Betty Jo Bennett, 77, of Richland, died Oct. 29, 2013, among family members at her home.
There will be a celebration of Betty’s life and a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Richland Christian Church. Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck reception after the service at the Richland Christian Church.
Betty was born on May 11, 1936, at Carnage, Okla., to Theodore and Ova Stevens. She moved to Imperial Beach, Calif., in 1941. Betty enjoyed her high school years on the pom-pom squad and spending time with her sister, Retha, and her best friend (and cousin), Shirley Dively.
She married Jimmy Kenyon -and had her two beloved daughters, Anna and Sharie. After her marriage ended in the late 1950s, she and her girls remained in Southern California.
In 1965, Betty met and married George N. Purcell and moved to Sebastapol, Calif. In 1977, they moved to Richland. It was in Richland that Betty and George began their foster parenting program and their Grade “A” dairy.
Their foster family would eventually grow to help 30 children over the course of the next decade and was recognized as the State of Oregon’s Foster Family of the Year.
George died in 1980, but Betty continued their dairy farming and foster parenting program. She married Lovell Bennett in the late 1980s and purchased the Shorthorn Bar & Cafe.
During this time Betty, working with Vonnie Bennett, organized and developed the first rural volunteer fire department in Richland. After Lovell’s death in 2004, Betty decided to sell the ranch and café and move to “town.”
In 2006, Betty began to travel. She journeyed to 14 countries, 47 states, and enjoyed nine beautiful cruises with her family and friends. In 2012, Betty’s lifelong best friend, Shirley, became her roommate. Shirley was a great comfort to Betty during her final battle with cancer.
Betty made new friends wherever she went, sharing both her wonderful sense of humor and her spirit of adventure, family members said. She loved traveling, playing cards, and dancing.
She spent as much time as she could with her family and all of her grandchildren.
“Betty had a way of making each one feel like ‘the favorite.’ ” they said. “She will be dearly missed.”
Survivors include her sister, Retha Allensworth; her daughters, Anna Steenhard and Sharie (Bill) Andrade; stepchildren, Victoria Carnahan, Teresa Alvarez, George Purcell Jr. and Roxanne Cooper; her dearest friend and cousin, Shirley Divley; 14 loving grandchildren and 21 loving great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Ova Stevens; her husbands, George Purcell and Lovell Bennett; her granddaughter, Danielle Andrade; her brother-in-law, George Allensworth; and her son-in-law, Daryl Steenhard.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Baker City, 1920-2013
Marcelle O’Connell, 93, of Baker City, died Nov. 1, 2013.
There will be a private family service in the spring of 2014.
Marcelle was born on June 30, 1920, at Salt Lake City to Bebridge and Nora Oglevie Ferguson. She was the seventh of eight children. The family moved several times throughout her childhood, living in Utah, Wyoming, California, Colorado and Oregon. By the time she graduated from Tulelake High School, she had attended 13 different schools. She married John O’Connell on Oct. 13, 1940.
The couple raised their two children, Michael and Kathryn, on a ranch in the Burnt River area. They owned the ranch with Cornelius and Arr O’Connell, and the two families spent many happy years living and working side by side. The eight members of the two families remained close all of their lives.
In 1964, John and Marcelle moved to Baker City and eventually retired there. The couple enjoyed traveling in their motor home to Arizona, taking trips to Hawaii and spending time with their family. Arr and “Corney” bought the house next door and the two couples spent several years as next-door neighbors.
When the sisters became widowed, they moved together into a new home in the same area and lived there together for several years before moving together into an assisted living center.
Marcelle’s family remembers her kindness and generosity. She had a sharp wit and was always ready with a quick quip. She is also remembered for her musical ability, and even during advanced Parkinson’s disease, she continued to play the piano until about two months ago.
Marcelle handled her battle with Parkinson’s disease courageously, with determination, wisdom, acceptance, and a special kind of grace, family members said.
“She set an example for all of us to follow when dealing with adversity,” they said.
She was preceded in death by her sisters, Una, Gala and Arr; three brothers, Doy, LB, and Max; her daughter-in-law, Mary; and her husband, John.
Survivors include her devoted sister, Wilrose; her son, Michael O’Connell, and his longtime partner, Barbara Lewis; her daughter and son-in-law, Kathryn and Gary Guymon; her grandchildren, Matt Still and his wife, Jennifer, Marinda O’Connell Lariz and her husband, Joe Lariz, and Lacey O’Connell; and great-grandchildren Menzie and Walker Still and Kasen and Josslyn Lariz.
