Eunice Maxine Caffee, a 47-year resident of Ridgecrest/Inyokern, Calif., died peacefully at home with family at her bedside June 1, 2011, after suffering an incapacitating stroke. She was 94.
Eunice was born Dec. 17, 1916, in Marian Township near Remsen, the daughter of Louis and Effie (Van Dusen) Kemp. She was raised and educated in Plymouth County and graduated from St. Mary's High School, Remsen on May 25, 1934.
Following a year-long engagement, she married Creighton E. Caffee Dec. 24, 1935, in Mitchell, S.D. They resided in Plymouth County and Miller, S.D., until September 1936 when they went to California for the first time.
After a few months in California, they returned to the Midwest. Between 1941 and 1950, the family moved many times, between California, South Dakota and Oregon, residing in Anaheim and Inyo County, Calif.; Eugene, Ore.; and Miller and Burbank, S.D.
In 1950, Eunice and her family settled permanently in Tunawee Canyon near Coso Junction, in Inyo County.
Eunice worked as a waitress at Coso, Little Lake, Dunmovin and Olancha until 1963, when she bought and ran taverns in Inyokern and Ridgecrest.
After retiring in 1974, Eunice's love of the desert and interest in history led her to join the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert and the Maturango Museum. She spent many hours volunteering for these organizations; her favorites being the trips with students to Sand Canyon, the area petroglyphs and to view spring wild flowers.
Survivors include her children, Terrence (Lorene) Caffee, Barbara (Edward) Lasky, and Leslie Caffee; grandchildren Gregory Caffee, Deanna Lasky Blevin, Michael and Kenneth Lasky, Vincent, Clinton and Brian Caffee; 20 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, step-grand and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Eunice was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother Orren; sister Lois and granddaughters Janet (Caffee) Johnson and Debra Caffee.
Visitation will be held Friday, June 10, from 5-7 p.m. at HK Holland Memorial Chapel. Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 11, at 10 a.m. at the Crossroads Community Church, 235 No. China Lake Blvd., in Ridgecrest, Calif., with Pastor Dave Mason officiating. Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m. at Desert Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert or the Maturango Museum, Ridgecrest Calif., or St. Mary's Development Fund, PO Box 500, Remsen, Iowa 51050.