Eunice Iola Hurt Hegle passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014.
She was born at home in rural Kentucky on January 13, 1932. At only four pounds, she was wrapped in a dish towel, laid in a shoe box and put on the oven door for warmth. Despite her uncertain beginnings, she enjoyed good health for most of her life, winning a perfect attendance award for all 12 years of school. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, which took its sad toll on her and her family.
Eunice hoped one day to be a medical missionary, but the prohibitive cost of medical school caused her to change to teaching. She graduated from Olivet Nazarene College near Chicago with a degree in education. She would later receive a Masters degree in Science Education. She met her husband, Ed, during that time and after they were married, they came to Portland to attend Western Evangelical Seminary. After seminary, they pastored several churches in Washington and Oregon before settling in Salem with their two children.
Eunice wore many hats in her life: pastor’s wife, daughter, sister, teacher, librarian, volunteer, gardener, seamstress, food-preserver, cat-lover, bird watcher, puzzle worker, knitter, and one summer, she and Ed lived at a fire look-out near Mt. Hood. She relished her role as an adult Sunday school teacher for decades – especially studying the Old Testament. Even though she had left Kentucky decades ago, she remained a true “Southern lady” and collected Cardinal bird figurines that reminded her of home. But the hat she most loved to wear was that of mother and grandmother. She was a “can-do” type of lady and she was always asking what she could do to make our lives easier. She doted on her two grandchildren and was so pleased to find out that she would be a great-grandmother in the fall. She loved books and reading and passed that on to the kids and grandkids by reading to them and keeping them well supplied with books.
She taught school for more than 40 years in different locations, including 25 years at Salem Academy and several years as a tutor for the Salem Keizer School District. Chemistry, physics, and Bible were her main subjects. She especially loved teaching college-bound seniors who were serious about school.
Eunice had some difficult times in her life, but she always testified to the saving grace of God and His care for her no matter the situation. She trusted that her life was in His hands.
She was an active member of the Salem Free Methodist Church since 1969 and she will be missed by her family and many friends.
She was preceded in death by husband, Ed, in 2008. She is survived by her children: Terry Hegle (Ruth) of Keizer, and Yvonne Dahl Alameda (Stan) of Bend. Also by her grandchildren: Lisa Hegle Sinks of Keizer, and David Hegle (Ashley) of Portland, and her brother Howard Hurt of Kentucky.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of Hawthorne House of Salem and Willamette Valley Hospice for their tender care of her during her last days.
A memorial service will be held at Salem Free Methodist Church, 4455 Silverton Rd. NE on Wednesday, May 21, at 1 p.m. Reception to follow. Memorials may be made to the Children’s Ministry at the church.