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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for April 20, 2011

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Obituaries for April 20, 2011


Larry Wilhelm

Larry Eugene Wilhelm, 68, of Baker City, died April 16, 2011, in his home.

A memorial service celebrating the life of Larry Wilhelm will be Saturday, April 23 at 1 p.m., at the LDS Cultural Hall in Washougal, Wash.

Larry Eugene Wilhelm was a hero, loving husband, father and brother. He was born on Aug. 22, 1942, at Aberdeen, S.D., to Raymond Francis Wilhelm and Ella Marie Zerbel Wilhelm. His siblings include Beverly Stafford, Eyvonne Lundy, Ronald Wilhelm, Clifford Wilhelm, Clinton Dale Wilhelm, Raymond Darryll Wilhelm, Darwin Wilhelm, Roger Wilhelm and Carol Wilhelm.

Larry attended Hillsboro High School and served his country in the U.S. Navy as a Boatswain’s Mate Petty Officer 3rd class on the U.S.S. Hamner.  He retired from Tektronix in Beaverton.

His unwavering belief in the importance of family was a guiding principle in his every action. With patience and compassion, he took advantage of every opportunity to guide others in exceeding their potential. His kind and positive nature inspired joy for everyone he met. A humble man who thought of others before himself. He was an everyman to everyone; a friend, a confidant, a teacher and our hero.

He is survived by Irene Wilhelm, his wife of 25 years; and 11 children: Rosanna McGowan, Larry Kim Wilhelm, Karen Gale, Jeannie Wilhelm, Jessica Duong, Peter Uhler, Mysti Ritter, David Wilhelm, Shane Wilhelm, Breanna Johnson and Mariaha Wilhelm; and 29 grandchildren.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond Wilhelm and Ella Zerbel Wilhelm; and his brothers, Ronald Wilhelm and Clinton Dale Wilhelm.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society or to Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814 to assist with funeral costs.


Virginia Rose

Virginia F. Rose, 87, a former Baker City resident, died April 15, 2011, at a Pendleton care facility.

At her request, no services will be held. You may sign the online register or send condolences to www.burnsmortuary.com. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Rose was born May 20, 1923, at Brownsville, Ore. She was the daughter of Harold and Grace (Newman) Kizer.  She was raised and educated in Harrisburg, Ore., and graduated from Harrisburg High School in 1941. She attended the University of Oregon and received her bachelor of arts degree in sociology.  She attended Oregon State University and the University of California at Berkley. She later earned her masters degree.

She married G. Clarence Rose in November of 1951 in Enterprise. She lived in Enterprise and in Baker City, and was a social worker and manager for Adult and Family Services as well as Children’s Services.  She came to Pendleton in 1973. Here she managed the Children’s Services Division for the state of Oregon until her retirement. 

She was a member of the Harrisburg Grange as well as the Soroptimist Club, Altrusa International, and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Lodge No. 28.  She greatly enjoyed spending time with her family as well as reading, traveling and gardening. 

She is survived by her son, George C. Rose and his wife, Patty, of Pendleton; her daughter, Karen Rose of Schweinfurt, Germany; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

Contributions in her memory may be directed to the St. Anthony Hospice, and can be sent in care of the Burns Mortuary, P.O. Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801.


Reta Smith

Reta L. Smith, 99, a former Baker County resident, died April 9, 2011, at Florence, Mont. Her body gave out, but her spirit was strong to the end.

There will be no funeral.

Reta was born Nov. 17, 1911, at Medical Springs to George and Anna (Lane) Harsin.

Raised on Muddy Creek just out of Haines, Reta attended Baker High School and married Marin (Merl) Smith in 1928. They resided on Muddy Creek and then near Medical Springs until their divorce in 1950. During her life, Reta worked as a telephone exchange operator, postmaster, grocery checker, restaurant cook and restaurant owner. Reta was a self-sufficient woman, providing for her family and others through hard work and selfless love.

Reta’s favorite pastime was helping others, particularly taking care of children. Whether it was her kids, or a neighbor’s kid, it didn’t matter, and they were all provided for at “Grandma’s” house. Reta was still taking care of children at the age of 91, before she moved to Montana. She traveled from Oregon to Arizona, to Alaska, and to Washington in order to care for, and help out, members of her family. Reta was of pioneer stock and was self-reliant until she was 97. Her hobbies included sewing, cooking and crocheting. Flowers never failed to bring her joy.

Reta is survived by her daughter, Vernuel Powell of Vancouver, Wash.; her sister, Leila Svendsen of Seattle; grandchildren, Bob (Cindy) Ensminger of Lolo, Mont., Crystal (Ray) Hurbi of Fairbanks, Alaska, Daryl Ensminger of Fairbanks, Glen Menges of Greenville, N.C., Allen (Michelle) Yerkes of Eagle River, Alaska; and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren whom she loved and talked about to her last day. She loved all her children, “one and all the same,” she would say.

A special thanks to the staff at Missoula Manor and Kathy’s Place for their outstanding care and attention to Reta during her last years.

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