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Home arrow News arrow News of Record arrow Obituaries for Jan. 26, 2011

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Obituaries for Jan. 26, 2011


John Lyons
John D. Lyons, 90, died Jan. 21, 2011, at Baker City.
His graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 27, 2011, at Mount Hope Cemetery at 1 p.m. Pastor Tim Fisher will officiate.

John was born on June 21, 1920, at Cambridge, Idaho, to Bill and Maggie McGuire Lyons. He attended high school at New Meadows, Idaho, graduating in 1938. He then went on to college at Corvallis, graduating from radiation training.

John worked as a logger, retiring from John Lyons Logging in 1986. He married Irene Smith on Oct. 18, 1947, at Kennewick, Wash.

His hobbies included hunting, fishing, mining, fixing mechanical things, teaching others, four-wheeling and driving. John loved working for the Baker County Sheriff’s Department.

He also loved being in the mountains, huckleberry picking with his sister and family every year, and boating. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, which made his life full and complete.

John was affiliated with many organizations, such as the Mining Association, Search and Rescue, Baker County Sheriff’s Posse, Oregon Log Truckers Association, the Weston School Board, Weston City Park Board and the Baker City Council.

John had accomplished the radiological emergency response training. He was a bronze leader for the Disabled American Veterans Commanders Club and the president of the Forest Producers Trucking Inc.

Survivors include his wife, Irene Lyons of Baker City; son and daughter-in-law, Wayne and Shelly Lyons of Baker City; daughter, Linda Good of Salem; daughter and son-in-law, Carlotta and Mike Piete of Haines; and sister, Nita McCullough of Weston; eight grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Maggie Lyons; brother, Robert Lyons; half-brother Mike McDane; and a grandson, Brian Good.

Memorial contributions may be made to Search and Rescue through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.


William Rick

William Dewey Rick Jr., 81, died Jan. 10, 2011, at Baker City.

No services are planned at this time.

William was born on Feb. 18, 1929, at Vancouver, British Columbia to William Dewey Rick Sr. and Vernice Eva Rick. William was a wonderful husband and father and will be missed, his family said.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ellen Rick of Baker City; daughter, Diane Ruisch of Lake Charles, La.; two sons, Tim Rick and Gary Rick, both of Baker City and another daughter, Betty Fuller, also of Baker City.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Dewey Rick Sr. and Vernice Eva Rick.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


LaVera Miller

LaVera Margaret Miller, 90, died Jan. 15, 2011, at Baker City.

The date of her memorial service will be announced later.

LaVera was born on Feb. 10, 1920, at Portland to Edward and Augusta Knox. Her sister and life-long best friend, Elizabeth, was born three years later.

Her father was one of the first Buick sales and service representatives in Portland. Her mother was a housewife.

LaVera grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, graduating from Laurelhurst Elementary School and Washington High School. She then went on to attend Northwestern School of Commerce.  

After she finished at Northwestern, she worked as a secretary for a team of insurance agents in Portland. Occasionally, an adjuster from one of the companies they represented would stop in. His name was Charles Jackson, “C. Jack” Miller.

Something clicked and the two began dating. In 1948 LaVera and C. Jack were married at LaVera’s mother and stepfather’s house in Portland.

Shortly afterward they bought an insurance agency sight unseen in Baker City (then Baker), a town that neither of them had ever visited before. They moved to Baker the same year and would spend the rest of their lives there.

They adopted their son, Greg, in 1954 and their daughter, Patty, in 1956. During the ensuing years LaVera and Jack worked together as a team in raising their family and running their agency.

Both were avid golfers and were active members of the Baker Golf Club. LaVera served as president of the Baker Women’s Golf Club in 1965. She was also deeply involved in PEO and at the time of her death was the last surviving charter member of Baker Chapter CJ.

The sisterhood was always an important part of her life. She served a term as president of Chapter CJ and over the years held positions on a number of PEO committees at the state level.

After more than 30 years in the insurance business, LaVera followed Jack into retirement in 1980.  They both loved to travel and took a number of cruises and tours to the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.

For several years they left Baker City after Christmas and followed the sun to Southern California.  Jack died in 2003 and LaVera’s focus turned more toward family and her grandchildren and in indulging her passion for bridge.

LaVera spent her last few months at Meadowbrook retirement community and died peacefully at her home there.

Survivors include her son, Gregory Miller, and his life partner Junichi Shibatani of Portland; her daughter, Patricia Boothby, and her husband, Jim, of Baker City; her sister, Elizabeth Gage of Lake Oswego; and grandsons, Shawn Boothby of Bakersfield, Calif., and Travis Boothby, his wife, Amber, and daughter, Faith, and Ryan Boothby, all of Baker City.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church or the PEO College Fund through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.


Thomas Witham

Thomas Henry Witham, 82, a fourth-generation Baker City resident, died Jan. 24, 2011, at his home.

There will be a graveside service at 1 p.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery. A gathering of Tom’s friends and family will be held at the Baker Elks after the graveside service.

Tom was born Feb. 11, 1928, to William Witham and Maud (Moeller) Witham in Baker City.  He was the youngest of three brothers, Fred, Bill, Harvey, and sister Evelyn. 

Tom was a graduate of Baker High School in 1946. He then joined the U.S. Army, serving in Germany from 1946 to 1950.

Tom worked as a heavy equipment operator after his return from active duty. He worked for several construction companies including many years with Witham Brothers Construction. He also owned and operated his own log truck later in his life.

Tom married Ida Patricia Locken on April 1, 1963. 

Tom is survived by his children Harvey, Molly and Russell, and his grandchildren Zack, Sara, Sam, Jenna, Travis, Eli and Ashley.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ida Patricia Locken who passed in 1988 and his brothers and sister. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Disabled Veterans or the Elks Lodge No. 338 through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR 97814.

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