Delpha Theral Sawtell (Blaylock) “Del” passed away on August 7 at the age of 103 yrs old.
Del was born on July 21, 1911 in Orchards Washington to Ernest Raymond and Mabel Gertrude Blaylock (Heaton). Delpha was preceded in death by her parents, older brother Boyce Blaylock, her husband of 64 yrs Earl Sawtell, her younger sister Georgia Stradley and a grandchild Jill Sawtell of The Dalles. Surviving are her children, Douglas Sawtell of Redmond Oregon and daughter Sharon Boyles (Sawtell) of Dufur Oregon. Also surviving are six grandchildren: Steven, Shari and Scott Kramer of Dufur Oregon; Susan Dahrens (Sawtell) of Gresham Oregon, James Sawtell of Sandy Oregon and Amy Miller (Aronson) of Carver Massachusetts. Delpha also has five great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Delpha lived in Orchards Washington until age three when her family moved to Hood River. At the age of five, her family then moved to Grass Valley Oregon. There her family settled in and began a life of farming and ranching. By doing so, Delpha’s family was able to sustain themselves during the great depression. Delpha attended a one-room school in the Rosebush area of Grass Valley and graduated in 1930. She then moved to The Dalles Oregon to attend nursing school. On March 10, 1934, Delpha was married to Earl Adrian Sawtell at a Ministry of the Gospel in Yakima Washington. During WWII, while and after Earl was in the Navy, she worked as a lab technician at The Mid-Columbia Hospital for 20 years. Delpha enjoyed her work and she was proud to help the people of The Dalles community. After retirement, Delpha and Earl moved to Florence Oregon in 1975 to a lovely retirement community. There they enjoyed spending time with their neighbor’s playing cards at the clubhouse, swimming and other activities. They then began to travel the world together. Delpha did not like to fly but would tell her family that it was worth it for her to have seen all of the places.
They returned to The Dalles Oregon in 1994 to spend their remaining years together and to be closer to their children. When Delpha reached the century mark, she was interviewed by a journalist and admitted that she really did not like to be in the kitchen. To her family however, her meals were warm, good and comforting. Most liked by Delpha’s children and grandchildren were her applesauce, apple pie and all the other yummy baked goods. Delpha did enjoy that part of cooking and ensured that each person that came to her home did not leave without eating at least a cookie. Other talents and hobbies that Delpha enjoyed were porcelain painting, needlepoint, knitting and gardening. With her knowledge of gardening, she became the “go to person” in her family, especially when it pertained to roses.
Delpha enjoyed a full life, lived simply and passed all her knowledge to her family and friends. She believed that one didn’t need to obtain material things in order to live a full life and it was also important to her that she had her faith in God. She was truly loved by many and will be dearly missed.
Services will be held on Saturday, October 4 at 1:00 at the Odd Fellows Cemetery on Cherry Heights Road.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The Dalles Meals on Wheels program or Gateway Presbyterian Church.
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