Home News Obituaries Obituaries for Aug. 25, 2010
Obituaries for Aug. 25, 2010
Joseph James “Grandpa Joe” Emery, 89, a lifelong Baker County resident, died Aug. 9, 2010, in Boise after a short illness due to an accident.
A celebration of Joe’s life will be Saturday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Baker City Christian Church on Highway 7. Interment, with veterans honors, will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. His wife, Alberta “Jeannie” Morin Winebarger also will be interned at the time. The services will be followed by a gathering at the church for stories and eats for all family and friends.
Joe was born Sept. 19, 1920, in Baker Valley to Edwin Levi Emery and Ora Conner Emery. He spent his life in Baker County. He was born on the old Baisley place on Wingville Lane, at the time owned by his grandpa, Joseph Conner.
His early years of school were spent at the James School on Pocahontas Road and Old Wingville Road. He also attended the old Pocahontas School. His last years of schooling were spent at Richland and Goose Creek schools.
At age 13 he went to work for H.L. “Wes” Wellman, who was always “Pa” to Joe. It was for a two-week job, but it was home to him til Aug. 27, 1942; at that time he was inducted into the U.S. Army. Most of his enlistment was served in Northern France. He also served in the Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, African and Middle Eastern theaters. His company was 100th St. A combat S.Q. He was given his separation paper Dec. 23, 1945, at Fort Lewis, Wash. He returned to Baker and the Wellman Ranch.
Joe was a man of many titles. He worked putting in the water flume at Granite, paved highways for the state of Oregon, was a cat skinner for the Pondosa sawmill, and hauled logs. In 1947 he bought milk cows and ran a dairy until 1952. He later moved to Sumpter Valley on the old Barnett place. That was always his greatest love, to be on a ranch, working cows, and breaking horses to ride and teams to work. He had and ran many outfits from Huntington to Hermiston to Horse Heaven in Washington, and all over Baker County.
As a teenager he dug the foundation for the Eltrym Theatre with a team of workhorses and a fresno scraper. Everyone who knew him always said “he broke more horses than anybody around.”
In 1941 a train started a range fire at Quartz. It had burned to Highway 86, then the wind changed and the fire was headed southeast. Joe, on his horse, ran ahead of the fire, cutting fences to run the cattle. With no phones, or very few, Les “Pa” Wellman didn’t know if he was safe; after about three or four days he got word Joe was OK. He had lost his dog, and the high heat had taken a toll on his horse, but he had saved many, many cows.
Joe drove milk truck for Baker County Grade A Producers for about eight to 10 years in the 1960s and ’70s. Hauling bulk milk, every other day he would leave Baker about 3 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. and go to Wallowa to pick up milk. Then he would head to Portland, down and back in the same day. He was always proud of “never stopped by police, no tickets, no accidents in all that time.” He was still a very good driver. He had never driven before he went into the service. Everything was on a horse, wagon or buggy.
Joe married Edna Jacobs Cree. They had two children: daughter, Joann and son, Joseph “Joedy.” He had two stepchildren, Charles and Joyce Cree.
On July 3, 1972, he married Alberta “Jeanne” Morin Winebarger. He had two stepdaughters, Sheila and Marcia Winebarger.
Joe was a great husband, dad and grandpa. He always had a house full, and everyone loved to listen to his stories. When we worked with him we all learned to learn from a mistake, “so it didn’t happen again.” At night as we would all be tired, he would talk about what happened in the day and laugh. He was a great cowman as well, and was always willing to share his knowledge with us.
His love for the mountains was great. He loved to fish, hunt, pick mushrooms and huckleberries, and sightsee. He loved spending time with family. He had a great sense of humor.
He loved his kids and all the grandkids and great-grandkids. He would sit by the hours to visit with them. He was very proud of all their accomplishments and let them know that. If you did something that he didn’t think was right he let you know, but he never turned his back on any of us. He loved each one of us in a very special way.
Joe didn’t like arrogance or hard feelings. He always said: “If you can’t trust someone, just smile at them and watch your backside.”
Joe is survived by his daughter, Joann (Stan) Wellman of Baker City; son Joe (Sandy) Emery of North Powder; stepdaughter Sheila (Bruce) Valentine of Haines; grandkids: Garla (Jim Brown) Rowe of Haines; Donny (Tammy Dowell) Rowe of Haines; Rich (Misty) Rowe of Pilot Rock; Sherryce (Jonathon) Emery-Minor of California; Jamie (Courtney) Emery of North Powder; Luke, MaKayla and Austin Emery of North Powder; Lisa Emery-Lisen of Idaho; and Fawn (Tom) Kerns of Haines; great-grandkids, Tannia Rowe, Richy Rowe Jr., Christopher Rowe, Kyra Rowe, Rachel Rowe, Ginny Emery, Taylor Kerns, Samantha Kerns and Lane Rowe; brothers, Gorden Emery of La Grande and Roland “Tiny” Shaw of Cove; brother-in-law, Mike O’Hara; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and grandkids by friendship.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Jeannie; daughter, Marcia Wilde Pender; siblings, Betty Emery Nicely, Elmer Emery, George Emery and Kenny Shaw; stepfather, Roland Shaw Sr.; and sister-in-law, Betty Morin O’Hara.
Donations in memory of Joe can be made to the Baker FFA chapter through Randy Newman at Baker High School.