With a heavy heart, we announce the death of Lauretta Ann Mayhew (nee Pudwill) on June 4, 2020. Lauretta died quietly at her daughter’s home in California at the age of 96. Due to the current pandemic, plans for a local memorial service at St. Francis Catholic Church have been postponed until a later date. Her ashes will be interred with her husband’s at Eagle Point Veteran’s Cemetery in Oregon.
Born on October 13, 1923 in Herreid, South Dakota, Lauretta was the third of nine children. She grew up in South Dakota and Minnesota, graduating from high school in Detroit Lakes. Lauretta moved to Tennessee with a friend and there met her future husband Ralph Mayhew. After a whirlwind, war-time romance, Lauretta and Ralph married on July 12, 1943. Over the years of their marriage, they lived in Texas, California, Utah, Newfoundland, and South Carolina before retiring from the military and settling in California. They raised six children along the way.
Lauretta and Ralph moved to Orcas Island in 1999 to join two of their daughters’ families, where she was a constant part of her grandchildren’s lives; attending recitals, school concerts, soccer games, and family dinner nights. In the words of one grandchild: Lauretta was the epitome of a good grandmother; whenever her grandkids needed taking care of, she always welcomed them with open arms. She cooked for, played games with, and cared for them like they were her own children. She probably never realized how much of a positive impact she had on her grandchildren, but her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Her dedication when it came to taking care of her family was admirable.
Lauretta loved nothing better than being with her family. Her fondest memories were of big family holidays when the house was filled to bursting. She has 18 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. After raising her own children, she was always up for babysitting. Lauretta was a quiet but playful person. She was a devoted Catholic, an avid reader, and a good artist with an unabashed sense of fun and play.
Lauretta is survived by: the local families of daughter Laurie Mayhew (husband Chris Waage, and children Zach and Meg Mayhew Waage) and Marcia Taylor (children Julie Pearson Hogle, Ben Pearson, and Samantha Taylor); two sons in Oregon, Mark Mayhew (wife Cindy and children Roree, Eliga, and Paul Mayhew) and Ralph Mayhew (wife Dana and children Lauhri, Mary, Ralph, and Loren Mayhew); and two daughters in California, MaryAnn Blue (husband Gary and children Deann Woollensack, Diann Malonee, Debbie Blue, Jennifer Ramey, and Elizabeth Blue) and daughter Christine Baumann (children Joseph and Angelina Baumann). Lauretta is also survived by her siblings, Martha Lowe, Joseph Pudwill, Mary Neuland, and nieces and nephews more numerous than the stars. Lauretta was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, sisters Caroline Nester and Rosalie Keyes, and brother’s Paul Pudwill, Henry Pudwill, and Edwin Pudwill. She was part of a large and devoted family and will very much be missed.