OBITUARY: Eleanor Mary (Reed) Ordway

Eleanor Mary (Reed) Ordway (99) was born in Kahler Basin near Spray, Oregon, to Leslie and Mary Reed on July 12, 1924 where she was raised, attended school, and married her beloved husband Robert (Bob) M. Ordway, in 1942. A lifetime resident and descendant of early Oregon pioneers, Eleanor lived a long, healthy, and remarkable life with many descendants and traversed the generational innovations of the past to the present.

Life for Eleanor began near "High Springs" in the Kahler Creek Basin and Winlock area on a farm, in a small house, with no electricity or running water. A place where travel was accomplished mostly afoot or by horseback and at a time when Native Americans of the region still migrated up and down the John Day River Basin corridor. She was of the last generation who experienced the transformation of pioneer to modern day living.

The oldest of four children (two sisters and one brother), Eleanor was a natural at nurturing and caring for others. From an early age she looked after her siblings whenever her parents had to be away to work and was also responsible for the care and welfare of the farm and animals. In marriage, she was partner with her husband Bob in running their ranch, and managing the Ordway Construction Company, while raising their family. No one was a stranger around Eleanor and Bob. Their ranch was open to everyone and their businesses provided jobs for many in the surrounding community including their extended family members. Throughout their lives they also quietly helped many in their times of need. Affectionately, she was referred to as "Gram" by the many of us who were fortunate enough to have been taken under her wing at some point or another during the course of her life.

Gram loved her family dearly. She especially loved babies, and eagerly welcomed the generational additions of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great grandchildren, over the span of her nearly century long life, rejoicing with each and every new one to join the family. Gram loved to support her children in their school, sports, and extracurricular activities. Helping them with their 4-H animals & projects. She also participated in the Wheeler County Fair & for many years participated in and enjoyed the Spray Rodeo parade. If the community was involved these were very important activities to her. Gram was an awesome cook who could whip up wonderful meals in short order. She was an accomplished horsewoman, musician, artist, gardener, equipment operator, truck driver, cattleman & businesswoman. Most of all the matriarch of the family. Before her death she was the head of 5 living generations.

Gram is survived by her children: Bobby Ordway, Jan Bolton (husband Don). Grandchildren: Rob Ordway (Michelle), Robin Campbell (Brad), Chad Bolton (Jenn), and Craig Bolton (Bobbie). Great Grandchildren: Franklin Ordway (Megan), Dori Embree (Arron), and Beau Bolton. Great-Great Grandchildren: Wyatt Ordway, Bridger Ordway, Rueben Embree,. Grams family tree also includes numerous relatives, cousins, nephews and nieces spanning several generations.

Gram is preceded in death by her beloved husband Robert (Bob) Ordway (Aug 26, 1920 – September 18, 1988) parents Leslie and Mary Reed, brother Scott (Scotty) Reed – deceased (September 2023), sisters Glenna Sallee, Beverly Reed, and daughter-in-law Sandy Ordway (husband Bobby),

Gram was known as a very kind person who loved her family, friends, their ranch, and animals. She was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and an active member of her community. A family graveside service is planned for January 4, 2024 , 1pm at the Haystack Cemetery located on Highway 207 near Spray, Oregon.

Donations in her honor can be made to the Spray Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 155, Spray, Or 97874.


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