Yuma, Ariz., 1931-2013
Shirley Jean DeWitt, 81, a former Baker City resident, died Nov. 2, 2013, at her home in Yuma, Ariz., surrounded by family.
Shirley was born on Dec. 4, 1931, at Toledo, Ohio, to Alvin and Virginia Christ. She attended Whitney High School in Toledo.
She married Paul Frederick DeWitt on Nov. 29, 1952, and during the next 11 years they were blessed with five children.
Shirley enjoyed camping, sewing and travel in her leisure time. During her life she had various outside jobs, but the job she loved most was being wife and mother to her family.
Survivors include her husband, Paul; daughters, Paula Scott and Karla Lee; and sons, Patrick, Michael and Christopher Dewitt.
Baker City, 1931-2013
Christine Louise Medlin, 82, of Baker City, died Nov. 4, 2013, while staying at the Angel Wings Adult Foster Care Home in Baker City.
Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Pastor Jesse Whitford will officiate.
Christine was born on Aug. 29, 1931, at Greenville, Mo., to George Ward and Ruth Lee Glover Ward. She attended school in Missouri.
After graduating, she moved to Oregon in 1951 where she met Bert Medlin. They were married in 1961 at Baker City.
Christine received her certified nurses aide training and worked for St. Elizabeth Nursing Home in Baker City until she retired in 1961.
She loved gardening, genealogy, collecting stamps and coins, and the outdoors. She loved to fish and camp.
She was a devoted wife and mother, and a caring nurse. Her mother died at a young age and Christine was raised by her grandmother, Soleina Glover. When she moved to Baker City, she lived with her aunt, Irene Glover Medlin and that was when she began her nursing aide career.
Survivors include her husband of 52 years, Bert Medlin; her sons, Roger Medlin of Baker City and Steve Medlin and his wife,Virginia of Albany; grandson, Jeremy Medlin of Las Vegas, Nev.; and granddaughter, Stephannie Inslee of La Grande.
She was preceded in death by a cousin, Joan Curtis; and her brothers, Buddy Glover and Charles Glover.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Alzheimer’s Association through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Shirley Coyle, 86, a longtime Halfway resident, died Oct. 28, 2013, at her granddaughter’s home in Baker City. Her hand was held until the end.
There will be a celebration of the lives of Shirley and her husband, Harry, (who died in July) at 1 p.m. Saturday outside at Harry and Shirley’s home in Halfway.
Shirley Honeycutt Wright Coyle was born on July 20, 1927, at Spokane, Wash., to Washington Denver Honeycutt and Gwendolyn Akin Honeycutt. She was the youngest of four daughters.
She married Dallas Wright on Jan. 16, 1946, at Halfway. They bought a small farm below the hills of Bear Wallow and raised two children there. She stood by Dallas’ side until he died in September 1972. Shirley stayed on the farm for the next 42 years.
She eventually downsized the farm to 2ﬁ acres and moved to a smaller house on the property, but to her it was heaven. She had all kinds of flowers, irises of every color, trees, and rose bushes planted on just about every inch of her property. She loved springtime when everything was in bloom and wanted everyone to see it.
Although she had access to a riding lawn mower, she would use the push mower up and down the hill.
Shirley got her first driver’s license when she was 45 and drove back and forth to Baker and Ontario to get a nursing degree — and all the while keeping the farm going. She worked the farm until July of this year.
She married Harry Coyle in October 1978 and they were inseparable for the next 35 years until his death in July 2013.
One of Shirley’s favorite memories to share was the time she moved to Halfway with her parents and sisters and she and her mother rode horses from Washington. Shirley said it was a long journey and the food was short so they would eat an occasional squirrel just to keep going.
The first winter in Halfway was spent in tents. She said that it was a very cold winter. But she treasured that trip always.
She also talked about her childhood when her family lived at Everett, Wash., and the four girls would pick fruit to sell to keep the family going.
She said times were hard but they always survived. She loved all animals, gardening, raising sheep, cows and chickens, and she loved working with firewood every year when it was time to get the winter’s supply.
“Mom-Grandma you will be missed until we see you again,” her family said.
