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Genevieve Jackson Sperb

April 26, 1917 - Aug. 21, 2013 -


Genevieve Jackson Sperb Genevieve Virginia Jackson was born on April 26, 1917, in the family home on the Jackson farm, about six miles south of Canby. She died on August 21, 2013, surrounded by family. She was the second daughter of Benjamin Jackson and Frieda Kraxberger Jackson. She had a life long, close relationship with her sister, Letha Elinor (Judd), born July 18, 1915.

Genevieve is the descendent of two Clackamas County pioneer families. Francis Jackson and sons arrived in Oregon in the 1840s and the Kraxberger families arrived in the 1890s.

Following their marriage in 1914, Ben and Frieda Jackson moved into a new home on the Jackson farm, where they lived for their entire lives.

Their daughters, Genevieve and Letha, grew up on the family farm and attended Dryland Grade School and Molalla High School. They enjoyed the idyllic farm life with cows, sheep, pigs, grains, and lush gardens. The family graduated from a horse and buggy to a Ford touring car in the 1920s. Following high school graduation in 1934, Genevieve, always the adventurous one, moved to the big city, Portland, where she went to work at Jantzen Knitting Mills and acquired the nickname “Jackie,” derived from her last name. While visiting an aunt in the city, she met a handsome and mischievous paper boy, Ray Lester, who won her heart, and they were married in 1936. During the 1930s through 1960s she worked at U.S. Bank and Concordia College. Jackie and Ray spent many weekends on the family farm and many weekends at their home on the Deschutes River in central Oregon. Hawaii was their home for two years when Ray’s work took them there.

Following the death of her father in l972, Jackie and Ray moved back to the family farm to live with her mother. She worked at the First National Bank in Molalla during this time. Their enjoyment of farm life was cut short when Ray died in 1976.

Later she met and married Glenn Gottwald, and they enjoyed many years together before his death. She married Bill Sperb in 1990 and moved to Aurora, where they enjoyed “city” life until Bill’s death in 2010.

Genevieve is the much adored Auntie of Letha’s children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren. She is survived by Virginia Judd Kayser, and David Judd and their families; nieces Jeanette Pontius and Janet Jones; Poni (Gottwald) Scofield; and Guy Sperb, Melody, Dave, and Kelly Archer and their families.

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29 at Smyrna United Church of Christ, 31119 S. Highway 170, Canby. Contributions in memory of Genevieve can be made to Smyrna UCC Church.