Dec. 30, 1942 –Aug. 29, 2021
How can one sum up the life of a woman who was such a wise matriarch and a never-ending source of encouragement in just a few paragraphs? There are not enough words or pages to do her justice, but we will start from the beginning and tell you a few things about the most amazing woman we have ever known, our mother Mary Pearl Armon Trump.
Mary’s life began on a “dark and stormy night.” Her parents, Francis Armon and Myrtle Weaver Armon (who was in labor) hastily loaded up into their rusty old car and began the long drive from Wallowa, Oregon, to La Grande. It was Dec. 30, 1942, and there was a blizzard-like storm, but this did not deter the young couple. The Armons were about halfway into their journey when an enormous gust of wind blew the roof off of the car and into a nearby field, irretrievable in all of the snow. They had no choice but to continue the drive without the roof of the car. Luckily the couple’s journey continued without any other problems, and they arrived at the hospital in time for the baby to be born.
Thus, began the life of this remarkable woman, Mary Pearl Armon (named after her beloved maternal grandmother, Mary Pearl Hulse Weaver.)
Mary was raised in Wallowa, Oregon, with four siblings: Lonnie Armon, Lowell Armon, Kathryn (Kathy) Armon Doud and Dallas Armon. Wallowa was a wonderful place to grow up and Mary spent her young days playing with her siblings, countless cousins and many friends. She was an intelligent child and, to the annoyance of her two older brothers, learned to read before she started school and would often “help” them with homework. Her love of reading lasted her entire life.
As a young child Mary had another love and that was tetherball. She was unbeatable and could defeat any child or adult who would accept her challenge including teachers and the principal! (She was still an amazing player even after she became a wife and mother and showed no mercy as she slaughtered all of us on the court!)
In high school Mary moved her focus to typing. She could type an astounding 120 words per minute on a manual typewriter. In addition to typing, Mary and her sister Kathy were part of a Christian singing group called The Six Sisters, and they received third place in a state singing revival.
Mary graduated from Wallowa High School in 1961 and followed her family when they moved to Elgin in the fall of 1962. Mary was hired on at The First State Bank of Elgin (which later became U.S. Bank) where she worked for over 30 years, starting as a teller and working up to branch manager, a true pioneer for working women of her time. Mary loved her job at the bank and made several lifelong friends. She truly loved each and every one of her co-workers.
Mary met the love of her life, Robert Leon Trump, in 1964 and they married in 1965. Together they had three children: Mary Alicia Trump Anderson, Robert (Rob) Leon Trump and Kati Ranee Trump. They were the best parents a kid could ever ask for and the three children grew up in a happy home full of endless laughter and love. In 1985 their niece Fran Armon Zerbel joined the family and the laughter and love continued.
Mary and Bob were happily married for nearly 51 years until his death in 2016.
In the ’80s, Mary joined a ladies bowling team with some of her besties. It was surprising to the family because they had no idea that she liked to bowl. We will be honest here, she was not the best bowler on the team, but she stayed with her teammates for two reasons: she loved spending time with her friends and she loved the trips they would take to Reno and Winnemucca where she gave her slot -pulling arm quite a workout! The “bowling team” went on many adventures far after the bowling alley shut down.
If you were to ask Mary what she loved most about her life she would have responded first with “family” followed immediately by “grandkids.” Mary had 13 grandchildren: Devan League, Austin League, Brandon League, Kaitlyn Kraxberger, Coletin Trump, Kassey Trump, Kaden Trump, Delaney Trump, Jillian Slater, Christian Anderson, Chad Anderson, Connor Anderson and Maryah Anderson. In addition, she had three and a half great-grandchildren. Mary also had many nieces and nephews all of whom she loved deeply.
She was preceded in death by her parents, father Francis Harvey Armon, and mother Leona Myrtle Marie Weaver Armon, as well as her oldest brother Lonnie Joe Armon, and the love of her life Robert Leon Trump.
The Lord called Mary home while she was sleeping beside her best friend, sister Kathy Doud, Aug. 29, 2021, which coincidentally was Kathy’s 77th birthday and her daughter Kati’s 50th birthday, making her exit from this world nearly as dramatic as her entry, but what can one expect from a woman nearly born in a blizzard?
A celebration of her blessed life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Elgin Community Center at 1 p.m. Pacific time.
For those who would like to make a donation in her memory, the family suggests one that Mary was fond of, Paralyzed Veterans of America, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, PO Box 543, Halfway, Oregon 97834. Online condolences can be shared at www.tamispinevalleyfuneralhome.com.