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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries

Obituary for Jan. 23, 2013

Richard Traw

Baker City, 1936-2013

Richard Traw, 76, of Baker City, died Jan. 20, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City surrounded by his family after a long and heroic battle with cancer.

Private interment will be at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. There will be a celebration of his life at 11 a.m. Friday at the Agape Christian Center on Highway 7.

 Rick was born on Aug. 25, 1936, at Chiloquin. He was the second of six children born to Cleo and Trula Mae Traw.

His early years were spent at Klamath Falls. He started the seventh grade at Richland Elementary School and was a 1955 graduate of Eagle Valley High School at Richland. In 1956, he married his high school sweetheart and wife of 56 years, Colleen “Johnny” Traw.

 His first job was working for the creamery in Eagle Valley, and he also worked on the Brownlee Dam project. Then he found his niche – roads, trucks and heavy equipment.

 Rick worked for the Baker County Road Department for 32 years, beginning as a part-time employee. His career there included seasonal truck driver, blade operator, and assistant roadmaster. He retired as the Baker County roadmaster in 1990. Rick absolutely loved building and maintaining roads.

 He also loved the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He particularly enjoyed steelhead fishing.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, Cleo and Trula Mae Traw; sister, Bernice Mallard; and brother, James Traw.

 Survivors include his wife, Colleen; brother, Don Traw, and his wife, Sandra; sister, Jan Fields,and her husband, Jerry; sister, Sue Beck; daughters, Debbi Jo Duby, and Dondi Scumaci and her husband, Mark; grandsons, Jeremiah Duby, and his wife, Kristin, and Tabor Woolard  and his wife, Crissy; granddaughters, Hannah, Andrea and Rebecca Duby; great-granddaughter, Ilsa Duby; and great-grandson, Asher Woolard, arriving in February.

Memorial contributions may be made to Agape Christian Center Mission Fund, cancer research or the charity of one’s choice through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.


Obituary for Jan. 18, 2013

Genevieve Elliott

Baker City, 1922-2012

Genevieve E. Wilson Elliott, 90, of Baker City, died Jan. 14, 2013, at Meadowbrook Place, with her two sons, Bob and Mike Wilson, at her side.

Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. The Rev. Julian Cassar will officiate. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. 

Genevieve Evelyn Moore was born on March 30, 1922, at Baker City. She was the third of four children born to Harold Van Alan Moore and Cynthia Ann Powell, both of pioneer families.

Genevieve grew up in Baker City, attending Baker High School and St. Francis Academy.

 She married John “Bill” Wilson in 1940. They had four children: Elizabeth “Betty” Ann, Robert “Bob” Alan, Michael “Mike” John and Katheryn “Kathi” Marie. Bill and Genevieve shared 28 years of marriage until Bill died of a brain tumor in 1968. 

Bill worked for the First National Bank and was the assistant manager of the Baker Branch when he died. Genevieve finished raising Bob, Mike and Kathi, while teaching piano lessons. 

Genevieve was an accredited music teacher at Eastern Oregon College (now Eastern Oregon University) in La Grande and taught for 45 years in Baker City. 

Genevieve’s comments of Bill’s parents, John Wilson and Gertrude Chadwick, “they were the kindest, jolliest people I’ve ever known.” They were very instrumental in Bill and Genevieve’s lives with their four children.

“Gramma” Wilson lived with Bill and Genevieve after “Grampa” died and helped Genevieve raise Bob, Mike and Kathi. All the grandchildren dearly loved her. 

 Genevieve loved playing the piano, her piano recitals, and she enjoyed her students. She also loved to garden and was very proud of her beautiful roses and “dinner plate” dahlias.

There are many cherished memories of birthday parties and family gatherings in the backyard on College Street. Her family also recalls fondly the picnics, rides and camping at old No. 1 Cabin at Anthony Lakes, fishing, and beach vacations. 

Genevieve also loved cooking, baking cookies, huckleberry picking with her sisters and Aunt Erma, Carl, and Betty Ann. The boys really enjoyed all the fish, ducks, and pheasants she fixed for them. 

