Retha Georgene Maynard Johnson Wilkins (Jeanie) of Slate Creek, ID passed away on April 24, 2021 at age 89 after a debilitating stroke in March.
Georgene was born on February 4, 1932 in Lewiston, ID to her parents, Lowell (Babe) Maynard and Grace Painter Maynard. She grew up in the Salmon River mountains and Clearwater River Valley. After graduating from Kamiah High School, Georgene put herself through school to become a cosmetologist. She was married to Eugene Johnson from 1951 until his death in 1962. Georgene married Glen Wilkins, and they started a family together in Kamiah before moving to Slate Creek in 1975. Georgene worked as a cosmetologist while raising her family and helping Glen design and build two log homes. Georgene’s famous sourdough pancakes brought joy to everyone seated at her table over the years, and those memories live on in the countless sourdough starters she shared with those she loved.
In her 70’s, Georgene took time to write a book about her life experiences. She told of climbing trees as a child in Slate Creek, one room schoolhouses, homesteads, helping raise her young brothers, owning and operating her own beauty salon at the age of 19, her beloved dogs, losing her mother, brother, and first husband at tragically young ages, raising a family with her soulmate, traveling, moose hunting, and cherishing her life at Slate Creek with Glen. She closed her story with a reflection on the many relatives, classmates, and friends she had lost up to that point:
“As time goes on, we will be less. Those who are here will remember all of those gone, and we will always continue to be a family…. Through the years we change but always continue on for the next generation. My love to all of you for the good times and a wish for the peace of a good life to come.
Georgene is survived by her three children and their families; Neal (Samantha), Laree (Shaun), Kevin (Edward); four grandchildren Seth (Patti) and Walker, Kaleb (Emma) and Kaleala (John); her extended family members of many cousins, nieces and nephews; her in-laws MaryEllen, Don and Janice; her lifelong friend and Godmother to her children, Joyce Kinney Frazier; and her beloved pet, Snoopy.
Georgene was preceded in death by Eugene Johnson and Glen Wilkins, and her brothers Glenn (Donna), Jim, and Lyle Maynard.
Arrangements are under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Family and friends are invited to join in remembering Georgene’s life at jeanie.forevermissed.com to share memories, stories, and photos.