Beatrice Jane Luciani
Beatrice Jane Luciani, 94, of Echo, Oregon passed away peacefully at her Guardian Angel Home in Hermiston, surrounded by people who loved her. Bea was born in Webster South Dakota, February 6, 1924 to parents of Norwegian descent, Henry and Agnes (Mathiesen) Haugen. They lived on the family farm outside of Lily, South Dakota, where Bea enjoyed her elementary education at the little country school. In order to attend high school thirty miles away, the family arranged boarding for Bea in Webster. She received her diploma from Webster High School in 1942.
After graduation, she traveled to Omaha, Nebraska where she studied to become a telegrapher for the Union Pacific Railroad. While attending school, she kept hearing the words of her father resonating in her head, “if you ever have the opportunity to go west you should go”. He had gone to Portland and thought it was one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. After receiving her certificate as a telegrapher, this young 19 year old girl traveled across country by herself to Quinton, Oregon, which is near what is now known as Philippi Canyon.
Quinton was not quite Portland, but it turned out to be a pretty awesome place because she met the love of her life. She became friends with the section foreman Fiore Borghese and his wife Carmelita who lived nearby in Arlington. They both took quite a liking to this sweet naïve girl from South Dakota and took her under their wings. Carmel said she had a good looking brother she would like to introduce her to. Bea in agreement met this tall, handsome Italian man from Echo. The sparks flew and it was love at first sight. Like many young men in that time, George was sent to basic Army training at Camp Roberts. While on leave George and Bea were married on February 4, 1945 in Pendleton Oregon. Bea was a patient bride, waiting for her new groom to come home from serving in the Philippines and also a short time in Japan.
Once home, they started their new life together in Pendleton until the couple pursued George’s love of farming. They then moved to Pine City and formed a lease partnership with Leo Ashbeck. In 1965 they purchased their own farm which is still located on Butter Creek.
Butter Creek was a lively place with George and Bea around. The family enjoyed many happy times with neighbors at the Pine City School House. It was a storybook existence, all the neighbors being friends and helping each other as needed and spending joyful times in the School House having sock hops, potlucks, bingo games and their favorite, dancing after all the work was done.
Bea was the absolute ultimate hostess. She could take a few leftovers and turn them into a feast enough to feed an army. She was an exceptional homemaker and cook. The house always smelled so good when you walked in. The scent of decadent Norwegian-Italian cuisine, pastries, cookies and rolls would permeate the air sending messages to the taste buds. You knew you were in for a huge treat. Always generous and giving, Bea never let you leave empty handed. As one of the Granddaughters said, “Grandma was the great nurturer of our family, she had a kind heart and deep concern for others. Her love for her family and her beautiful devotion to Grandpa were just a few of the many important lessons she taught me about life.” Her Christian roots were evident in all that she did.
Committed to the community, Bea was active in many organizations over the years including Morrow County Extension Group, Pollyanna’s, Oregon Wheat Growers Association, Morrow County Grain Growers, McNary Yacht Club charter member and longtime member of the Lutheran Church. Her hobbies included crafting, sewing, puzzles, reading, crocheting, fishing, hunting and boating. Bea lit up whenever friends and family would visit, the hospitality was abounding no matter who walked into the room. She absolutely cherished time with her family and supported the numerous activities of her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by her daughters Karla Anderson (Doug), Sheila Cozad (Bob), Patty Matheny and son John H Luciani (Karen), ten grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bea was proceeded in death by her parents, husband George of 72 years, one brother Vern Haugen, beloved niece Pam Haugen Fishman and Son in Law David Matheny.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 485 W Locust Ave., Hermiston, Oregon.
Burial will follow at 2:00 P.M. at the Echo Cemetery, Echo, Oregon.
Those who wish may make contributions in Bea’s memory to the Echo Museum or Vange John Memorial Hospice education fund c/o Burns Mortuary, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston, OR
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.