“She made the BEST fried chicken!” family members said. “Her pies were to die for.” 

 Harry liked her pies.

She married Harry N. Elliott of Bridgeport in 1974. Harry and Genevieve shared nearly 20 years of marriage. Lots of trips to the ranch over Dooley Mountain along with their pet, “Muffy.” After “Muffy” came “Teddy.”

 Genevieve was a member of the Sorority of Beta Sigma Phi, Community Concerts, St. Francis de Sales Altar, Rosary Society Circle Club, Birthday Club and she delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.

 Genevieve was a wonderful mother and a great piano teacher. She had a beautiful voice and sang in the St. Francis choir for many years.

“She was a little bright spot in a crowd of people with her red hair and pretty outfits of peach, blue, pink, yellow and rust colors,” her family said.

Then at age 80, she had beautiful white hair which she religiously put in curlers every night. She moved into Meadowbrook Place, which became her home.

She loved chocolate ice cream sundaes, which her family enjoyed bringing to her  — that twinkle in her eye.  Always a smile, a thank you and a welcome. Happy memories with our mother.

 Survivors include her daughter, Betty, and her husband, John Clark of Haines; son, Bob Wilson, and his wife, JoAnn, of Redmond; son, Mike Wilson, and his wife, Betsy, of Baker City; and daughter, Kathi Elder of Hermiston; stepchildren, Barbara Lewis, Tom Elliott, and Margie Elliott; sister, Winnifred Oesterling of Baker City; niece, Judy Fling; nephews, Richard Oesterling, Carl and Roy Sullivan and Duane Schaer; and 19 grandchildren, 22 great- grandchildren and seven great-great- grandchildren. 

 She was preceded in death by both her parents;  husbands, Bill Wilson and Harry Elliott; good friend, Ed Chadwick; brother, Walter, and his wife, Marion Moore; sister, Florence Sullivan; aunt, Erma Powell; and loving grandson, Kevin Eugene Wilson.

 Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice, St. Francis Altar and Rosary Society, Meadowbrook Place or a charity of one’s choice through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.


Obituaries for Jan. 9, 2013

Chryl Robinson

Haines, 1939-2012

Chryl Ann Robinson, 73, of Haines, died Dec. 31, 2012, at her home.

Her family will gather to celebrate Chryl’s life in the spring.

Chyrl Ann was born on Oct. 16, 1939, at La Grande to Frank and Doris O’Niel Kesler. The family lived at La Grande for a short time before moving to Portland. 

Chyrl attended Shadduck Grade School at Portland and later graduated from Roosevelt High School. 

In 1969, Chryl married Lawrence Robinson at Elko, Nev. During her life she worked at Dairy Queen and the Our Lady of Sorrows after-school program.

Chryl enjoyed sewing, reading and dreaming of places to go, or to be, or to visit. Chryl loved animals, especially her cats of which she had many.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Doris Kesler, and stepfather, William Kennedy.

Survivors include her husband, Lawrence; children, Jeff, and his wife, Laura, of St. Helens, Tammy and husband, Marty Fuller, of Portland, Tom Meyer and his wife, Jo, of Portland, and Judy Meyer and Melody McKeel of Oregon City; four grandchildren; and one great- grandchild, Riley Meyer. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Humane Society (SPCA) or Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Patricia Franke

Hereford, 1940-2013

Patricia Dolores (Fyvie DeLizo) Franke, 72, died Jan. 2, 2013, at Boise.

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Hermiston. Burial will be at the Desert Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Irrigon.

She was born on Jan. 9, 1940, at Amsterdam, N.Y.

 She met her husband, Jerry, at Amarillo Air Force Base in Texas where they both served in the U.S. Air Force. They were married on July 2, 1964. 

She served from July 29, 1958, until her honorable discharge on Sept. 24, 1964. 

Pat was a firm believer in “The Song of Ruth”: Whither thou goest ... where thou lodgest ... thy people shall be my people.” She embraced his family and followed Jerry half way around the world for the next 49 years. 

