Sara Ellen Gerig, 83, of Albany, Oregon, passed away at the adult foster care home where she was residing.
She was born in Austin, Texas, to Charles Wesley Mitchell and Lyna Evelyn (Westmoreland) Mitchell, the fifth of six children. The family moved frequently during her growing-up years, living in Texas, Colorado, Oregon, Mississippi, and California.
She started her schooling in second grade, enabling her to graduate from high school a year early. She began her high school senior year in Grants Pass, Oregon; and then the family moved to Yucaipa, California. After one more move during the school year, she completed her senior year in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she graduated in 1952.
After graduation, she located back in Grants Pass, Oregon, which had been somewhat of a hub of her family’s previous transitions. At that point, she supported herself, along with her mother and younger sister, by working at the Josephine County Courthouse. She and her oldest brother were charter members of the Grants Pass Mennonite Church. She then moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where she worked in a clerical role at Oregon State University.
She married Norman C Gerig on March 27, 1960, at Fairview Mennonite Church in Albany, Oregon. From this union were born one daughter and one son.
During her married life, she was employed as a medical transcriptionist. She worked several years for the Park Street Clinic in Lebanon, Oregon, and was able to bring her work home so that she could be with her children. Later, she worked as a medical transcriptionist at an orthopedic clinic in Albany. She and Norman then had a home business that provided blank audio cassette tapes and cassette tape duplication services, with an emphasis on church and ministry-oriented needs, until other media formats were taking prevalence at the same time that her increasing physical limitations were necessitating a change.
She enjoyed putting her natural abilities with words, spelling, and grammar to good use by producing various publications for church, school, friends, and family. She was often found solving crosswords and other word puzzles.
Her desire was to live a life pleasing to the Lord. She attended the Fairview Mennonite and Brownsville Mennonite churches regularly until physical impairments limited her activities to the point that she was no longer able.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Norman; one sister, Lyneva Grauberger of Nampa, Idaho; and her two children, Ellen Gerig and Stanley Gerig, both of Albany, Oregon.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Charles Mitchell and Eugene Mitchell, and sisters Ruth Blowers and Dera Keen.
A viewing will be at the funeral home from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday. A public service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at Fairview Mennonite Church in Albany, Oregon, with interment following at Fairview Mennonite Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to Christian Aid Ministries or Heralds of Hope in care of the funeral home.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com).