Genon Shirley Pickering (a.k.a. Ma, Grandma Pick, Auntie Non, Mother Pick) passed peacefully on June 30, surrounded by family and listening to the classic country music she loved so much. Genon was born August 9, 1935, to Charles and Hazel Anderson.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 22 years, Glen Pickering, her parents, sisters Alice Grey, Juanita Sutton, brothers Howard Anderson, William Anderson, John Anderson, and her best friend of more than 70 years, Josephine Miller.
She is survived by her sister Jermaine Brugh, brother Sidney Anderson, sons Louis Gattman (Denise), Robert Gattman (LaVonna), Brian Pickering (Annie), Don Pickering (Roni DeVon), adopted daughter Christina Arreola (Ed), as well as countless grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Family was the most important thing to her; Genon was happiest when surrounded by her family. She helped create a family reunion in 1971 – which is now an annual week-long event, including a kids’ penny carnival, banquet, card games and nights catching up around a fire.
Genon had a varied career over the years. She worked as a nursing assistant in a long-term care facility. She and her husband Glen worked at the Corum orchard for many years, and she was the crew boss at the Longanecker orchard. She also managed her own several acre orchard, which she and her family planted. Her grandchildren cherished spending time in the “Apple Kingdom,” as one grandchild wrote years later.
Genon also worked at Hughes Floral for over 20 years. She was responsible for transplanting the seedlings used for plant starts (she referred to that part of her job as a “plant poker”). She particularly enjoyed the floral deliveries – she loved seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they saw the flowers that had been thoughtfully chosen for them.
Genon was an adventurous lady! She loved to travel, and some of her fondest memories were of the times she spent seeing the country in a motorhome with her traveling companion of many years, Donald Sutton “Sutt.” Her favorite getaway was the family cabin at Lake Bonaparte – a special place for her. She loved to fish, and went ice fishing every President’s Day weekend. When the fish weren’t biting she could often be tearing down the hill on a sled with her grandchildren. She was an avid gardener, played pinochle almost daily, and at age 78 was still riding every thrill ride at Silverwood theme park. Her favorite phrase was: “What do you say when you’re having fun? Yee-HAW!” There was always someone yelling “Yee-HAW” when she was near.
Her family was outside looking up at the night sky after she passed and observed the incredibly rare noctilucent clouds, followed by a brilliant shooting star. They have no doubt who orchestrated that particular show. To all those who knew and loved Genon – Cheerio!
A Celebration of Life for Genon will be held at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 213 S. Western Avenue, in Tonasket on July 10, at 11 a.m.
Bergh Funeral Service of Oroville/Tonasket is in care of arrangements.