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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for July 7, 2010

Obituaries for July 7, 2010

Marke Wheeler, Michael Vernholm, Andrea Wiggins, Lillian Newton

Mark Wheeler

Mark Wheeler, 51, a former Halfway resident, died May 23, 2010, at his home in California.

A celebration of Mark’s life is tentatively set for 2 p.m. Sept. 4 at the home of Ken and Sandy Wheeler.

Mark was born on Feb. 12, 1959, at Glasgow, Mont., to Kenneth and Sandra Wheeler. At the age of 9 months, Mark accompanied his parents around the world and the United States following the career of his father, who was an Air Force noncommissioned officer.

The family lived in Madrid, Spain; Fallon, Nev.; Corvallis and North Bend; and Great Falls, Mont. Finally they settled at Halfway.

After graduating from high school, Mark moved to Georgia where he lived for five years and worked in the building trade. In the spring of 1982, Mark returned to Halfway.

He married his wife, Edrie, on Nov. 23, 1982. They lived at Halfway and then moved to La Grande where their daughter, Dustie, was born.

In November 1984, the family moved to California where they made their home. Mark was employed by Pacific Gas and Electric for 25 years.

Mark loved the outdoors, especially riding quads on the sand dunes, bike riding and camping, but his real passion was snow skiing. He was a talented artist, photographer, craftsman and carpenter, who could do and fix anything he set his mind to.

Mark was adventurous, rebellious and a thrill seeker who always pushed the limits and was always looking for a good time. Mark’s greatest joy of late was entertaining his grandkids, whom he loved with great passion, his family said.

Survivors include his wife, Edrie; daughter and son-in-law, Dustie and Brett Kenyon, and two grandchildren, Colt and Carlie Kenyon, of Redding, Calif.; his parents, Kenneth and Sandra Wheeler of Halfway; brother, Matthew Wheeler of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; sister and brother-in-law and nephew, Dairy and Arlo and Sean Kane of Lynn Haven, Fla.; grandfather, Ernie Gruenzner of Halfway; aunts, Nadene Harris and her husband, Delmus, and their son, Emory, of Doerun, Ga.; Susan Ijams of Huntington; uncles, Alvin Wheeler and his wife, Effie, and their sons, Ted and Brad Wheeler and their families, also of Doerun, Ernest Gruenzner of Richland, Bill Gruenzner of Salmon, Idaho, and Graig Gruenzner of Merced, Calif.; and numerous cousins and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Annual Kids Trail Ride through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Michael Vernholm


Michael Paul Vernholm, 50, died June 28, 2010, at Baker City.

There will be no service at this time. His ashes will be scattered along with his father’s at Richland.

Michael was born on Feb. 25, 1960, at Baker City to Dale and Jo Detmer Vernholm. After a year of high school, Michael went to work for Keystone Farm Work and Canneries.

His hobbies included hunting and fishing and he was looking forward to going bow hunting this year.

Michael was a member of First Lutheran Church where he was baptized. No one was a stranger to Mike.

He told his mom almost daily that he loved her. She will miss him very much. Michael’s fiancee, Wendy, and his little dog, Cloe, will miss him as well.

Survivors include his mother, Jo Vernholm of Baker City; two brothers, Steve Vernholm of Emmett, Idaho, and Gary Vernholm of Baker City; three sons, Roger Vernholm and Dale Vernholm, both of Lyons, and Sam Ragsdale of Arizona; and two grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, W. Dale Vernholm; his sister, Jody Lynn Vernholm; and his grandparents, Carl and Lois Vernholm and Frank and Emma Detmer.

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

Andrea Wiggins


Andrea Nicholson Vollmer Wiggins, 62, a former director of Crossroads Art Center, died March 5, 2010, at Springfield.

She was born Oct. 25, 1947, in Seattle to Jack and Shirley Nicholson. She married William Wiggins on June 7, 1997, in Eugene.

She held a bachelor’s degree in speech and drama from the University of Oregon at Eugene and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Oregon State University at Corvallis.

She worked as an assistant dean in the Office of College Advancement at the College of Education at the UO. She previously worked as corporate relations manager for the city of Eugene, marketing director for the Eugene Celebration and owned a fabric store.

Andrea worked part-time as the Crossroads director in the 1970s and worked tirelessly to increase the membership of Crossroads.

She was also very active in theater, working with many others on all the early productions that helped Crossroads become such an integral part of the community. Andrea taught acting, built sets and starred in many of the productions.

Her friends in Baker City said her first love was quilting and the fabric arts, which she wanted to teach. She was also a great lover of pottery.

Survivors include her husband; a son, Alexander Vollmer of Seattle; her father; a brother, John Nicholson; and one grandchild.

She was preceded in death by a son, Thomas Vollmer.

Memorial contributions may be made to the UO College of Education or Looking Glass Youth and Family Services.


Lillian Newton


Lillian La Veta Gray Newton, 88, died July 2, 2010, at her home at Jodi’s Foster Care in Union.

Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Her graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the North Powder Cemetery. Pastor Garth Johnson will officiate. There will be a coffee hour after the service at the home of Clark and Betty Gray at Telocaset.

Lillian was born on July 3, 1921, at Ione to John and Erma Scott Gray. She was a 1943 graduate of Napa Union High School at Napa, Calif.

She continued her Nurse Cadet Corps training at Eastern Oregon College in December 1944 and then continued her nurses training at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Pendleton. She graduated in September 1947.

Lillian met her husband, Fred, in California. They were married on April 24, 1945, at Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. The couple lived at Pendleton while Lillian finished nurses training and eventually settled in Milton-Freewater.

Lillian and her husband, Fred, traveled extensively exploring the national monuments of the United States while she continued her career in nursing. She worked in local hospitals throughout the Northwest.

Lillian enjoyed traveling, walking on the beach, gardening, needlepoint, embroidery, and sharing her travels with her friends and family. She always enjoyed the times when family and friends would get together at holidays and special occasions.

Survivors include her brothers, Clark Gray of Telocast and Gerald Gray of North Powder; sisters, Leona Scott of Wallowa, Beulah Talley of Lostine and Marilyn McIntyre of Union; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Fred; her father, John; mother, Erma; brother, John; sister, Lenis; and sister Lela.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to charities that encourage and support the nursing field or to the Parkinson’s disease or cancer foundations or a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

 
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