Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 18, 2020
By Pat Edwards
This past week, a friend, Jane Hart, sent me a copy of an obituary out of Baker County, Oregon’s Hells Canyon Journal. It told of the passing of Randy Joseph, a former resident of Lorane who is remembered by many in the area for the beautiful woodwork and buildings he crafted around the area. He lived on Ham Road on a portion of the former 7-R Ranch which he later sold to Greg and Tracey Weiss where they raised and trained their wonderful Lippizan horses of the Coyote Ridge Dressage for many years. When Tracey and Greg built their dressage arena, replicating the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria, Randy was one of the three Lorane craftsman who contributed their special touches to the building.
Randy was an active participant in many Lorane projects and events while he lived here, including the 1987 Lorane Centennial where he organized a draft horse-pulling contest. He also brought his beautiful team and wagon to other events where he offered horse-drawn wagon rides. Others in the area remember him as a coach of many of the Lorane and Crow students.
According to his obit, after leaving Lorane to live on his ranch in Baker County, he built one of the only locally-owned wind farms in the nation. He left a legacy of woodworking not only in Lane and Baker counties, but all over the U.S., as well.
An interesting note included in his obit that I personally did not know about Randy was that when he passed on May 27 this year at the age of 69, he had more than exceeded his own estimated life expectancy. Both his father and grandfather died at the age of 58, so when Randy’s 57th birthday rolled around in 2008, he celebrated what he called his “Last Birthday Party” with friends and family. We are all so glad that he beat the odds by a lot.
Our condolences go out to Randy’s wife Linda and their three adult children, Jenny, Loran (the current mayor of Baker City) and Wade.
I want to take the opportunity to share the sentiments of Lil Thompson, my good friend and the Lorane correspondent for the Cottage Grove Sentinel. She provides me with much of the school and community news that I use in my columns…
We’ve both noticed that the community of Lorane seems to be fairing well during these troubled times. The Lorane Deli has provided take-out breakfasts, lunches and dinners for those who have depended on them for meals even before the pandemic; the Lorane Christian Church has found ways of having drive-up services on Sundays and, under Phase 2, is now allowing parishioners to attend services either inside the church or remain in their cars to listen to the service on their car radios.
Thanks to the wonderful staff we have at the Lorane Family Store, we have been able to stay open and provide needed food items for those who don’t want to make unnecessary trips into town.
Even though we no longer have a school in Lorane, the administrators, teachers, and certified staff of the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District #66 have made sure that students, from kindergarten to high school throughout the district, feel remembered and very special. They have organized parades, promotions, graduations and I was even told that the kindergarten teachers visited the homes of their students and had them literally jump out of kindergarten and into first grade.
Our local organizations—the Lorane Fire Department, the Lorane Grange, the Lorane Community Association, the Lorane Rebekahs and Lorane Eta Theta Rho Girls’ Club—are always on hand, too, to provide whatever is needed for all of us.
I know that I speak for the whole community when I say, “Thank you” to each of them for putting a positive spin on a difficult situation.