Obituary of Mary Carolyn Dulebohn
Mary Miller Bundy Dulebohn was born Mary Carolyn Miller at home in Portland Oregon on September 29, 1926 to Burnett Ephraim Miller (1881-1942) and Ida Guyer Miller (1897-1950). Three years later, the Great Depression began, which ushered in Mary’s childhood.
Mary had an older brother, Kenneth Miller, (1920-1972) as well as three younger siblings, Edith Miller McCormick (1932-2002), Burr Miller (1934-2004) and Carl Miller (1936-2006).
Mary’s father, Burr Miller, was a steam shovel operator who lost his right hand in 1929 in the open gears of his excavating machine. Yet, he managed one-armed to support his family during the Great Depression against nearly insurmountable odds.
Mary’s mother Ida Miller was a cook at her husband’s logging camp, who accompanied an American Indian man in a canoe despite her dread of open waters to an island where Ida acted as midwife. In thanks for Ida’s successful efforts, the Indian woman gave her a handmade beaded bag that remains with Mary’s family to this day.
Depression-era deprivations forged in Mary frugality, but also generosity, causing her to share food, belongings and her home with others throughout her life.
Mary and Robert (Bob) Allen Bundy (1925-2017) married near the end of WWII. Bob had served as a tail-gunner in a B-26 bomber. Their son, Eugene was born a year later, and their son Keith was born two and one half years after that. The family moved from Portland to the city of Eugene where Bob graduated with a teaching degree from the University of Oregon.
Mary and her family moved to The Dalles Oregon in 1950 where Mary’s Uncle Pat Guyer had found a teaching job for her husband. She and Bob began to build a house out on Chenoweth Road with the help of Bob’s father, Kingsley D. Bundy, and the young family lived in the basement while the upstairs of the house was being completed.
Due to extenuating circumstances, and the urging of her Grandmother, Clara Amelia Meador Guyer (1869-1955), Mary divorced her husband Bob in 1952.
Mary worked for the Nelson and Rooper CPA firm in The Dalles, and lived in a small rental house on Fifth Street that her employers owned. It was across from the First Congregational Church (currently UCC Congregational). In that era, it was generally impossible for a single woman to have credit in her own name, or to rent a house, especially with two small children. Mary’s younger siblings, Edith, Burr, and Carl helped fix-up the small house on fifth, making it more livable. Soon afterward, Edith came to live with Mary and her sons.
Someone gave Mary a book titled The Magic of Believing, and in many ways her life began to transform as a result. In 1953 Mary acquired a used 13-inch black and white television set. Two years later, she purchased her first used car, and she and her boys no longer had to carry groceries home from distant stores. In her job, Mary became a junior accountant and kept the books for many businesses. She also worked at the Fat Stock Show each year, where she met many people such as Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse, who raised cattle.
Around 1958 Mary and her sons moved into the upstairs of Mildred Galloway’s large home near the courthouse. A year later, Sheriff Mosier threw open a window in the upstairs of the courthouse and yelled at Mary’s boys who were running around on top of the three-story house, “You boys get off that roof right now! I’m calling your mother!”
By 1965 Mary moved to Coeur d’Alene Idaho, and within a year she became the assistant manager of the Hayden Lake Country Club. She rode to work at the “Club” from her home at
Honeysuckle Beach on her Vespa motor scooter down a path in the woods, until a bear attacked a hiker on that same trail, after which Mary drove her car to work.
Mary and her sons purchased a “farm” on the N. Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River in 1969. Keith was serving in Vietnam in the US Army (1968-71) and sent home every penny he made as a Helicopter Crew Chief. Initially, Mary worked for a CPA firm in Kellogg Idaho.
Keith and Gene horse-logged, plus renovated the farm and with their mother purchased Pat’s Boarding House in Kellogg (25 sleeping rooms upstairs plus offices, commercial kitchen and dining room downstairs), which Mary’s sons completely remodeled. Mary began her own accounting firm in Pinehurst, and then in Kellogg. Eventually Mary’s firm had ten employees. The upstairs of the restored boarding house was rented out to an alcohol rehabilitation center, but the accounting offices continued on the ground floor.
Due primarily to the intervention of a local physician, Dr. K. Dahlberg, the EPA discovered the areas’ lead pollution was perhaps the worst ever documented in the history of the world, based on the extremely high lead levels in children from a school near the smelter. That reality caused Mary and her sons to resettle south in the Boise Idaho region, since they had observed the high incidence of serious maladies among local citizens in the “Fabulous Valley,” (later Silver Valley), particularly those who had moved to the area from outside regions.
