On July 10, 2014, Lillian Bercier Eischen went to be with her Lord in heaven. Wife, mother and grandmother, she was born in 1921 at Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota to the Chippewa Nation. She said, growing up, they lived on flat bread, rabbits and lard. In 1941, Lillian went to an Indian school in Kansas City, Kan., to learn English and was told to forget her native language. In 1942, she graduated from high school and joined the U.S. Navy, serving until the end of World War II. After the war, she went back to her hometown in North Dakota and married Joseph Michael Eischen. In 1954, they moved to Long Beach, Calif., and both got jobs at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Corp. until retiring in 1980. They then moved to their final resting place in Sprague River, Ore. They were married for 62 years. Lillian is survived by her children, Dennis Eischen, Morris Eischen, Joseph and Judy Eischen, Jane Henderson and Debra Graves; grandchildren, John and Brian Henderson, Brandy Sanford and Natalie Graves; and numerous great-grandchildren. When holidays came, she loved cooking and baking for everyone. That was her time. She made sure everybody had full stomachs when they went home and turned in for the night. She was also proud to be a Lioness in the Lions Club and was always at the community center, helping with dinners and festivities. Her buckeye and fudge, cowboy cookies and homemade burritos made us all feel humble. She was part of that Greatest Generation we are losing, and there are very few left. During the hardest of times, these people endured. In the desert of our lives, we look upon those who had profound lives. They were people who lived with dignity and pride and had a tough life. Our mother had those traits within her. Goodbye, Mom.
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Published in Herald And News on July 22, 2014