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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for August 16, 2013

Obituaries for August 16, 2013

‘Bob’ Swales

North Powder, 1933-2013

Robert James “Bob” Swales, 80, of North Powder, died  Aug. 12, 2013, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. 

Visitation was Thursday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel. His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the North Powder Methodist Church. Sally Wiens of Haines United Methodist Church will officiate. Private burial will be at the Stanfield Cemetery.

Bob was born on June 23, 1933, at Stanfield to George and Florence Grossmiller Otty. He was raised at Stanfield and The Dalles and was a 1949 graduate of Stanfield High School. 

At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea where he received two purple hearts for wounds received in action. He was honorably discharged in 1956.

After his military service, he attended Portland State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He later received his master’s degree in mathematics. After his graduation from college, he was hired as a professor of mathematics at Portland State, a position he held for more than 10 years. 

He returned to school at Polytech University where he received a degree in architecture. He worked all over Oregon designing buildings and helping with construction. He was hired as a professor at Polytech University, where he worked for several years.

He married Bertha “Lee” Murphey on April 26,1986, at Stanfield.

Bob filled many civic roles, including serving as the mayor of Stanfield from 1989 to 1993. He also served on the North Powder City Council. He later became the pastor of the North Powder Methodist Church, serving there from 2001 until his retirement in 2006. His hobbies included fishing, lawn-mower racing at the North Powder Huckleberry Festival and Western swing dancing. The family moved to North Powder in 1996.

Survivors include his wife Lee of North Powder; sons, Mitch, and his wife, Stefanie Swales, of Boise, Robert D. Swales Sr. of Hermiston, Thomas and his wife, April, of Clark Fork, Idaho, Anthony and his wife, Kim Adams, of La Grande, and Dustin of Kettle Falls, Wash.; a daughter, Branda Swales, and her husband, Jason Zerbel, of Baker City; his grandchildren, Amanda Swales Chapman, Stephanie Swales, Carmen Swales, Caryn Dunn, Robert D. Swales Jr., Casey Swales Buckmaster, TJ Swales, Joseph Swales, Jamie Snyder, Chelsey Swales, Michael Potoshnik and Hunter Adams; 19 great-grandchildren; one brother, Jerry, and his wife of The Dalles; and a half-sister, Patty Hawkins of Topeka, Kan.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Harvey Swales.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Jim’ Breen

Baker City, 1947-2013

Franklin James “Jim” Breen, 66, of Baker City, died Aug. 5, 2013, at Evergreen Hospice Center in Kirkland, Wash.

A celebration of his life will be on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. at Quail Ridge Golf Course, 2801 Indiana Ave. in Baker City. His life will also be honored on Friday, Aug. 30, at the Methodist Church in Bridger, Mont., at 11 a.m. followed by a reception at the Bridger Senior Center. 

Franklin James Breen was born on March 6, 1947, at Sheridan, Wyo., the son of John E. “Jack” Breen and Mary Ann Breen Astrope. He attended grade school in Billings then moved to Bridger. He graduated from Bridger High School in 1967 as president of his class and also student body president. He attended Northern Montana College for two years before joining the Marine Corps Reserve.

Jim worked for 33 years in railway maintenance in Montana, Washington and Wyoming. In 2002 he retired after 14 years as road master for BNSF and moved to Baker City in 2006. Jim shared his smile and great sense of humor readily, with a natural ability to remember and interact with people. Talented musically, he played the guitar and could often be heard singing or humming, especially country songs. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping throughout his life, but his first recreational love was golf, and he spent countless hours on various courses where he developed many valued friendships. Golf buddies often commented on “Breener’s” admirable swing. 

Jim’s first love and priority was always his family. High school sweethearts, he married Penny Steffan on July 25, 1970, and they were blessed with three children, Jami, Jennifer and Jay. He dearly loved his eight grandchildren and was proud to have one great-granddaughter.

Jim was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in March of 2013 and remained hopeful throughout the following months as he fought a valiant battle against the cancer. After sharing last good-byes with his family and reassuring them of eternal life, Jim departed this life in the serene surroundings of Evergreen Hospice Care Center in Kirkland, Wash.

