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Volume 15, Issue 6
June 2017

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Minnie Smith Stombaugh, June 3, 1938-May 3, 2017
By Virginia Bruce

Minnie Smith Stombaugh

I first met Minnie when I went to speak at the Writers’ Mill meeting at the library in the summer of 2014. My ulterior motive was to find writers who could contribute to the News. After the meeting, she promptly edited and sent me a story from the memoir she was working on.

This delightful story about her memories of the Cedar Mill Garage was the first of many recollections I published. They documented, in a sweet and humorous way, what it was like to grow up in this area before rapid development took over. She recounted pranks, traditions, and adventures that she and her brothers and sisters had around the area.

Minnie had been in good health until a few days before she passed away during the night. Her daughter Carol wrote, “As much as we grieve her loss, we count it a blessing that she passed as she would’ve wanted…still vital and able, in mind and body. It was an additional blessing that she was NOT on the road or in someone else’s home, as she might have otherwise been. She had also planned a trip back to Africa this fall, and I suppose she’s secretly disappointed that she will not be buried in her beloved second home. I’m selfishly glad the Lord let us keep her here. I can see her running down golden streets, skipping steps up shining staircases, and swinging on pearly gates!!”


Minnie was the youngest of seven children. She graduated from Beaverton High School in 1956. Minnie served in the Marines after high school, so she will be buried at Willamette National Cemetery. While raising her two children in Boise, she worked in clerical jobs. She also provided 11 years of in-home care for her Mom, while serving in her church as a Sunday School teacher. Later, she was a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators for over 20 years, spending at least 10 years in Cameroon. Previous to the Wycliffe work, she spent time as a missionary in Russia. Her daughter says, "She served Wycliffe in several stateside, as well as foreign, positions. The Cameroon post became her longest overseas post, and surely her most beloved."


We anticipate that her memoirs will be collected and published at a later date. We’ll announce that in the News when we find out.

She had two children; John, who lives in Salem, and Carol who lives in Beaverton; three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and many more by marriage. Of her seven siblings, Fern (age 83), Roy (81), and June (90) survive her.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 10, 10:30 am at Westgate Baptist Church, 12930 SW Scholls Ferry Rd., Tigard 97223. Those who knew her are welcome to attend.

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Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
© 2017