They traveled first to Portland in 1965; to England in 1967;  to Irrigon in 1970 while Jerry was stationed in Alaska; back to England in 1971; to Turkey in 1973; back to Texas in 1976; back to Irrigon in 1980; and to Hereford in 1993 where they lived until her death. 

 She created a home at each stop along the way. 

“She epitomized what God intended when he created ‘an help meet’ and left a hole in our lives when she departed,” her family said.

 Survivors include her husband, Jerry of Hereford; her son, Curtis Franke, and his wife, Charlene, of Stanfield; her daughter, Ramona Franke of Stanfield; her sister, Bonny Panas, and her husband, Bruce, of The Villages, Fla.; her sister, Marguerite Karanjia, and her husband, Nariman, of Sherwood; her adopted granddaughters, Brittany and Trisha Franke; and multiple nieces nephews and in-laws.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans at P.O. Box 92, Hermiston, OR 97838.

Sign the condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.


Obituary for Jan. 7, 2013

‘Hal’ Weaver

Sparta, 1940-2012

Harold “Hal” Weaver, 72, of Sparta died Dec. 29, 2012, at Vista Specialty Care in La Grande. 

There will be a celebration of Hal’s life and a family gathering in the spring in Pennsylvania.

Harold Lee was born on Nov. 17, 1940, at Sellersville, Pa., to Harold and Iona Souder Weaver. He was raised in Collegeville, Pa., graduating from Christopher Dock Mennonite High School in 1958. Hal then went on to the University of Washington where he majored in forestry, and he received his doctorate from Washington State University.

Hal and Joan married on May 15, 1965, at Lower Providence Presbyterian Church in Eagleville, Pa., after a childhood friendship renewed at church. 

Hal began his working career as a surveyor for Metzger Engineering. He went on to do contract work with the U.S. Forest Service. Hal also conducted research with U.S. Geological Survey. He also enjoyed raising yearling cattle on his Sparta place.

 A passion and hobby of Hal’s was hiking around the country and around the world. Hal will be fondly remembered for his adventuresome spirit. He was such a kind, warm, brilliant person who preferred a simple lifestyle. In his youth he spent three years in Nepal doing mission work, which affected his thinking about not needing many things in life. 

 Hal was very active in the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church at Halfway. He taught both the teenagers and adults. He participated in any building projects for the church or community. He was a former Pine-Eagle School Board Member and the Pine Valley Youth Fund. He volunteered in weed surveys to eradicate noxious weeds. 

He enjoyed the youth, mentoring them while going on hikes, cross-country skiing and telemark skiing. Hal volunteered to teach math skills to young people and visited a young man in jail. He enjoyed sharing his experience and advice with his nieces and nephews. 

Later in life, Hal enjoyed his daily walks around Sparta Butte taking note of both the wildlife and the plants.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Iona Weaver.

Survivors include his wife, Joan; his brothers, Richard, James, Donald and Steve; his sisters, Mary Lou, Marjorie, Sylvia and Lucie; and several nieces and nephews.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church or the Hilary Bonn Benevolent Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


Obituaries for Jan. 4, 2013

Ross Bullard

Baker City, 1930-2012

Ross Lee Bullard, 82, of Baker City died Dec. 6, 2012, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

His memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at McEwen Bible Fellowship with Pastor Dan Martin officiating.

Ross was born on Sept. 8, 1930, at Graham, Texas, to Walter and Attie Pillinder Bullard. He spent two years in the U.S. Army, leaving as a corporal. Ross worked most of his life as a cowboy doing day work at different ranches. He also worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife rescuing and relocating bighorn sheep for 12 years.

He married Mary Thomas at Baker City on Dec. 8, 2005. His hobbies included family, horses, woodworking and dancing. He was very active in the Haines Rodeo Association where he carried the American flag for rodeos.  He attended McEwen Bible Fellowship.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Bullard of Baker City; his daughters, Annette Bates and LuAnne Brummett of Baker City; his sons, Dan Bullard of North Powder, Travis Bullard and Tim Bullard, both of Union, Joe Bullard of Baker City, and Charles Brummett of Fairbanks, Alaska; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Betty Bullard.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines Rodeo Association or Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Lorene Howland-Spriet

La Grande

Lorene Geneveave Howland-Spriet, 91, died Dec. 31, 2012. She spent her last years at La Grande.

Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. in Baker City. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Gray’s West & Co. 

Lorene was born at Lone Pine to James Otho Hall and Mabel May York.  She met James Clifford “Jimmy” Howland and they were married on Feb. 5, 1938, at Caldwell, Idaho. Their children are Clifford Howland (Debbie) of Fishers, Ind.; Nita Powell (Carl) of La Grande; Vernon Howland of Baker City; Tera Cassie of Boise; Michael Howland (Darlene) of Umatilla; John Howland (Candy) of Huntington; Edwin Howland (Betty) of Boise; Nelda Petitt (George) of Huntington; Lela Stangle of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Marla Coalwell (Jerry) of John Day.

Jimmy Howland died Feb. 10, 1953. Lorene later met Willie Alphons Spriet and they married on Feb. 25, 1955, at Pasco, Wash. Their children are Mary Spriet and Wilma Hawk (Harold) of Huntington.

Lorene is also survived by her twin sister, Irene Martin of Caldwell; 50 grandchildren; 80 great-grandchildren; and 15 great-great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; her two husbands; her siblings, Millie Mann, Ada Haney, Dorothy Henner, Glenn Hall, Edward Hall and Donald Hall; and her children, Bill Howland, June Wolf and Mary Spriet.

The family would like to thank Dr. Conklin, Wildflower Lodge Staff, and Hospice for the care they gave Lorene in her final days.

Thaoma Ellingson

Baker City, 1936-2012

Thaoma L. Church Ellingson, 76, a longtime Baker City resident, died Dec. 8, 2012, at Linda Vista Care Center in Ashland from complications arising from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

There will be a family gathering to honor her in the spring.

Thaoma was born on April 28, 1936, at Baker City where she spent much of her life. She moved to Ashland this year while recovering from a stroke. She was the daughter of Cora Davis Church and Guy Church. 

Thaoma grew up in Baker and Union counties, moving between Union, John Day and Hereford, but spending her formative years in Baker. She was raised by loving pioneering parents, and three doting older brothers. After graduation from Baker High School, she attended a year at Oregon State University. Thaoma married Donald M. Ellingson at Baker City, where they made their home.

Survivors include her brother, Gerry Church of Redmond; her daughter, Elizabeth Ellingson of Ashland; and her grandchildren, Jordan Ellingson of Lake Stevens, Wash., and Kai White and Ian White of Corvallis.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Donald Ellingson; and her son, Matthew Ellingson. She also recently lost two of her brothers, Robert Church of Vale and Donald Church of Gresham.


Obituaries for Jan. 2, 2013

Barbara Grover

Baker City, 1941-2012

Barbara Leslie (Winslow) Grover, 71, of Baker City, died Dec. 28, 2012, at Angel Wings Assisted Living in Baker City.

She will be laid to rest with her father in Bend.

 Barbara was born on March 27, 1941, at St. Charles Memorial Hospital in Bend to Richard L. and Elizabeth D. (Vandersee) Winslow. She attended Bend High School and Emanuel Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated in 1962.  She was a registered nurse, working for Bend Memorial Clinic, Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, Bend Hospital, Redmond Hospital, Madras Hospital, Gold Beach Hospital, Grants Pass Hospital and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City.

 Barbara married Gerald Floyd Grover on June 14, 1964, at the First Christian Church in Bend. Her hobbies include sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening, quilting, scrapbooking, rubber stamping, card making, paper crafts of all types, tole painting, collecting craft books and magazines, ceramics and cake decorating. Barbara attended the First Christian Church in Baker City.

Barb was an excellent cook (although she always said she didn’t like to). She was a perfectionist and very good at everything she tried. She was a great mom, loving wife, and grandmother. She will leave a large empty hole in every heart that loved her.

 Barbara is survived by her husband, Gerald (Jerry) F. Grover of Baker City; her daughters, Cheryl L. Armstrong of Olympia, Wash., Amy L. White and her husband, Kenneth, of Baker City; her sister, Alberta L. Winslow of Philomath; and seven grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, James L. Winslow.

