Age 90, died on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Astoria, Oregon. She was born on May 25, 1922, in Wellington, Texas, the daughter of Robert Edgar Duke and Effie Pearl (Hall) Duke. With her older brother H.L. Duke, the family moved to Castro County, Texas February 25, 1926, and resided on a farm in the Sunnyside Community where a younger brother, Robert Hall Duke was born the following year. She attended elementary school at Sunnyside and later lettered for two years on the high school basketball team at Dimmitt High School until graduating in May 1940. After graduation she worked at the courthouse, and then left Dimmitt in 1942 to attend Droughn’s Business College in Lubbock. Upon completing her courses in 1943, she worked for Dalby Frieght Lines and later the South Plains Air Base until its closure in 1947. Later that year she and her family visited relatives in Roseburg, Oregon and decided to remain there and eventually worked as a long distance operator for the Bell Telephone Co. During this time she met and married Robert N. Gunderson on November 20, 1948. Although they were married in Lubbock, Texas, they made their home in Roseburg, Oregon and later moved to the Umpqua area of Hubbard Creek in 1962. In 1948 she began work as a clerk and receptionist in the Douglas County Welfare office. During her 30 years of service to the state of Oregon she quickly advanced to the position of Administrative Assistant and in 1969 was awarded the Outstanding Employee of the Year. At the time of her retirement in January of 1984, she was officially recognized by the Governor for her distinguished service to the State of Oregon. In June of 1999 she and her husband moved to Astoria, Oregon to live closer to her children and grandchildren. Her interests were gardening and sports events. She loved attending local basketball and football games with her family and friends. She enjoyed attending church and was an avid supporter of her church home at Astoria First Assembly of God. Her husband preceded her in death in 2006. Family survivors include her daughters, Linda Hamar and her husband Rev. James Hamar of Astoria; Gail Freeman of Oregon City; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Frances Duke of Ft. Worth, Texas; sister-in-law Evelyn Addcox of Bellevue, Washington; grandsons, Kyle and wife Cody Hamar of Kirkland, Washington, Kirk Hamar, Kory Hamar, Kraig and wife Ashley Hamar, all of Astoria; and granddaughters, Jamie Hamar of Astoria; and Taylor Freeman of Oregon City, Oregon; and a number of beloved nieces and nephews. A private burial was held at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon, and a memorial service will be held in her honor on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Astoria First Assembly of God. The service will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon in the church fellowship hall. The family requests that any memorial contributions be made to Astoria First Assembly of God, 1775 7th Street, Astoria, Oregon 97103.
LaVerne Duke Gunderson
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