Harriet E. Obendorf
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May 9, 1927 - June 15, 2014
Harriet E. Obendorf, 87, a former longtime Parma resident, died Sunday, June 15, 2014 at Willowbrook Assisted Living in Twin Falls after a long illness. She was the widow of Norman Obendorf of Parma, to whom she had been married for 53 years until his death in 2004.
Harriet was born in Andover, MA on May 9, 1927, the second child of Henry and Dorothy Shorten. She was raised in South Groveland, MA, and graduated from High School in 1944. After the end of World War II, she moved with her parents to Venice, CA and trained to become a nurse. On New Year's Eve 1949, she was introduced to Norman Obendorf and they were married the following December. She then moved with her new husband to Parma, Idaho to start their life together on the family farm. She was intelligent, interested in everything, and was a very capable person. She learned many things, including how to help with the sheep and cattle, how to camp in the mountains, and how to make delicious preserves and canned fruit. She embraced everything she learned.
As a girl, Harriet had been trained as a classical pianist and organist. After she moved to Idaho, she put her talents and love of sacred music to good use as she played the organ, piano, and sang in the choir at Sterry Memorial Presbyterian Church for many years.
Harriet had five children, but tragically lost a son to an auto accident at the age of three. Though this took its toll on her and Norman, they did not let it crush them with despair. They pulled together and, through inner strength, faith, and the help of their church community, raised their children together with love and strength.
She and Norman farmed together, raised their children together, and grew old together. As Norman's health declined, Harriet took care of him until he passed away in September, 2004. She lived alone on the farm for another two years, and then her loving daughter Donna brought her to live in Twin Falls with her and her loving family. She eventually moved into assisted living in Twin Falls, and Donna managed her care and her affairs until she passed away.
Harriet will be remembered for her humility, her generosity, her love of music and reading, and for her very funny sense of humor. She was also a wonderful cook who could turn the most basic meal into a delicious feast.
Her children will remember her as a loving and selfless mother who never complained, who always put her family's needs ahead of her own, and who was tireless in her efforts to care for her husband and her children. She will be remembered with great love and deep appreciation.
She is survived by her four children: Steve Obendorf and his wife Carol of Gastonia, NC, Donna Zuck and her husband Don of Twin Falls, ID, Ralph Obendorf of Parma, ID, and Will Obendorf and his wife Sue of Chelmsford, MA. She will also be remembered by her six grandchildren; Zachery Obendorf of Gastonia, NC, Christopher Zuck and Daniel Zuck, both of Twin Falls, ID, and Bobby Obendorf, Molly Obendorf, and Anna Obendorf, all of Chelmsford, MA, as well as many nieces and nephews.
There will be a graveside service on June 23, 2014 at the Roswell cemetery at 10:00 am, followed by a Memorial Service at Sterry Memorial Church at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice organization of your choice.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the DAKAN FUNERAL CHAPEL, 504 South Kimball Avenue, Caldwell, ID 83605. Funeral Director: Doug Reinke.
For online condolences and memories, visit www.dakanfuneralchapel.com.
Dakan Funeral Chapel
504 South Kimball Avenue Caldwell, ID 83605
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on June 20, 2014