Across the Columbia River from Hood River, Oregon, in the little town of White Salmon, Washington, Dana Rae was born to Arthur and Martha Mills on August 15, 1922. She joined her four-year-old sister, Jane. When the girls were still quite young, the family moved to a ranch near Council, ID. On the ranch they helped their father with chores to feed the cattle. When he was badly injured from a fall the family moved to Middleton, Idaho, where they lived along the Boise River. Both Dana and Jane graduated high school there, Dana in 1940.
Dana loved animals all her life as is evidenced by her holding animals in many of the pictures from her youth. At school, she enjoyed outdoor activities, music and sports. After graduation, she really wanted to go to nursing school, but unforeseen circumstances prevented that. Fortuitously, three of her daughters would end up with nursing careers.
October 15, 1940, Dana married Richard (Dick) Wade and from this union ten children were born: Roberta (Larry) Belk; Judy (Ski) Hojsack; Marilyn Naillon and Carilyn Smallwood; Lynne (Lee) Lent; Rick (Jan) Wade; Chuck (Joan) Wade; Dempsey Wade; Russ (Lisa) Wade and Rob (Barb) Wade. There are 19 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Unfortunately, the marriage ended in 1971, and in 1973, she married Frank Short. For a number of years, Dana and Frank lived in northern WA along the Columbia River. Perhaps living along rivers much of her life explains her love of fishing.
Dana Rae, as her sister always called her, was a tremendously hard worker who loved her children, especially when they were babies; who taught them about Jesus and sent them to church; and whom she taught to be capable, productive adults. The family raised large gardens, and all were taught to pick fruit and vegetables and to can and freeze them for the winter food supply. Besides raising the children and keeping a home, she worked outside the home cleaning houses for others, at J.R. Simplot Co., and Grainmiller’s Union.
There were a lot of loves in Dana’s life: her sister and she were fast friends forever; her small dogs and cats; fishing; dancing; pinochle; large earrings and necklaces; garage and yard sales and rejuvenating the things she found; family get-togethers and the color purple!
Dana was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Jane Mills Pederson Woods Hicks; and her daughters, Judy and Carilyn.
The dash between birth and death is life, and Dana’s was well-lived.
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