Home News Obituaries Obituaries for the week of Oct.29 to Nov. 2
Obituaries for the week of Oct.29 to Nov. 2
Hazel D. Bruner, 81, of Baker City died Oct. 29, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.
Her graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in the veterans section of Mount Hope Cemetery. Baker City Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3048, will conduct miliary honors.
Mrs. Bruner was born on July 19, 1920, at Redmond, Utah, to Leslie Peter and Hazel Jean Sorenson Jensen. She was raised and educated at Redmond, Utah. She enlisted in the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) during World War II.
She married LeRoy Andrew Bruner at Payette, Idaho, on Jan. 31, 1946. They lived at Ontario where she was a homemaker until moving to Grangeville, Idaho, in the 1950s.
While at Grangeville, she worked as a bartender until she was injured in an automobile accident in 1956. After the accident, she stayed at home and she and her husband remained at Grangeville. In 1996 she moved to Baker City where she had lived since.
She loved playing pinochle and working with ceramics, and she enjoyed hunting and fishing with her husband.
Survivors include her sister, Leomia Morgan of Baker City.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and a baby sister.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of ones choice through the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
George Alvin Bergeson, 82, a life-long Baker City resident died Oct. 30, 2001, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.
Visitations will from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.
His funeral will at 11 a.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth St. The Rev. Susan Barnes of the First Presbyterian Church will officiate. Vault interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. Ritualistic rites will be accorded by the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338. Military rites will be accorded by Baker City AMVETS, Post No. 1874.
Mr. Bergeson was born at Hoquiam, Wash., on Feb. 9, 1919, to Victor and Vera McGarey Bergeson. He was the oldest of three children. He moved with his family to the Baker Valley in 1921. His sisters Rose Anna, who survives him and remained close, and Alice May, who preceded him in death, were born here.
He grew up and attended school in Baker City, graduating from Baker High School in 1937. After high school, Mr. Bergeson joined the U.S. Navy and served his country as part of this nations greatest generation.
Prior to World War II, he served in the Atlantic Fleet, and in the Pacific Fleet through World War II. He achieved the rank of Seaman First Class. During the war he served on the USS Bunker Hill, an aircraft carrier that survived several kamikaze hits.
After the war, Mr. Bergeson returned home to Baker City and joined the Oregon State Police department, serving as a state patrolman for more than 10 years. During this time, he met Marie Worrell. They were married on June 8, 1947. They were happily married for 50 years until Maries death in April 1998.
The Bergesons had two sons: Garey George and Ted Craig. Both were born in Baker City and attended Baker schools through high school graduation. Both boys also are college graduates.
Mr. Bergesons memory and spirit live on through Garey, his wife Susan, and their two children, Hillary and Jeffrey who live at Ridgefield, Wash., and Ted, his wife Nancy, and their two children, Clair and Jacob, who live at Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Mr. Bergeson loved his grandchildren and entertained them with his gift of writing in calligraphy.
Mr. Bergeson was active in the Presbyterian Church, serving as a deacon for many years. He also was a member of the Baker Elks Lodge and the Masonic Lodge. He enjoyed golf as a longtime member of the Baker City Golf Course.
Mr. Bergeson retired from Basche-Sage Hardware after 25 years of employment where he was a well-known member of the staff of this Eastern Oregon landmark.
Mr. Bergeson was blessed to have had two loves in his life. After Maries death, he renewed a special and close friendship with Leah McNeill-Van Pelt of Forest Grove, a sweetheart from nursing school with whom he had lost contact during the turbulent times of World War II.
Mr. Bergeson is loved and will be missed by his surviving sister, his two sons, their wives, his four grandchildren, and fiance.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charitable works of the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338, through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Vernon Lovell Vern Wellington, 76, of Hermiston, a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 30, 2001, at the Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston with his wife, Norma, by his side.
His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Roger Scovil of the Baker City Christian Church will officiate. There will be a graveside service with veterans participating at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Visitations will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral chapel.
