Zora Arbetta Thissell, 99 years old passed away on February 27, 2023. She was born July 17, 1923, in Oregon City, Oregon, to Guy Franklin Lantz and Grace Elizabeth (Williamson) Lantz. A memorial luncheon will be held at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at Deer/Buck Creek.
When Zora was six years old, the family moved to Terrebonne, Oregon, where she started school. Her father owned and operated a slaughterhouse where he supplied meat to the military during the depression. He also had a still under the slaughterhouse, and he would take whiskey to Oregon City during prohibition and the depression. He did this to support his family. Later her family moved to Tillamook, Ore., where Zora finished her schooling.
The couple moved to Deer Creek to the Simonson Logging camp; from this union, two children were born, Harley and Arbetta. Cimon and Zora later divorced.
In 1948 Zora met and married Clyde Thissell. Clyde brought his three girls Donna, Fern, and Cathy, to this union. Later the two had two more daughters, Clydia and Glenna, and became a family of nine. They later moved to Seneca, Ore. Where Clyde went to work for the Joe Oliver Ranch. Zora cooked for the hired hands, taught Sunday school, was the president of the PTA and participated in the women’s auxiliary.
They later moved to the Southworth Ranch in Seneca, Ore., where Zora had some of her happiest times. She grew her garden, rode with Clyde, and did all the activities she loved.
They left Seneca and bought acreage in Burns, Ore., where they homesteaded on Dog Mountain. They cleared the land, drilled wells, planted alfalfa, and built their home. They ended up with over 1,000 acres of fertile land. Zora spent some time dousing and witched many wells for Clyde and his brother Walter. During this time, Clyde had contracts with the government, building fence, thinning, and gathering wild horses. Zora would go with him and cook for the men in all the camps. She also worked at the Burns nursing home and laundry mat.
When the couple semi-retired, they moved into Burns, and Zora owned and operated a pet store in Hines, Oregon, next to Neils Tavern; she eventually moved it into Burns. After selling the Pet store, they moved to Dayville, Ore., where Clyde passed away in 1986. Zora started work in Mt. Vernon at the Wounded Buffalo.
She sold out in Dayville and moved to Prineville, Ore., to be closer to her daughter Glenna. While living in Prineville, she worked for the forest service and hosted at many campgrounds. She loved hosting, visiting with people, and living in the woods.
In 2018 she moved to Valley View Assisted Living in John Day, Ore., where she participated in activities that Kim and Janet provided, such as Bingo and ceramics. She painted her last piece in November 2022.
She loved camping, gardening, cooking, reading, and her flowers. Throughout her life, she thoroughly enjoyed her dogs. Her family doesn’t remember a time she didn’t have a four-legged companion.
Zora is survived by her son, Harley (Jill) Munger of Cali., Daughters, Donna Harper of Mont., Fern Thissell (Richard) of Ore., Catherine Gerba of Fla., Arbetta (Mike) Masters of Wash., Glenna (Dennis) Jordan of Ore., brother-in-law Dick (Beverly) Thissell of Ore., sister-in-law Clara Thissell of Ore., 22 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and great-great-great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Clyde, brother Harley Lantz, daughter Clydia, granddaughter Leah Arie and great-grandson Keith.
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