Loene Kelley

September 16, 1927November 8, 2020

Loene Shields Barton Kelley, 93, peacefully passed away in her sleep in the early morning hours of Nov 8, 2020. Services will be delayed until the Covid-19 pandemic improves, hopefully in Spring 2021. Her ashes will be scattered, per her request, in and around Wallowa Lake in Joseph, Oregon.

Wilma Loene Shields was born Sep 16, 1927 in Enterprise, in northeastern Oregon, to Gene and Rose Thornton Shields. A descendent of Oregon pioneers who came in covered wagons on the Oregon Trail, she spent her earliest years on what she and her family called “the homestead”, land that her father’s family had obtained from the Homestead Act, near the Imnaha River and the town of Imnaha in very remote northeastern Oregon. Her father raised sheep. A stagecoach came through the area some days. They rarely had anything “store-bought”, and ice came down the Imnaha River in the spring which they used in their icebox. She went to the first few grades in a one-room schoolhouse along the Imnaha River. Loene developed a lifelong dislike of snakes, especially rattlesnakes, which were and are still plentiful in Imnaha, and out of necessity she learned how to kill them as a small child. They eventually moved into Joseph, the nearest town, and Loene went to school through 8th grade in Joseph. Loene was the eldest of 4 kids — sister Carole, and brothers Dorvan and Jack. When she finished 8th grade the family moved to Beaverton/Portland where her parents worked in the Kaiser shipyards during WWII. She went to Beaverton High School where she excelled in school and in sports, especially basketball, and was chosen as a sports captain which she was very proud of. Before her senior year the family moved to Sellwood, in Portland, and she then had to go to a very large high school where she knew no one, and she dropped out (she later got her GED in 1972). She took care of her younger siblings and also worked at Montgomery Ward in what is now the Montgomery Park Bldg in Portland.

After his return from heavy action in a tank battalion in Patton’s 3rd Army in WWII, Lovell Barton (also from Joseph) looked up the Shieldses in Portland, one of the few families from Joseph he knew when he arrived back in Portland. Loene was then engaged to a guy named Carl but Lovell Barton managed to steal her away and they were married in 1947. They followed her parents to Eugene, Oregon, where they built their house in the Bethel area. Unable to have children, they adopted two babies, Sandra Jean in 1958 and Bradly James in 1959, for whom Loene was a model stay-at-home mother.

After the demise of her 24-year marriage, Loene went to work as a teacher’s aide. She remarried Darrel Dean Kelley in 1972 and they relocated to Cottage Grove, south of Eugene. Dean passed away in 1983. Loene had a lot of fun traveling with her two workmates Peggy Sayles and Nelda Helms after school was out each year, and the trio became best friends. She also enjoyed travelling with another close friend Pat Schultz (Dean’s first wife) on many trips to Hawaii. She enjoyed travel in general, and went on many trips with groups to Australia, Europe, and to see New England fall foliage.

In 1999, the love of her life was born — her grandson Rory Barton Bialostosky. Present at his birth, she decided on the spot to move to Portland and be his nanny. Together with Rory’s other grandmother Kathy Bialostosky, they cared for Rory as a child so that he never went to daycare while his parents were working. She always hoped she would live to see him graduate from high school, which she did do.

Loene is survived by daughter Sandra Barton M.D. (Del Bialostosky, Rory Bialostosky) of West Linn, son Bradly Barton of Eugene, stepdaughter Kaylene Tambellini (Larry) of Cottage Grove, stepson Greg Kelley (Cheryl, Eryn, Andrew)(Flora), nieces Leanne Ambrose (Astoria) and Karyn Larson (Idaho), nephews Greg Servatius (Washington), Kris Shields (Southern Oregon), and Mik Shields (Creswell), and her cousins Cheryl Thornton (Lake Oswego) and Fred Thornton (LaGrande) and Charlene MacManiman (Bend), and dear friends Pat Schultz Williams (McMinnville) and Peggy Sayles (Cottage Grove). Loene spent her final few years at Tanner Spring Assisted Living in West Linn, where she leaves behind another dear friend, Karen Lopez. She was the most kind and selfless person, would do anything for anyone, and was truly beloved by all who knew and loved her.



No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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Dede Montgomery

November 22, 2020

My, what a beautiful tribute to our dear friend Loene. I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to know her and hear only a few of her stories especially about her love of Joseph and Eastern Oregon...and her grandson. Our love and condolences to all of you.

Cynthia and Patrick Spencer/Hadlock

November 17, 2020

Leone seemed to always appreciated the creative chaos that kids make, and to enjoy, even applaud the nutty results — as long as we cleaned it up.

Her long and rich life is a testament to the ability to start over again, while keeping close to those most dear to us. Great lesson for us all.


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