Survivors include her children, John Wright of Halfway and Lynda Masterson and son-in-law, Fred Masterson, of Baker City; grandchildren, John Wright of Halfway, Day Bruhn of Baker City, and Marty Masterson and granddaughter-in-law, Lindsey Masterson, of Bend; one great-granddaughter, Sasha, and six great-grandsons, Corey, Trevor, Gabriel, Travis, Riley, and Juke; one great-great grandson on the way; and several nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews; and two estranged grandsons, James Austin and Jerry Wright.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Washington Denver and Gwendolyn Honeycutt; two husbands, Dallas Wright and Harry Coyle; sisters, Thelma Kempe, Bessie Kempe and Lois Bowerman; and one grandson, Dallas “Charlie” Hoffecker.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
William ‘Bill’ Edwards
William Earl Edwards, also known as “Belt Buckle Bill,” 45, of Halfway, died Oct. 22, 2013, at St. Luke’s Regional Hospital in Boise.
His graveside memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway.
After the service, friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of his life and a potluck dinner at the Pine Valley Grange in Halfway.
Bill was born on May 6, 1968, at Baker City to Neal and Wyona Edwards of Halfway. He was raised on a small farm and graduated from Pine-Eagle High School in 1987.
Bill went to work on the Oakes ranch at Ironside, and later to logging at Yakima, Wash., for Wyss and Sons and then back to the Oakes ranch. Bill worked at a placer mine on Pine Creek for the Bonanza Mining Co. and when that job played out he went to work for Kenworthy Logging and Huston Logging.
When he came back to the area he went to work as a Baker County corrections officer. For the last few years he worked at fiber optics for several companies all over the West. He came home to work for Gordon Summers Ranches in the summer of 2009.
Bill will be remembered for his lawn mowing jobs, hauling his mower on a trailer behind his dad’s 8N Ford tractor, and showing his Guernsey milk cows and his sheep at the Baker Junior Livestock show, Baker County Fair and the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show. For years he helped to put on the Fourth of July fireworks display.
Following in his dad’s footsteps, he helped in the arena at the Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo and Baker County Fair and Rodeo. He was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone who needed it. Bill never knew a stranger. He loved to dance — country- western swing and two-step. He had a fun laugh and always a good story, like the one that landed him in National Geographic magazine years ago.
Survivors include his daughter, Bailey Rae Edwards of Ontario; his mother, Wyona Edwards; sisters, Colleen Gilmore and her husband, Terry, of Halfway, Luetta Holtz and her friend, Brian Lubberke, of Baker City and Raedawn Edwards of Portland; Bailey’s brother, James Dederer of Redding, Calif.; nieces, Nichole Duncan, Kortney Duncan, Danielle Villani and Lorena Hellberg, and their families; and numerous cousins.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pine Valley Labor Day Fair and Rodeo through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Baker City, 1937-2013
Marlene Kay Galyen McCullough, 76, of Baker City and a longtime Haines-area resident and teacher, died October 31, 2013.
The funeral for Marlene McCullough will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Haines Baptist Church. Vault Interment will be at the Haines Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception after the interment at the Haines Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.
Marlene was a very special mother, grandmother, sister, friend and teacher, family members said.
She was born on March 8, 1937, at Tilden, Neb., to Elmer and Bernice Galyen. Before she turned 1, the family moved to Ontario where they farmed on the Oregon Slope.
Marlene was the oldest of five kids. She had many happy years growing up on the farm, working and playing with her brothers and sister. Marlene went to grade school at Pioneer School and was an Ontario High School graduate. She went on to college at Eastern Oregon, where she graduated with her teaching degree.
Marlene started teaching school when she was 21. In the 36 years she taught full time, she touched 750 children with her gifts of love and teaching, and many more in the following years as a substitute.
Marlene married Lloyd McCullough in 1963 and was blessed in 1967 when they adopted their daughter, Laura. Marlene was a great mom who loved and adored her little girl.
She was fun, but also taught Laura many lessons in life. Marlene was also a devoted grandma both to her grandkids, Nathaniel, Samuel and Ariel, as well as to her adopted grandkids, Beth and Casey. If she could, she would be at any and all events her grandkids were involved in. They knew they were loved.
Marlene and husband, Lloyd, also shared their love for kids and their great parenting skills by opening their home to help many foster kids have a safe and loving environment.
