Cynthia Jayne von Borstel, 91, a resident of the Beaverton community, passed away Dec. 31, 2021, at Maryville Care.

Cynthia was born July 18, 1930, in North Manchester, Indiana. She was the oldest of two children born to John D. and Beatrice A. (Miller) Nichols Sr. Her mother died when Cynthia was 5 and her father later remarried to Margaret Cone. Two more siblings were added through this union.

Cynthia was raised in and around North Manchester, Valparaiso and Michigan City, Indiana. She graduated in 1948 from Isaac C. Elston High School. Cynthia went to work with the Bell Phone Co. as a telephone operator, which later led her to move "out West" to Olympia, Washington. She joined the Navy Reserves during the Korean War and served out of Michigan City, Indiana.

She met her future husband, Carl H. von Borstel, while on a blind date set up by her Uncle Arnold Sharp and friend Adela Simon. They began dating and married Nov. 13, 1954, at St Michael Catholic Church in Olympia. They honeymooned in the lower Canadian lakes and moved to the von Borstel family ranch in Kent, Oregon. They had six kids; Karen, Krista, Larry, Karla, Lee and Kay. They moved off the farm in 1986 to The Dalles. In 2000 they divorced. Cynthia moved to Vancouver, Washington. She became a resident of Maryville Care in 2015.

Cynthia was a co-owner of their family ranch. She had a creamery with a herd of 15 milking and beef cows, as well as sheep, pigs, ducks and chickens (for eggs), all for her family to sell to local ranchers and neighboring towns. Cynthia could butcher 200 chickens in a day with the help of her children. She was well read and was innovative when it came to their ranch operation, suggesting they invest in a well which led to their ability to install the first circle irrigation system in the Kent area. Cynthia also worked outside the farm as an auction clerk for The Dalles Auction Yard, a prep cook for Carol's Kitchen, a fish counter for the US Army Corp of Engineers, an emergency room sanitizer at the Mid-Columbia Medical Center, and also at CYO Camp Howard as a gate keeper and kitchen assistant. She was an avid volunteer at the schools while her children attended, particularly with sports and at the Sherman County Fair Poultry Barn. She was always willing to lend a hand where needed.

Cynthia was an accomplished artist; she could work in any medium including, weaving, sewing, drawing, oil painting and many more. She helped develop this gift in many of her children and grandchildren. She loved country gospel music, reading about history and she followed college and professional sports. She played on several softball teams in Indiana and was an avid Notre Dame and Chicago Cubs fan. Her biggest achievement was her family. Cynthia was her family’s #1 babysitter, and she had a huge influence in her grandchildren's lives.

She is preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Diane Novak, all of Indiana.

She is survived by her six children and their spouses: Karen A. von Borstel of Corbett, Sister Krista von Borstel, SSMO of Beaverton, Larry and Linda von Borstel of Kent, Karla and Bill Chambers of Corvallis, Lee and Merrie von Borstel of Kent, Kay von Borstel of Skamania County, Washington, a sister, Nancy Hoeppner, of Warsaw, Indiana; John Nichols Jr. of Hermiston, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

A Rosary/Sharing will be held in the convent chapel of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Friday, March 4,, at 6:30 p.m., and the funeral will be held Saturday, March 5, at 10 a.m. in the Sisters Convent Chapel. Burial will be at 3 p.m. at the Grass Valley, Oregon, Cemetery with a reception following at the Grass Valley Pavillion.