Jean Rae (Boehmke) Birkby, 87, died on Sunday, November 3, 2019, in Prineville, Oregon in the comfort of her home. A graveside service, followed by interment, will be held on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Juniper Haven Cemetery in Prineville, Oregon. Pastor Curtis Zieske of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Prineville will officiate.
Jean Rae was born on August 1, 1932 in Oregon City, Oregon to Raymond Hermon Reinhold Boehmke and Olive Marie (Welch) Boehmke. The family owned and operated the bakery in Molalla, Oregon. Jean Rae treasured her father's recipes and they will remain in the family's trusted care. Jean Rae graduated from Molalla High School. She was active in Jobs Daughter, serving as an honored queen. She liked to recall shopping trips she took to Portland, Oregon with her mother while in her youth. They wore high heeled shoes and white gloves as they made their journeys to Meier and Frank department store.
Jean Rae met the love of her life, Benny Blaine Birkby, while in high school at Molalla, Oregon. Jean Rae had a set of daisy hair barrettes that she liked to wear and Benny gave her the nickname "Daisy". They were married on August 16, 1952 in Colton, Oregon. Benny worked briefly at the bakery in Molalla with Jean Rae's father, then the couple moved to Prineville, Oregon making it their life-long community. Together, they raised their three children (Tim, Robert and Tena) in Prineville.
Jean Rae truly was a housewife of the 1950's. Taking pride in her children and her home, she cooked, cleaned, canned, and sewed. She enjoyed preparing a tasty meal for her husband, including dessert, and added that little bit of extra glamour to make "home" the best she could. She enjoyed family-centered activities. Her favorite pastimes included sewing, canning, camping and trips to the Oregon coast. Jean worked outside the home for only a brief period at Terry's Jewelry.
For many years, Jean Rae served Crook County at the election polls, staying up throughout the night counting ballots. She and Benny enjoyed years of dancing and dining with their "come doubles" group. They developed life-long friendships with many of those couples. Jean Rae regularly played pinochle and bridge. She was a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Prineville.
Jean Rae is survived by her son Robert Ray Birkby, daughter Tena Jeannette Piercey and daughter-in-law Vicki Sue Birkby. She was the proud grandmother of five grandsons (Patrick and Zachary Birkby, Scott and Alan McAlister and Jacob Piercey) and one granddaughter (Jodi Birkby Galyen) as well as five great-grandchildren (Benny, Kassadee, Rowen, Kaden and Lilly).
Jean Rae is proceeded in death by both her parents, husband Benny, brother Robert, son Timothy Blaine and great granddaughter Kenzie McAlister.
Memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation through Prineville Funeral Home.
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