Evelyn Dahlin passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Lewiston, after a long battle with congestive heart failure.
She was born to Joseph Louis and Gertrude Balderson Bower on Feb. 17, 1935, at Deary. She attended grade school to the fourth grade in Deary. She and her siblings went to live in the Lewiston Children’s Home as her mother was very ill. She was fostered by Clyde and Imogene Sweet until the ninth grade when she graduated from the Lewiston State Normal School’s training school. She then went to live with her cousin, Marie Bower Bye, and her husband, Charlie, in Opportunity, Wash., (Spokane), where she attended Central Valley High School for her sophomore and junior years, then transferred to West Valley High School, from where she graduated in 1954.
She married George Ehler, an old childhood friend from Deary, on Aug. 21, 1954. They lived in Spokane a short while before returning to Deary for a brief time. They moved to Kamiah in 1955. George and Evelyn had two children, Roger and Beverly. They later divorced.
She married Laurel Dahlin, of Kamiah, on July 1, 1973, and inherited three more children, Steve, Randy and Lori. She and Laurel lived in Kamiah for many years. Laurel died Sept. 17, 2000. She stayed in Kamiah until 2004, then moved to Lewiston to be near her children.
When asked questions about what she might like in her obit, she replied: “I sold Avon for years in Kamiah.” When asked about her occupation, her family’s term was “runner.” She had a regular routine “always on the run,” beginning with coffee “downtown,” then all over town. Family joke: If you want to catch Evelyn, you will need to call before Laurel went to work, when Laurel came home at lunch or after Laurel came home from work, otherwise you were out of luck. After moving to Lewiston, she resumed her “running” routine and was soon having coffee with who she referred to as “the gang” at Jack in the Box, then on to Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Idaho Youth Ranch and OUI stores throughout the day, occasionally taking “a break” to visit with a few friends along “her route.”
When asked who her favorite people to visit were, she always answered, “I like them all. I don’t care if it is the president or the local drunk or bum, they are all important to me. Well, I don’t pick favorites, but I will say I have two good friends I’ve had all my life and I always will, Geraldine Bernard Moore and Bee Mendenhall Redwoman. Oh, I can’t forget my other kid, ‘Betsy Lou’ (Betsy Harding Walker). She’s kept track of me for years.” Her family remembers her speaking about many of her other friends, the list too long to write.
Thank you to nurse practitioner Robin Hight and her “helper,” Katie, at Tri-State Medical Clinic (formally Clearwater Medical) for the excellent care over many years. She never forgot Dr. Celso Chavez, who she referred to as “the best darn doctor I ever had. When he hired all the girls to the clinic, I started seeing them all, sometimes getting to see him, too.” She spoke highly of the clinic over many years, telling all her other doctors, “I’m not going anywhere else so you can forget that.”
Thank you to the St. Joseph Cardiac Clinic and all “the girls who took care of me.” Yes, Colleen, she still had the pen with the flower in it. She liked the visit more than the treatments. Frequently reminding Dr. Hannah and the staff, “I’m not going to Spokane, I’m staying here with you girls.”
Thank you to Elite Hospice, who cared for her in her final months with excellent care. The entire staff was so wonderful. Evelyn managed a smile for them all. “I sure like those girls.”
Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents; sister Erma Jean Lundahl; brother Clifford Bower; and grandchildren Joshua Thon and Arianna Dahlin. She is survived by siblings Frank Bower, Don Bower and Wanda Moore; children Bev Thon, Roger Ehler, Lori Ellis, Steve Dahlin and Randy Dahlin; and a whole bunch of grand and great-grandchildren.
Evelyn’s wishes were cremation with ashes to be placed in the Kamiah Cemetery. “No flowers, service and all that stuff. I’ve lived a good life. I made it 84 years! Take your money and go have a hamburger. If you think you have to give money, send it to the Lewiston (Northwest) Children’s home, who I think was the best dang place for those little kids who needed a home under difficult family circumstances.”
It’s been a fun ride, Mom. Rest in peace. Thanks for all the funny memories. Our final requests: Can you use your gift of gab to persuade the rest of us to get through the Pearly Gate? And if we make it through, Joe wants you to have sausage and hash browns ready, but the rest of us just want some of your cinnamon rolls.