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Home arrow News arrow News of Record arrow Obituaries for the week of June 6 to June 10


Obituaries for the week of June 6 to June 10

‘Sam' Lay

Urdel LaMar "Sam" Lay, 79, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 8, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Visitations will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Orrin Lay will officiate and Bishop Jeffery Daniels will conduct the service. Military rites will be under the auspices of the U.S. Army National Guard. Friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon after the service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane.

Known to family and friends all of his life as "Sam," he was born on Aug. 10, 1925, in Union County to Urdel Wondel Lay and Mildred Ione Wanker. He grew up on the family ranch at Medical Springs, the oldest of seven children. His ancestry includes Mayflower pilgrims and Mormon pioneers.

Although he officially graduated from Union High School in May of 1944 as class valedictorian, Sam and several of his classmates finished high school in December of 1943 to answer draft calls from the U.S. Army.

While others were graduating with cap and gown in May, Sam was completing training as a mobile radio operator in the 2nd Signal Co., 2nd Infantry Division, and headed for Patton's Army in Europe.

He served in England, France, Belgium, Germany and Czechoslovakia, earning numerous medals and commendations. After the war, he completed his military service as a radio operations trainer at an Army training center in Texas.

After his discharge, he returned home and married Bonnie Nell Engum on April 6, 1947. Together they raised five children.

He worked for years as a driller and blaster at the Lime Plant in Baker Valley, and later formed a successful partnership with John Osborne. They drilled and blasted for highway and railroad construction contractors and rock crushers in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Sam was a master woodworker. He watched St. Louis Cardinal baseball games and Portland Trail Blazer basketball games whenever he could, and he was an accomplished pitcher for Union High School's championship baseball team. Before the war, he was invited to try out with a professional baseball club in Portland.

He enjoyed Western movies, history and geography.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Bonnie, who died Nov. 9, 1999; and his sister, Gloria Piper of Albany.

Survivors include his siblings, Oriel Galle of Pendleton, Ron Lay of Medical Springs, Charmaine Kohler of McMinnville, Cherin Humphrey of Bellingham, Wash., and Orrin Lay of Medical Springs; his five children, Marla Lay of San Clemente, Calif., LaMar Lay Jr. of Portland, Sam Lay and his wife, Vanessa, of Baker City, Gwen Fuller and her husband, Chris, of Arlington, Va., and Pam Morrison and her husband, Larry, of La Grande; and six grandchildren, Brandy Morrison Fisher, Annie Morrison Valek, Levi and Jordan Morrison and Hillary and Mat Lay.

Manuel Rosales

Manuel G. Rosales, 80, of Vancouver, Wash., a former longtime Baker County resident, died June 5, 2005.

His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Evergreen Staples Funeral Chapel, 4700 N.E. St. Johns Blvd., at Vancouver, Wash.

Manuel was born on Feb. 22, 1925, to Ben and Savina Rosales at Merkel City, Texas. He grew up in Anadarko, Okla., and attended school there. He entered the Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Oklahoma in 1941.

In December 1943 he married his beloved wife of 61 years, Mary L. Castillo. They lived at Oklahoma City and then moved to Durkee with their family of six where they lived for 13 years.

Manuel worked as a heavy equipment operator with Oregon-Portland Cement Co. and retired after 25 years. In 1963, Manuel and Mary moved to Baker City where they raised their six children. The moved to Vancouver, Wash., in 1995 where all their children resided.

Manuel was fully involved with the lives of all his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. He loved dancing and enjoyed the heart and soul of country music. He shared the love of basketball and daytime TV (soaps) with his wife, Mary.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Savina; three sisters, Rosie, Mary and Nelly; and two brothers, Joe and Leon.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Rosales; sister, Louise; and brother, Ben; daughters, Barbara, Margaret, Anita and Shirley; sons, Frank, Manuel and Ben; daughters-in-law, Pam, Gwen and Cindy; sons-in-law, Terry, Darrell and Manuel; grandchildren, Jeff, Tony, Paul, Monique, Saundra, Michelle, Roland, Angie, Valerie, Terry, Paul, Yvonne, Frank, Bree, Savina and Alex; grandchildren-in-law, Diana, Liz, Greg, Melissa, Katie, Sean and David; great-grandchildren, Anastacia, Andy, Kaitlyn, Nathan, Kennedy, Troy, Joshua, Loren, Julian, Harrison, Hudson and Benjamin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Willard Smith

Willard Hoffman Smith, 83, a former Sumpter resident, died May 26, 2005, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise.

There will be a memorial service for him at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Idaho State Veterans Home. There will be a second memorial service at 2 p.m. Saturday at the McEwen Church near Sumpter. Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck dinner afterward.