Marlene was a special lady with a love for her Lord, family, friends, music, and life.
“She will be greatly missed, but treasured in our hearts!” family members said.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd McCullough; and her parents, Elmer and Bernice Maine Galyen.
Survivors include her daughter, Laura Pointer, and her husband, Gary, of Haines; grandchildren, Nathaniel Pointer of Cambridge, Mass., Samuel and Ariel Pointer of Haines, Beth Clark and her husband, Ryan, of Redmond,Wash., and Casey Frantum of Portland; her brothers, Jim Galyen, and his wife, Peggy, of Baker City, Gary Galyen and his wife, Ruth, of Madras, and Ken Galyen and his wife, Alene, of Meridian, Idaho; sister, Shari Cornell, and her husband, Steve, of Payette, Idaho; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines Baptist Church through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Oregon City, 1927-2013
Louise May Lindstrom Brown, 86, of Oregon City, died Oct. 10, 2013.
At her request, there will be no service.
She was born at Port Angeles, Wash., on Aug. 4, 1927, to Edwin and Estella Lindstrom and moved with her parents to Colton at the age of 3.
She attended Colton schools through the eighth grade. In 1942, she moved to Oregon City where she began her long career as a waitress in numerous cafes and restaurants in Oregon City. Her last employment was at Art’s Cafe before it closed.
Survivors include three sons, Douglas M. Shannon (Stella), of Molalla, David L. Hays (Toni), of Baker City and Robert S. Brown (Debbie), of Newberg; sister, Lenora Owens of Harrisburg; brother, Donald of McMinnville; seven grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Harold and Robert; sister, Alice; husbands, Douglas R. Shannon, David W. Hays and Harvey S. Brown; and a son, Michael H. Brown.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners.
Baker City, 1932-2013
Darlene Bernice Carpenter, 81, of Baker City died Oct. 24, 2013, at Angel Wings care center.
Her graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery with Pastor Brad Phillips of Harvest Church officiating. A potluck reception is planned after the service at the Missouri Flat Grange, 1050 Hughes Lane in Baker City.
Darlene was born on May 16, 1932, at Halfway to Ralph and Martha Curry.
Most of her school years were while she lived in Baker City. After leaving school, she drove school bus for several years and did in-home care for several years. She met and married Robert Titus in 1949 and that marriage lasted until 1955. She then married Norman Carpenter in 1969 and they were married until his death in 1991.
Darlene’s heart was happy when helping others and it was known that the door to her home was always open to family and friends, family members said. She also enjoyed knitting and crocheting. Darlene always accepted the challenge of a game of cards.
Darlene was very proud when she received her diploma after many years through correspondence, and she completed a nursing course. She loved her children and showed a lot of pride in them as well.
Survivors include her son, Dan Titus and his wife, Carol, of Baker City; her daughter, Kathy Jeannotte and her husband, Tony, of Vancouver, Wash.; her brothers, Sam Curry of the Tri Cities, Wash., and Rodney Marshall of Omaha, Neb.; her sister, Carel Rogers of the Tri Cities; and many nieces and nephews. She was proud to say she had 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Martha Curry; her brothers, Vernon, Lee, Chuck, Darrel and Don; her sisters, Evie and Fern; her grandsons, Tim Porter and James Joseph Tabert; and her husbands, Robert Titus and Norman Carpenter.
The family asks that memorial contributions be made to the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West and Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Baker City, 1945-2013
Linda Christine Shorts, 68, of Baker City, died peacefully on Oct. 22, 2013, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise as a result of complications during her heart valve replacement surgery.
A private service took place Oct. 25.
Linda was born on July 21, 1945, at Pittsburgh, Pa., the only daughter of Carl and Betty Calhoun. She grew up in Pittsburgh and it was there she met and married her only husband, Edward S. Shorts. The newlyweds traveled and lived all over the United States, and eventually settled in Baker City where they raised their five children. Linda and Edward divorced after the children were grown, and Linda never remarried.
In addition to raising her own five children, Linda dedicated most of her life to helping people who were in need. She began doing foster care in her early 30s, caring for elderly disabled, as well as any child in need, whether they were handicapped, troubled or in an unfortunate circumstance. Her home was always open to a stranger in need.
During the last eight years of her life she dedicated her whole being to raising her beloved grandson as her own child. She loved all of her grandchildren dearly, but she and her grandson had a very special bond.
