A long-time resident of Hermiston died peacefully in her sleep, Feb. 5, 2018, at the age of nearly 85. Georgia Lenile Jatko (Cunningham) was born in Ash Fork, Arizona, on March 6, 1933. In her final years, she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in a Hermiston facility. In January, she had been moved to another facility in Ontario, Oregon, where she passed on February 5.
She was always called Lenile, but in her older years she was known as Lenny by all her many friends. She was the second of four children of John and Mirla Cunningham. During the Great Depression the family moved many times to find work. At last, in 1943, John would be hired by the Union Pacific Railroad, and northeast Oregon would become the family home. They would live along the railroad line in Wieser, Idaho, and then La Grande, Pendleton, and Hermiston.
In 1967, she married Stephen Jatko. The marriage would last only four years, and they had one child. She then had to raise her son, John Jason Jatko, working as a single mom. Lenny had several jobs in Hermiston before finally settling in at Ye Olde Pizza Shoppe, where she would stay for the next 22 years. She became a fixture at the shop, and knew hundreds of customers from the Hermiston area. She even appeared in a TV commercial for the shop that was shown on a Tri-Cities TV station.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mirla Cunningham,
and her two younger brothers, Gene and Richard. Her survivors include her older brother, John Jr. (Barbara) and nephew Jim, of Richland, Wash. Her brother Gene’s widow, Judy, and extended family live in Arizona, Nevada, and Arkansas. Her son John with her two grandsons, Hunter and Cody, live in New Hampshire.
Lenny always loved being near the ocean, and wanted her ashes to be put in the sea. To insure that her wishes would be honored, she made early arrangements with Burns Mortuary in Hermiston. Upon her death, her ashes were to be sent to her son in New Hampshire to be spread in the Atlantic Ocean. She will always be loved and remembered by those who knew her.