Contributions in memory of Barbara can be made to Baker City Christian Church or Angel Wings Assisted Living through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Terry’ Craig

North Powder, 1946-2012

Terrence Paul “Terry” Craig, 66, of North Powder, died Dec. 26, 2012, in Boise.  

A memorial celebration will be Thursday, Jan. 3 at 1 p.m. at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. in Baker City.

Terry was born on Jan. 29, 1946, at Baker City to his parents, Charles A. “Jack” and Dorothy E. Craig of North Powder. He attended North Powder High School, graduating in 1964 and shortly thereafter moved to Kodiak, Alaska. Terry was hired at Kodiak Electric Association in September 1966, where he enjoyed an exemplary, 31-year career until his retirement in October 1997. 

After retiring, he relocated back to Eastern Oregon, settling in La Grande for approximately seven years, then finally moving back to his hometown of North Powder.

Terry was a longtime active member of the Kodiak Elks Lodge where he had been a Past Exalted Ruler and a trustee on the Board of Trustees. He loved to hunt and fish and fly remote-control helicopters.

He is survived by his two daughters, Stephanie F. Kinsey (James) of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and Tera L. Gilley (Christopher) of Farmersville, Texas, and his son, Michael S. Hillman of Kodiak; his brothers, Alfred L. “Larry” Craig of North Powder, and Stephen J. Craig (Nancy) of Pendleton; his nephew, Stuart P. Craig (Marie) of Palmer, Alaska; his grandchildren: Dakota Kinsey of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Devin, Jordan and Sydni Gilley of Farmersville, Texas, and William Hillman of Pine River, Minn.; and by his great-nephew, Joshua P. Craig of Palmer.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents, Charles A. “Jack” Craig and Dorothy E. Haley; and by his sister-in-law, Marcia L. Craig.

Please make any memorial contributions to The Elks National Foundation, www.elks.org, or through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Ida Chastain

Baker City, 1924-2012

Ida Mae Chastain, 88, of Baker City, died Dec. 30, 2012, one day after her 88th birthday, at Meadowbrook Place.

Visitations will be Thursday, Jan. 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Her funeral will be Friday, Jan. 4 at 10 a.m. at Gray’s West & Co., with burial to follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Ida was born on Dec. 29, 1924, at Texhoma, Texas, to Samuel and Grace Stump. The family moved to Harper, Ore., in 1929 where they settled. Ida Mae graduated from Harper High School in 1942, then joined the Navy and served as a WAC for two years. Upon completion of her service obligation, Ida Mae returned to Harper, where she married William (Bill) F. Chastain, a former high school classmate, on Dec. 10, 1948.

Ida and Bill farmed in Little Valley until 1954, when Bill took a job with Baker Production Credit Association. Bill and Ida moved to Baker with their family of three children, where Bill continued to farm part time along with his job at PCA. Bill and Ida welcomed their fourth child to the family after the move to Baker.

Ida was a full-time homemaker and a devoted mother and wife. She kept a spotless home while raising a garden, canning and preserving fruit and vegetables as well as working on many knitting and crocheting projects. She was president of her children’s PTA several years, and was actively involved in their 4-H and FFA clubs and projects.

Upon Bill’s retirement from the PCA, the couple became actively involved in community activities such as fundraising for the local YMCA.

 The couple could be seen about town taking long walks and playing golf without a cart, to stay fit.

Ida is survived by her children: Carolyn Banaka, Donald and wife, Judy Chastain, Janet and husband, Keith Jensen, and Dennis and wife, Rochelle Chastain; her sisters: Lois Wharton and husband Tom, and Betty Watkins; 10 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Ida was preceded in death by her husband, William in 1996; both her parents and two siblings, Sammy Stump and Myrtle Holland; one grandson, Ryan Chastain; and one son-in-law, Mitch Banaka.

Contributions can be made in Ida’s memory to the YMCA or a charity of your choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR 97814.

