Audrey Sears passed away peacefully on January 2, at the age of 94.
She was born in Walterville, Oregon, to Joseph and Jennie Putnam. She joined her older brother, Alvie, in the family. Her parents later moved to Corvallis, where she attended school. She graduated from Corvallis High School in 1944. She attended Oregon State College (OSU) for dental assistant training.
When he returned from his service in the war in the Pacific, she met, dated, and married Thomas H. Sears. They were living in Sweet Home, when their son, Michael, was born. They moved back to Corvallis later, where he was joined by three sisters, Kathleen, Deborah, and Brenda. Audrey and Tom moved with their family around the Northwest when he was transferred by his company.
Audrey worked as a dental assistant when her children entered elementary school in Yakima, Washington. After the family moved to Pendleton, she worked at a local hospital in the insurance department, eventually becoming the head of the department.
Audrey was a loving and patient mother. Beyond her family, everyone who came in contact with her felt and appreciated her caring and loving attitude. She had an unquenchable curiosity about life, which she passed on to her children. She was an avid reader and was still reading in the last week of her life.
Audrey loved the outdoors and nature. When they lived in Montana, she joined a group of women that hiked and cross-country skied in Glacier National Park. She and Tom spent time hunting and fishing the lakes of Montana.
When Tom and Audrey retired, they moved back to Oregon to a rural property north of Jefferson. Audrey loved to garden. She spent many hours planting and tending her flower and large vegetable garden. Family and friends benefitted from her work through shared produce and flowers. She provided floral altar arrangements for many years at her church.
She was preceded in death by her husband Thomas; parents Joseph and Jennie Putnam; brother Alvie Putnam and his wife, Virginia.
Audrey is survived by her children Michael and Ruby Sears, Kate and Scott Perkins, Deborah and James Richman, and Brenda Rowe; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Her children feel so fortunate to have had her with them all these years.
Audrey will be buried at Willamette Memorial Park in Albany. A private graveside service and memorial service will be held. AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com).
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