We welcome submission of obituaries for free publication in the Mid-county Memo. Please send copy and a photo to editor@midcountymemo.com. Submissions may be edited for clarity and will be included on a space-available basis. 

Verne Vezie Church, Jr.
March 2, 1932 – Sept. 6, 2018

Verne Church graduated from Parkrose High School in 1950. COURTESY CHURCH FAMILY

Verne Church graduated from Parkrose High School in 1950.

Verne Vezie Church, Jr., passed away Sept. 6, 2018, at Salem Hospital after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Verne was born March 2, 1932, in Giscome, British Columbia, to American parents Verne V. Church and Vera Svendsgard. He graduated from Parkrose High School in 1950. He joined the U.S. Army in 1953 and served until 1955. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1959 and was a member of Delta Tau Delta.

In 1962, Verne went to work for Hampton Lumber as a lumber trader. He retired from Hampton Lumber in 1996 but returned frequently to cover vacation time for some of the other senior traders.

Verne is survived by his wife, Mickie Church; his daughter, Debbie Hall (Mark); his daughter, Cindy Godlove (Jim); his son, Jeff Church (Erin); his stepson, Mike Brown (Dawn); five grandchildren; and his sisters, Mae Ann Henderson and Edith Harris.

A celebration of life will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Nov. 11, at Willamette Valley Country Club, 900 Country Club Place, Canby, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to a charity of your choice.

Joyce Irene Lambert
Aug. 1, 1939 – Sept. 19, 2018

Joyce Lambert was in the first graduating class of David Douglas High School. COURTESY LAMBERT FAMILY

Joyce Lambert was in the first graduating class of David Douglas High School.

Joyce was born Aug. 1, 1939, in Halstad Township, Minnesota. She was the fifth of six girls born to Jacob and Stella McLaughlin. She passed away in the early hours of Sept. 19, 2018. Joyce had been in failing health for the last three years, and her family takes comfort knowing she is no longer in pain and is dancing with her husband, Ed, in Heaven.

She was in the first graduating class from David Douglas High School in 1956. She began her professional life as a bookkeeper for Anderson Oregon Rental. She retired from Precision Castparts and went on to volunteer at Loaves and Fishes (now Meals on Wheels People) for 15 years.

Joyce married Ed, the love of her life, in April 1960. Two years later, they had their only child, Susan. Joyce and Ed were married for 39 years when Ed passed away in 1999.

When Joyce’s father died, Joyce took over the guardianship of her disabled sister, Patty. It was a responsibility she took very seriously for more than 50 years.

Throughout her life, Joyce enjoyed traveling with Ed, especially to Honolulu, Hawai?i. She also enjoyed working out at several gyms, including Curves, and she loved to golf with her sisters, daughters and friends.

She was a faithful, devoted and much beloved wife, mother, mother-in-law and nana. She will be greatly missed by her daughter, Susan (Michael); grandsons, Bryan and Kevin; sisters Lois and Patty; brother-in-law, Roger Franklin; step-grandchildren, Melissa Doxtator and Alex Gates; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Ed; her parents; and her sisters Joan, Gerry and Sharon.

Joyce’s smile could light up a room. She was an amazing woman who will be sorely missed by all her loved ones.

A memorial service has been held.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made in Joyce’s name to Edward’s Center, which has cared for her sister Patty for many years. Any contributions help subsidize programs that Edward’s Center provides to its clients. Donations may be sent to Edward’s Center, Inc. P.O. Box 6369, Aloha, OR 97007.

Lauren Elizabeth Pierce
Dec. 22, 1949 – Sept. 20, 2018

Lauren Pierce was a talented dancer who loved movies and pets. She attended Parkrose schools. COURTESY PIERCE FAMILY

Lauren Pierce was a talented dancer who loved movies and pets. She attended Parkrose schools.

Lauren Elizabeth Pierce, age 68, passed away unexpectedly in her home in Tigard, Sept. 20, 2018. Lauren was a wonderful sister, daughter and aunt, and she was an amazing and loyal friend to all who knew her. She had a great laugh and a wonderful sense of humor, and she was compassionate, thoughtful and charitable to a fault. Her adult life was filled with one medical hardship after another, but she fought through every challenge with a strength that belied her small size and frail condition in recent years.

