December 26, 1933 - January 25, 2021
Lorna Marie Spain, 87, of La Grande, passed away on January 25, 2021. Family had been with her in the final days while in hospice care.
Given the Covid-19 virus restrictions for safe gathering along with safe travel for friends and family across state and country borders, the “Celebration of Life” service for Lorna will be determined at a later time — possibly next year. In the meantime, Lorna’s ashes will be buried at Grandview Cemetery in La Grande, Oregon, for friends and family to be able to pay their respects.
Lorna was born on December 26, 1933, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to Loran Henry Allen and Margaret Emma Zurn. She was born the fourth of eight children. The family moved to Oregon in 1940 and eventually settled in Burns, where Lorna graduated from high school in 1952. She was married to Roger Dan Allen from April 1953-1969. In 1975, Lorna moved to La Grande, Oregon, where she met and married King Elwin Spain Sr. in 1978.
Lorna and Roger’s early life began in the Navy and having six children. The Navy gave the family a way to travel across the United States with much of their life spent in Groton (Mystic), Connecticut. In 1965, the family moved to Burns, Oregon, until Roger retired from the Navy in 1968. Lorna’s move to La Grande, Oregon, led way to employment with Boise Cascade for 23 years. She began her career with Boise Cascade as an administrative assistant to becoming the manager of inventory and personnel for five mills throughout Union County.
Marriage to King Spain brought new adventure to Lorna’s life and family. The marriage was filled with love, trust, respect, support, poetry, music, fun, and lots of family for 24 years. Lorna then retired in 1994, enrolled in Eastern Oregon University in 1995 where she took courses which led her to obtaining a major in Liberal Arts and minor in Music and Geology. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2002.
Lorna was a member of the Grande Ronde Symphony playing violin. In 2005, Lorna was elected as the President of the Grande Ronde Symphony Board of Directors for 10 years. In collaboration with Eastern Oregon University music director Leandro Espinosa, many symphony performances and concerts were provided for the community members in La Grande and
Baker City. Lorna was given an honorary lifetime Grande Ronde Symphony President award that was unanimously voted by the Board for the many hours she dedicated to the symphony and for all her leadership contributions. Her leadership contributions were in bringing about financial stability, setting up a reserve fund and setting up $50,000 worth of permanently endowed scholarship for the symphony. In 2011, the Eastern Oregon University President presented Lorna with the Woman of Vision & Courage award.
Following King’s death in 2003, Lorna continued to live in La Grande until 2016 when she then moved to Birch Bay, Washington, to live closer to family and live by the ocean. Lorna’s wide circle of family and friends reflected her wide range of interests in reading, music, violin, art and poetry where connection and communications were of greatest importance to her.
Lorna is survived by her children Cindy Preston and Tony Melnechuk, Teresa Allen, Daniel Allen and Elizabeth, Valerie and Keith Braun, Jomarie and Steve Mouro; her grandchildren and spouses, Matthew Braun, Taylor and Ryan Nelson, Chad and Simone Braun, Erin and Andrew Hanson, Tyler Mouro and Spencer Mouro; and great-grandchildren, Tegan Braun, Tobias Nelson, Paisley Braun and Cooper Braun. She is also survived by three stepchildren and several stepgrandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband, King Spain; husband, Roger Allen; son, Douglas Allen; and siblings, Tom Allen, Otis Allen, Edith Lawrence and Jim Allen.