Elsie Fuhrman Gillings, oldest child of Ray and Ora Fuhrman, was born on May 11, 1921. Her childhood together with her siblings was spent up Tunk Creek. She was an Omak Stampede princess representing Riverside. She graduated from Riverside High School in 1938, valedictorian of her class.
From Tunk Creek she moved to Seattle. There she attended Mr. Lee’s Beauty School. Her next goal was to work as a beautician while attending the University of Washington, majoring in library science. A handsome trolley driver, who grew up in Omak, changed those plans.
On Sep. 26, 1941, she and Robert Gillings were married in Seattle. Shortly thereafter they returned to Omak to own and operate the family apple orchard on Pogue Flat. Raising apples, a huge vegetable garden and two kids kept them very busy for the next 20 years. In addition to homemaking and orchard duties, she sewed clothes and styled the hair. She belonged to the Nellie E. Scott Orthopedic Guild.
The orchard was sold in 1966 and our folks enjoyed their home on Dewberry Avenue overlooking the valley. She worked parttime tracking the sale of apples at the Omak-Okanogan Growers' warehouse. She perfected her skills at making candles and cone baskets. particularily loved the summer visits of her grandchildren.
About a year after the death of her husband in 1998, she purchased a home in Horizon Estates. There she grew tomatoes for her neighbors, enjoyed the monthly potlucks, travelled occasionally, completed counted cross stitch projects and read books.
In 2009 declining health necessitated a move to Apple Springs Senior Living; after a further decline in health, she lived at Rosegarden Care Center. She died on Sept. 26, 2013. She received quality care from her physician, Dr. Robert Justus, and the staff at Apple Springs Senior Living and Rosegarden Care Center. Those who care for others are angels.
Her parents, Ray and Ora Fuhrman; brother, Vic Fuhrman; and husband, Robert Gillings predeceased her.
She is survived by her son, Jim Gillings, of Eugene, Ore.; daughter and son-in-law, Sandy and Bill Rudd of Lake Tapps, Wash.; granddaughter, Sarah Gillings of University Place, Wash.; grandson, Mark Gillings of Bothell, Wash.; sister, Helen Garrett of Omak; and many nieces and nephews.
An informal celebration of life gathering will take place between 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, 2013, in the club house at Horizon Estates, 715 Quince Street, Omak.
We look forward to visiting with all those who knew her for whatever length of time they are able to join us.
Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel and the Okanogan Co. Crematory of Okanogan are caring for the arrangements.