Mr. Wellington was born on March 7, 1926, at Baker City to John and Junia Wellington. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and was a member of the American Legion. He married Norma Wellington on Sept. 20, 1985. They owned and operated V&N Trucking at Hermiston.
Mr. Wellington enjoyed the outdoors, including hunting and fishing, and spending time in his garden. His love for gardening was shown through the beauty of his rose garden.
Survivors include his wife of 16 years, Norma; his sister, Lila Tibbs of Port Angeles, Wash.; his children, Beverly Gray of Boise, Pam Pedro of Union, Janice Green, living in Montana, Chuck Wellington of Union and April Leithner of Meridian, Idaho; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Sandra Nadine Sandy Brown, 58, a resident of Clark County, Wash., since 1989, and a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 31, 2001, at a Portland hospital.
Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Vancouver Funeral Chapel.
Mrs. Brown was born on Sept. 7, 1943, at Baker City. She was a 1961 Baker High School graduate.
She moved to Woodland, Wash., in 1968 and to Vancouver, Wash., in 1989. She was employed as a production worker for several companies in the area. She enjoyed her family and friends, flowers and trips to the mountains and the ocean.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lars and Mary Larson; and a son, Michael Brown.
Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Sherie and Mark Webb of Vancouver, Wash.; sisters, Audrey Moser of Portland and Carol Snyder of Salem; sister-in-law, Georgia Larson of Vancouver, Wash.; three brothers, Lars B. Larson of Vancouver, Wash., Barrie Larson of Phoenix, Ariz., and Kenneth E. Larson of San Francisco; and two grandchildren, Kyndra and Brad Webb of Vancouver, Wash.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 2505 E. McLaughlin, Vancouver, WA 98661, or to Kaiser Permanente Hospice. Arrangements are under the direction of the Davies Cremation & Burial Service.
Ruth Viola Caton, 96, of La Grande, died Oct. 29, 2001, at the Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.
There will be a private family service.
Mrs. Caton was born on June 11, 1905, to William and Hulda A. Stephens Callahan at Burr Oak, Kan. She married Glenn L. Caton on Nov. 21, 1948, in Montana.
Mrs. Caton enjoyed traveling in her RV and spent winters in Arizona. She also spent time doing yard work and enjoyed shopping. Special times were spent with her grandchildren.
She was an apartment manager at Tigard where she lived. She moved to La Grande on July 5 of this year.
Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Jack and Ona Smith of Sumpter; daughter, Carla Smith of Tigard; four grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters and three brothers.
Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Howard A. Barton, 82, of Baker City and a former longtime Halfway resident, died Oct. 28, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Leonard Hill of Halfway will officiate. Private vault interment will be at the Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Visitations will be for family only.
Mr. Barton was born on Oct. 23, 1919, at Copperfield. He was the son of Fay W. and Grace Stewart Barton. He attended schools in Baker County and graduated from Pine Valley High School at Halfway. He attended college at Tulsa, Okla. He worked in Cornucopia, Seattle and Alaska. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and served as a B-24 bomber pilot instructor.
On May 17, 1944, he and Barbara Gover were married in Liberal, Kan. After World War II, they returned to Pine Valley where he worked for the Halfway Garage and Morrison Knudsen. In 1948, he and Barbara joined her parents, Lovell and Velma Gover, in the purchase of a group of registered Angus heifers. This was the beginning of the Gover and Barton Registered Angus Ranch, which they operated for 40 years, supplying breeding stock to many herds.
In 1988, poor health prompted the sale of the ranch and cattle, and a move to their present home on Pocahontas Road near Baker City.
Mr. Barton is survived by his wife, Barbara of Baker City; a sister, Claire Wiese of Portland; brother and sister-in-law, Bruce and Moya Barton of Roseburg; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Emmett Barton.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Eastern Oregon Chapter of the American Red Cross through Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Marion Eunice Firkins, 67, of Burley, Idaho, and a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 26, 2001, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise.
Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 8 at the Burley Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which she was a member.
