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Home arrow News arrow News of Record arrow Obituaries for Nov. 10, 2010


Obituaries for Nov. 10, 2010

'Benji' Van Cleave, 'Scotty' Glenn

'Benji' Van Cleave

Benjamin Van Cleave, 32, a former Baker City resident, died Nov. 1, 2010, at Mesa, Ariz.

There will be a Celebration of Life potluck at 1 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion, Post 41, 2129 Second St.

Benjamin Lee Van Cleave was born on March 2, 1978, at Pendleton to James and Linda Simonis Van Cleave. His family later moved to Baker City where Benjamin attended school.

He married Lisa Feeley in 1999 at Boise, where they lived until their divorce in 2002. He and Lisa remained good friends.

He worked general construction in Idaho, Arizona and Baker City before moving to Mesa, Ariz., a year ago.

Benji loved his video games and music. He also liked fishing, camping, boating and sports of any kind. He especially loved the Portland Trail Blazers. Other interests were travel, running, socializing, storytelling, going for drives and he especially enjoyed going to rock concerts.

Benji had a few rough years in his earlier life, but things were finally coming together for him. He was kindhearted to those around him and would help others in time of need, family members said. He was a fighter in what he believed in — right or wrong — he went with his heart. He stood firm in his beliefs and he wouldn’t back down.

He lived his life through experience and touched many lives. He was a teacher of many things. When he made his mind up on something, he did it with determination, his family said.

Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Linda and Wayne Burnside of Baker City; his daughter, Lexy Van Cleave of Baker City; brothers, Chris Van Cleave of Ontario and Jeremy Van Cleave of Baker City; his stepdaughter, Katirah Huff of Baker City; stepbrother, Kevin Burnside of Fruitland, Idaho; longtime companion, Mindy, of Mesa, Ariz., and her daughter, Kayla; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, James David Van Cleave.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Scotty’ Glenn

Colvin W. “Scotty” Glenn, 82, of Seattle, Wash., a former Baker City resident, died Nov. 3, 2010.

There will be a gathering in his honor in Seattle on Sunday. For information, call David Glenn at 206-525-4510.

“Throughout his life, our dad spoke with wistful fondness of his childhood in Baker,” his children said.

He grew up on Baker Street, and lived there until his family moved away in 1942. He spent some of his happiest days working on the Kirby Ranch near Durkee.

Even after living in Seattle for more than 50 years, those memories of simpler times remained a vital part of who he was. He became the first person in his family to be educated beyond the eighth grade, eventually graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington.

Throughout his life, he retained an almost childlike wonder and curiosity. He was a voracious reader and took pride in knowing a little bit about a lot of different things.

He was a demon at geography and took great delight in soundly trouncing his children every year on the Seattle Times geography quiz. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of World War II history, a lifelong fascination with fighter planes and great enthusiasm for Husky football.

His adventurous spirit took him a long way from his childhood roots in Baker. A country kid at heart, he eventually found himself climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro one year, trekking in Nepal and spending a night at the Everest base camp another. He saw a fair amount of the world for a fellow from such humble beginnings.

He was drafted during the Korean War and spent two years as an anti-aircraft gunner at Camp Hanford in eastern Washington. In the early 1960s, he began a career as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch.

He spent the next 20-plus years there, never letting the pressures of that business compromise his integrity, his family said. He treated every customer with honesty and respect and never took any shortcuts.

“And no matter how tired he might have been at the end of the day, our dad was always ready to play catch or throw a football,” his children said. “Our friends never knew when he might suddenly launch himself out of the back door on a Sunday afternoon, taking us all on in a Three Stooges-like wrestling match.”

His ability to bump his head on just about any protruding object within range was legendary, and there was hardly a period of his life during which he didn’t have some sort of visible wound on his noggin.

He loved jokes and martinis and believed that bacon was the foundation of any great meal. He was a stickler for manners and etiquette and was quite possibly the slowest eater in human history.

He was compassionate and kind, generous to a fault, and a loyal friend to all who met him. No man ever slept deeper or snored louder.

Perhaps the real measure of a man, however, is not what he accomplishes, or his essential goodness or decency, but how he handles life’s occasional setbacks. Colvin took his with never so much as one word of complaint or self-pity; men of his generation were raised to take their lumps and move on. By any real, honest measure, his life was admirable and well-lived, and a very good man is now gone.

Survivors include his children, Steven Glenn (Dorrie), David Glenn (Janet) and Carolyn Glenn; and his three treasured grandchildren, Ann Elise, Isabella, and Dashiell.


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