Survivors include her brother, Carl Calhoun; her son, Edwin Shorts; her daughters, Stephanie Morris, Melanie Bauer, Jessica Shorts and Alicia Shorts; seven grandchildren; one great-grandson; an aunt; cousins; and many friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke’s Health Foundation at: http://www.stlukesonline.org/ways_to_give/
Jerome, Idaho, 1931-2013
Howard “Mac” Vance, 82, of Jerome, Idaho, died Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at the home of his son, in Meridian, Idaho.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Haven Cove Ward, 1560 North Ten Mile Road, Meridian, Idaho. Bishop Ford Grigg will officiate. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery in Meridian, Idaho.
Mac was born on Feb. 15, 1931, at Wichita, Kan., to Howard Verle Vance and Gretta Mae McCoy Vance. He was raised at Garden City, Kan., and was a 1949 Garden City High School graduate. He graduated from Garden City Junior College in 1951 and Utah State University in 1953.
Mac met Jean Jackson while she was in Kansas visiting her sister. They were married June 8, 1952, at Belfry, Mont. Their marriage was solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on July 17, 1955.
Together Mac and Jean raised six children while living in several states as Mac worked for the USDA as a hydrologist and soil scientist. He was an accomplished photographer and loved spending time outdoors, camping, and fishing — a quality he passed on to his children.
Survivors include his sweetheart of 61 years, Jean Vance of Jerome; their children, H. Clay (Cindy) Vance of Eugene, Doug (Carolyn) Vance, Shanna Clark and Kristine (Craig) Atkinson, all of Meridian, Rob Vance and Ed Vance of Jerome; 18 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren; and many extended family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter, Vicki; and his son-in-law, Kent Clark.
Arrangements are under the care of Farnsworth Mortuary of Jerome.
Leta Faye Phipps, 83, died Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Care Center in Baker City. Graveside services will be held Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway, Ore.
Friends are invited to join the family for a reception immediately following the service at the VFW Hall in Halfway.
Faye was born April 16, 1930, in DeQuincy, La. to Ira and Ina Mitchell. She was raised in DeQuincy along with two brothers, Glen and Billy Mitchell and sister Verta Mae Van Winkle. She married Robert R. (Bob) Phipps on Jan. 7, 1950. They had two children Linda Diane and Robert R. (Ricky) Jr.
She and her husband lived in Louisiana, Texas and finally settled in Bakersfield, Calif. where they raised their children.
Faye and Bob moved to Halfway in 1969 where they owned and operated a Mobil gas station for seven years before retiring. During that time Faye bought, what was then, the Halfway Variety store and operated it for a few years.
She always had time for people whether it was for old friends or new acquaintances. You could find her sitting on her front porch waving to all who drove or walked by. In the South, that was an invitation to come and sit awhile. She was a very proud Southern Lady. Without fail, Faye was up for a visit and regularly had a story to relate or a joke to tell, all the while laughing with her infectious laugh.
Faye treasured the time she spent with her friends and family. She enjoyed making beautiful crafts as well as playing card games and bingo. The fact that she never drove a vehicle didn’t stop her for being on the go. She would tell you “I’m like an old dog, drive by and if the door’s open, I’ll jump in.” She took delight in traveling, going fishing, or simply going for a drive in the beautiful valley.
While in California she was a member of the Foresters, Eastern Star and the Druids where she was the Arch Druidess. She was also a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and a volunteer at Jacob’s Dream in Halfway.
Faye is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Bill Davis, Halfway; granddaughter and her husband, Cambria and Baki Ildiz along with great-grandchildren Asya and Blair, Palisades Park, N.J.; step-grandson, Jason Davis and step-great grandchildren Lexxi and Dylan, Payette, Idaho, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Bob and son Ricky, siblings and infant sister Mary.
The family asks that if you would like to make memorial contributions, to do so benefiting the Halfway Ambulance, VFW Ladies Auxiliary (Halfway), Jacob’s Dream or Heart n’ Home Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, Ore. 97834.
Jonda Gay Myers, 60, of Huntington died Oct. 23, 2013, at her residence. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Community Hall in Unity, Ore. Pastor Phil Joseph of the Huntington Christian church will officiate. Interment will follow at the Unity Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Community Hall.
