Loraine Teresa Custer
October 5, 1929 – May 2, 2021
Loraine Teresa Rosa was born in October 1929 to Italian immigrants from Friuli, in Renton, Washington 19 days before the Wall Street Crash that would usher in the Depression. At their home on Talbot Hill they built a bocce court and fellow immigrants from Italy would gather on Sundays drinking wine, making polenta, hunting mushrooms and sharing what little they had as they built their fortunes in the Northwest. Together they formed an ex-pat community of friends who were as much family as neighbors.
She graduated from Renton High School in 1947, and spent 6 months in post-war Italy at her grandmother’s home in Fanna, where she wore out 10 pair of shoes dancing every evening. During college breaks, she worked for Bassetti and Morse, Architects, the Bell Telephone Company as well as Puget Power. After receiving her teaching certificate from Washington State College (now WSU), she taught high school in Ashland, Oregon, Federal Way Jr. High, and Kent-Meridian Sr. High teaching typing, English, Latin, and shorthand.
Later she taught at Renton Vocational School, Bellevue Community College, and as a substitute teacher while she raised a family. During summers off from teaching, she traveled the world, with memorable trips with her girl friends to Banff, Hawaii, Mexico, and California, and on weekends she went dancing at the Spanish Castle and the Trianon. In 1962 she met Renton City Councilman Donald Custer, whom she married, and had three children, Rose, Richard and Tim. They would celebrate 52 years of marriage until Donald’s death in 2015. She died peacefully at home at Three Tree Point, on Sunday, on May 2nd of congestive heart failure. She was 91 years old.
She was sister to Ray Rosa (deceased) and wife, Ada, nephews Tony and partner Julie Bechner, and Tommy, (deceased), nephews Bill and Nita Washburn, Steve and Mandy Washburn, and Jackie and Phillip Halleen; Sister-in-law to Bert Custer (deceased) wife Shirley Custer, Gina Custer, Lia and Steve Reardon, Frank Grabner, John Grabner and Sharon and daughters Rachel and Hilary, Maribeth Zwick (deceased), Brother-in-law Alec Custer (deceased) and Barbara (deceased) and children Erika, Kjell, and Ingrid Custer and Ingrid's son Daniel Custer.
Remembrances to St.Vincent de Paul (https://svdpseattle.org), or Heifer International (Heifer.org).