Rachael Sather passed away on April 18, 2019 in Beaverton Oregon where she lived with, and was cared for, by her daughter, Ruby and long-time Caregiver, Raul Bautista for the past eleven years.
Rachael was born in Los Angeles California on December 8, 1924 and later, she and her family moved to El Paso, Texas where she grew up. During World War II, she served as a Rosie the Riveter, literally! She spent many days high above the ground on the wings of Bomber aircraft where she was a riveter. Later being moved into the office where she’d discover her life’s work.
During the war, she met J.R. Merritt who was a Captain of the 776 Armored Tank Battalion, who also happened to be from Texas. They began dating and were married in July 1945, two months before the end of the war.
Now married with children, Rachael and her young family were among the first Americans to arrive in Tokyo after Japan surrendered. Soon thereafter, relocation orders would arrive that would take the family to a quaint town in Washington State, Port Townsend and Fort Worden. She lived on the base for a while before moving to a house on Dundee Hill, just off Hastings Avenue. She’d later be hired to do the Accounting and Bookkeeping for the base.
It wasn’t long until her life took another turn when she was hired by the local hospital as their Comptroller. Back then, the hospital was named St. John’s Hospital and it was managed by the Sisters of Providence. Later, the hospital was renamed to Jefferson General and more recently, Jefferson Healthcare. While working at the hospital, she opened and ran the area’s first Mexican Restaurant, Pico’s. This made for very long days as she’d work in the restaurant after completing her work at the hospital. Usually finishing her day at 10:00 p.m. Though difficult and challenging, Rachael never shied away from challenges nor hard work. It was this lead by example approach to work that helped to instill solid work ethics in her children.
Rachael always enjoyed traveling where she could experience new cultures, customs and of course, cuisine. She visited Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia. Besides traveling, she had many interests. Among them included such things as cultures, art, philosophy, music, foreign languages, ethnic cooking, painting, dancing and gardening. She always liked a good party and really knew how to throw one. She was very social and had an eye for design, color and detail.
Rachael had the ability to be firm when needed, but she also had a light side to her personality having a great sense of humor. She was interesting, engaging, funny, fiercely loyal, hard-working, curious, artistic, successful, professional and just an all-around good person. She loved a lot, she laughed a lot and she worked a lot and along the way, enjoyed what life had to offer.
Rachael is survived by her children (spouses), Ray (Nikki) Merritt; Jim (Sally) Merritt; Ruby (Jerry) Brazelton; Doug (Natasha) Merritt; Michelle Gravatt. Also, her grandchildren Tory Merritt, Tofer Merritt, Trisha Berg, Christopher Brazelton, James Reagan, Joshua Merritt, Sam Merritt, Dustin Merritt, David Merritt, and Drew Merritt. She is also survived by her step-children David (Jeanie) Sather; Arne (Michele) Sather; (Linda Sather) and step-grandchildren Christopher Sather, Craig Sather, Beau Sather, Zachary Sather, Chiarra Klontz, Isaiah Sather, Shane Sather, and Amy Sather.