Jim is survived by his wife, Penny; his daughters: Jami (Eric) Wollan of Mount Lake Terrace, Wash., and Jennifer Luchi of Baker City; his son, Jay (Naomi) Breen of Sandy; his grandchildren: Michael and Macy Wollan, Alexus and Adrianna Luchi, Jahlee Troyer, Penelope, Mia and Cole Breen; and his great-granddaughter, Carley Sheldon; he is also survived by his sisters: Judi (Gary) Taylor of Wheatland, Wyo., Shirley Miller of Fromberg, Mont., and Bonnie Scarbro of Great Falls, Mont.; his brother, Chris Johnson of Missoula, Mont. Jim was loved by numerous sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews as well.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Micki Sticka.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a hospice service or charity of one’s choice.

e at a dance while he was in the Navy and stationed in 

Dallas.  They were married in 1945 and moved to Baker City, Oregon where 

they lived for 60 years and raised their family.  Fran’s passions were golf, playing 

bridge, reading, and her family.  She loved watching her sons’ sporting activities 

when they were growing up in Baker City.  Her favorite pastime was playing golf 

with her sons, her friends, and her father “Big Lew.”  Fran and Boots had many 

friends in Baker City during a post war era when dressing up, dining, dancing, 

and going to parties with friends was a way of life.    

Fran moved to Pueblo, Colorado in 2003 to be closer to her family.  In the later 

stages of her life, she was fortunate and blessed to have some of the best 

caregivers any family could possibly hope for.  A special thanks to Kathy Aguero, 

Grace Aguero, Theresa Diaz, Mary Garcia, Rosie Lucero, Marty Mondragon, Lori 

Naranjo, and Kathy Romero, all of whom we are eternally grateful for.  Also a 

special thank you to Sharmar Village and their staff for the wonderful care they

provided for Fran, and to hospice for her care in her final days.   

There will be a private graveside service on August 16

Fran’s life will be held at 6:00 pm at the Sunridge Inn in Baker City that evening.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 

22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg MD 20871.  

   “Death hath a thousand doors to let out life.”   -   Philip Masinger (1583 – 1640)

th

.  A reception to celebrateces (Fran) Rode (90), passed away August 9, 2013 in Pueblo,

Colorado.  Born April 21, 1923 in Dallas, Texas to Lewis and Velma Toan.  Fran 

is survived by her brother Fred (Barbara) Toan of Dallas, Texas.   She is also 

survived by her three sons and their wives;  Bob (Mary Ann Rode) of Boise, 

Idaho; Tim (Katherine) Rode of Pueblo, Colorado; Greg (Gretchen) Rode of 

Pueblo, Colorado; and her grandchildren Kelsey Rode, Ben Rode, Hannah Rode, 

Tyler Rode, Kurt Rode, Carly Rode. Fran is preceded in death by her parents 

Lewis and Velma Toan and her husband Robert “Boots” Rode, who passed away 

in 1998. 

Fran was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.  After graduating from high school 

she attended Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas.  In 1944 she met 

Robert “Boots” Rode at a dance while he was in the Navy and stationed in 

Dallas.  They were married in 1945 and moved to Baker City, Oregon where 

they lived for 60 years and raised their family.  Fran’s passions were golf, playing 

bridge, reading, and her family.  She loved watching her sons’ sporting activities 

when they were growing up in Baker City.  Her favorite pastime was playing golf 

with her sons, her friends, and her father “Big Lew.”  Fran and Boots had many 

friends in Baker City during a post war era when dressing up, dining, dancing, 

and going to parties with friends was a way of life.    

Fran moved to Pueblo, Colorado in 2003 to be closer to her family.  In the later 

stages of her life, she was fortunate and blessed to have some of the best 

caregivers any family could possibly hope for.  A special thanks to Kathy Aguero, 

Grace Aguero, Theresa Diaz, Mary Garcia, Rosie Lucero, Marty Mondragon, Lori 

Naranjo, and Kathy Romero, all of whom we are eternally grateful for.  Also a 

special thank you to Sharmar Village and their staff for the wonderful care they 

provided for Fran, and to hospice for her care in her final days.   

There will be a private graveside service on August 16

Fran’s life will be held at 6:00 pm at the Sunridge Inn in Baker City that evening.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 

22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg MD 20871.  

th

.  A reception to celebrate

 
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