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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 3

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Obituaries for the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 3

Letha Shumway

Letha Shumway, 91, of Baker City, died Feb. 1, 2006, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Her graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Ed Niswender of Calvary Baptist Church will officiate. Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Coles Funeral Home.

Letha M. Laxson Shumway was born on June 10, 1914, to Jess P. and Susie Mae Laxson at La Grande. As a girl, she spent time at Cambridge and Weiser, Idaho, and at Mount Vernon and Baker City. She lost three brothers in a house fire at Weiser, Idaho, in July 1924. Her surviving brother, John E. Laxson, lives at West Linn.

Letha was a 1932 Baker High School graduate. She married Charles H. Shumway at the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City on Jan. 20, 1935.

They had five boys, Charles D., James L., Vereen E., Marvin G. and Thomas P. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles H.; and her sons, Vereen E., and Thomas P. Letha had 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great- great-grandchildren.

She worked for the Montgomery Ward store for several years in the 1950s in Baker City. She was employed in the shipping and receiving department.

The Shumways operated a small ranch and dairy from 1951 until 1969 in the Old Auburn area. They sold the land in 1969 and bought a small farm in the Baker Valley on Highway 86 where they continued to operate a small dairy.

After the death of her husband in 1974, Letha continued to operate the dairy along with her son, Charles D., until 1980.

In 1982 she opened a small rock and gem shop in her home on Elm Street in Baker City where she bought and sold rocks and gem stones from around the world. Letha and her husband spent many years as very serious rock hounds.

After closing her shop, Letha spent several years as a volunteer in the rock and gem portion of the Oregon Trail Regional Museum. Some of her stones are included in the museum's collection.

Letha was a 4-H leader for many years with a geology and minerals club.

She was baptized in the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City as a teenager and maintained her membership for about 80 years. She started singing in the choir sometime in the early 1940s. Letha was the AWANA leader for several years in the church.

She was the last person to have lived on Burnt River in Burnt River Valley before the Unity Dam was built.

Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church of Baker City or to Pathway Hospice of Ontario.

Margaret Ihrig

Margaret Esther Ihrig, 68, died Jan. 27, 2006, at her home in Granite.

Her funeral was today at the McEwen Bible Fellowship Church. Interment was at the Granite Cemetery. Pastor Mark Norenberg officiated. The service was under the auspices of the Esther Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.

Margaret was born on June 8, 1937, at Ulysses, Kan., to Hyle and Ruth Winslow. She attended school at Caldwell, Idaho, and then moved with her father to Merced, Calif. She later met her husband, John, at Mitchell. They were married for 50 years.

She followed her husband through his Air Force career for 20 years, traveling with her four children. The couple later moved to Granite to retire.

She spent her days sewing and crafting, and she was an avid artist of log cabins. Her special times were spent with John taking evening drives and looking for deer and scenery. Her passion was sitting for hours on a creek bank fishing.

"The one thing we will always remember about Mom is the smell of her home cooking anytime you came to her home," her family said.

She was a good wife, mother, sister and friend and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Survivors include her husband, John of Granite; her daughters and sons-in-law, Vickie and Fidel Mosqueda of Nampa, Idaho, and Sandra and James Young of Coquille; a son, Bryan of Baker City; a sister, Dorothy Grisham of Redding, Calif.; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, two sisters and a son, Craig.

Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Conrad Huntsman

Conrad C. Huntsman, 88, of Boise, died Jan. 29, 2006.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Boise Cherry Lane LDS Chapel, 3020 Cherry Lane. Visitations will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Relyea Funeral Chapel, and from noon to 12:45 p.m. at the church on Friday prior to the service. Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery in La Grande at noon PST Saturday.

Conrad was born on Dec. 29, 1917, at Provo, Utah, to Emery Huntsman and Elsie Caroline Shipp. He grew up in Baker City and was a 1936 Baker High School graduate. He served an LDS mission in the Great Lakes area.

He married Marell Waite on April 3, 1942, at the Salt Lake City Temple. They raised their family in La Grande. He worked as a warehouse foreman for La Grande Fruit Co. for 25 years. He held various other jobs through the years. He moved to Boise in 1984 to work in the Boise Temple.

He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren playing in various sporting events. He traveled many miles to attend family members' special church events and graduations. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and walking.

