Lillian Bales 1916-2012
Lillian Lehman Findley Bales passed away surrounded by her family the day after Christmas. She was 96 years old and survived five brothers and sisters. Time only slightly dimmed her sparkling eyes, wonderful laugh and sense of humor.
Lillian was a native Oregonian, born on September 26, 1916 to John Lehman and Carrie Croeni of Hillsboro, Oregon. Lillian lost her mother at a young age, but nothing ever stopped her from moving forward with her life. She attended the two-room Union School in Cedar Mill, and after graduation worked at the Jenkins Estate for several years. In 1936, she married Everett Findley, and the two worked side by side on the Findley family farm until Everett passed away in 1952.
Lillian continued working the farm, selling strawberries, and took another job to support their two children. In 1956, the grocery man, Odus Bales, came to buy strawberries from her. Odus was smitten with Lillian, asking her, "What do you do when you're not farming?" The two married in 1956 and together worked the farm while raising two grandchildren.
They built their first grocery store in Cedar Mill in 1962. Through the years, they built and rebuilt the grocery stores and gave generously to their community. They were married for 42 years when Odus passed away in 1998. Lillian continued working tirelessly until finally being asked to retire. She protested and said, "I'm only 88 and not ready to retire." She missed going to work and loved her job.
Throughout her life, Lillian was a pillar of strength and irrepressible generosity, devoting her life to work and family. Despite some hardships, she always had a smile on her face and positive attitude. She was adored and loved by all!
Lillian is survived by son Ken Findley (and wife Dolores), daughter Elaine Paul, and adopted grandson James Crawford. Her grandchildren are Lisa Paul Heydet, Andrew Paul and Ian Findley. Lillian left nine great-grandchildren; John and Michelle Crawford, Robert, Wilson and Brenda Crawford, Parker and Lillian Heydet, and Alexandra and Andersen Paul. She was preceded in death by son in law, Roger Paul, and adopted grandson, Theodore Crawford.
Memorial services were held at Bethany Baptist Church. Remembrances may be sent to the Cedar Mill Library.