SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Family and friends of a woman found dead Tuesday after disappearing Saturday in the Willamette National Forest are mourning the loss.
A search crew found the body of Dodie Throssel, 54, of Springfield on Tuesday evening in the Goodman Creek area off Highway 58. She had been missing since Saturday when she disappeared while mushroom hunting.
Described by family as an experienced mushroom hunter, Throssel had her two dogs and light clothing with her at the time she disappeared, the sheriff's office said.
Miller said Throssel attempted to stay warm.
"A couple pieces of bark. That were kind of resting on a log in the ground it appeared she was using for shelter," he said. "She dug a little hole and tried to make a fire, which she didn't do successfully."
The barking dogs led a group of Explorer Scouts to Throssel's body. They ran into the woods while crews removed Throssel from the forest, said Search and Rescue Coordinator John Miller. Miller said her sons planned to return to the area to retrive Throssel's car and look for the dogs.
Her children and ex-husband, with whom Throssel remained amicable after the divorce, were mourning their loss and did not want to speak to the media.
Dodie Throssel was reported missing on Saturday, and searchers worked through worsening weather in an effort to locate her.
Searchers found her body Tuesday an estimated 2,200 feet from her van near a creek. Her death does not appear to be suspicious, but the medical examiner will investigate, the sheriff's office said.
Sue Throssel, Dodie Throssel's ex-sister-in-law, said she had known Dodie for 36 years.
"You know how they say people have a certain aura, or a certain light about them?" she said. "Dodie was a wonderful, wonderful woman."
The two met when Sue was facing a crisis at work.
"I was working in a restaurant in 1974 in North Hollywood, Calif., and nobody showed up for work but me," she said. "So they called up someone from another chain.
"There comes Dodie walking in, and she had the biggest smile on her face," Sue said. "I just started smiling and I knew everything would be OK."
Dodie later met her future husband Charlie Throssel, Sue's brother.
"You wish you could fall in love that hard," she said. "They were so in love. People would stop them on the street."
The couple moved from California to Oregon to raise their sons Shane and Micah in a better environment.
Sue said Dodie and Charlie divorced in 1980s but stayed amicable because of kids.
She said Dodie went mushroom picking with her son, Shane, at least 20 times a year and had been mushroom hunting 100s of times in her life.
The loss of their mother has hit her sons hard, Sue said.
"It's like they're walking through blue," she said.
Sue Throssel released the following obituary in an e-mail to KVAL News.
Dodie J. Throssel was born in Los Angeles, California nearby where she met and married her (former & only) husband Charles Throssel. Shortly after they gave birth to their first child, Micah Throssel, they decided to leave the smog-choked, traffic-jammed, crime-flled streets of L.A. to move up to Oregon, with the goal of raising their family in a healthy, friendly and safe environment. Their second son, Shane was born (at home via a midwife) near Eugene, OR. Together, Dodie and Charlie were doting parents, reading and singing to their two boys every night and fishing, hiking, swimming, berry-picking, moto-cross-racing or cooking a family meal together by day. Charlie worked hard as a sawyer and tree-planter, giving Dodie the now-rare "luxury" of being a "stay-at-home-Mom" for the first seven years of Micah and Shane's lives. Both Shane and Micah consider their upbringing to be the happiest days of their lives.
Dodie saw in every other person, a small part of herself which she loved. She believed that we are all part of the same miracle of life. Throughout her life, Dodie was a hard worker, excited by setting goals, she enjoyed the process of becoming a better part of herself. Dodie attended college in Van Nuys, California, and later in life, along with her husband Charlie, took classes on the Dreikurs Method of child-rearing. She believed that we should make the best of what we are, and have been given. She strongly believed that our perception of the world around us, has eveything to do with who we are inside.
Dodie enjoyed sharing her high-spirited energy with others, and also loved to participate artistically: she hand-sewed Micah and Shane's Halloween costumes every year, was an expert organic chef and often sold her macrame & leather handiwork at nearby Oregon Christmas bazaars. Dodie shared all of these skills with her two sons. Everyday, Dodie shared her bright smile with everyone she'd meet. Dodie was sharp-minded, quick-witted and was well-known for her bubbly personality and her famous laugh. She adored music, be it singing lullabys to the boys, or in her younger years, Dodie would dance carefree, "high-kickin'-it" to good ol' rock n' roll music. Man, that gal could really dance - plus - more than any of us, Dodie always seemed to know the words to every rock tune.
Dodie loved being out in the woods - camping, mushroom picking, trekking with her doggies - taking in all the wonders of nature. I recall a philosophy of Dodie's from years ago: she believed that "each person's ideas about God are made up in part of our own needs." She often wondered "why would anyone reject another human being simply because he or she does not believe in the same way as you?"
Family quotes her as "being bubbly" "happy-go-lucky-off-the-cliff" "always ready for adventure" "the BEST MOM EVER" "Dodie made all those around her happy." Her former husband, Charles Throssel, says that, "Not all events turn out the way we want, but until the final part of our marriage, for Dodie and me, The Honeymoon was never over - we led a fun-filled, frolicksome life, a life as that of newlyweds."
Dodie never felt alone in the woods, rather she felt she was surrounded by Mother Nature, felt "nested in" with so many of the earths's gifts. No matter what occured during her final hours, being out in "her woods," I like to think she was in the spot which she most loved on earth, surrounded by her beloved dogs, content knowing the deep love of family and friends which she carried in her heart - feeling at peace. Safe journey, Dodie-Kins.
Dodie leaves two sons, Micah Throssel, and Shane Throssel, their two wives, M. Throssel, and H. Throssel, and seven grand-children. Being such a close-knit family, both men are "flattened and devastated" by the recent events of losing their Mother, Dodie Throssel, and unfortunately, also losing their paternal Grandmother, Marilyn Throssel, just three weeks ago, on October 1, 2010. Micah, Shane and their families will miss Dodie (and Grandma) terribly.
Andreason's of Eugene will manage the final arrangements for the family.