Baker City, 1942-2020
Julia Anne “Julie” French 78, a longtime resident of Baker City, died Aug. 19, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, 2235 First St. in Baker City. Rev. Suresh Telagani will celebrate the Mass. Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Due to COVID-19 regulations, masks and social distancing are requested. A luncheon in the St. Francis Parish Hall will follow the interment. The Mass will be live streamed and it can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTOgtOg_f7HWOs8sIL9gCUw
Julia Anne “Julie” MacKenzie was born on May 9, 1942, at Ontario to Elenor and Norman “Scotty” MacKenzie.
After moving 10 times in her first 15 years of life, Julie found her forever home in Baker. She arrived at St. Francis Academy a shy sophomore but soon settled in, joining the Glee Club, Pep Club and was on the Chimes Staff (yearbook). She made true lifelong friends, some of whom became family when she married James French, a Baker native, in 1961. Their backyard was full of flowers, children, rabbits, laughter, Easter egg hunts and volleyball.
Julie was an amazing wife, mom, Scout leader, roller skater, grandma, friend and community volunteer. Her early retirement from the Baker County Health Department coincidentally coincided with the births of two of her six grandchildren. She loved being with the grandkids and took them for days at a time so cousins could spend more time with cousins — and she could spend more time with them. They painted ceramics, played dress up, went swimming (followed by ice cream at Charlie’s) and baked sooo many treats. She somehow never noticed that more sprinkles went in their mouths than on the cookies.
Julie enjoyed brunch with friends after church, browsing nurseries and yard sales on a sunny day. Julie was an active member of the St. Francis de Sales Parish and Altar Society and helped wherever needed. She served lunch to seniors in the community even when needing oxygen herself, and boarded planes to travel with her granddaughters, in spite of a fear of flying.
As Julie’s illness progressed, she never lost her faith, her sense of humor, or her amazing strength and spirit. Nurses said they fought over caring for her — and we believe them! her family said. She continued teaching us about love, strength and gratitude until her final day.
Julie passed in her sleep, in her own bed, and we believe, on her own terms. Our family would like to thank her wonderful, amazing friends for your support these last few years. It meant the world to mom and to us.
Julie is survived by her children: Susan (Russ) Doescher of Pendleton, Cheryl (Craig) Austin of Wilsonville, and Jim (Amber) French of Terrebonne; six grandchildren: James and Michael French, Alexis and Cole Austin, and Jacob and Brittney Doescher; two great-grandchildren; her brother, Finlay MacKenzie; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Any flowers received will be redistributed after the service to Heart ’N Home hospice patients as mom so enjoyed posies.
To those wishing to make contributions in Julie’s memory, the family suggests St. Francis de Sales, or the Lupus Foundation of America. Donations can be directed through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
To light a candle in Julie’s memory, go to www.colestributecenter.com