Bertha Steen

Bertha Lejeune Steen, 106, died Dec. 11, 2002 at her home in Oak Harbor. She was born on the family farm in Cumberland, Wis., to John F. and Katherine (Yost) Lejeune. Her father was the first to raise a herd of registered Holstein cattle in Wisconsin.

Bertha was married Aug. 20, 1921 to Edward P. Steen in Cumberland, Wis. They continued dairy farming in Rice Lake, Wis., for several years and then began a journey west. The settled in Idaho for about three years and then settled in Monroe where Mr. Steen worked as a logging road contractor.

Bertha and Ed left Monroe after 12 years and moved to Clear Lake, Skagit County, where they spent 25 years. In 1972, they purchased land on North Whidbey and began construction of a home. Ed died in 1979, but Bertha remained in the family home until her death.

Bertha Steen was a member of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Oak Harbor. She was a Life Member and Past Noble Grand of the Rebekah Lodge of Clear Lake. She enjoyed flowers, gardening and reading.

Mrs. Steen is survived by two daughters: Dorothy Hedlund of Fircrest, and Gilda Padden of Burlington and her daughter-in-law, Margaret Steen of Machiasport, Maine. Six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren also survive. She was preceded in death by her husband, one son John Marvin Steen, and one grandson John M Steen, Jr.

Cremation was held with private family graveside services at Fern Hill Cemetery, Anacortes. A gathering for family and friends will be held Monday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. at Bertha’s home, 4327 Terrace Drive, Oak Harbor.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Washington Council of the Blind, P. O. Box 6996, Kennewick, WA 99336 or Grace Cochrum Children’s Therapy Guild, c/o Dee McIlrath (360) 855-0502.

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