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Late Portland RI Leader Fondly and Widely Remembered

LorraineLorraine Mary Badurina June 25, 1945 to June 05, 2015

Lorraine Mary Badurina was born to Lawrence and Antoinette Badurina in Vancouver. She was the first of three daughters and was welcomed into a loving, loud and large extended Croatian family. She described her childhood as “idyllic” and treasured her growing up years spent with her sisters and many cousins. Lorraine graduated from Marycrest High School in 1963 and went on to earn her B.A. from Oregon State University in 1967.

She planned on becoming an English teacher until a friend suggested she might enjoy library school. It was at that moment a lightbulb went off and so began her dream career of librarian after her graduation from library school in 1968. Lorraine was beloved by both coworkers and patrons alike at Fort Vancouver Library. She liked to gently brag that patrons would “ask for her special” to help with their questions, her favorites being medical and legal. She was one of the few overheard saying close to her passing “at least I was able to work up until the very end!” In 1969, she married Jerry Justis and together they raised three daughters, Cecily (Tony), Erica (Jon) and Juliet (Matt). Lorraine relished being a stay-at-home mom and she and Jerry immersed themselves in their girls’ activities, enjoying soccer games, music performances and plays. They headed Friends of Fine Arts at Central Catholic High School, and helped raise money for a new school auditorium. Perhaps their favorite activity during these years were the unlimited free movies courtesy of their daughters’ employment at Lloyd Cinema.

Lorraine was never one to pass up a bargain! In the early ’80s, she joined the non-profit support group Recovery Inc. and credited its self-help methods for giving her freedom from anxiety and depression. She was so grateful for the system she volunteered as a much-loved leader for 18 years. Her love of talking and joy of helping people has bettered countless lives over the years, and she felt this is one of the things she was put on earth to do. She was an avid advocate for better mental health services. She met the “love of her life,” Jim Sleeper, in 2004 and was determined to enjoy every moment they had together. They traveled extensively, her frugal ways didn’t keep her from spending whatever it took to get her where she wanted to go! Lorraine went to as many dances as she could talk Jim into and spent almost as much time avoiding playing golf with him. Fridays were reserved for estate sale treasure hunting (her specialty was finding underpriced gold) with her best friend, Florence Sharp. Bargain hunting was a theme carried throughout her life; she enjoyed the deal almost as much as the treasure itself. Bargain hunting had a tough competitor with her gym time though, she was well known as a daily visitor at Cascade Athletic Club and used exercise as a way to both avoid housework AND stay in shape!

It was her profound faith in God that perhaps best defines Lorraine. A longtime member of All Saints Parish, she spent years and several Catholic pilgrimages pursuing a deeper relationship with Christ. It was during her pilgrimage to visit St. Padre Pio last year that she felt the most moved. She wept by his tomb, profoundly touched by the Holy Spirit. She felt that she would have some upcoming challenges and knew that the Holy Spirit would be with her.

It was lymphoma that was to be that last challenge. It took her so swiftly she never had to sit around, being so ill she missed living the life she didn’t want to waste one second of. Up until the end she said repeatedly that she was on a “spiritual journey,” and those who knew and loved her could no doubt deny that she was indeed. Her contagious zest for life and warm, outgoing nature will be missed by so many. Lorraine is survived by her three daughters; six precious grandchildren; partner, Jim Sleeper; and sisters, Marilyn (Ben) and Sharon (John). She was preceded in death by her parents; former husband, Gerald Justis; and beloved nephew, Michael Baxter.

My memories of Lorraine are mostly that of an exceptional RI leader. Lorraine described her introduction to the Tuesday night meeting this way: “Before me was Sonja Johnston for three years and Katherine Wolf for at least fifteen years before that. Kate Wolf was my mentor. Everyone loved her meetings because you were pretty much guaranteed a good laugh along with learning how to use the Recovery tools. When I attended my first meeting in June 1979, Kate was a new leader, having just taken over from a man named Sam, whom I regret never meeting. I remember how all the current members raved about Sam, so I imagine Kate learned good leadership habits from him, which she tried to pass down to me.”

She taught me all the basics of the RI method from the first meeting I attended. When I was ready she apprenticed me as an assistant leader. When she was ready to retire as co-leader of the St. Michael’s meeting, she mentored me in the first few years of my leadership.  Her specialty was welcoming the newcomer and quickly spotting the symptoms they were suffering from. She had a stalwart determination to help and inspire, and made any member meeting she attended come alive. Through her weekly meetings, combined with all the RI work she did on the national and local area levels, she helped many thousands of people. The dedication to RI leadership that she inherited from her predecessor, the late Kate Wolf, has ensured the longevity of St. Michael’s meeting, which will celebrate its 50 year anniversary in 2016. – Rob Winike

Random memories of Lorraine from the Internet:

I remember Lorraine always so happy to see us and so bubbly to share her latest adventure. I always felt she was a walking encyclopedia that had answers for all areas of questions! She was never one to say no to a trip… she said herself that her bag was always packed. She is a great role model to live your life to the fullest…. She did what she loved until the end and I know she is dancing in heaven and celebrating with our crazy Croatian family.

It was a joy and a privilege to work with Lorraine at Vancouver Library. Her love of and interest in new technology was an inspiration to me. On top of that, she was one of the most accepting and least judgmental people I have ever met. She is deeply missed.

Lorraine loved life and was so kind, witty and intelligent. It was a privilege to have worked with her for 20 years and I will never forget her. I learnt so many ‘life-lessons’ from Lorraine as I believe she was one of the wisest persons I have ever met.

Lorraine was one of the first to welcome me when I became a substitute librarian at FVRL. She was always helpful and kind, ready to assist with difficult questions. She was great with all ages and lived life as a true librarian.

Lorraine was a dear person who lit up any room she entered. I had the pleasure of working with her for over 30 yrs. as volunteers for Recovery, International. There is no way to estimate how many people she helped in that time. I will miss her smiling face and wonderful attitude.

Lorraine was so wise! She had wonderful listening skills. I shall miss her attentiveness and common sense, her empathy, understanding and respect for all. And so full of fun! That smile of Lorraine’s will always stay with me. She had a passion for travel and made many journeys far and wide in the 29 years I knew her, luckily I was able to join her from time to time. I will treasure these memories.

I will always cherish the memory of the years I spent working with Lorraine at FVRL, especially our shifts together on the Reference Desk. She was a dedicated librarian who obviously loved her job. She was absolutely great with people and could charm the “grump” out of the grumpiest and send them away with a smile on their face.


The following photos are from past RI Holiday parties in Portland:

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