Imogene "Jeannie" A. Kleinschmit 1937 - 2020

Imogene “Jeannie” A. Kleinschmit, age 83, of McMinnville, Oregon, passed away quietly in the early morning of August 24, 2020, from complications of cancer. Jeannie was an integral member of the McMinnville community. She was born June 29, 1937, in Vancouver, Washington, and grew up on her family farm in Sherwood, Oregon. She graduated from Sherwood High School and went on to take classes at Portland State University and Linfield. At 19 years old, she fell for Owen Hamilton Ryburn and eloped to California. She was preceded in death by her husband, Owen (1992); son, Douglas Derryck (1983); and husband, Donn Noman Kleinschmidt (2005). Jeannie worked as a registered nurse starting in California and thereafter at Meridian Park Hospital in Oregon until she retired in the early 1990s. Jeannie and Owen bought a small farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, where they raised their two boys.

After the passing of her first husband, Jeannie married Donn Norman Kleinschmit in March of 1995. Jeannie and Donn lived in Sherwood and were snowbirds for a short time in Sedona, Arizona, until Donn’s health required them to live in Oregon full time when they moved to McMinnville. Donn passed in January of 2004. She helped Donn reconnect with his children after a lengthy estrangement, and became quite close to her stepchildren, even after Donn was gone.

As a resident of McMinnville, Jeannie was active with P.E.O., was a member of the Yamhill County Historical Society, and worked at the historical center during Pioneer Days, teaching children how to sew buttons, and shared historical stories, etc. She was involved with the SMART program, which helps children learn to read, was an avid Linfield football and music program fan and alumnus--Go Wildcats! Jeannie was a seamstress and helped with costuming at Gallery Theater periodically. She was part of a book club, a Thirsty Thursday group, swim group, Youngberg Hill Winery music fan (Wine Wednesdays), and helped friends make fantastic chocolates under the Majestic brand. She was also an avid quilter and made close to 100 quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders, a charity that provides quilts to needy children worldwide.

Jeannie was a world traveler and was not afraid to take trips on her own through Road Scholar. Because of these trips, Jeannie made friends from around the world. Her last trip lasted four and a half months on the Queen Elizabeth II and traveled to 27 countries.

Jeannie will be deeply missed. She was a woman who invited people into her world. She was all-inclusive, kind, loving and caring. She was always taking soup or other meals to friends who were not feeling well, or visiting, playing games or cards and having tea/lunch with friends.

She is survived by her youngest son, Howard (53); daughter-in-law, Lesley (50); and two grandsons, Jacob (20) and Eli (19); as well as her brother, Derryck Dittman and family; sister, Cheryl Williams and family; and four step-children. Jeannie was cremated by the Neptune Society; after the COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, her family will be throwing her a great party and celebration of life. We will get the word out once we are able to plan for the number of people to celebrate her life.


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