Jonda was born Dec. 23, 1952, in Baker City to Chester D. and Dorothy M. (Mitchell) Koontz. She graduated from Burnt River High School in 1971, then went on to become a CNA in the late 70’s and worked in several nursing homes.
From 1999 though 2007, she worked as a Dorm Mom to Foreign Exchange students of Burnt River High School. Then from 2007 until 2010 she worked for Huntington High School.
In 1973, she married Daniel Averett, a union ended in divorce. On July 16, 1984, she married Elbert “Butch” Myers.
Jonda loved singing and anything to do with music. She was a worship leader at Huntington Christian Center and very involved there. She loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman. She also loved camping, playing the guitar, board games and especially spending time with her family.
She was a very accomplished guitarist and song writer. She had trained and rode horses, and ran a variety of machinery on the family farm. In later years, even though she never had children of her own, she became “Mom” to so many foreign exchange students who loved her. She was an excellent cook and could throw together a meal in a matter of minutes. She loved her family, and was a very special aunt to many nieces and nephews. She was a compassionate caregiver to several people in time of need. She had such a huge heart that spilled over to everyone around her.
Survivors include her husband Butch Myers of Huntington, step-daughters Tanna Korn and husband Mike of Springfield, Ore., and Brandy Myers of Rock Springs, Wyo., step-sons, Robert Myers and wife Melissa of Spokane, Wash. and Jason Myers and wife Charlene of Pueblo, Colo.; seven sisters, Davelle Baker and husband Dale of LaGrande, Gwynneth Anderson and husband Quinten of Unity, Kristi Ping and husband Denny of Bonney Lake, Wash., and Valerie Wilson and husband Rod of Unity; Richelle Brown and husband Loren of LaGrande, Kimala Hoskins and husband Tim of Hereford, and Shauna Andrews and husband Corey also of Hereford, and one brother, Chip Koontz and wife Cathleen of Hereford, 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many foreign exchange students form all over the world who still call her “Mom.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, Chet and Myrnie Koontz.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Huntington Christian Center through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, Ore. 97814.
William Earl Edwards aka Belt Buckle Bill, 45, of Halfway, Ore., died Oct. 22, 2013, at St. Lukes Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.
A graveside memorial service at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at 11 a.m.
Friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of Bill’s life and potluck immediately following the service at the Pine Valley Grange.
The family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. For those who would like to make a memorial donation in memory of Bill, the family suggests the Pine Valley Labor Day Fair & Rodeo through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, Ore. 97834.
Victor Vitone Sr.
Baker City, 1932-2013
Victor John Vitone Sr., 81, of Baker City died Oct. 21, 2013, surrounded by his loved ones.
A private memorial is planned for Victor on Nov. 1, 2013, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints multi-purpose room, 2625 Hughes Lane.
Victor was born on Sept. 5, 1932, at Paterson, N.J., to Alexander and Fernande Vitone. After finishing his schooling, Victor joined the U.S. Army for three years, achieving the rank of corporal. He proudly served his country during the Korean conflict.
After he left the service, Victor worked as a service technician, delivering propane for AmeriGas. In 1966, he met and later married Willamae Myers in Hollywood, Fla.
Victor loved fishing, writing poetry and spending time with his family. He also loved spending many hours with his companion, Stormy, a yellow Lab who became important to him after his wife died.
Survivors include his daughter, Sandra, and son-in-law, Thomas Montoya, of Baker City; son, Victor Vitone Jr., and Kat White of Valdosta, Ga.; brother-in-law and sister–in-law, John A. and Myrtle Harris of Ray City, Ga., and Travis and Betty Apperson, of Ashburn, Ga.; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Willamae, who died in March of 2003; his parents; sister, Lou Rossborough; brother, Tony Vitone; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Perry and Evelyn Myers.
Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Baker City, 1920-2013
Jeanette H. Anderson, 93, of Baker City, died Oct. 19, 2013, while at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City.
There was a memorial service and reception for Jeanette at 2 p.m. Thursday at Coles Tribute Center. Her final resting place will be at Finley’s Sunset Hills Mausoleum in Portland.
Jeanette was born on June 24, 1920. She was the only child of Orris and Mathilde Harbert. She attended Chapman Grade School and Lincoln High School in Portland.
She was a proud graduate and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority sister at the University of Oregon in Eugene. She was a lifelong avid supporter of the Ducks.
