On July 23, 1913, the birth of Irma Catherine was celebrated by her parents Edward T. and May C. Egbert and her brother Theron. She was the youngest of the Egbert grandchildren so she had her brother and several cousins for playmates. When she was eight she started piano lessons and in high school she gave piano lessons and by request did art work. She spent much of her summers at the family Summit Meadows cabin.
When Irma was eleven years old Pacific Power sponsored an essay contest on home lighting. Irma’s essay won the grand prize in The Dalles.
Irma graduated from The Dalles High School and the University of Oregon. At the university she was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority and her last two years she was employed to assist Victoria Avakian (Ross) in the art department. Her senior year she assisted Miss Avakian in making pottery that was auctioned in Los Angeles to assist in raising money for the start of the Alumni Kiln on Corbett Street in Portland (which became Contemporary Crafts). During her senior year the university entered one of her pottery pieces in the International Exhibition in Paris, France. While in the university she held sorority offices and was on the Arts Council.
She returned to The Dalles and was employed by the county agent’s
office until she married. She married her U of O boyfriend Gordon Gedney and was employed by the Rural Electric Administration at Wasco Electric Co-Op while lines were being built and operation started. After this, they made their home in Portland, 11 years in Maywood Park and 49 years in Laurelhurst. Their daughter Joan was born while they were in Maywood.
Irma did volunteer work. During the war she was an airplane spotter and did Red Cross work. She was the first primary church school superintendent of St. Matthews Episcopal Church and started a “Play School.” She was a Blue Bird and Campfire leader and held Sigma Kappa Alumni and PTA offices.
They spent much time during these 50 years at their Manzanita beach home. Gordon passed on in 1987. Fifteen years later Irma sold their homes and moved to the Hollywood town house.
Irma enjoyed homemaking, sewing, gardening, reading and walking, usually with their current Chow dog. She was a member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, The Eastern Star, AAUW, and Dirt Dabblers Garden Club.
Irma spent the last years of her life with her daughter in Pendleton. She celebrated her 100th birthday with relatives and friends at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.
She is survived by her daughter Joan Gedney Deroko, Pendleton; one cousin, Hubert Harms, Warren; and several second and third cousins.
Memorial services will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Pendleton on Saturday, November 25 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Irma asks contributions be made to the Pendleton Center for the Arts or Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.
Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements. Sign the online condolence book at www.burnsmortuary.com.