Lucy Love

Formerly of Baker County, 1923-2020

Lucy May Colvard Love, 96, a former longtime Baker County resident, died May 17, 2020, in the comfort of her adult foster home in Portland.

Lucy lived a rich and wonderful life centered around family and ranching in the Lower Powder River Valley. Born on Dec. 23, 1923, at Prairie City, she was the daughter of William and Opal Colvard. She grew up on the Colvard’s ranch on Highway 86, across from the Colvard Store, which her grandfather built, owned, and operated.

Lucy married Stan Wellman in 1944, and their daughter, Judy, was born later that year. After she and Stan divorced, Lucy married her childhood sweetheart, Walter Love, in 1946. The two were married for over 60 years until Walter’s death in 2006.

Lucy and Walter had five children together: William (Bill), Clyde, Thomas (Tom), Edith, and Robert, and Judy made six. Together, they raised their children on the Love ranch near Keating.

Her life was filled with children, ranching, hunting, fishing, gardening, and cooking for her children and grandchildren. She was a fine seamstress, fashioning everything from pearl button western shirts, tap-dancing recital costumes, and prom dresses, on her treadle sewing machine.

Lucy was raised, married, and had her children, all within a mile of her childhood home. As an adult, her home, between Powder River and Goose Creek, was known to many as The Goose Creek Inn because of an open-door policy that brought many visitors and family members for extended stays. Lucy was a devoted daughter who cared for her own parents and Walt’s parents with tenderness and affection near the end of their lives. Similarly, she cared for Walter with infinite love and dedication during the last years of his life.

Lucy was a lifelong member of the Grange. For years, she and Walt attended Saturday night square dances at the old Keating Grange Hall, that is — them and six children. It was quite a scene when all eight of the Love family loaded up and went to a drive-in movie.

Lucy and Walt provided additional blessings for their children by being 4-H leaders for many years. Lucy supported every aspect of 4-H from the time they acquired their lambs, steers, or dairy cows in the early spring until they were shown at the annual Baker County Livestock Show and Sale in August.

Lucy’s eight grandchildren, Stacey, Jill, Gabriel, Will, Lisa, Trevor, Jo Lynn, and Jenny, were fortunate to spend significant amounts of time with her on the Love Ranch and later at her home in Baker City. They remember her as a determined, intelligent, and compassionate lady who could cast a fly better than any fisherman in the state, shoot a robin out of her cherry trees from 50 yards, and grow and preserve enough food every summer to feed her entire family all winter (along with a supply of venison and elk meat, because she was a crackshot). She killed her last elk at the age of 80.

After Walter’s death, Lucy moved to Portland to live with her daughter, Judy, and son-in-law, Mike. During this time, she maintained her practices of sewing, cooking, ironing, gardening, reading, and watching the Portland Trail Blazers. She spent hours watching new species of birds not seen in Eastern Oregon. She loved spending time with her children, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved son, Capt. Clyde Curtis Love, killed in Vietnam; and her husband, Walter Joe. She leaves behind a large family and devoted friends who will remember her for her courage, strength, work ethic, wit, and warmth. It just made you feel good to be numbered as one of hers.

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