Gordena was born to Nathaniel and Maude Olmstead on September 29, 1924 in Spokane, Washington. She grew up on a series of ranches in the small town of Curlew where, as the second youngest of eleven children, she never lacked for playmates. With that many children, everyone had to pitch in, and Gordie found she had a love for and real talent for sewing, knitting, embroidery, and crotchet – but especially sewing. From that point on, other than her time in the army, she sewed almost everything she wore until well into her eighties.
She was working at Kaiser Aluminum in Spokane when she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during the last years of the war. She said it was the best thing she’d ever done because it was in an army hospital that she first met the love of her life, Wally Lane. Their marriage lasted from 1947 until Wally’s death in 2015.
Gordie was a homemaker who enjoyed raising their three children as well as sewing and cooking. She also developed a love for travel which began with their small travel trailer for family vacations and moved on to a series of motorhomes that carried them around the US and Canada. She equally enjoyed their trips to Alaska, Europe, Turkey, the Panama Canal, South Pacific, and Australia.
They lived in Los Angeles until Wally’s retirement after which they wintered in Yuma and spent summers at their home in Covington. A few years ago, she decided it was time for a change and moved into an apartment at Merrill Gardens in Burien. She was enjoying making new friends until some health problems slowed her down. A fall in April led to decline that ended her life on June 30. Her daughters were with her at Pam’s home, as she died peacefully and in no pain, exactly as she wished. She was 95 years old (to be precise, 95.75 years old).
Gordie was preceded in death by all of her siblings, her husband Wally, son Bob, and granddaughter Marianne Carter. She is survived by daughters Pam Carter of Tukwila and Connie Lane of Olympia, granddaughter Patty Carter of SeaTac, and great-grandson Brenden Gill.
While she is greatly missed by her family, they know she had a good run. After a small family ceremony at Tahoma National Cemetery, her urn will join Wally’s in the niche at the cemetery. There will be a memorial service at some point when it is safe to gather and share wonderful memories.
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