Charlotte Lenore Ruggles Barnett

Charlotte Lenore Ruggles Barnett

Charlotte Barnett passed away peacefully Sat., March 16, 2019, at Flagstone in The Dalles, Ore.  She was born May 27, 1917, in Moro, Ore., at her grandparent Hulse’s home to Oscar and Allie (Hulse) Ruggles.  She joined two siblings, Orville and Zela (McKinney) and the family soon moved to their place in Finnegan.

They attended the Liberty School three miles from home and then went to the Grass Valley School when Charlotte was in the sixth grade through high school, where she excelled at sports, winning championships as captain in basketball and volleyball.  Their graduation ceremony was held in the Grass Valley Pavilion 84 years ago, where she also had her 100th birthday party.

Charlotte had a great voice, and with her brother, they played guitar and sang at school functions and in churches, for weddings and funerals, in and around Grass Valley.  Sister Zela joined them at times on the piano as well.  Their mother had taught them both guitar and piano.

Charlotte married Willard Henry Barnett when she was 18 on Aug. 29, 1935.  They moved onto the ranch they bought 2 miles north of Grass Valley where she lived for the next 81 years.  Their son Keith was born in Nov. 1936.  Charlotte raised chickens and lambs to sell to help pay for the main ranch and later they bought land on the Deschutes breaks known as the “back ranch.”  She did all of the yard work and was an excellent housekeeper and cook.

Charlotte, Willard and brother Orville always had leading roles in the Odd Fellows and Rebekah’s stage plays for years and drew huge crowds in the Grass Valley Pavilion.  She fought hard to keep the Pavilion from being destroyed, and to keep the oil painting of Mount Hood at the Sherman County Museum where she was a volunteer worker for years.  Charlotte was a member of the Rebekah Lodge for over 60 years as well as a state officer in the Lodge, furnishing more than her share of food for Lodge events.  She and Willard were excellent ballroom dancers and always went to the high school dances.

In later years after Willard passed in 1996, and 20 years of taking care of him, she took her family on several cruises in the Caribbean, Pacific, Mexico and a paddle wheel cruise of the Columbia and Snake Rivers.  She would drive 130 miles to catch a plane and for years she drove a motorhome to Montana for family visits.  At 86 she bagged her elk near St. Regis on the way home from Montana.

She finally decided she wasn’t going to spend another winter on the ranch and at 99 moved to Cherry Heights in The Dalles, and subsequently to Flagstone when she required more care.

She is survived by Keith and Marilyn (Smith) Barnett; grandson Lee Barnett and Laurie Booth; great-grandchildren, Brandan and Abigayle Barnett, and Morgan Barnett; and two great-great-grandchildren, Addyson Mae and Wyatt Benjamin.

Charlotte’s funeral was held at 11 a.m., Fri., March 22, 2019, at the Grass Valley Baptist Church, arrangements by Spencer, Libby and Powell.  

Memorials may be made to the Sherman Historical Society, PO Box 173, Moro, Oregon 97039, or a charity of your choice.

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