Mary Phyllis Lewis (Hodgin), age 87, died September 24, 2021, at her home in North Plains, Ore., with her family at her side.
Mary was born in 1933 in Colorado Springs, Colo., to Floyd and Hazel Hodgin, the youngest of seven children. She was a child of the depression and her family moved several times, following work for her father. One move took them to Oregon, and the family settled in Springfield, Ore., when Mary was still very young. Mary attended Springfield High School, but then transferred and graduated from University High School near the U of O campus in 1951.
Mary’s family struggled to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table and Mary worked hard from an early age, having lived in tents and shacks along the way, and still managed to graduate high school. Mary married Tom Haynes after high school and the following year gave birth to her daughter, Jackie. Mary soon divorced, and kept working to give her daughter a life she didn’t have growing up. Mary moved to Portland, then back to Eugene where she met Robert, whom she married in 1958. Her son, Don, was born in 1959, and her third child, son Duane, was born in 1961.
Family was very important to Mary and providing for them was her goal. Mary and her husband achieved a lot of the American Dream, purchased a new home in 1959 and settled in to a comfortable life. After Mary’s father died in 1958, her mother moved in with her and became a part of their family.
With many of Mary’s and Robert’s siblings and family living in the area, Mary hosted several of the holiday gatherings, often groups of 30 or 40 for Christmas, Thanksgiving and other days. Mary always had unending energy when it came to taking care of her family, and did so while continuing to work in a commercial laundry. Mary watched her children grow and become successful adults and had great pride in that. Mary’s hard work paid off as she was able to retire around the age of 54, allowing her to spend more time with her family. Mary’s husband died in 1999 and Mary moved to Hillsboro in 2003 to be closer to her son, Duane, and granddaughter, Caitlin. Mary became active in her granddaughter’s life, becoming a second “mom” to her. Later, her granddaughter moved in with Mary, and in the past months, became Mary’s caregiver.
Mary learned and loved different crafts over the years from rug making, doll making, cake decorating, knitting, etc. She loved Elvis Presley and westerns and spent many hours watching both. But her big love in recent years was her granddaughter’s family, including her grandson-in-law, James, and her two great-granddaughters who were the sunshine in her days.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Jackie Haynes, son and son-in-law, Don Lewis and Paul Laursen, son and daughter-in-law, Duane and Beccy Lewis, granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Caitlin and James Eldridge, and great granddaughters, Emma and Kailee. Mary is also survived by many nieces and nephews and relatives and friends in Colorado, Illinois, California, and throughout Oregon. The family is not having a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Seasons Hospice.