Vivian Lois Birch Emry

Vivian Birch Emry
Vivian Birch Emry

Vivian Lois Birch Emry arrived for the party on Christmas Eve 1922, in Whitetail, Montana. It was a party she always loved from the planning to the cleaning up. From the beginning of her life to the end on October 30, 2019.

The fourth child of Vera and Archie Birch, she would ultimately be one of ten children. Vivian is the last of them to die, very close to her 97th birthday.

The family moved from Montana to Oroville, Washington in 1931 where Archie’s sister, Florence Doerr and husband I.J. Doerr, lived. I.J. Doerr helped Archie get a job as a janitor of the local elementary school and Vera brought six children by train from Eastern Montana to join Archie. At almost the same time the Emry family moved from Eastern Nebraska to Oroville.

Vivian graduated from Oroville High School and married Cleland Emry on September 5, 1942. Soon after Cleland was inducted into the U.S. Army to serve during World War II. Vivian and her family moved to the Bremerton area where she was a timekeeper at the Bremerton shipyards.

After the war, Cleland and Vivian moved to Yakima to work in the apple industry. It was here their first child was born (Luanne). The family then moved to Spokane where Cleland attended the trade school on the G.I. bill, training to be a newspaperman. Upon finishing his training, Cleland and family moved to Poulsbo, Washington and his first job at the Bremerton Sun newspaper. Daughters Gayle and Joanie were born during this time.

In 1956 the family moved back to Oroville and Cleland began working at the Oroville Gazette. Vivian was a stay at home mom. In the late 1950’s she began packing apples in local warehouses. She would save money from packing apples and remodel her home and buy the latest appliances. She enjoyed canning fruit and making apple pies, lots of apple pies. She and Cleland loved to square dance and were members of the Border Squares club. They hosted many square dances in their backyard and performed on a flatbed truck during the May Day Parades.

In the 1960’s she began her love of travel. She went to Europe a couple of times, Hawaii and the east coast. In the 1970s after the Gazette bought the Tonasket Tribune she began working in the Tonasket front office.

In 1978 she and Cleland bought a home in Molson and started a restaurant called the Molson House. She cooked and was a waitress. They joined the Grange and became active in all of the “goings on.” They both loved playing pinochle at the Grange and socially whenever anyone came to visit. After Cleland passed away in 1986 she continued to live in Molson. She was active in the Grange and the Women’s Auxiliary and was the women’s activity director. She worked at pancake feeds and the Chesaw Rodeo hamburger booth. She spent many summers baking lemon bars providing them to the Molson Museum. She enjoyed spending time as a volunteer at the museum. She was Grand Marshall of the Molson Summer Festival. She continued to enjoy her pinochle. She joined the women’s choir in Osoyoos and enjoyed the social time. To celebrate her 80th birthday she jumped out of an airplane (skydiving).

When she was no longer able to maintain the house in Molson she moved to Vashon Island, Washington in 2014 and lived with her daughter Joanie. She returned to Tonasket and spent her last days at the Extended Care Home.

She is survived by her daughters, Luanne (John) Billings, Gayle (Dan) See, Joanie Raymond; granddaughter, Beth (Raymond) Hawkins; grandsons Phillip (Elizabeth) Raymond, Andy (Jessi) Raymond, Matthew See, Luke See and seven great grandchildren.

Memorial service will be at 11 am, Nov. 16 at the Molson Grange Hall. Bergh Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.