Walking On -- Ruby Bigoni and Evelyn Stevens

11.30.2020 Dean Rhodes Walking On


Ruby Geraldine Bigoni

March 18, 1919 – Nov. 19, 2020

Tribal Elder Ruby Geraldine Bigoni was born March 18, 1919, in Tillamook, Ore., to James and Emma Langley. Her grandparents were Israel and Mary Langley. Her other grandfather, Andrew Zuercher, moved to Tillamook from Bern, Switzerland, when he was a young man.

Having descended from pioneer families of Tillamook, namely Zuercher and Kodad, and Native/French Canadian families of LaChance and Langlois, Ruby was the great-granddaughter of Twinisha of Winakske, aka Nancy of The Dalles.

She married Orlando Pete “Bill” Bigoni on Oct. 24, 1936, in Kelso, Wash. She and Orlando are the parents of James Bigoni, Dianne Locklear, Richard Bigoni and Bill Bigoni. Orlando and Bill both walked on in 1990.

Ruby had two older sisters, Pearl and Bernice, and an older half-brother, Arnold. At the time of her passing, Ruby was the oldest Tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

She loved traveling to Hawaii. In the last five years, she visited Hawaii three times, celebrating her 100th birthday there in 2019. In her lifetime, she visited Hawaii 25 times.

Ruby and Orlando enjoyed traveling on cruise ships, taking trips to Alaska, Hawaii, through the Panama Canal, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.

She worked in a drapery shop for more than 20 years. She was a banquet manager for the Fraternal Order of Eagles and was installed as Grand Madam President of the Eagles in Boston, Mass., in 1971. She also worked for a number of years as a receptionist for Chinese eatery Lung Fung Restaurant. She traveled throughout North America during her years as Eagles Grand Madam President and presided over the international convention held in Atlanta, Ga.

Ruby also was a guest on the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, presenting a $25,000 check on behalf of the Eagles. She also volunteered for the Red Cross for 50 years and was active at St. Charles Catholic Church in Portland.

Ruby had lived in her home in northeast Portland for more than 65 years. We are so blessed and fortunate that Ruby lived a long and wonderful life.

She is survived by nephews Harold Lyon and Robert Nagle, 10 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

She will be interred next to her husband Orlando.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, services will be held at a future time.


Other passings

Evelyn Rose Stevens

Aug. 1, 1933 – Nov. 23, 2020

Tribal Elder Evelyn Rose Stevens walked on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at the age of 87. Keith & Keith Funeral Home in Yakima, Wash., is assisting the family.

At this time, there is not a funeral service planned.