Gordon LeRoy Mooney, age 93, beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully on October 15, 2013 at North Valley Extended Care in Tonasket. Gordon was born December 11, 1919 in Molson at his grandmother’s home to Roy and Celeste Mooney.
He joined his sister, Celeste and later sister Lola followed. Gordon grew up in Molson, helping his father at the creamery and delivering milk to folks in his wagon. He graduated from Molson High School in 1937.
Although Gordon pursued several jobs and businesses, farming was in his blood. He began farming on a small place on nine mile road near Molson in 1942, which became the beginning and heart of “the Ranch.” He added a farm in Oroville just south of town in 1948, where he and his dad built a large barn that still stands today. In 1954, he met and married Lorraine Potter, who had a daughter, LaVerne. Daughter Corinne arrived in spring of 1956 and the family moved to the Ranch later that summer. Diane Gail followed in 1958 and Wayne in 1960. Gordon worked hard to build up his ranch, adding more acreage as one by one neighboring farms came up for sale. These eventually accumulated to some 2000 acres, which he ran and worked virtually by himself. In 1958, he was chosen as Conservation Farmer of the Year for his ‘well rounded, dry land farming practices”.
Gordon and Lorraine divorced in 1973. Then, in 1977, Gordon was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and married the love of his life, Jeanette Shepard. They purchased an orchard in Oroville and moved off the hill to operate their new enterprise.
Gordon loved flying, owning and flying several planes over the years. He enjoyed telling stories of his adventures and his family loved to hear his exciting tales. He and Jeanette avidly took up snow skiing and water skiing, which he patiently taught all the grandkids.
After he retired, he and Jeanette were able to take numerous trips and cruises to many places. Gordon loved snorkeling and scuba diving and even went parasailing at the age of 70.
This intelligent, kind and gentle man will be greatly missed by his large family and many spiritual brothers and sisters. He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend who always put others needs before his own.
Gordon is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jeanette and her children, Sheri Shepard of Pennsylvania and her daughter Heather and John (Anne) Shepard of Seattle; three daughters: LaVerne (Ron) Durheim of Palmer, Alaska and their children, Marlena and Jeremy; Corinne (Michael) Clark of Spokane and children, Dusti, Clifford, Justin and Matthew Gilbert; Gail (Ray) Harden of Oroville and children Ty and Brandi; son: Wayne (Donna) Mooney of Spokane and children, Katey, Jesse and Hannah; sister: Lola (Bob) Power of Omak; sister-in-law: Linda Cook of Tonasket and 15 grandchildren.
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, an older infant brother, Roy Jr.; sister, Celeste Quilliam; brother-in-law, Lawson Cook and father-in-Law, Albert Libby.
A Memorial is planned for Saturday, November 9 at 1:30 p.m. at the Oroville Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This will be followed by refreshments at the Tonasket High School Commons.
The family would like to thank Dr. Helleson and his staff, and all the staff at North Valley Extended Care for all their kindness and care to Gordon as well as to his family.