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Ramona G. (Austin) Fletcher

Ramona G. (Austin) Fletcher, formerly of Ashland and Medford, Ore., passed away Friday, February 20, 2015 at Partners in Care Hospice House, Bend, Ore. Her three surviving eldest daughters were by her side. Born Ramona Gay Mitchell, in Chiloquin, Ore. January 7, 1937, she attended Ashland High School until 1953, when she married Alexander J. Austin.

In the ensuing eleven years, she bore nine children whom she raised, disciplined, and counseled in a lively and busy household. Between never-ending cleaning, keeping loads of laundry going, and preparing meals and dessertsincluding doughnuts and a killer cherry pieshe found time to sew many of the kids' clothes, re-upholster furniture, wallpaper bathrooms, and do crossword puzzles. Mona loved Southern Oregon summers, music, singing, dancing, and occasionally performing, classic and foreign films, and an occasional trip to the coast. She was a voracious reader, a champion of the underdog, and a life-long liberal Democrat who worked on Sen. Eugene McCarthy's 1968 Presidential campaign. After her marriage ended in 1975, she worked in a number of customer service positions in both Oregon and Reno, Nev. Her last position was with the Eldorado Hotel and Casino in Reno, where she worked for 17 years in increasingly responsible positions until her retirement and return to Oregon in 2002. Her family was as proud as she was that she regained her sobriety later in life. Her last years were spent in central Oregon (Bend, Prineville, and Redmond).

She is survived by eight of her children: Linda (Jeff), Joanne, Matt, Susan, Joseph (Lou), Janet and Maggie Austin, and Julie Austin Souza (Richard); ten grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her devoted companion, a beagle named Odie. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Kathryn Austin and grandson, Connor Ausland.

Those wishing to remember Mona may make a contribution to Partners in Care hospice in Bend, Ore. or to your local Humane Society. No memorial service is planned; family will gather in late spring to scatter her ashes as she wished.