Obituaries

Cecilia A Gamez; November 4, 1929 – June 8, 2024

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Cecilia A Gamez passed away peacefully on June 8, 2024, in the presence of family in her home. Up until the end, Cecilia maintained her grace, compassion, love of family and friends, and expressed gratitude for her long life, full of wonderful and varied experiences

Cecilia’s life can best be encapsulated by five “F” words: Family, Food, Friends, Flowers, and Fun. In her 94 years here with us she experienced an abundance of each.

Cecilia was born on November 4, 1929, in Los Angeles, California. She spent her early years in Los Angeles, living with her parents, Josefina and Martin Aguiñaga. She also had four sisters: Theresa Jauregui, Eulalia Aguiñaga, Margaret Aguilera, and Simona Cortez. They all preceded her in death.

Cecilia met her husband, Jose Rodolfo Gamez in El Paso, Texas and they moved to Oakridge Oregon in 1951. Together, they raised nine wonderful children: Josephine Kneaper of Mapleton who preceded her in death, Rosa Robinson of Oakridge, Guadalupe Gardner of Junction City, Barbara Gamez of Portland, Margaret Palanuk of Oakridge, Jose Gamez of Oakridge, Luis Gamez of Oakridge, Raul Gamez of Oakridge, and Julie Barrong of Junction City. 
 Cecilia lost her oldest daughter Josephine and her first granddaughter, Michelle, in a car accident. They are survived by Cecilia’s first grandson, Richard Kneaper, of Springfield, Oregon.

Cecilia’s husband, Jose (also known to many as “Little Joe”, who preceded her in death) worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad for 36 years. His job with the railroad moved the family to Mapleton for a few years from 1962-1971. They returned to Oakridge in 1971, where they built their house on West Commercial Street. Cecilia lived in that house until her passing.

Cecilia was a devoted homemaker who maintained a beautiful and gracious home which was comfortable for her growing family. She made it a point to be as engaged as possible with her many grandchildren. From babysitting, to cooking, crocheting for them, and attending birthday parties, Cecilia delighted in her 21 grandchildren as much as, if not more, than she delighted in raising her children. Cecilia was also blessed in her later years with 29 great grandchildren.

Cecilia made many friends throughout her activities and hobbies in her years of living in Oakridge and Mapleton. Her longest and most cherished friends were Wanda and Lester Reeves of Mapleton. Cecilia loved to be active, frequently attending aerobic classes at the local community center and churches. She loved to dance at the Moose Lodge. She enjoyed frequent walks for exercise and often participated in the local walking groups. She boasted to everyone up until her last days she would walk “three miles a day, rain or shine.”

Cecilia loved her flowers and her vegetable garden. She spent many hours canning each summer to preserve the fruits of her labor.

Cecilia was known for being a fine cook. She delighted in preparing tasty food to share with her family and friends! Teaching herself to cook, via her family recipes passed on from her mother, as well as her vast cookbook collection, Cecilia took great care in making sure to always use the freshest ingredients from her own garden. Cecilia was a master at making fresh homemade tortillas and she made them for every meal for many years. Most of all, she enjoyed having a fresh pot of refried beans and a pile of fresh tortillas for all her grandchildren to enjoy.

Cecilia loved to dance and often shared stories of dancing a mean jitterbug in her younger years. She also loved to travel and maintained a love of adventure and learning throughout her life. She loved her extended family and made yearly visits to Texas and Illinois to see her sisters, as well as her many nieces and nephews. Cecilia loved to travel to Puerto Vallarta and made yearly visits for many years with friends and family. Cecilia was a beautiful woman and mother and will be missed dearly.

A small service at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Oakridge is planned for the near future.

Contributions can be made in her honor to St Michael’s Catholic Church.

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