257 SE Roberts, Gresham, OR 97080

Irma Hope Wade February 25, 1926 - January 5, 2020

Irma was born on a farm to John and Florence Eskeldson on February 25, 1926 in Oregon City, Oregon.  She passed away January 5, 2020 in Gresham at the age of 93.

The youngest of 6 children, she graduated from Oregon City High school where she sang in a triple trio. She worked in the ship yards during World War II and picked hops.  Irma met her husband, Murray, while they were students at U of O and married in 1948.  Murray passed in 2003.

She loved gardening, history, following politics, volunteering at the polls during elections and water aerobics. She was a natural caregiver, who had a strong faith and practiced unconditional love.

A memorial service will be at 2:00p.m., Sunday, January 19 at Gresham Memorial Chapel.

The family suggest contributions be made to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.


A memorial service will be at 2:00p.m., Sunday, January 19 at Gresham Memorial Chapel.


  1. REPLY
    LeAnn Miner says

    To the Wade family.
    I was sorry to hear of Irma’s passing. Many of my happy childhood memories are of the entire Wade family from the old neighborhood. It has been many years since I last spoke to Irma but her sweet nature and kindness to me I will never forget. She was always allowing me to spend the night with Janet and feeding me (I loved her cooking!) and never made me feel like the pest I probably was at times!! May your many lovely memories of her be a comfort to you now and know that she will never be forgotten by all of us who also share memories of her.
    Sincerely, LeAnn (Thede) Miner

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    Jack Eskeldson says

    From Jack Eskeldson:

    A strong memory I have is being at the wedding ceremony for Aunt Irma’s and Uncle Murray’s wedding in September 1948. (I was 8 years old at the time, and it was the first time I had been to a wedding.)

    It was a very nice wedding, attended by many people, and it gave me a good view of what a nice wedding is like, which was useful many years later when planning for my wedding with my wife Nancy.

    I still remember that Irma and Murray wedding, not all of the details, but what a nice feeling it was to be there.

    And my wife Nancy fondly remembers some time she spent with Aunt Irma.

    It was soon after Nancy and I were married, and Nancy was still getting acquainted with my family and relatives. Some of us had gone up to the state of Washington, and for the trip back Nancy rode with Aunt Irma and they had a nice conversation the whole way, and Aunt Irma made Nancy feel very welcome into the Eskeldson family.

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    Christy Hall says

    My fondest memory is of Irma taking care of us one weekend. We both arrived home from college sick with the crud. I remember Irma putting us in separate rooms and pumping us with her famous concoction – hot water, lemon, honey and whiskey… pretty sure it was heavy on the whiskey! So we basically were drunk and sleeping all weekend! Lol lol! I believe we felt pretty good by the time we returned to UO! I love that woman… she was my mom too!!!

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    Melody Allen says

    My grandmother, Charlotte, Great Aunt Irma’s older sister, shared stories with us about Aunt Irma:

    First, on swearing:

    When they were kids, Irma and Charlotte made up swear words to use, since they were not allowed to swear. One of these was “Skunk-a-rack-oo.”

    Fast forward a couple decades, during World War 2, when Aunt Irma was working at the docks. One day, she heard footsteps and realized she was being followed. She turned around and yelled into the man’s face every swear word that she could think of, which she had learned from the dockworkers. The man ran away.

    Second, Aunt Irma will be remembered–

    She shared her love of gardening and value of fresh vegetables with us all. She was ready with garlic to share from her garden, offering it to us when we visited her home. Even late into her life, Aunt Irma was sharing stories of snapping green beans from her garden…the last time we visited with her at the reunion, she shared she had done this that week.

    Aunt Irma has always been ready with a friendly smile, kind words and compliments, and a great sparkling sense of humor, laughing as we talked. My girls had the opportunity to talk with her at a reunion a few years ago, and they were delighted with her. She had an inner joy and lovingkindness that shone through.

    Overall, Aunt Irma’s life was not an easy one, but she retained and shared this joy and love toward others, and that is amazing.

  5. REPLY
    Jana James says

    Irma was my backyard neighbor for the last almost 15 years. Whenever I saw her working in her yard (that was her secret garden place) I’d call out to her and say “hi Irma”. I was probably a pest but I wanted her to know that I cared about her and was there if she ever needed me. She always heard me, she had good hearing, and we’d wave back to each other. I will miss that. She was a very sweet neighbor to me. Sharing her raspberry starts, telling me about her husband and her father. Telling me I could have a start of her elephant garlic that her husband liked and then the poppy flowers that always made starts on their own in my yard. A little bit of Irma I say when I see them growing here and there. She was a very kind soul. Giving sweet advice here and there. But most of all her beautiful laundry line that I covet to this day. And a swimsuit hanging up in the window of her laundry room telling me that as old as she was she took time to swim and take care of herself.