Violet Graham

Baker City, 1924-2012

Violet Rose (Carroll) Graham, 88, a long-time Baker City resident, died Dec. 26, 2012, in Nampa, Idaho, following a short illness.

Funeral services for Mrs. Graham will be Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Her nephew, Pastor Ian Fisher of the Calvary Chapel in Ontario, will officiate. Interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations for Mrs. Graham will be Friday, Jan. 4 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Coles Tribute Center.

Violet was born early Christmas morning, Dec. 25, 1924, at Emmett, Idaho, to Hubert Lawrence and Lucy Jane (Van Cleave) Carroll. She was the 12th of 13 children. Violet lived at Emmett until 1927 when the family moved to Kuna, Idaho. In 1929 they moved to Lawen, Ore., where Violet started school. For a short time in 1931 Violet lived in Durkee with another move to follow to Pleasant Valley where she finished second grade.  In the spring of 1932 Violet started third grade in Beaver Creek, Ore., that fall the family moved to Baker City where she finished the school year.  The family remained in Baker City where Violet completed her schooling including Business College.

 On Aug. 31, 1946, Violet married Bill Graham, the love of her life, in Weiser, Idaho, and they were happily married for 46 years until his death on April 16, 1991. Violet and Bill spent most of their married life in Baker City raising their three children: Sylvan, Judy, and Bill (Eddie). Violet was a loving wife and a devoted mother.

 Violet loved fishing and her boys claim she had the patience of an oyster (an oyster can take a grain of sand and over the course of many years turn it into a pearl), now that is patience!  She admittedly would rather fish than eat when she was hungry. We all have many happy memories of deer hunting together at her sister Daisy Suitter’s place in Durkee and elk camp at Starkey. She enjoyed many hobbies including crafts, sewing, embroidery, crocheting, gardening, cutting wood, sewing, reading and dancing with Bill. Violet spent a lot of time with her sister Lois and they enjoyed going to yard sales and to Jackpot. More than anything else, she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.

 Violet’s employment opportunities included pin-setter at Baker’s first bowling alley, waitressing, retail sales, and mail carrier from Stices Gulch to Granite and from Baker to Pleasant Valley. In the early 1950s when her husband first began his career with the state of Oregon Highway Department, the family spent their summers criss-crossing Eastern Oregon in a small camp trailer. During this time Violet not only pulled the trailer from place to place, but also prepared served meals for the highway crew from the trailer. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary, past member of the Baker CB Club and I-80 Control, Crazy 8 Square Dancers, and the Eagles Auxiliary.

 Violet embraced life wholeheartedly, in later years she so enjoyed meeting with friends at McDonald’s for coffee. She has always enjoyed traveling, first with her husband and children, later with her siblings. The last four years her daughter, son-in-law and sister, Lois, were blessed to have her travel with them to 49 of the 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Canada.

Violet is survived by her sister, Lois Music of Baker City; her son Sylvan and wife Linda Graham of Tacoma, Wash.; her daughter Judy and husband Ole Beymer of Nampa; her son Bill (Eddie) and wife Janiece Graham of Chewelah, Wash.; nine grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

 Violet was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bill; six brothers: Hubert, Joe, Patrick, Omar, Warren and George Carroll; and five sisters: Lillie Ells, Daisy Suitter, Bertha Klein, Pearl McClary and Ada Talley.

 Violet was the hub of the family – very devoted and very proud of her children and grandchildren’s accomplishments. She was always there to provide advice, encouragement, support and praise. She truly was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

Contributions may be made in Violet Graham’s memory to a charity of your choice through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.


Obituary for Dec. 28, 2012

Donn Ballantyne

Baker City, 1923-2012

Donn T. Ballantyne, 89, of Baker City, died Dec. 23, 2012, at Meadowbrook Place in Baker City.

His funeral will be Monday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.Internment will take place at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Donn was born on June 6, 1923, at Perry, Ore., to Gilbert and Pearl (Tracy) Ballantyne. Donn served in the Navy Air Corps and Army Air Corps for four years.

Donn married Viola Baker in Payette, Idaho, on Feb. 25, 1944. He worked at Ellingson Lumber Company for 30 years as a safety and personnel director.

