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Lorene L. Woeber

Obituary

Lorene L. Woeber Obituary
Lorene L. Woeber was born Feb 25th, 1924, in San Francisco, the eldest child of Lorenz (Larry) and Zelda Woeber who met and married in Golden, Colorado where he was attending the School of Mines. Larry was one of the founders of Christ the King Parish. Lorene was one of five children: James, June, Edwin and Philip. After San Francisco, they moved to Taft, then Bakersfield where Lorene attended BHS and took piano lessons from Ethel Bacon McManus. A few years later, Lorene joined the Handmaids of Mary Immaculate, a Catholic religious order in Montana where she worked with native Americans. After many years of religious service, Lorene retired and
lived with her parents in El Segundo, Calif.
She worked in retail sales in LAX for many years. All LAX retail workers were required to belong to the Bartenders Union. This seemed odd, since Lorene was a former nun. But ultimately, she was blessed with a sizable pension from the Bartenders Union. Lorene moved to Bakersfield with her mother after her dad died. Lorene gradually lost her eye sight due to glaucoma. In 2008, Lorene, her brother Phil and her sister June visited Hawaii.
While in Honolulu, they chartered a flight to the island of Molokai to the place where Father Damien ministered to the lepers. They flew on a twin engine Cessna 310. The pilot was the chief pilot of Hawaiian Airline; he was reluctant to allow Lorene to attempt to climb aboard because of her age and blindness. However Lorene insisted. Then they helped her get on the wing and climb inside the cabin on hands and knees. Lorene enjoyed the 40 minute flight. She crawled out of the airplane, slid off the wing and was helped to the ground.
Later, the pilot said "In the future, I will tell hesitant clients that, if an 85 year old blind woman can climb aboard, you can too." Lorene was thrilled that Father Damien was canonized a Catholic saint a month later. Lorene continued live with June in Oildale until eight months ago, When they moved into the Hallmark Assisted Living where they have received loving care.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Feb. 7, 2014
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