Mrs. Firkins was born in July 1934 to Allen Preston and Mary Lois Teague Birdwell at Childress, Texas. Her father worked as a stillman for Emeral Oil and Gas Co. making gasoline at the refinery at Wickett, Texas, for many years. He transferred to Artesia, N.M., to the New Mex refinery as stillman in 1948. He died in October 1950.
Mrs. Firkins was the middle child of a family of five children. She attended school at Wickett-Monahans, Texas, and Artesia, N.M.
She was divorced from her first husband in 1963. She worked at cafes and truck stops as a cook and waitress. She met and married Richard Firkins and they teamed up as long-haul truck drivers for many years until her health began to fail. Mr. Firkins gave up truck driving to take care of his wife.
She made beautiful crafts and oil paintings and she loved to fish.
Survivors include her husband, Richard Firkins of Burley; her mother, Mary Lois Erwin of Baker City; a sister, Mary Elizabeth Hicks of Graham, Texas; a brother, Jerry D. Birdwell of Fort Summers, N.M.; three sons, Jim, Bill and Bob, and two daughters, Nita Ann and Kaye Marie, all of Prineville; 10 grandchildren; three stepchildren, Byron, Dixie and Sandy; and six stepgrandchildren. Two of her grandchildren are in the armed forces: Katy Ann Dunbar is serving in Korea and Joe Mack Dunbar is serving in the United States.
She was preceded in death by her father, two sisters, two infant sons and a grandson.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Burley Cancer Foundation through the Jeff Rasmussen Funeral Home of Burley, Idaho.
Mary Coleta McCray, 82, a Baker City native, died Oct. 28, 2001, at her sons home in Baker City.
A vigil service is scheduled at 8:30 tonight at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. The Rev. Rob Irwin will officiate. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception at the church after the service.
Visitations will be until 8 oclock tonight at Grays West & Co.
Mrs. McCray was born on April 5, 1919, at Baker City to Leontine and Alphonse Huys. She was a 1937 graduate of St. Francis Academy in Baker City. She had worked with Kathleen Kivett for Sen. Stanfield after graduation.
She married Ralph L. McCray on May 18, 1940, in Baker City. They had lived in John Day, Hood River and Redmond during their first years of marriage. They then spent the rest of their years together in Baker City.
Mrs. McCray was very devoted to her Catholic faith. She was known and loved for her kindness and her sweet personality. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and will be missed by many.
Survivors include her daughter and husband, Kathleen and Al Johnson of Portland; sons and their wives, Jim and Debbie McCray of Baker City and Milton and Gina McCray of Huntingtown, Md.; grandson, James Darren McCray; granddaughters, Corrina Grace Brown and twins, Audrey and Kara McCray; and three great-grandchildren; sisters, Gabriel Boehmer of Portland and Palma Morrison of Darby, Mont.; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Leontine and Alphonse Huys; her husband, Ralph L. McCray; and her sister, Elsie Madland of Sherwood.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of ones choice through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Patrick Allen Morris, 41, of St. Helens, a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 28, 2001, at his home surrounded by family and friends.
A memorial service in his honor is scheduled at 10 a.m. Monday in Baker City at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane. There will be a memorial service at St. Helens Friday at the Moose Lodge, No. 591.
Mr. Morris was born on Sept. 11, 1960, at the old St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City. He was an avid hunter and loved the mountains and fishing for anything and everything. He loved animals, especially his cats and dogs.
He worked for The Goads, a Christian music group, driving their truck, hauling their equipment and setting up for concerts. He loved trucking and seeing the country. The Goads became a second family to him.
He was a wonderful man and will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him.
He was preceded in death by his father, Duane Bert Morris; maternal grandparents, Conrad and Madeline Allen; and paternal grandparents, William and Lena Morris.
Survivors include his mother and stepfather, Patricia and Alan Bork of St. Helens; brothers and their wives, Duane and Gayleen Morris and their son, Allen, all of Baker City, and William and Terri Morris of Creswell; stepbrother and his wife, Chris and Terry Bork, and their daughter, Holly, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho; stepsisters, Angie Bork and her son, Shawn, of Portland, Gina Bork of Klickitat, Wash., and Lisa Bork of New York City; grandmother, Betty Allen of Baker City; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and lots of good friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Patrick Allen Morris Memorial Fund at the St. Helens Credit Union.