Donn is survived by his son, Roger Ballantyne of Baker City. 

Donn was preceded in death by both his parents and by his wife, Viola Ballantyne.

Contributions may be made in Donn’s memory to the American Cancer or American Diabetes Foundations through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Obituaries for Dec. 26, 2012

Elwyn Justus

Haines, 1945-2012

Elwyn Garrison Justus, 66, of Haines, died Dec. 18, 2012, at his home.

A celebration of Elwyn’s life, with military auspices, will be Friday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. at The Sunridge in Baker City.

Elwyn was born on Dec. 24, 1945, in Baker to William and Olive (Garrison) Justus.  He was raised on the ranch that he lived on his entire life. 

Elwyn started school in Muddy Creek School in Haines and later went to Richland where his mother was a teacher there for many years. He graduated from Eagle Valley High School in Richland in 1964. He started college at Eastern Oregon College in La Grande, then transferred to Blue Mountain College in Pendleton, where he graduated from college.

He was inducted into the Army on July 1967 and was stationed in Korea during his time of service until his honorable discharge as a sergeant in July 1973.

 Elwyn married Vicki Calhoun on Oct. 15, 1977,  and they celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this October. They had one son, William (Bill) Elwyn Justus, born on Sept. 26, 1979.

Elwyn has been a rancher for many years. He also worked for Wishard Bale Stacking, stacking hay from Hermiston to Roaring Springs. Then he went to work as an Oregon livestock brand inspector until his death.

 Elwyn was an avid elk, deer, and chukar hunter, and fishing every so often. But most of all, he loved team roping with his son and many numerous friends.

He has been a member of American Cowboys Team Roping Association, United States Team Roping Championship, a past president of the Baker County Cattlemen, Haines Stampede, a past director for the Oregon High School Rodeo Association, La Grande Mavericks, American Quarter Horse Association, Blue Mountain Quarter Horse Association, Blue Mountain College Rodeo Team, Blue Mountain Cutting Horse Club and a Registered Angus breeder.

 He is survived by his wife, Vicki; his son, William (Bill) Justus, and a very special friend, Krystine Boggs from Haines; his uncle, Alva Justus and wife Norma of Baker City; his aunts: Erma Johnson of Caldwell, Idaho, Lois Garrison of Ontario, and Carmel Garrison of Portland; and numerous cousins and many cherished friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Olive Justus, and by many aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

Those who wish to make a donation in memory of Elwyn may do so to the Cattleman’s Scholarship Fund or the charity of your choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, PO Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834.

James ‘Jim’ DeRoest

Baker City, 1936-2012

James W. “Jim” DeRoest 76, a resident of Goodrich Creek Road near Baker City, died Dec. 24, 2012, at his home.

Recitation of the Rosary will be Friday, Dec. 28 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets in Baker City. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, Dec. 28 at 10 a.m. in the cathedral. Rev. Julian Cassar will celebrate the Mass. Inurnment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Jim, a husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, farmer, musician, golfer and friend, was born on June 26, 1936, at Baker City to Mary and Maurice DeRoest. He, with brothers Maury and Gary, grew up on the family farm located near Goodrich Creek.

He attended high school at Saint Francis Academy in Baker City where he loved playing sports, especially basketball.  

After completing high school, Jim married the love of his life, Clara May Adams.  In 1955, the two started their life together in a small home in Baker where Jim worked as a grocery clerk for Safeway.

 Always a hard worker, and after moves to Enterprise and Pendleton, Jim moved up to manage his first Safeway store back in Enterprise.

During this time he and Clara were blessed with four children: Jim Jr., Debbie, Chris and Billy. Their son, Billy, passed away in 1973 from leukemia.  

After retiring from Safeway, in 1993 Jim and his wife Clara moved back to Baker City, where he began the real passion of his life, working the family farm. Like his father before him, he farmed the old fashioned way, irrigating with a shovel and haying by hand. Haying was a yearly event he enjoyed and fretted over most with the help and support of his family and friends.    