  6. REPLY
    Jana James says

    We will miss you Irma!!

  7. REPLY

    I’m sorry to hear of Irma’s passing. There are so many memories from the old neighborhood. Our family backyards partially butted up to the Wade’s backyard. I remember Irma and Murray sharing vegetables from their garden and our many backyard barbecues. While my age stuck me between Janet and John I was always accepted as a friend. The last time I saw Irma was maybe ten years ago at my parents condo. We shared so many memories of times past that I will hold them in my heart forever. She will be dearly missed but the love she shared with us all will forever be remembered. My entire family sends our love to you all.

    With Love,
    Vicki (Jones) Hope

  8. REPLY
    George and Lily Young says

    We are so sorry to heard the loss of your Mom. It is our Neighbor’s loss too. We moved into the Neighborhood in 1980 and your parents were so kind and generous to our boys. There were 10 boys same ages running around in their drive way daily. Your parents never complained and put up all the children’s nuisance. Irma loved her garden and shared her harvest. She was kind and gentle, never said unkind word to anyone, always lent a hand to help neighbors. If a neighbor child scraped their body in her driveway, she put a bandage and gave comfort and sent the child home with handful her home-grown yellow tomatoes. George and I will miss her. She was a perfect neighbor and will be greatly missed.

  9. REPLY
    Denise Moore says

    Irma was my neighbor for nearly 25 years. I couldn’t have asked for a better neighbor. Irma was so kind and welcoming when my husband and I moved in next door to her and her husband.

    What I will always remember is Irma’s soft voice, caring personality, her love of gardening and sharing her garden bounty. Wow did that lady have a green thumb! When Irma would cook with her home-grown garlic, it was all we could do but not to invite ourselves over for dinner.

    One fall, when Irma was burning out back, my husband asked if we could roast some hot dogs. Irma said “sure that sounds good”. So, we had a good old fashion wienie roast with our favorite neighbor.

    I had never seen Irma so happy as she was her last one- and one-half years next door to me. Irma’s daughter, Janet, worked so hard 2 summers to make the back yard into “Irma’s garden”. I loved seeing Irma, wearing her cute sun hat, while gardening in her new raised garden beds.

    Irma and Janet sat out back on the patio most every warm evening. I would have my door open to let the cool air in and would hear Irma laughing and enjoying her evenings.

    It was so precious to see Irma and Janet walking around the yard arm and arm. Irma was so excited to plant her new flowers and vegetables after buying them. I could hardly believe that Irma could still get up by herself after being on her knees in the yard. Irma had 30 years on me and if I got down like that it would take a crane to get me standing again!

    Every time I see one those wood cutouts of a lady’s backside bent over gardening; it always makes me think of Irma. This spring I will be looking to buy one of them for my yard.

    I will miss Irma very much and I will never forget her. See you in Heaven dear neighbor and friend.

  10. REPLY
    Pam Hale says

    Irma was not only my lifelong aunt but a good, good friend. She and Murray came to every one of my weddings from Tacoma to Vancouver to Ridgefield. After the birth of my daughter she was the only family member besides Mom, that visited me in the hospital. And Irma and Murray invited us to my daughter’s first Christmas.

    We became close during the last five or six years of her life. We talked regularly by phone sharing our circumstances. We went out for meals, to the movies and even a day trip. We went up the Gorge, stopping at the falls, crossed the bridge, thru Bingen and White Salmon, looking for that special place. We walked into at least three. I thought none of them was good enough for Irma. We ended up returning to Gresham to our favorite Thai restaurant for a late lunch.

    When I went to the coast for 2 years, Irma was one of the few people that had my phone number. She would faithfully call me. I appreciated that she got my sense of humor. We would soon find ourselves laughing no matter our troubles.

    Irma is one of the “real” people that shares the good times and the bad with you. Real people are hard to find. And when you do find them, you

    treasure them and never let them go. I will always treasure my times with and memories of Irma.

    Irma shared with me that Jesus is the son of God and that he was raised from the dead. She not only believes this, she lived by His Word. Even though life is filled with challenges, I never heard her say an unkind or disparaging word about anyone. Irma “fought the good fight, she finished ‘her’ race, she kept the faith”. I look forward to the day, and am absolutely certain, I will see her again.

  11. REPLY
    Alex, Jake and Sam Luty says

    Our favorite memories of Grandma Irma revolve around food. Be it the garden, the dinner table or a hoppy beer for one of our birthdays, time with

    Irma was enhanced by her talent with food, but it was also an opportunity to get to know where our wit came from.

