Reed neighborhood woman turns 99, gets parade
Reedwood resident Lucille Pierce celebrated her 99th birthday on May 19 enjoying a parade of longtime friends down S.E. Steele Street, where she now lives. That parade included some three dozen cars, and was particularly distinguished by the presence of the entire crew of Woodstock Fire Station #25. The parade staged at All Saints Episcopal Church on Woodstock Boulevard. Friends brought colorful balloons, banners, cowbells, and signs. The church's Priest, Andria Skornik, chatted with Susanne Bateman and Laurie McDowell, whose car was decorated with balloons, and a silhouette of Bigfoot wearing a face mask. At 2 p.m. the parade moved out, northward on S.E. 41st Avenue to Steele Street, and then proceeded to Lucille's home. There, well-wishers greeted her and her daughter-in-law, Karen Pierce, with flowers, cheers, photos, gifts, and lemon bars, to celebrate her 99 years.This spry woman has lived most of her life in the Southeast Portland area, and the special celebration made her reflective: "This was a wonderful place for me to grow up, marry, and raise a family." She adds to THE BEE she still enjoys walking a mile every day, as well as baking, knitting, quilting, gardening, and reading. She was taking Yoga classes well into her 90s at Reed College.
Pierce was actually born in Northeast Portland, but moved to Inner Southeast when she was three years old. In 1927, she was in the first class at the then-new Duniway Grade School in Eastmoreland. Later, she attended Reed College, where she met her late husband, Sam – and later worked in the Reed Admissions Office, from which she retired in 1985.
Lucille and Sam raised their four children in Eastmoreland, while her husband operated the Sam Pierce Radio & TV Repair Shop at 7044 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue in Westmoreland. Following the duo's retirement, they enjoyed travel to Europe, Hawai'i, Vietnam, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Australia. "We were very fond of our travels in Italy and the British Isles," she recalls. "We also had a retirement home on the Washington State coast for 22 years – then moved back to Southeast Portland to be with family."
Lucille has been active at All Saints Episcopal Church, where she became the first woman Eucharistic Minister. Many of her friends and fellow Yoga students live in the area, and were instrumental in organizing the birthday caravan down S.E. Steele St. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, she drove and did her own grocery shopping in the area.
Now, in addition to all her previously-mentioned pastimes, she is practicing calligraphy. She still enjoys attending opera, symphonies, and the ballet in Downtown Portland with friends. Of her full and active life during the past century, she advises those wishing to live as long, "Keep busy and active with friends and family."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.