Loretta Tatro Nordquist was born May 31, 1926, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Lester T. and Helen Wilson Tatro, the first of their eight children. She grew up in Ogden, Utah, and, in 1949, earned her bachelor of arts degree in chemistry at the University of Utah. A year later, in 1950, she married a returned World War II veteran, Richard Nordquist, whom she'd known most of her life as part of the Baptist church they attended.
Their next five years were spent in Portland, Ore., where he attended dental school, and she was a research assistant in a medical school laboratory studying cation transport in the lenses of rabbit eyes. Following dental school, they established a home and dental practice in Medford, Ore., rearing four sons, Peter, Russell, Scott, and Eric.
In 1980, Loretta earned a master's of arts degree in general studies from Southern Oregon State College, and began to look for ways to be more involved in the community. She joined the Phoenix-Talent School Board in July 1980, serving there for 31 years. In 1986, she was hired by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program to coordinate a volunteer Respite Service helping family caregivers of elderly or infirm individuals, by attending to the person while their caregivers took a break. She enjoyed that post as long as health allowed.
Loretta is survived by her husband, five siblings, four sons, and ten grandchildren. A celebration of her life will be held 1:30 p.m., Saturday, November 5, 2011, at the Talent Elementary School Library. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, 1045 Ellendale Drive, Medford, OR 97504.