In 1980 Mary went overseas to work in Israel as a civilian comptroller at a military base. It was there she married Richard (Dick) Dulebohn. Mary and Dick had met at the Unity Church in Boise where she was a founding member. The newly married couple came home from Israel in 1982 to reside in the second house at the farm in N. Idaho (the large 2-story, hand-hewed log house had been sold). Keith used his vacation to help Dick remodel their home. In 1984, Mary and Dick purchased a second house in Spokane, but continued to spend summers at the N. Idaho farm. The couple also: spent time in Findhorn, Scotland, took many college classes, attended 2 different cooking schools in Southern CA, and Mary became a Master Gardener.
In 1992 Dick’s ascending aorta dissected and he was on dialysis for the rest of his life. Soon after dialysis began, Mary and Dick sold their house in Spokane and moved to a home in Post Falls Idaho where they lived until Keith and Gene moved them to their new home in Woodburn Oregon in 1999 (with the help of many relatives).
Mary’s monumental efforts helped keep Dick alive an additional ten years. He died in 2002 while Mary was driving them up highway I-5 North of Woodburn. Mary later said, “He gave out a deep sigh, and that was the end!” She was devastated.
Subsequent to Dick’s passing, Mary joined a Red Hat group in Woodburn where she became their leader. Under her direction their excursions were noteworthy, because she strove to make every outing fun and educational. She also joined the walking club and participated enthusiastically.
In 2010, Mary moved into her son’s house at Dallas where she continued her vegetarian diet, practiced morning yoga, and took long walks several times a day, plus she gardened and landscaped on his property. She had ongoing sewing and craft projects, especially her original hooked rug designs. Mary was noteworthy for her optimistic outlook.
In 2012 Mary published her novel Paul’s Letters to the Nabateans, and subsequently rough- drafted three sequels to it. People who read her book were impressed.
During 2015 at the age of 89, Mary took tap dancing lessons and practiced faithfully every day, even when she visited Keith and Shanti in Idaho.
In 2017 there was a special get-together at Gene’s house attended by Mary’s dear cousin Bill Guyer and his wife Betty, plus Corinne Van Raden (and some of her family: David, Chris, Heidi & Roy). Also present were long-time family friends Darlene Hardie & Jim Pettyjohn from Mary’s days back in The Dalles. In addition, her nieces Mary, Linda, Susan and Sally and their spouses, plus her nephew Jeff and his wife Anne attended. Mary’s son Keith and his wife Shanti were also present from Idaho. Sadly, Betty Guyer passed away later that year.
Still physically fit at the age of 93, in 2019 Mary hand dug a 50-foot-long stepping stone walkway from her son's house to his shop. This involved transporting large stepping stones with a hand truck, and laying out bark chips hauled in her big garden wagon without any help.
In February 2021, a massive ice storm knocked out electric power and phones, including cell towers, and the roads were impassable. Mary’s son Gene discovered her on the floor of her bedroom the next morning. She had gotten up in the night to use the bathroom and fallen in the dark. There was no way to get help for her, so he cared for Mary as best he could. It was a week before Gene was able to get her to the emergency room. Miraculously, she had suffered no broken bones or damage to internal organs. Nevertheless, her recovery was long and slow.
Since Mary’s housekeeping skills had declined, her nieces and nephew came and deep- cleaned for her, which was greatly appreciated.
A series of falls and medical treatments occurred over the next year, and during her last few months Mary spent days on the living room recliner and nights in a hospital bed. Despite that, she had a positive attitude. In fact, her occasional sense of humor caught visiting nurses and medical specialists completely off-guard. (Gene still smiles recalling such incidents.)
In 2021, Corinne V.R. passed away, and in August 2022 Bill Guyer passed also. Both were huge losses for Mary, but she was bolstered by frequent visits of her loving granddaughter Noël and Noël’s husband Jonathan, plus her great granddaughters. On 11-10-22 Mary was visited by caring extended-family: including Nancy from New Jersey, plus Nancy’s sister Betsy and Betsy’s daughter Katie from Canby Oregon. (Nancy and Betsy’s brother “Bill” had passed away in 2018)
On 11-28-22 Mary’s nieces Sally and Linda visited her, and the following day she was visited again by Betsy, plus Betsy’s brother, Jay. Mary’s son Keith called daily from Idaho to talk when she was alert, or enquire how she was doing if she was asleep.
On November 30th 2022, Mary Miller Bundy Dulebohn passed away in her sleep. Gene discovered her that morning lying in bed with a smile on her face.
At the age of 96, Mary was the last of her generation of “kids” whom she’d grown up with. Mary grieved awfully for the loss of her cousin Bill Guyer, his wife Betty, plus Bill’s sister Betty Lou Dyer & Betty’s husband Dick, as well as life-long friend Corinne V.R.
(Gene believes that his mother’s reuniting with beloved friends and relatives as she departed this life is why she passed-on with a smile on her face.)
REST IN PEACE, DEAR MARY!
[ Many people have helped since Mary’s passing. Particularly, Jonathan and Noël’s many days of
support. Niece Mary L, and her sister Sally. Likewise, Darlene H, Keith B, and many others— Thanks you, one and all! ]