Born to Joseph and Gloria Pierce Dec. 22, 1949 at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Lauren grew up in the Parkrose area of northeast Portland. She graduated from Baker High School after moving there for her senior year when her father was transferred for his job with Pacific NW Bell Telephone Company. Lauren was none too happy about being uprooted for her senior year, but she was very outgoing and social, so she made the best of it and ended up being just as popular with her Baker classmates as she’d been in Parkrose. She was never lacking for a boyfriend or a date to any of the school proms or dances—and could she ever dance. She even won a few dance contests in later years.

After graduation, Lauren moved back to Portland and began her 40-year career as an office worker and customer service representative with a long list of employers including General Electric, WANG, the State of Oregon Employment Department and Adidas. Lauren was always very well-liked by her coworkers, and she made many friends through her working years who remained close to her for the rest of her life.

Lauren was a real animal lover and had several pet dogs through the years, but due to her failing health more recently she acted as a favorite “aunt” to her sister’s dogs. She was also an avid sports fan and loved watching tennis, golf, football and any sport involving the Oregon State University Beavers. She watched every inning of this summer’s College World Series and she was the happiest Beavers baseball fan when they won their third national championship. Some of her other favorite pastimes were shopping and watching TV (lots of TV). She was Hallmark channel’s number-one fan, especially its Christmas movies, and she knew all the actors by name. She was also an avid movie watcher and had a host of favorite TV series so her DVR constantly ran nearly full with all the recordings she saved.

Lauren is survived by her brother, Stephen Pierce; sister, Susan Floeter (Walter); and her beloved niece, Abby Floeter Miske, who was her pride and joy.

Lauren was preceded in death by her mother and father.

Donations may be made in Lauren’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the National Wildlife Federation, two of her favorite charities. You may sign the guestbook with Advantage Funeral and Cremation Services-Gateway at advantagegateway.com. 

Peni Buckland
Sept. 15, 1946 – Sept. 26, 2018
On Sept. 26, 2018, we lost our loving and adventurous Peni Buckland. Peni was born Sept. 15, 1946, in Portland. Peni met James Buckland at David Douglas High School, and they were married for 10 years. They had three children: Trisha Buckland, Barry Buckland and Summer Fradet. Peni met her life partner, Robert Harris a few years later, and together they had many great adventures.

Peni will be remembered for her passion for life, love of family and care and genuine interest in everyone’s story. Peni is survived by Robert Harris, her three children and their spouses and seven grandchildren, none of whom will be able to take a trip to the beach or walk on the sand without thinking back on great memories with Peni. 

A celebration of life has been held. 

Gloria Miller Zeal Davis
Aug. 22, 1926 – Sept. 22, 2018

Gloria Davis was a counselor at David Douglas High School. COURTESY DAVIS FAMILY

Gloria Davis was a counselor at David Douglas High School.

Gloria Miller Zeal Davis (known by many as “Glo”) passed away of natural causes Sept. 22, 2018. She was born in Flushing, New York, Aug. 22, 1926, the youngest of three daughters, to Robert and Lillian Miller. She graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts in English composition and became the assistant editor in the children’s books department at Harper & Brothers in 1947, helping to publish many classics in children’s literature, including “Charlotte’s Web,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Goodnight Moon.”

In 1951 Gloria, always an adventurer, moved to Portland, where she met and married Edward Gale Zeal a year later. After a short six years together, Ed succumbed to a four-year battle with cancer, leaving behind Gloria, their three blonde toddlers and a large home in northeast Portland. Her many years as a single parent inspired her to write and publish “Above All, Don’t Flush: Adventures in Valorous Living.” While caring for her budding brood, including joining the Cascade Ski Club so they could ski on winter weekends and taking them each summer to a charming, weathered beach cabin graciously provided by her dear friends the Campbells, she also worked as a program director at the YWCA, taught high school English at Catlin Gabel School, and received an Master of Education from Portland State University. Always ready with an open ear for her teenage children and their many friends, she continued her dedication to guiding adolescents as a licensed counselor at David Douglas High School.

