Dorothy Shirley (Smith) ConleeJanuary 25, 1926 ~ December 28, 2017 (age 91)
Dorothy (Smith) Conlee
January 25, 1926 to December 28, 2017
Longtime Madras resident, Dorothy (Smith) Conlee died December 28, 2017 in Albany, a month short of her 92 birthday.
Dorothy was born to Sylvia and Alonzo Smith on January 25, 1926 in the Prineville area. As the fifth of eight children, when her father was killed in a logging accident in 1940, she began work at a young age to help support the family. She graduated from Crook County High School in Prineville in 1944. On December 19, 1945 after a three-week courtship she married U.S. Air Force serviceman Howard Milton Conlee who had recently been discharged after serving in World War II.
Howard and Dorothy moved to Madras in 1950 and bought the Madras Market, which they owned until it was destroyed by fire in 1961. They later reopened the market at a nearby location as Conlee’s Thriftway, which they operated until retiring in 1971.
The couple took great pride in their garden and home in Madras, and were known for their manicured lawn and bountiful vegetable garden. They enjoyed the outdoors and spent many years fishing, camping and golfing in Central Oregon. Dorothy was a good cook and famous for her homemade pies.
After 62 years of marriage, Howard died March 17, 2008 and Dorothy moved to assisted living in Albany. Her daughters and sons-in-law, Susan Shepard and Mike Knebel of Portland, and Kathy and Douglas Nelson of Eugene, and two grandchildren, Julie Schultz of Camas, WA, and Todd Nelson of Eugene, as well as eight great grandchildren survive her. A sister Leatha Nooy of Albany and brother Bob Smith of Livermore, California, also survive her. A granddaughter, Sara Nelson Kaster, preceded her in death.
She will be buried at Moro Cemetery in Sherman County. Arrangements are under the direction of AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home in Albany (www.aasum-dufour.com). Donations in Dorothy’s name may be made to the Mennonite Village Foundation, 5353 SE Columbus, Albany, OR 97322.