Willard was born on July 27, 1921, at Leland, Idaho. He moved with his family to Nyssa where his parents farmed. He was a Nyssa High School graduate and married his high school sweetheart, Celia Morehouse.

He entered the military in 1942 and saw action in seven major battles in France, Germany and Belgium during World War II.

He and Celia farmed near Middleton, Idaho, where they raised four children. In the late 1960s they moved to Seattle where Willard worked for Boeing.

Later they moved to Oregon City and then retired to Sumpter where they enjoyed their retirement years riding motorcycles and traveling in their motor home.

He was preceded in death by one grandchild and his wife.

Survivors include his children and their spouses, Larry and Kim Smith of Woodinville, Wash., Barbara and Jay Phillips of Sumpter, Duane Smith of Vale and Janice and Don Ennis of Bothell, Wash.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Virginia Hall

Virginia Arlene (Van Cleave) Hall, 68, of Nyssa, died June 1, 2005.

Virginia was born March 9, 1937, in Baker City where she lived until she married Burl Elton Dalgliesh. They moved to Kelso, Wash., and had two children, Felena Marie and Helena Bonita (Bonnie).

Virginia has been a longtime resident of Nyssa and retired from Heinz Frozen Foods in 2003.

Virginia was a loving and caring person who enjoyed camping, fishing, bingo and playing with her three small dogs. She will be missed by many family and friends but never forgotten.

She is survived by her husband, Wes Hall of Nyssa; her daughters, Felena Romo of Chico, Calif. and Helena Fisher of Nyssa; six grandchildren, Dale of Nampa, Idaho, Christina, Marcy and Keri of Chico, Calif., D.J. of Fruitland and Sarah of Nampa; four great-grandchildren and one on the way; one brother, Duane Van Cleave, and one sister.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Foundation.

John McGregor

John Vernon McGregor, 87, of Livermore, Calif., died May 13, 2005.

John was born to John and Frances McGregor in Ontario. He spent his first years on the family farm. He later moved to Baker City where he married Sadie Darlene Tripp in 1941. They lived briefly in Wonderland, Calif., where he worked as a welder helping in the construction of Shasta Dam.

In 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps. He served as a tail gunner in a B-24 during World War II. He flew 50 missions fighting on the European front. For the past several years, John and his wife, Darlene, faithfully attended the annual reunions held by the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group.

After the war, John and Darlene moved their growing family to California, where he worked as a welder for a number of years. He then became a partner in an ornamental iron business during the 1950s. in 1959, he began a long career as a mechanical technician at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He retired in 1981.

According to his family, John was "one of a kind." He was enthusiastic about all his varied interests. Over his lifetime he enjoyed hunting, archery, bowling, piloting his piper cub airplane, motorcycling, camping, taking family car trips and traveling in his R.V. He also shared his love of animals with his family by adopting a menagerie of pets throughout his life.

He was a member of numerous associations and had many friends. He was a very social person who enjoyed the companionship of family, friends and neighbors. Always one to tell a good story or share a joke or start a new project, he lived life fully and will be sorely missed.

He is survived by his wife, Darlene; brother, Elzie McGregor; sister, Sally Dell; daughters, Sanora Jansen, Diana McGregor and her husband, John Jurcso, and Jone McGregor; grandchildren, Bonnie, Kristie, Laura, Andrea, Ian and Devon; great-granddaughters, Maggie, Kaylin, Megan and Hannah; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice. Cards can be sent to the family of John McGregor at 356 Edyethe St., Livermore, CA 94550.

‘Phil' Green

Philip Gordon "Phil" Green, 89, died June 1, 2005, in Baker City at the home of his daughter, Aletha Green Bonebrake.

A celebration of life will be held at the Island Funeral Home in Vashon, Wash., on Saturday, June 11, at 11:30 a.m., followed immediately by the committal in the family plot at the Vashon Cemetery.

Phil was born in Olalla, Wash., on Jan. 8, 1916, but spent most of his childhood on Vashon Island with his parents, Philip and Kate Sandwith Green and his beloved brother and sister, Joseph Sandwith Green and Janet Isabella Green Okeson, all of whom preceded him in death.

He attended Burton Elementary School and Vashon High School, and then attended the Lakeside School in Seattle for his senior year when he was recruited to play football for them.

The following two years Phil played football at Whitman College where, as the varsity quarterback, he earned the name of "Rabbit Tracks."

While at Whitman, he supported himself by baby-sitting for the young Adam West, who later became famous for playing the role of Batman. Phil initially raised eyebrows by being the first young male in Walla Walla to be employed as a nursemaid and baby-sitter, an experience that subsequently served him well when he produced his own considerable family.

Attracted by the graduate training available at the University of Washington, Phil transferred to the university for the last three years of his college training, culminating in a bachelor's degree and a graduate certificate in social work.

