On January 8, Mabel Dreiszus, long time Brookings resident and businesswoman, passed away peacefully at home, sitting in her favorite chair with a view to the port and harbor, after a quiet dinner with her son and daughter. She was 93. Mabel was born in Selfridge, North Dakota in 1927 to Philip and Eva Schwartz. During the Great Depression she slept with her two sisters in one bed, which was too small to sleep shoulder-to-shoulder, so two would go in feet first and one would have to go in head first.
Her family eventually moved to Vancouver, Washington. When she was 15, she met George Dreiszus, who was 17 and already a merchant seaman. When George returned from WWII she was 19 and they married over the objections of her parents, who would not attend the wedding, thinking she might change her mind. However, time proved her right and her parents quickly came to love George, and they were married for 68 years.
They began their family in Portland but moved to Brookings in 1963 with children David, Linda, Bradford, and Daniel after purchasing what was then known as the Bonn Motel. The remote, coastal landscape inspired her and she began painting seascapes and local scenes. She joined the local art association and began entering her work locally over the next 55 years, typically taking home a ribbon. She collaborated on a mural at the high school that still exists.
Upon “retirement” they developed properties in Brookings, Gold Beach, Dallas, and Estacada. She and George loved to travel in their small motor home, venturing to all western states, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico. After a pause in travel, they sold their motor home, but the travel bug reappeared and they once ended up sleeping in a minivan in the Mexican desert while trying a shortcut to the Sea of Cortez. She was 80.
After George’s passing in 2015, family and friends became her increased focus. She loved playing cards and games with dear friends and particularly enjoyed hosting. Her house was seldom empty as she often had extended visits from children and grandchildren. She was a long-time member of Grace Bible Church and proclaimed her faith till her last day. Shortly after her 93rd birthday, she fell and broke her hip for the second time. She faced this challenge with toughness, resilience, and faith. After many medical complications over the next three months her prayer was to either go home or go to Heaven. Her Lord answered both of her prayers.
She was preceded in death by her husband George, son David, parents Phil and Eva, brothers Walter and Sidney, and sister Lilly Ann. She is survived by her older sister Ina, daughter Linda (Don), sons Brad and Dan (Tetty); twelve grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
A Memorial honoring Mabel’s life will be announced at a later date.