She also enjoyed horseback riding, being a thespian, and the social whirl at the U of O. Jeanette met her first husband, Robert Lewis Black, Sr. while at Oregon and they were married in 1941.
Jeanette and Robert lived in Pendleton early on where their only child, Robert Lewis Black Jr. was born. Eventually they moved to La Grand where Robert managed the local Van Patten Lumber Co. After Robert’s death in 1948, Jeanette taught at Central Grade School for a short time.
She married her second husband, H. Lynn Anderson in 1951. They had the Union Oil Co. distributorship in La Grande for many years. They moved to Portland where they owned and operated a dry cleaning business for several years.
Lynn died in 1983. Jeanette continued to live in Portland until she came to Baker City to live at Meadowbrook Place around 2010.
Jeanette was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority since 1938, Job’s Daughters, Campfire Girls, the National Federation of Republican Women, Oregon Republican Century Club and Portland Northeast Club among others.
First and foremost, Jeanette was a homemaker and enjoyed entertaining family, friends and business associates. Jeanette shared with family that she was lucky in love not once but twice and would glow with the memory of her husbands.
When asked by some why she was such a conservative she would reply, “You should have met my little grandmother from Missouri!” who had influenced her at an early age. She had a special bond with her dad.
Her son Bob recalled on one of her favorite memories was when she was young she told her dad she wanted to go flying. His reply was, “Not now, but when you are 12 years old.” As time passed, Jeanette forgot about it but the morning of her 12th birthday, her dad told her she was going to go flying.
He took her to Swann Island where a well-known pilot, Tex Rankin, flew Jeanette and her dad all around the Portland area in an open cockpit bi-plane. She never forgot that experience.
She liked to tell of and admire her son’s cleverness as a very young boy when he informed her he would not be eating his vegetables until his dad came back from the war. She often bragged to others about Bob’s business and real estate prowess and was impressed at how he had become quite the family man.
She recalled a funny time when her granddaughter, Robin, was riding with her in her new convertible in Portland. Little Robin started singing a favorite song of hers, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” Not familiar with the song, Jeanette became worried that her convertible top was leaking and had a good laugh later when she figured it out.
As anyone could see who knew or met Jeanette, she was a very stylish lady and always “dressed to the nines,” even on her worst day (this can be confirmed by Bob with the wardrobes changing with the seasons and his aching back).
Finally, one will never forget her great pleasure in supporting her alma mater and her beloved Oregon Ducks. She would never miss watching their games and had her Oregon pennants posted by her front door. She was very pleased when her two great-grandsons showed up wearing U of O Duck shirts and hoped for future Ducks in the family.
Jeanette’s family would like to thank the staff at Meadowbrook Place for their kindness and care during her time with them.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Orris and Mathilde Harbert; her husband, Robert Lewis Black Sr.; and her husband, H. Lynn Anderson.
Survivors include her sons, Robert “Bob” Black and his wife, Michael, and Ron Anderson and his wife, Dee; daughter, Cathey Correa, and her husband, Richard; and nine grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker City or the Rachel Center through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
George James Raeburn, 69, of Portland, died Oct. 22, 2013, as the result of a motor vehicle crash on Highway 26 just west of John Day.
There will be a Celebration of Life from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Canby New Life Foursquare Church, 2350 S.E. Territorial Road, Canby, OR 97013.
George was born on Dec. 20, 1943, at Bend to Byron and Maxine Raeburn. George lived in Baker City and spent his summers working on a family ranch at Vale until his family moved to Clackamas where he finished his senior year of high school in 1963.
In 1966, George married Dawn Gail Martin. They had two children, Kimberly and Todd.
George spent four years in the Army Reserves, and spent more than 10 years with Union Pacific Railroad in Portland. Then George pursued his true passion of classic cars and hot rods.
He went back to school and started his own business: Custom Auto Restoration.
Since age 17 he loved to make old cars look new again as a hobby. Starting off at just fixing up and detailing to later on developing skills to do body work and paint. This hobby turned into a very successful business because of his exceptional talent, craftsmanship, integrity, and drive to do his very best for others, family members said. He would turn a rust bucket into an award-winning concourse car.
George was a hardworking man his entire life. He worked hard to support and provide for his family and was devoted to supporting Kim and Todd in their education and other endeavors.
George and Dawn’s marriage ended in 1984. In 1986 he married Susan Mark.
