Daureen Willard of Rogue River, OR, went to see Jesus on June 4, 2022. After her stroke, Daureen had been well taken care of by 3 Fountains and a Touch of Grace in Medford, OR.
Daureen Muriel Finney was born on February 1, 1940, to Harold and Alberta Finney in Springfield, Illinois. In 1945, the Finneys, including Daureen’s older sisters, Doris (Dodo) and Dolores moved to North Hollywood, CA. The Finneys made annual trips to Illinois on Route 66 every summer.
Daureen attended Canoga Park and Reseda high schools where she played softball and basketball. At Reseda, she met her lifelong friends, Jim and Sue Carr, and her future husband, Larry Willard.
While in high school Daureen was selected as Miss Granada Hills. She was later pursued as a stand-in for Natalie Wood, but wanted to focus on her family.
Larry and Daureen were married May 4, 1957. One of their hobbies was bowling and Daureen averaged over 200.
After visiting Ray and Vi Cook in Wimer, Oregon, Larry & Daureen, moved to Rogue River, Oregon in 1964 with Larry Jr. and Jinnie. Shortly after they met an evangelizing garbage man named Russ Gibson. Soon after that they began attending a Bible study at Pat and Eileen Patterson’s home. That Bible study led many to Christ and later became Rogue Valley Community Church.
With Eileen’s guidance, Daureen began working with Child Evangelism Fellowship (Good News Club) in 1965. Daureen was a teacher, administrator, and many jobs in between until her retirement in 2018. Daureen created a character called Good News Granny and with Bob Parkins entertained thousands of kids during the 70’s. At one point they performed at a Luis Palau crusade.
The Willards lived in several locations including East Evans Creek, Wards Creek and Short Street. In fact about a year after their favorite son was born (Keith), they spent one summer at Indian Mary Park.
In 1972 Daureen began driving school bus for the Rogue River School District. She continued driving bus until RRSD changed to Laidlaw around 1987. Daureen also sold House of Lloyd products from 1982-1989.
In 1986 Daureen became the officer manager for Watson, Kelly & McMichael, CPA. Daureen thoroughly loved the staff and her work until she retired in 2003
Besides serving the Lord in CEF and teaching Sunday School, some of her favorite activities were: attending every single sporting event of her kids, family gatherings, camping at Diamond Lake, and trips to Hawaii.
Daureen was preceded in death by her mother, Alberta, father, Harold, step-mother, Dorothy, husband, Larry and sister, Dodo.
Daureen is survived by her son, Larry Jr. (Jane) of Grants Pass, Jinnie of Bend, favorite son, Keith (Christy) of Rogue River, her grandchildren, Shaun (Ditty), Kylee (Vargas), Jedidiah, Katelyn and Carson, her loving sister & friend, Dolores, and many nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.
Daureen’s Memorial will be held on June 27, at 2:00 at Rogue Valley Community Church.
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