Dee and Doris chosen as 2012 May Festival Grand Marshals

Doris Reynolds and Dee Patterson are this year's Oroville May Festival Grand Marshals. The identical twins say they are proud and excited to be the Grand Marshals and look forward to the May Festival festivities. Photo by Gary DeVon

Doris Reynolds and Dee Patterson are this year’s Oroville May Festival Grand Marshals. The identical twins say they are proud and excited to be the Grand Marshals and look forward to the May Festival festivities. Photo by Gary DeVon

OROVILLE – The Meyers twins, better known locally as Dee Paterson and Doris Reynolds, have been selected to be this year’s grand marshals for May Festival.

“We were shocked when the girls told us… we are really proud that they asked us,” said Doris and Dee about the news they were chosen.

A common sight around Oroville, the twins belong to several volunteer organizations, including the American Legion Auxiliary, the Oroville Grange, Royal Neighbors and Rebeccas, as well as being very involved in the United Methodist Church.

“We feel when you volunteer it makes for a better place,” said Dee.

“We’re friendly people and we enjoy people, especially children,” adds Doris.

Born in Sinclair, Wyoming, an oil town, the ladies moved a lot growing up as their father worked on various dams in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington State.

“When Dee and I were born at home we were two and a half pounds each and not expected to live,” said Doris. “They took us in shoe boxes on top of hot water bottles to the nearest hospital which was 50 miles away. There we were in incubators for over two months.”

When they were healthy enough the infant twins went to live for awhile on their grandparent’s cattle ranch which was nearer the hospital.

“When we lived in Wyoming we loved the outdoors, whether it was warm or cold out. There wasn’t a whole lot to do otherwise… only one radio station to listen to. We loved to ride our bikes and go roller skating.”

After attending schools in Wyoming and Idaho the girls, now high school sophomores, moved with their family to Okanogan where they graduated in 1955.

In Okanogan they said they liked to go to dances, never missing a junior prom. They also kept busy at school with art classes, painting the downtown business windows at Christmas, Halloween and during other holidays.

“We didn’t switch classes in school like you hear other twins do, but I do remember going to a movie in Brewster once and we got up to get popcorn and switched. When our dates took us home we said that we had switched and they said they didn’t believe us… they could tell us apart,” said Doris.

After graduation the family moved to Idaho and the young ladies found jobs.

“We worked for awhile and I got married to Dick and we moved to Oroville in 1956,” said Dee. “I remember looking at the map of the various states when I was younger and always seeing the big red apple on Washington, I never dreamed I’d be farming apples with my husband in Washington one day.”

In addition to growing apples, Dee said she worked over the years in various apple warehouses in Oroville. She also worked for a time at the Oroville Public Library and at the Oroville School District.

She volunteered for 4H and Theda Ro and taught her young charges sewing and cooking.

Doris went to business college in Idaho and even worked for awhile at the Atomic Energy Commission. She was working with her dad for Morrison and Knudson construction when she met her future husband, David Reynolds, who was also working for the firm on the Wanupum Dam near Vantage, Wash. Her husband later worked for Boeing and she worked for the Edmonds School District for over 20 years. After they retired they decided to move to Oroville, where David would serve a term as mayor.

Dee and Richard Patterson have three children, Karen (Rob), Keith (Sherry) and Warren (Lisa), as well as six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Doris and David Reynolds have two children, Gary (Shan) and Lori (Gerry).

Both ladies have belonged to the Rebecca Lodge for several years, Dee in Oroville and Doris in Edmonds.

“I ended up being president for Rebecca Assembly for Eastern Washington. It was so nice to go to visit all the lodges on the eastern side of the state. You really don’t get to know a place until you visit every town, big and small. I was grand marshal for the International Rebeccas and Doris traveled with me to Tennessee and we had a grand time,” said Dee.

The ladies will have a place of honor in the grand parade on Saturday, May 12 during May Festival and also attend many of the other activities during the annual festival.