He was a master gardener, raising a garden every year until he was 85. He enjoyed watching his favorite sports teams, the Brigham Young University Cougars, Boise State University Broncos, Utah Jazz, and Atlanta Braves. He loved telling stories, and talking to people.

He was a lifetime member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a member of the Boise 14th Ward.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 64 years, Marell of Boise; his children and their spouses, Jan Green of Boise, Joyce and Douglas Higley of Emmett, Idaho, John and JoAnn of Athena, Kathleen and Wayne Jensen of Sutherlin, David and Betty of Baker City, E. Christine and Gerry Rogalsky of Boise, Vaughn and Elaine of Rock Springs, Wyo., Loren and Shelly of Lyman, Wyo., and Donna Huntsman of Boise; 54 grandchildren; 60 great-grandchildren; a brother, D. Felton of Seattle, Wash.; and a brother-in-law, Russell Waite of Pendleton.

He was preceded in death by his son, Warren Frank; one grandson; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the LDS Family History Library.

Agnes Heater

Agnes Widman Heater, 87, a lifetime Baker County resident, died Jan. 29, 2006, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Services.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. The Rev. Julian Cassar of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral will officiate. Private vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Visitations will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home.

Agnes was born on April 6, 1918, in Baker City to Paul and Marie Petersen Poulsen, emigrants from Denmark.

She graduated from St. Francis Academy in 1937. Agnes married Earl Widman on Jan. 1, 1949. Together they ranched in Baker County until Earl's death in 1975.

During Agnes' career, she worked for Leo Adler, D'Clark, and retired from the state Department of Minerals and Geology. She married Eagle Valley rancher Guy Heater on Oct. 12, 1980. They enjoyed an active life until Guy's death in 1995.

Agnes enjoyed gardening, current events and her family. She enjoyed a multitude of friends, especially her lifelong friend, Bill Kirkpatrick.

Survivors include her sons, Edward Widman and his wife, Ilo, of Baker City and Arne Widman and Eileen Mayes of Baker City; daughter, Jeanne Munhall, and her husband, Alan, of Lakeview; grandchildren Amanda Widman of Baker City, Libby Widman of Portland, Lacey Widman of Pullman, Wash.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Agnes was preceded in death by her parents; all of her siblings; and her husbands, Earl Widman and Guy Heater.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Julia De Groote

Julia De Groote, 91, a longtime Baker City resident, died Jan. 28, 2006, at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Recitation of the rosary will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at the cathedral.

The Rev. Robert C. Irwin of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario and the Rev. Julian Cassar of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral will concelebrate the Mass. Private vault inurnment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Julia was born at Empire, Mich., on July 8, 1914, to Joe and Irma De Groote, Belgium emigrants. Soliciting advice from relatives who migrated west to Baker City, they arrived here in 1921. Julia lived in Baker City nearly her entire life.

She attended St. Francis Academy, graduating in 1932. After graduation, she was employed by the Baker Packing Co. as a bookkeeper for 18 years. In 1948, Julia purchased the South Baker Grocery store from her sister, Florine Tiedemann.

For three decades, Julia operated the white with red trim wood frame store at Second Street and Dave Eccles Road. Many customers, young and old, enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of the store. A wood stove generated heat from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

A chair and a few crates around the stove provided friendly conversations with mill workers, friends and neighbors. Julia was sharp with numbers and had an incredible memory for names and events.

She sliced meat, pumped gas and took in empty beer and pop bottles providing many children the chance to come behind the counter and spend their change on the countless varieties of penny candy. After the closure of the plywood mill across the street, Julia continued to stay open during the economic decline.

She provided a refuge for unemployed neighbors and friends to gather and gave extended credit for groceries they needed. Ms. De Groote retired in 1978 and had since enjoyed her peaceful life with family and close friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Marcel, and a sister Florine.

Survivors include her sister, Mary Claeys of Hillsboro; nieces, Marilee Tiedemann of Pasadena, Calif., and Marlene Thompson of Hillsboro; nephews, Bill Tiedemann of Alpharetta, Ga., Dr. Robert Claeys of West Linn, and Don and Dick Claeys of Portland; and cousins, Palma Abbott of Bend and Stella DeBell of Gresham.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral or to the charity of one's choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

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