    Early on, we know we missed so much of her light and cleverness. But, as we got older, we were lucky to have enjoyed them for as long as possible. Sam remembers getting a surprised look from Grandma at his college graduation dinner. While Grandma was supportive, she still joked about her surprise that Sam had yet another new girlfriend. As her ability to speak declined, we knew her wit was still there when she laughed at our jokes. High praise, to be sure.

    When we were very young, Grandma Irma supported our family by taking care of 3 rowdy boys. Her roll-up sandwiches were a feast for heroes, even scantily-clad ones wearing bibs as armor. She taught us to be humble and kind, especially to one another; a lesson we didn’t learn right away, but learned nonetheless.

    Irma is the best in us. She was well liked and loved dearly. She was a strong woman in a time when it was silently expected. She was the example of ‘actions speak louder than words,’ even if her words were often just as deliberate. It was cruel that her speech was taken from her, but her spark persisted. And that spark lives on in all of us touched by her, in memory, in genes, and in grace.

  12. REPLY
    Greg & Rita Painter says

    Irma has been our neighbor for nearly 3 generations! Yes, for nearly half a century. She has been like a mother, a grandmother & great-grandmother. She watched as Rita, Greg and Doug grew into adults with families; the yelps from Geoff, Erin and Lindsay, and recently “Hi Irma,” from Ellery, Henry and Payton. She was the best neighbor and friend that Rita and I could have had for 43 year. We will miss Irma very, very much.

  13. REPLY
    Leigh Hamilton says

    Irma came into my life when we both moved into University House and started classes at the University of Oregon.

    The names of Irma and her sisters reflected the philosophy of her parents Her older sisters were Faith and Charlotte and Irma bore the middle name of Hope.

    We found we had much in common as we were both grown on small farms, schooled in Palmer method cursive writing and were perhaps a bit naive; for example, on admission papers we needed to indicate if we were Greek or Independent. I knew I was Irish and Welsh so I checked Independent.

    Besides being beautiful Irma was intelligent, honest and had a great sense of humor. She smiled and laughed a lot and was a hard worker. She was a child of the depression so was thrifty and was schooled in “waste not want not.” Our longevity is a tribute to our early farm diet, all Organic before we knew the current meaning of the word.

    University House was a coop for women. There were only two hired staff. A cook and a mandatory house mother who was always vigilant at the 10:30 pm curfew.

    To achieve the low rent all the residents were assigned jobs to keep the house running. Jobs ranged from feeding the sawdust furnace to helping with vegetable prep and general cleaning. We all had extra part time jobs from babysitting to house cleaning, etc. Got to give it this – we didn’t come out owing student loans.

    Historical note: University House was razed and is the site of the Erb Memorial Student Union.

    Both Irma and I met our husbands-to-be and fell in love and married in September of 1948. Since she married the week before me, she became my matron of honor, rather than Maid of Honor.

    As our lives became more complex with five children each and the demands of homemaking, Irma brought her skills as a Gardener to the forefront and provided fresh vegetables for her family.

    In later years her specialty was sending you home with luscious garlic that Murray would explain was for good health.

    Irma was a dedicated Duck fan and having the Ducks win the Rose Bowl again may have completed her bucket list. I am sure she entered Heaven still smiling over the victory.

  14. REPLY
    Mari;yn Patterson says

    When I hear the words, “Aunt Irma” I also hear her ready but kind laughter, her positive words, and see her friendly face and warm smile. Kind, positive, friendly and warm are what I have carry with me and try to share from my interactions with her.

  15. REPLY
    Phil Winters says

    I wish I could be there with all of you celebrating dear Aunt Irma’s party in Heaven with all of her friends and family because there is another 93 year old here on earth that needs our help. I cannot say enough good things about Aunt Irma. Her and I were very close. All of my life, she and Uncle Murray would say, “if you are in the area, stop by.” When I was younger, I would do just that, not knowing or thinking about the fact that they might be busy or not in the position of entertaining company. However, I did come to realize at some point that I should call first. They were insistent that I should never call ahead, and they meant it! I can honestly say that I never had a negative experience in my life with Aunt Irma, and I was around her many, many times over the years. How many people can anybody say that about people they have been around multiple times? She was off the charts wonderful! We even had some business dealings that were wonderful, even though one of life’s rules say you should not do business with relatives or friends! On a final note, I have got to tell just one example of her multiple generosities to me & and all of my immediate family : when I was in the hospital here in Arizona, she sent a get well card with a check in it with the message, “you know what your Uncle Murray would say – if you don’t know what to send, just send money.” Well, the timing was perfect, as I was going to miss a lot of work. It cracked me up when she added that they overcharged me on interest (which was not true)! I will miss her a lot. When I make trips up from Arizona, I can’t see everybody I want to see, but I always had to see my dear Aunt Irma!

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