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Mary Faye Kagee

Aug. 23, 1930 — Oct. 3, 2011

Mary Faye Kagee, 81, was born in Hector, Ark. She moved to California with her family while growing up, then to Newberg for her senior year of high school.

She worked at AAA Insurance Co. in Portland, where she met a man named Bill Kagee on a blind double date. Her friend Georgia went out with Bill and Mary with one of Bill’s friends, but she and Bill seemed to hit it off. They were married on March 24, 1951. They moved to Castle Rock, and she helped any way she could as her husband, with his father and brother, worked in the woods.

Bill and Mary started their family with first born Sue in 1953. They moved to Lebanon in 1955, and had their second born, Karen, in 1956. In August 1960 Mary and Bill moved to Waterloo Road where Bill still logged, with Deer Creek Logging. There his passion for having horses grew, and Mary’s passion grew with his. They started racing horses in 1962. Together they built Twin Fir Stables, with quarter and thoroughbred race horses, Kagee’s Tack, Warm Air and Kagee Trailers. They raced their horses all over Oregon, including the bush tracks. In 1970 they ventured to Boise to race at Les Bois Park, which became their “second home” for 37 years in the summer. Portland Meadows was it in the winter. Mary would say, “Horse racing, it just gets in your blood.”

Mary was “mom” or “grandma” to a lot of people. She was very caring and nurturing, and wanted no one to go without. Her way to make sure of that was to cook. When going to the ranch, you talked and trained horses, drank coffee and ate what Mary put on the counter for you, which was always too much to eat. She was in her element when giving.

Mary is survived by daughter Karen Kagee Schmidt of Lebanon; sister Patsy Reed of Washington; brother George Butler of California; grandsons Grant Schmidt of Roseburg, and Travis, Russell and Benjamin Utley, all of Lebanon; and one great-grandson.

She was preceded in death by husband Bill Kagee Jr. and daughter Sue Utley.

A memorial service will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23,  at the Santiam Place Events Hall, 139 Main St., Lebanon. Contributions may be made to Linn County Horse Rescue, 39389 Plagmann Drive, Lebanon, OR 97355.

Huston-Jost Funeral Home is handling arrangements (

the life of: Mary Faye Kagee
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