Marcie Sheehy has known about Wallowa County since she was a little girl, because her grandparents, C.C. and Ellena Wycoff, ranched out Sherrod Road between Wallowa and Lostine.
Marcie recalls coming to visit her grandparents when she was a little girl and came out for elk hunts and other events as she grew.
Her parents raised her in Nyssa and she married a Durkee fellow, Dennis Sheehy. Both Dennis and Marcie went to U of O and continued their education very broadly — Marcie went on to earn a teaching and library certificate (and used that library certificate at Wallowa Elementary for 14 years) and Dennis taught all over the world as a range consultant.
They came and went a lot because of Dennis’s job, but eventually took over management of the Wycoff ranch in the ‘70s along with Tom Sheehy. Dennis’s father. Over time both sides of the extended family ended up in Wallowa County.
The Sheehys raised three children: Ryan Sheehy, Carrie (Sheehy) Hermens (married to Levi Hermens) and Cody Sheehy.
Marcie enjoys various volunteer activities: cataloging for the Wallowa City Public Library, being involved in the Friends of Wallowa School District and helping out at church.
She continues to ranch, now with daughter Carrie and son-in-law Levi Hermens, and enjoys being grandma to six grandkids.
Q. You say that despite the world travel with your husband’s career, you just kept coming back to Wallowa County, why is that?
A. The pull was always to come back. We loved Wallowa County and the kids loved Wallowa and always wanted to come back.
I’m a really outdoors person and Wallowa County offers everything for anybody that likes outdoors: hiking, camping, fishing, riding your horse up in the mountains –– all of those are things I enjoy doing.
And, as many people in your 3 Minutes have said, the community spirit here just blows me away. When somebody is hurt or needs help, boom! Everybody’s right there.
My son, Cody, got lost in the mountains at 6 years old. He did walk out, but he was missing for 24 hours and the amount of people who came to help us in that 24 hours was amazing.
Q. What do you see in the future for Wallowa County?
A. I always hope that we don’t get overpopulated. I’m hoping that is not in the future. It seems like Wallowa County is full of people who can think of jobs to live here. Maybe more of that will go on –– being able to create interesting ways to live here and still have this small population.
Q. Do you have any concerns about how our younger generation can come back to Wallowa after college?
A. A lot of young people are wanting to come back. Housing is a huge concern. When Ryan moved back a year ago in August, they just wanted to rent for a little while and they couldn’t find anything.
Before the housing problem there was the work problem. It’s always been a problem for young people wanting to come back.
But I see a lot of young people coming back now and they’re kind of creating their own niche, they’re willing to have less, or they work three different jobs so they can raise their kids here.