Jacob P. Jake Flint, 22, of Dade City, Fla., and a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 19, 2001, in Florida.
His funeral will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Father Rob Irwin of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral will officiate.
There will be a reception at the Flint home, 870 Campbell St., following the services.
Disposition was by cremation at Eastern Oregon Pioneer Crematory.
Mr. Flint was born Oct. 27, 1978, at Pendleton to Pat and Gloria Flint. He spent most of his life in Baker City, where he loved hunting, fishing and spending time in the mountains. He was an avid sports fan and loved to spend time with his friends and family.
Mr. Flint was a natural comedian who kept his friends and family constantly laughing.
He moved to Dade City in August of 2000, where he worked construction. He was a proud uncle of four nephews and one niece.
Mr. Flint is survived by his parents, Gloria Flint of Pendleton, and Pat Flint and Charlotte Thomason of Baker City; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Brandon and Darla Flint of Price, Utah, and Josh and Jennifer Flint of Pendleton; his brother, Caleb Flint of Baker City; sisters, Joely and Chandra Flint, both of Pendleton; nephews, Cody Knight, Kade Flint, Tristan Flint and Devon Davis, and a niece, Desiree Davis; his grandparents, Elsie Bauman, Earl Richardson and Nell Owen; and close friends, Jason, Greg, Anthony, Benji, Eddie and Brenda.
Mr. Flint was loved by many and he will be greatly missed.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the National Rifle Association in care of Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Alice Marchlowitz, 87, of Halfway, died Oct. 27, 2001, at Meadowbrook Place.
She had moved to Halfway 6 years ago from Berlin, Germany, to be near her daughter, Barbel Babette, and her son-in-law, Dale Beatty. She loved her little white house across from Lions Club Park and really enjoyed Halfway.
In winter, she would fly south to be with her son, Ben, and daughter-in-law, Patricia and grandson, Paul.
She was always glad to come back to Halfway and the mountains. She especially loved Cornucopia, where her ashes will be scattered in the spring. Her family will miss Matti a lot.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Tamis Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97814.
Henry W. Koontz, 72, a Hereford native, died Oct. 24, 2001.
His funeral was Sunday at the Burnt River Community Church at Unity.
Mr. Koontz was born on June 2, 1929, at Hereford to William and Rebecca Koontz.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army after high school and served his country in the Korean War. After being honorably discharged, he returned to the Hereford/Baker area and married Roberta Stultz. His passion in life became music.
He traveled between Portland and Wallowa singing and playing his guitar while making lasting friends along the way. He enjoyed conversations about religion and politics. In his eyes, a stranger was just a friend he hadnt met yet. He will always be loved and greatly missed by those he leaves behind.
Survivors include daughters, Ellen Koontz and Carmen Bultena; daughters and sons-in-law, Candyce and Neil Crumb, Glenna and Daniel ONeill and Linda and Art DesCamp; son and daughter-in-law, Henry Cubby and Viola Koontz; special friends of many years, Jean Williams; 21 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Chet and Mernie Koontz; sisters, Edith Derrick and Maxine Brouillette; sister and brother-in-law, Wilma and Mert Locks; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Rebecca; his father, William; and sisters, Donna Bradford and Nan Hix.
Lawrence Edward Lampro, 80, a longtime Sumpter resident, died Oct. 16, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the McEwen Bible Fellowship Church. Pastor Bill Cox of the church will officiate. There will be a reception at the church after the service. Vault interment was at Southview Cemetery at North Adams, Mass.
Mr. Lampro was born on Dec. 22, 1920, at Becket, Mass., to Albert and Anne Lampro. He was a graduate of Chester High School at Chester, Mass. He married Elaine McCormick in June 1942 at North Adams, Mass.
After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he graduated from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the University of Massachusetts, majoring in forestry. He was employed as a lake supervisor at the New Haven Water Co. at New Haven, Conn., until his retirement in 1975. He was a member of the American Legion, Post 0079, at Madison, Conn.
