Lorraine Wilhelmina Vandecoevering was born September 16th, 1931, in Glen Ullin, North Dakota to John and Rose Kottre and passed away peacefully on October 23rd, 2019, in Bay City, Oregon, with family by her side.
Lorraine moved from North Dakota with her family in 1937 to Monitor, Oregon just outside of Mt Angel. From early on, she was not shy of hard work. When she was 11 years old she went to work alongside her father and brother in the hop yards and as she would say, “she could pick a row clean as any other.”
As a teenager she attended St Mary’s Academy for Girls while her then future husband Lawrence Vandecoevering went to an all boy’s high school, Mt Angel Abby. As Larry said, “ I went to a friend’s wedding and I saw Lorraine. I decided I had to meet that girl, so my friend made introductions. Not long after, we started dating. And most dates were,, fishing.”
After dating for two years, Lawrence and Lorraine were married on November 20th 1948 in Mt Angel, Oregon. During the next nine years Larry and Lorraine worked their dairy farm. Larry also had a job in Mt Angel , an office job with the co-op creamery, while Lorraine ran the farm. As Lorraine would later say, “ I can tell you a lot about milking cows and shoveling. I’ve handled many a shovel in my day.”
In the days of the dairy farm, Larry and Lorraine had four children born in Silverton Oregon. Linda, Beverly Mary and David. And as Lorraine once said, “ My children were taken with me wherever I worked. And that’s how they learned to work, by watching at first and then by doing.”
The family moved to Bay City, Oregon in 1957 and soon four more children were born , in Tillamook: Tony, Teresa, Margy and George. In 1957 Larry bought his first boat, the Abiqua, a salmon troller which was moored in Bay City, while he worked at the Tillamook Veneer Plywood Company and then later Larry and Lorraine purchased their first charter boat the Solo in 1965 which became the family’s flag ship. About that time the Troller Café and Charters was purchased and the family moved to Garibaldi.
Then came the 75 foot shrimper Miss Lorraine which Larry , Lorraine’s sons and brother Kenny named for her. “ It was our pride and joy of the family”, she said.
While Larry and her three sons worked the ocean each day Lorraine operated the Troller Café and Charters and she also booked the charter boats. About this time they also purchased H&H Crab Company, from John and Virginia Hathaway. Lorraine once stated , “ Even though I worked the restaurant, I could look out the windows towards the bay and I was able to watch the mast lights as they left and I’d wait and wait for them when my family came home.” She also stated, “ My five lovely daughters all helped me in the cafe and I could not have done it without them.”
Lorraine was very active in the community and as she stated, “ Watching the boats come and go got me interested in the history of Captain Robert Gray. As I would look out, I would wonder who, before us, traveled the same waterways throughout the years. “ This led Lorraine to meeting Colonel Parkin and with him she co-founded the Garibaldi Maritime Museum and then through the State of Oregon, named the mountain behind Garibaldi, Captain Gray Mountain.
From early on Lorraine was very innovative, creative and most up to the challenge of hard work and what gave her most pleasure, was sharing her knowledge of wisdom with anyone who would listen, and she definitely had wisdom. As a young girl she learned to sew her own dresses by second grade and then amazingly she sewed her own lovely wedding dress in 1948 and also sewed many beautiful dresses for her five girls. Her interest in gardening always intrigued her, as it was also a necessity, with her large family. She knew how to go from the garden to the soup kettle and feed her family in no time. As she once stated, “ The Garden is a place to find beauty and peace and provides a quiet place to pray. “
From her early childhood days in the hop yard, to her farm life, to deck handing with her husband Larry on the charter boat Solo, to meeting Chef Horst Megar to get advice on the beginning days of the Troller Café, to establishing so many firsts in her community, Garibaldi’s first Laundromat, a Recreation Hall, established one of the first toll free numbers for charters and the restaurant in the county, working with the Portland Tourism Committee and starting and promoting Bird Watching, Whale Watching, Scuba Diving Tours and Weddings at Sea.
She established Garibaldi’s Blessing of the Fleet, Garibaldi’s Fish Fry, worked with Our Local Coast Guard for Red Cross Blood Drives, established a Medical Center in Garibaldi, worked with the Garibaldi Chamber of Commerce, Garibaldi Lions Club, and worked with and helping Our Local Veterans. With family property on 5th Street in Garibaldi, she worked at and with realtors to establish what is now known as Garibaldi House Inn on Hwy 101, and also sold her property to the City of Garibaldi for much needed parking space. She and her husband Larry once owned the largest family owned fishing fleet on the Pacific Coast, was once the top employers of north Tillamook County with their 24 hour business. Lorraine was once a member of Tillamook Ambassador’s, Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and belonged to many other organizations and clubs, too numerous to count. Her biggest highlight in her life was her family and meeting those she knew she could make a difference in their lives, and there were so many, for which they became family. One of Lorraine’s biggest joys was her garden as it became her solace. She studied all the benefits of alternative medicine for which she seemed to find cures to many ailments. Her love of books was immense as she had a library of her own, and she was always seeking answers to questions. She gained wisdom on every subject imaginable. Writing was her passion. She submitted many articles to newspapers and magazines and once wrote for the Garibaldi Fencepost for Tillamook Headlight Herald. Whatever Lorraine wrote, everyone enjoyed reading.
Lorraine is survived by her five daughters, Linda & Mike Keller, Beverly & Larry Hills, Mary & Jim Miller, Teresa & Terry Freeman, Margy & Dave Jordan and son Tony and Irene Vandecoevering and daughter in law Denise Vandecoevering. Her brothers, Bob and Geri Kottre, Sy and MaryAnne Kottre, Kenny and Fran Kottre, sisters Betsy and Gary LeDoux, Ann and Mitch Hedrick, and sister in law Jackie Kottre. Many grandchildren, great grandchildren, one great great granddaughter, many nieces and nephews and her beloved community of Garibaldi.
Lorraine was preceded in death by her husband Larry, two sons, David and George, two grandsons, Jeffrey King and Nicholas Jordan and her brother Harold Kottre.
In a world of social media it is just outstanding of all the heartfelt words and comments about Lorraine and they are not going unnoticed and her family sincerely thank you. They all stand out, but one mentioned, and said of Lorraine, “ She was a wonderful person and Garibaldi, Tillamook County and the State of Oregon are all the lesser for it” And another said, “Lorraine was an Icon” And that she was.
Lorraine’s family would like to thank Miami Elder Care for their compassion and wonderful care during her stay.
Services have been held.