During her eight-year tenure at David Douglas High School, she became friends with many of her colleagues, including Elvin A. Davis, a beloved teacher there. They were married in 1973, bringing both Elvin and his young adult son, Jeff, into the hearts and lives of the Zeal family. Gloria and Elvin spent 25 wonderful years traveling, dancing, playing tennis at the Irvington Club and enjoying their ever-growing family before Elvin’s death in 1998.

After retiring from counseling, Gloria’s passion for young adults grew as she continued her education and became skilled in addressing the difficulties faced by young people who were challenged by dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She was a longtime member of the International Dyslexia Association, serving on the board of directors and as Oregon branch president, among other positions.

Gloria is survived by her daughters, Robin Zeal and Katie Zeal; son, Doug Zeal; stepson, Jeff Davis; Robin’s life partner, Peter Van Steenburgh; Katie’s husband, Mike Lince; Doug’s wife, Barbara Zeal; Jeff’s wife, Sherry Davis; 10 wonderful grandchildren; and nine precious great-grandchildren. Her infectious laughter and vibrant personality will be dearly missed by her family and her many, many friends, young and old.

A memorial service has been held. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Oregon branch of the International Dyslexia Association at or.dyslexiaida.org or to the Youth Ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1624 N.E. Hancock St., Portland, OR 97212.

Cordelia M. Sayler
Aug. 23, 1913 – Oct. 1, 2018

Cordelia Sayler, matriarch of the family that owns Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen on Southeast Stark Street, has died at age 105. COURTESY DAVIS FAMILY

Cordelia Sayler, matriarch of the family that owns Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen on Southeast Stark Street, has died at age 105.

Cordelia Margaret Sayler passed away Oct. 1, 2018, at 105 years old.

She was born to Winn Stayner and Emma Arndt on a farm near Raleigh, North Dakota, Aug. 23, 1913. As a little girl, she moved with her family for three years to a government claim in eastern Montana, where they lived in a one-room log cabin, so she was a real pioneer child. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Dakota in 1936, despite the ongoing Great Depression. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the National Collegiate Honor Society. Two years later, she married Arthur G. Sayler. Both were teachers at that time. During World War II, they spent two summers in Portland, when both were employed in the shipyards building Liberty ships.

The couple had three children, Judy, Gene and Gerry, over the years from 1939 to 1954. In 1946, the family moved to Portland when Art accepted his brother Richard’s invitation to go into business with him in a restaurant called The Old Country Kitchen on Southeast 102nd Avenue and Stark Street. They gradually built the business and moved it across Stark to 105th Avenue, where it remains today as Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen under the management of Gene and his two sons. Art Sayler died in 1977.

In her early 50s, Cordelia fulfilled a lifelong dream by returning to school at Portland State University, taking classes for a library science degree, and in 1967, she received her Master of Library Science from the University of Oregon. She worked for the Multnomah County Library at the Belmont, Gresham and Gregory Heights branches until she retired in 1978. After the death of her husband and her own retirement, she became a world traveler, visiting every continent except Antarctica, staying on the move until her early 90s. She had lived in southeast and northeast Portland since 1946. In 2000, she moved to the Holladay Park Plaza retirement community, where she lived until her death at 105.

Cordelia was a great reader, an excellent correspondent, an avid traveler and infinitely curious about the world and its differences. She is deeply missed by her family and many others.

She was predeceased by her brother, Lyle Stayner, and her husband, Art. Survivors include Judy Olmer of Cabin John, Maryland; Gene Sayler (Mary) and Gerry Sayler of Portland; grandchildren Archer Olmer (Susan), Sally Andrade (Mike), David Sayler, Bryan Sayler (Janis), Melissa Sayler (Laura), Adam Sayler and Jordan Sayler (Amanda); and seven great-grandchildren.

The family would like to extend their deep appreciation to the caring staff at Holladay Park Plaza and Bright On Hospice.

There will be a celebration of life from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, at the Multnomah Athletic Club, 1848 S.W. Salmon St., Portland, OR 97205.