Obituary of Frances Elaine Osage
Frances Elaine Osage passed away peacefully on November 20th, 2023 at the age of 102. She was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Frances Pagel, her husband Howard T. Osage, sister Genevieve Reidinger, brother Howard Pagel, and niece Dianna Tovoli.
Elaine was very organized and ordered in her life. In recent years, she took time to memorialize certain highlights of her life in this narrative, transcribed from her handwritten notes:
I was born at noon on Monday, August 1, 1921 at home (761 So. 46th, Tacoma, WA). My Grandma Hildebrand always said I upset her doing the laundry that day. My dad always told me there was a hole in one of the walls and I sure had fun throwing things in there including some silverware. Years later they were remodeling that house (it is still there) and he thought he should go over and see if they found anything behind that hole.
When I was two (August 1923) we moved to our new house (768 So. 46th) and Daddy always said I laid on the floor and yelled I wanted to go home when they tried to put me to bed the first night. I have many fond memories of that house – my sister Gen was married there in August of 1939 to John Farlow.
I went to Whitman Grade School, which was destroyed in the earthquake, I think it was 1949 – the new one was built across the street from there. I went to Stewart Jr. High for three years and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1939. Many friends were made in the school years and continued through until their passings. Unfortunately, I’m one of the few left – but the last one in our “group”. I was very active in our class reunions, the first one being our 25th, and then every five years after that until about our 65th, and then every year until our 70th, when we quit having them, too many gone and too many that couldn’t come because of physical problems.
Going back a little, I post graduated from September 1939 to June 1940 and took office training, there was no money to go to business college. I went to work in July of 1941 in an insurance office and worked there for a year – then went to work for a real estate office and worked there until early 1943 when I went to work for a small shipbuilding company during World War II. They were making Army tugs – I even got to break a bottle of champagne on one when it was launched. In February 1944, I went to work for the Internal Revenue Service and worked there until 1956, and then quit to stay home for a while. I forgot to say I married Howard Osage August 8, 1952, and in Feb 1954 he went to work for Olympia Brewery and in 1956 he traveled between here and Bellingham and I quit working so I could go and meet him on Wednesdays, and we would come home on Friday night. Once in a while he would go to Eastern Washington or Oregon, and I would go with him.
In 1961 I went to work for a company that hired you out for temporary work and did this until 1970 when I went to work for United Way of Pierce County and stayed there until December 31, 1983, when I retired.
Howard died August 8, 1974, on our 22nd anniversary and my life changed, thankfully I was working. I stayed in our house on Sheridan St. until 1976, I moved over to an apartment in University Place and stayed there until May of 1977 when I moved into the duplex at 4120 Sunset Drive and stayed there until 1988 (I think it was) when I moved in with Daddy and stayed there until June of 1991 and moved back to an apartment in University Place – in 1992 moved back to 4120 Sunset Drive West – until 1994 when I moved to Puyallup to a mobile home so I could help with Gen – who was on oxygen and couldn’t drive anymore. I stayed there until Dec. 2004. After Gen’s death I moved into her mobile home until July 1, 2016, when I moved into where I am and will stay until who knows when.
Going back to when I retired in 1963, Gen and I did a lot of traveling in my car, at least two or three times a year to Lincoln City, OR. We went to Yellowstone Park in Montana – lots of day trips and had lunch with a couple of Gen’s school friends once a month and as Edna loved to drive, many times we went miles to go somewhere special for lunch. Several times Gen and I went to California, went down for Sue and Mark’s wedding.
Christmas day 1994 I took Gen to church (St. Martin of Tours) and every Sunday after – started taking lessons in September of 1995 to become Catholic and had my first communion at Easter Vigil in 1996. Best thing I have ever done – I have made so many friends especially Barb Hanson & Kathy Horton. Very active in Altar Society and have been V.P. for three years (I say only because they can’t find anyone else). Very active in all the things Altar Society sponsors.
Oh, I loved to knit, crochet and do plastic canvas until my hand gave out. I still love to do crossword and jigsaw puzzles.
Elaine was a remarkable lady who loved and cared deeply for her family and cherished friends. She had encyclopedic knowledge of important dates and aspects of each one of them. We were all amazed at her ability to recall that son or daughter, niece or nephew, where they went to school, when they graduated, and their chosen career path. She loved to reminisce about her family growing up and the Sunday visits to her Grandma and Grandpa Pagel’s homestead in Roy, WA. As a young girl in the late 1920’s she would be thrilled to ride along with her Daddy as he delivered bakery products to businesses as far out as Graham, WA. That would have been quite a journey in those days in that old bread truck.
Until recently, she lived independently, needing in-home care only a few hours each week. Even after her 100th birthday, she was able to make and keep her own appointments, schedule round trips on the Pierce Shuttle to do her own grocery shopping or be with family and friends. And of course, she loved to laugh with the “lunch bunch”, play pinocle and bunco, and do breakfast after church at the Poodle Dog. (By the way, she also loved the Seattle Mariners, and to a lesser extent, Gonzaga basketball).
Elaine is survived by her nephew, Douglas (Robin) Pagel, nieces Julie (Gary) Poe, Susan (Mark) Perry, and 34 great, great-great, and great-great-great-nieces and nephews. She will forever be loved and missed by each of them.
Elaine’s Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, December 16th at 1:00 pm at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Fife, WA at 1:00 PM followed by a luncheon reception. A private inurnment will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made in her name to the St. Martin of Tours Alter Society.