As the son of a successful commercial salmon fisherman, Phil spent all of the summers from his late childhood until he graduated from college going to Alaska with his father, brother and the rest of the crew on the family boat, the "Janet G." While in Alaska, Phil became very interested in the lives of the northern native people of Canada and Alaska. He has always insisted that this interest, and concern for their well-being, led him into the field of social work.

From his writing "The Past Remembered II, Vashon-Maury Island Memories": "When I was nine, ten and eleven I worked in a cannery in the Queen Charlotte Islands, where I got to know Haida Indians, famous for their carvings. But I was shocked at their poverty. I wanted them to have a little fun, so I showed them how to play baseball. I have often though that this experience planted a little seed which later led me into social work."

Phil's professional life focused primarily on troubled youth, and eventually he became internationally known as an expert in juvenile delinquency. In 1944, Phil was invited by Seattle's then juvenile judge, William Long, to become director of their Youth Guidance Center. Three years later, in 1955, Phil responded to an invitation to go to Washington, D.C. under the Eisenhower administration to establish and direct a new Division of Juvenile Delinquency within the Department of Health Education and Welfare (now the Department of Health and Human Services). He held this position with distinction for the next 15 years.

He traveled widely with his staff throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East, sharing, upon request, the developing enlightened approach to the treatment of youthful offenders.

During those years, Phil served as U.S. representative to the U.N. on youth rehabilitation issues. He was also active in the classroom, teaching college classes in criminology for more than 20 years at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Maryland. After a highly satisfying and rewarding career, Phil enthusiastically retired at the age of 60 and moved to Lake Havasu City, Ariz., where he and his wife shared many wonderful years together, golfing, fishing, boating and exploring the Southwest.

Phil leaves a large family who loved him dearly and is very proud of him. His childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Canfield, and he were married on June 19, 1936. This union lasted just two weeks short of 69 years. The young couple celebrated their honeymoon by rowboating around Puget Sound for two weeks. Five children were born to this marriage: Cheryl Friedman (wife of Bill) of Seattle; Aletha Bonebrake (widow of Marv Julian), of Baker City; David Green (husband of Debby) of New Bern, N.C.; Heather Bell (wife of Calvin) of Satsuma, Fla. and Holly Green (wife of Mainus Sultan) of Amherst, Mass.

Survivors also include grandchildren Jennifer Higgins of Santa Barbara, Calif., Sylvia Bowers and Gordon Bonebrake of Baker City, Warren Green of Norfolk, Va., Brendan Flowe of Jacksonville, Fla., and Kajori Sultan of Amherst, Mass. and great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Franklin, Lena and Stella Bowers of Baker City and Frank and Emma Harting of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Memorial contributions may be made to the 4 C Coalition, a social service program for troubled youth in Seattle, in care of Hazel Cameron, program coordinator, 11800 Renton Ave., South Seattle, WA 98178.

Kenneth Alexander

Kenneth Roy Alexander, 84, of Union and Pine Creek, died June 3, 2005, at the Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

His funeral will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valle, 1502 Seven St. in La Grande. Interment will follow at the Cove Cemetery.

Kenneth Roy Alexander was born April 25, 1921, at High Valley, Ore., the son of Roy and Delia (Ross) Alexander. Kenneth truly loved the outdoors and spent his early years building trails in the Eagle Caps. Mr. Alexander later enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during World War II.Upon his honorable discharge, Kenneth returned to the Grande Ronde Valley where he met and married Betty (Cadwell).

Kenneth worked for Fir Pine Lumber as well as GI Hess lumber for many years before farming wheat and raising cattle in High Valley until 1971 when he moved to Oxbow. There he owned and operated the Hells Canyon Inn until 1995. He was an honorary member of the Cove Sportsman Club as well past member the La Grande Elks Lodge No. 433. Kenneth was an avid elk hunter and he enjoyed, fishing, gardening, baseball, going snowshoeing in the Minam and working with pack horses.

He is survived by his daughter and her spouse, Lanita and Jay Rasmussen of La Grande; brothers and sisters and their spouses: Harry and Mia Alexander of Oxbow, Leora Simmons of Cove, Shirley and Dave Fields of Cove, and Betty and Lavern Brant of Bend; three grandchildren; a niece, Delia Bowman of La Grande; a nephew, Jim Murchison of Cove; and other relatives and friends.

Mr. Alexander was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty (Cadwell) Alexander; brothers, Ray Alexander and Virgil Alexander; and by a special friend, Donna Green.

Contributions in Mr. Alexander's memory may be made to the Cove Sportsman Club in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande, OR 97850. To view the obituary, leave a condolence or sign the guest book on-line, visit www.danielschapel.com.


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