George retired at 65. He and Susan did some traveling in the U.S. and in Europe.
George continued to work on cars after retirement. There were always friends and past clients asking him to work on their cars because of who he was and his craftsmanship.
George died on his way to Baker City to visit some friends and to enjoy some open road in his own classic ’58 Chevy Bel Air Impala, his family said.
Survivors include his wife, Susan Mark Raeburn; children, Kimberly Dawn Davenport and Todd Martin Raeburn; grandchildren, Grant, Abigail, Bryant and Belle; and brothers, Earl Raeburn and Roger Raeburn.
Baker City, 1927-2013
Donald H. “Don” Kelso, 86, of Baker City, died Oct. 19, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City.
His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Jim Steele of the Happy Valley Evangelical Church will officiate. There will be a graveside service at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Boise National Cemetery.
Don was born on Jan. 24, 1927, at Madrid, Neb., to Edgar and Bernice Henry Kelso. He was raised in Nebraska and as a teen he moved to northern Idaho for a short time before returning to Nebraska.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 9, 1945, and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. He was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart.
He was honorably discharged on May 14, 1946. After his military service he moved to Lebanon, Ore., where he worked as an auto mechanic and at a lumber yard. He married Phyllis Gravelle in 1947. After 11 years they divorced.
He married Ruthann Hatcher in 1963 and they later divorced.
He was married to Bonnie Medrow for more than 25 years before her death in 2005. On July 6, 2011, he married Elizabeth Wells.
He returned to Baker City from Lebanon in 1956 and worked as a heavy equipment mechanic. He moved to Meridian, Idaho, in 1978 and then came back to Baker City in 2009.
He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He was well-known as someone who could fix or make anything and he built many trailers and even built wreckers. He also enjoyed collecting antiques.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Wells-Kelso of Baker City; son, Boyd Kelso of San Francisco; son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Sandi Kelso of San Antonio, Texas; and daughters and sons-in-law, Janet and Jerry Groves of Meridian, Idaho, and Jeannie and Wade Preble of Milwaukee; brother and sister-in-law, Merideth and Merle Kelso; and sister and brother-in-law, Hazel and Jim Graham; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several stepchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sons, Larry and D. Jeffery.
The Dalles, 1925-2013
Ross Gilbert “Godfather” Stull, 87, of The Dalles, died Aug. 8, 2013, peacefully at home with his family.
There was a celebration of his life on Aug. 31 at the Eagles Lodge in The Dalles. Interment with military honors was Saturday, Sept. 7, at Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker City. There was a Celebration of Life service afterward at Baker City American Legion Hall.
Ross was born on Sept. 25, 1925, at Payette, Idaho, to Graff Javan and Jessie Lynn Ringer Stull. He served in the U.S. Navy, as a sonar operator on the USS Chickasaw in the South Pacific during World War II.
He married Mary Lorane Spivey on Feb. 19, 1946. They had four daughters.
Ross worked many jobs in his life but his love of the railroad finally led him to Alaska where he retired on the Alaskan Railroad in 1986. He loved fishing and socializing and was always telling jokes.
“We will forever miss that special smile and quick wit,” family members said.
Survivors include his daughters, Ann Gronwold and her husband, Ken, of Buckeye, Ariz., Ellen Lord of Dallesport, Wash., and Jessie Kochis and her husband, Leo, of The Dalles; grandchildren, James Jordan, and his wife Kim, Cindy Eder, Karla Perry and her husband, Carl, Greg Murphy, Michael Murphy and his wife, Liz, Mark Lord, MaryEllen Lord, Lee Kochis, and his wife, Becky, and Chris Kochis; and many great- and great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; daughter, Edna May Westby; son-in-law Marion “Bud” Lord; sisters, Iola Blodgette and Inez Cartwright; brothers, Blaine, Clifford and Max Stull; and great-great-granddaughter, Victoria Gassner.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Providence Hospice of the Gorge, 1630 Woods Court, Hood River, OR 97031.
Baker City, 1934-2013
Charles R. Couzens, 79, a longtime Baker City resident, died Oct. 16, 2013, at Settler’s Park.
At his request, there will be no service.
Mr. Couzens was born on June 28, 1934, at Whitney to Charles and Myrtle Borman Couzens. He attended Baker City schools and graduated from Baker High School. Mr. Couzens served in the U. S. Army.