played the piano for residents at Clatsop Retirement Village and thanks to her penchant for recycling at CRV the world is a better place. She received an award of Appreciation for her volunteer work at CRV.
Liz was an incredible wife, mother, aunt, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to all.
Elizabeth Preston was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Willard, infant son Michael and granddaughter Tania Houlihan. Her family remains ever mindful of her gentle love. She is survived by her children and their spouses: Drs. Noralou and Les Roos; Sara and Chuck Meyer; Charles and Ingrid Preston; and William Preston; nine grandchildren: Chris Roos, Leslie E. Roos, Chuck Meyer, Preston Meyer, Lane Meyer, Brian Robinson, Sandra Preston, Penny Eims and Tracy Preston: seven great-grandchildren: Chris Roos, Olivia and Jackson Meyer, Neil McCalmont, Mackenzie Houlihan, Lauren and Andrew Eims, and niece Pat Buono of Roseburg with her family.
A Memorial Service has been scheduled for the First United Methodist Church of Roseburg, on Saturday, December 8, at 2:00 p.m. with a small reception following the service. The church is located at 1771 W Harvard, Roseburg, OR 97471. Memorial contributions in Liz’s name may be directed to the First United Methodist Church.