PORTLAND — Audrey N. Shermer passed away peacefully at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon on her 88th birthday, Oct. 6, 2017. She was born in Seattle to Egil and Nellie Ramberg on Oct. 6, 1929.
She grew up in Ballard along with her sister, Elvera, and graduated from Ballard High School in 1947. In 1948 she started modeled and worked at the Tower Exchange Building and then for the Langendorf Bakery. Audrey ice-skated in her first show in 1946.
She married Joe Dennis in 1949 and had three sons, Michael, Shane and Steven. They owned and operated the Drifters Tavern. Joe and Audrey later divorced. She joined the Kingston Fire Department in 1956 and also drove ambulance for eight years.
In 1973 she married Earl Shermer and lived at Lake Ozette on the Olympic Peninsula where they built the Ozette Cedar Shake Mill. Audrey learned to yard logs and pack shakes in the mill. They also cut cedar boards for the Olympic National Park Trail to Cape Alava, which are still in use today.
In 1976 Earl and Audrey bought and operated the Wagon Wheel Tavern in Port Angeles where Audrey always had shows and music on the stage. They decided to move to Long Beach in 1979 and bought and ran the Corral Drive In. Together they built up and owned several businesses including Sand Dollar Sales embroidery and silk screening. Audrey also had an elephant ear food wagon.
She was a clown duo with her close friend, Martha DeCoteau and they were called Squeaky and Happy and even got to know J.P. Patches. Audrey loved performing in parades with her costumes and puppets with friends and kids in tow. She loved dressing up for Halloween, designed her own costumes and was excited to wear them. She was a very talented artist, clothes and costume designer and a puppeteer who made her own puppets. She was very creative with her ideas. She was the Easter bunny for many years and modeled clothes at fashion shows up until the age of 85.
She was an active member of the Elks, Moose, TOPS and the Puppeteers of America.
Audrey had a zest for life and was very involved in every community she lived in. She did amazing things in her life and will be missed but not forgotten. Audrey was a pioneer with her ideas and accomplishments. She will be loved forever.
Her parents, Egil and Nellie; a sister, Elvera; her son, Shane; a nephew, Rob and her husband, Earl, preceded her in death.
Survivors include her sons, Michael Dennis, Steven Dennis, Dan Shermer, David Shermer and family; a niece, Cheryl; a nephew, Tom; three grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Elks Lodge in Long Beach. The date and time will be announced later.