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Sybil Plumlee


Sybil Virginia Plumlee, a pioneering Portland police officer, died Jan. 6, 2012. She was 100 and had been the oldest living former member of the Portland police force.

Mrs. Plumlee was born April 29, 1911, in Seattle to Charles and Stella Burgess. She attended Lincoln and Jefferson high schools in Portland, and graduated from Jefferson in 1930.

She then graduated from Oregon Normal School, now Western Oregon University, and took a job as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Clarno, Wheeler County. She returned to Portland and married Lloyd Barker, who was also a teacher. The couple had a son, Louis Barker. They divorced in 1943 and in 1945 she married Virgil P. 'Paul' Plumlee, who died in 2010 after 65 years of marriage.

As a single mother during World War II, she took a job as a teacher with the Ellis Mining Co. in Bourne, now a ghost town in Baker County. She bought a house in nearby Sumpter for $150. She resigned her position in the one-room schoolhouse when all the children but her own son moved away.

She worked as a caseworker at Clackamas County Welfare Department when another woman police officer inspired her to take a civil servant test. She passed and joined the force, serving from 1947 to 1967, in what was called the Women's Protective Division. She later wrote an unpublished memoir of her time on the force called 'Badge 357,' in which she related many colorful stories.

Mrs. Plumlee loved to travel, camp and fish. She had lived at The Stafford since her husband's death.

Survivors include her son, Louis Barker, of Lake Oswego; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A private service will be held.

Remembrances may be sent to the Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division, 687 N. Thompson St., Portland, OR 97227 or online at www.sunshinedivision.org.

Jim F. Heath

Longtime Lake Oswego resident Jim F. Heath died Jan. 4, 2012. He was 80.

Mr. Heath was born April 9, 1931 to Texie Hukel and Frank Heath in Clarendon, Texas. He spent most of his youth and early adulthood in Ama-rillo, Texas.

He married Carole Wilson, his high school sweetheart in 1951. They later divorced.

Mr. Heath graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor's degree in 1953 and a master's degree in 1955. He joined the U.S. Air Force ROTC program at UNM and served as an officer at Tempelhof AFB in Berlin from 1955 through 1957. While in Berlin, daughter Nancy was born. Returning to the states, Mr. Heath worked in the family furniture business in Amarillo, where daughter Ann was born, and then the family moved to Albuquerque.

Mr. Heath earned a doctorate in history from Stanford University in 1967 and embarked on a career as a professor at Portland State University. In addition to teaching he served as dean of both undergraduate and graduate studies, and assistant vice president for academic affairs. He published two books and numerous articles but the accomplishment he was most proud of was that of being a teacher and mentor to his students. He retired from PSU in 1993.

Mr. Heath married a second time in 1975 to Judith Letcher.

Mr. Heath enjoyed debate, civil war history, Shakespeare and gardening. He was passionate about his faith and served in leadership roles at Mountain Park Church.

Survivors include his wife, Judith, of Lake Oswego; daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Randy Jarigese; daughter, Ann Heath; two granddaughters; brother, Dan Heath, Los Altos, Calif.; and his first wife, Carol Heath, of Lake Oswego.

A funeral service was held Jan. 11 at Mountain Park Church. Remembrances may be sent to PSU Friends of History, The Salvation Army or Parkinson's Resources of Oregon.

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