In 1976, he moved to Sumpter where he enjoyed fishing, hunting and prospecting.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine; six sisters and six brothers.
Survivors include his sisters, Jeanette Walton of New Hampshire and Anita Allen of Florida; numerous nieces and nephews and godsons, Scott Swanson of Baker City, Steven Swanson of Connecticut and Glen Swanson of California.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Mabel Mork Lee, 95, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 27, 2001.
Mrs. Lee was born on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, 1906. She was born two houses down from the chapel, growing up at Edgewood. She went to Puyallup High School, graduating in 1924. She went to nursing school with much urging from her father. She was a 1927 graduate of Tacoma General Hospital in one of the first graduating classes for women at the time.
She worked as a nurse throughout many hospitals in the Northwest, including Seattle. As the years went by she really found that nursing was her calling. During World War II she joined the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, serving her duty at the Marine hospital.
She married Orin E. Lee in Portland in 1946 and they later moved to Baker City, her husbands hometown. She worked at the hospital in Baker City, sharing her compassion and caring for many of her patients and friends. She retired in 1968.
After her husbands death, she moved back to Puyallup to be near her brother, Nels Mork. Then she moved into an apartment that was built as part of the home of her niece, Naedene. She stayed there for three years.
Later on she lived at Merrill Gardens and then enjoyed her last years at Our House Too with the loving care of Jolynn and Denney Satterlee.
She was a member of the Norwegian Luther Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ladies Elks Auxiliary and Local Nursing District 12.
Survivors include her niece, Naedene Seymour of Columbia Falls, Mont.; great-nephews, Phillip Seymour and family, of Kalispell, Mont.; great-nieces, Shelley Brazil and family of San Mateo, Calif.; great-nephew, David Seymour and family of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Floyd Phillip Taylor, 90, a Halfway native, died Oct. 21, 2001, at Halfway.
His graveside funeral was Wednesday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. The Rev. Bill Shields of the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church officiated.
Mr. Taylor was born on Oct. 1, 1911, at Halfway to John Lee and Florence Bell White Taylor. He attended schools in Pine Valley and was a Pine Valley Union High School graduate.
A girl named Marcella Mitchell, who lived a mile down the road, caught his eye and they were married on Sept. 20, 1933. They enjoyed 68 years together. They had four children: William Floyd, Elton Dale, Keith Marvin and Michael Blair.
In the 90 years of his life, Mr. Taylor only left Halfway twice. He and his wife moved to Baker City in 1936 after purchasing the Elm Street Grocery. They returned to Baker City in 1941 to help the new owner, Henry Spivey, at the store.
Mr. Taylor enjoyed people immensely, easily meeting strangers as well as those he knew. He enjoyed spending time with relatives and had a great sense of humor. He also enjoyed singing and life in general.
When he was 16, he was helping his dad and Uncle Pres move a hay derrick into a hayfield just east of the house. His Aunt Alvada, who was one of those riding in the hay wagon said, I thought there was a pile of paper burning in the barrow pit, but the smoke was coming from Floyd! He had received a serious electrical shock, but was revived by a neighbor, Billy Baird, who was a Boy Scout.
Mr. Taylors life was one of hard work. He did the daily chores of farm life, including milking cows, raising pigs and raising hay and grain on the land.
He was a charter member of the Pine Valley Grange. He also was a longtime member of the Halfway Masons and a member of the Halfway Lions Club. He served on the boards of the Eagle Valley Soil Conservation District for 50 years, Pine-Eagle Dairymens Cooperative, Pine Lakes Irrigation District and the Baker County Planning Commission from its beginning for 14 years.
Survivors include his wife, Marcella; sons, Bill and Karen Taylor of Pendleton, Dale and Judy Taylor of Halfway, Keith Taylor of Vancouver, Wash., and Mike and Shirley Taylor of John Day; 13 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Alvada Gover of Imbler; sister-in-law, Catherine Taylor of Athena; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, seven brothers and sisters, a daughter-in-law and a great-grandson.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pine Valley Grange through Tamis Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.