Mabel Inez Spry was born November 3, 1919 and passed away peacefully on January 9, 2016. She was born to Fred and Bertha Fox at home on the ranch at Wauconda, Washington.
Spending the first few years at Wauconda, her family then moved to Latah, Wash. for about five years to help her grandmother operate the family farm. They moved back to Wauconda where Mabel attended the Wauconda School. Upon returning to Wauconda, she told the teacher she was in the fourth grade instead of the third grade. She did well advancing one year ahead. As a child, she worked hard on the ranch, but found time to enjoy herself. She loved to be outside skiing in the winter (they had to walk up the hill to ski down), and taking and posing for pictures.
Finishing the eighth grade she stayed home helping with the family ranch, until marrying shortly before her 17th birthday. She married Boyce Maple and had two sons, Freddy and Billy. She lived in Mason City with Boyce while he worked at the Grand Coulee Dam, where Freddy was born in 1937. They then moved back to Wauconda where Billy was born in 1938.
Mabel and Boyce moved to Seattle, where they later divorced. As a single mother supporting two young children she worked as “Rosie the Riveter,” welding ships in the shipyard. She married Ray Cheetham in 1942. She and the boys traveled with Ray to Texas, California and Montana as he was in the Army. They were divorced and she married Leonard Spry in 1949 and they made their home eventually in Alderwood Manor, Wash. She also worked as a waitress and finished her career at Boeing for 15 years before retiring.
She and Leonard spent their retirement years taking various trips around the country. They resided in Alderwood Manor until his death in 1992. Mabel then moved to Tonasket, Wash. a couple of years afer Leonard’s death to be closer to family. She joined the Tonasket Eagles, traveled with friends to Mexico and Alaska, helped with functions at the Eagles and enjoyed morning coffee with several friends for many years. She was involved in most of family get togethers and enjoyed seeing her cousins and their families whenever possible. She was able to be home on her own until age 95 (quite an accomplishment). In the spring of 2015, she moved to the Golden Years adult family home where she received wonderful care until her peaceful passing on January 9, 2016.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; parents, Bertha and Fred Fox; one brother, Earl and her daughter-in-law Berta Maple. She is survived by one brother, Vern Fox; two sons, Fred (Kathy) and Bill Maple; six grandchildren, Laura Temby (Bill), Ken Maple (Melissa), Mary Milliken (Douglas), Sharla Austen (Greg), Heather Fox (Jay) and Jon Maple (Michelle); 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held April 30, at 1 p.m. at the Tonasket Eagles.
Please no flowers. Make any donations to the Tonasket Eagles Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2107, Tonasket, WA 98855. (Make checks payable to Tonasket Eagles.) For information call Fred Maple, 509-486-2337.