Vera Lou (Mackenzie) Hotchkiss

Born: Mon., Aug. 26, 1929
Died: Wed., Mar. 1, 2017

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Sat., Mar. 11, 2017
Location: Pioneer Presbyterian Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Pioneer Presbyterian Church at 11 AM, for Vera Mackenzie Hotchkiss, age 87.

Vera was born August 26, 1929 to Dorothy Holmes and William Mackenzie. She was raised as the third-generation on her family’s ranch in Ukiah, Oregon.

Vera went to Oregon State College where she majored in home economics, with the goal of “obtaining her MRS degree.” In 1949 she was asked if she would go on a blind date with Dick Hotchkiss. Having been raised on a ranch without electricity, she had made up her mind that she was not going to live that way the rest of her life. So she decided when she went to college she wouldn’t date anyone unless he had electricity. She told the friend who was arranging the date, to find out if he was wired for 220. He was. On April 22, 1950 they were married, for almost 52 years. To this union were born 3 daughters, Judy, Susan, and Nancy.

Dick also was the third-generation on his family ranch in Burns , Oregon. They formed a partnership with his parents Don Hotchkiss and Ethel Whiting. In 1960 the ranch was incorporated as Hotchkiss Corp. In 1992 they and daughter Susan and son-in-law Mark Doverspike purchased the Mayo ranch at Riley. In 2004 they purchased part of the Culp Ranch.

Vera helped organize home extension work in Harney County, and was one of the first officers in the Harney County Cowbells. She was ordained as an elder in the Pioneer Presbyterian Church, served as Sunday school superintendent , and took communion to shut-ins.

She taught 4-H sewing clubs and led the 4-H leaders Association. She was on the Harney County Planning Council, and  a charter member of the High Desert Recreation Area.

She served as chairman of the Burns Union High School board. In April 1973 she was chosen as the Chamber of Commerce citizen of the month, and in 1974 as woman of the year.

She spent a very large part of her life as a loving and devoted caregiver for the rest of her family through the numerous challenges of life. Her example taught the younger generations the how to and significant of doing this.

Dick and Vera always planned and sacrificed to enable future generations to continue on the ranch. Their great-grandchildren Oliver, Lauren, and Elliott Doverspike are now the 6th generation on the ranch.
Vera was preceded in death by her parents, husband Dick, sisters Jean Wise and Marge Barnes Fish, and daughter Nancy. She is survived by her daughters Judy and Susan, son-in-law Mark Doverspike, 6 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Harney County Senior Center designated for the food bank, in care of LaFollette's Chapel; P.O. Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720

Charitable donations may be made in Vera's memory to the following organization:

Harney County Senior Citizen Center

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