Jim always loved working with people and was an active member of community and church groups. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Elks Club and Pendleton’s Main Street Cowboys. He and Clara regularly led and performed music at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in North Powder and St. Francis Catholic Church in Baker City.   

We will always remember the smiles, laughter and life of Jim DeRoest.

Jim is survived by his wife, Clara, of Baker City; his son Jim and his wife, Meleece, of Bothell, Wash.; his daughter, Debbie Jameson and her husband, Chuck of Umapine, Ore.; his daughter, Chris, and her partner, Denyse of Stayton; his brother, Gary and his wife, Della, of Gold Beach; his sister in-law, Blanche DeRoest of Portland; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and grand-dogs.  

Those wishing to make contributions in Jim’s memory may direct them to St. Francis Food Bank, this may be done through the Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.


Obituary for Dec. 24, 2012

Note: Date of funeral corrected to Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 at 1 p.m.

Richard ‘Dick’ Haynes

Baker City, 1923-2012

Richard Glen “Dick” Haynes, 89, of Baker City, died Dec. 20, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

His funeral will be Thursday, Dec. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7, with Pastors Jesse Whitford and Lennie Spooner officiating. Vault interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. A reception will follow the services at the church fellowship hall.

Dick was born on Aug. 12, 1923, at Salem to Charles and Margaret (Brock) Haynes.

 Dick grew up in Salem, attended Salem High School and graduated in 1941, attended trade school for three months to work at Boeing in Seattle where he was employed as a journeyman for two years. 

 He entered Oregon State University in the fall of 1943 and graduated in the spring of 1947 with a degree in agronomy and agricultural education.

 He proposed to Marjorie Belle Prowell on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1947, and they were married Sept. 14 of the same year.

 After living in Albany and having their first son in 1948, Richard Jr., they moved to Baker in 1949. Dick taught vocational agriculture to veterans from WWII and the Korean War for several years.  Their second son, Robert (Bob), was born in 1950. 

 After beginning to farm and ranch himself, Dick began selling seed and farm supplies from their ranch in Baker Valley in 1955. The business continued to grow and Dick Haynes Farmterials, Inc was formed in 1957.

 By 1960 the business had grown substantially and it had moved to 2239 11th St.  In the 1960s Farmterials purchased Baker Mill and Grain Building, Fortner Supply and Oregon Wood and Coal. In 1968 the business was relocated to Pocahontas Road with a new facility being built. This location was later developed into the Maxi-Mart shopping center, current home to D&B Supply and Miller’s Lumber and formerly Wilson’s Warehouse Market.

While running Farmterials and becoming an Ace Hardware dealer, Dick served for several years on the national Board of Directors of Ace Hardware in Chicago. The Hayneses owned and ran Farmterials until 1989. Always active in real estate, he also ran Northwest Properties beginning in 1991 for 10 years.

Dick’s biggest passion was anything that promoted Baker County and among his significant contributions to the community included reviving the Miners Jubilee, being instrumental in bringing the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, facilitating Marvin Wood Products opening in Baker City, printing the first Baker County Recreation Guide, serving as one of the three original founding members of OTEC, serving numerous terms on City Council and serving on the Vector Control board. He donated the space for Short Term Gallery, enjoyed his old cronies in ROMEOs, and served on the St. Alphonsus Hospital Foundation Board.

 Flying, fishing and photography were some of his favorite pastimes along with spending time with his granddaughter, Stephanie.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie Haynes; his brother, Larry Haynes of Sandpoint, Idaho; his sister, Nona Caldwell of Vancouver, Wash.; his son, Richard Haynes Jr., his son, Bob Haynes and his wife, Linda, and his former daughter-in-law, Barbara Haynes, all of Baker City; and his granddaughter, Stephanie Dickerson and her husband, Scott, of Homer, Alaska.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Family YMCA Building Fund or to the Baker Heritage Museum through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Obituaries for Dec. 19, 2012

Kevin Layton


Kevin James Layton, 52, of Huntington, died suddenly on Dec. 12, 2012, at his home.

Mr. Layton was found on the floor of his residence with a weak pulse by paramedics who tried to revive him.

Mr. Layton is to be cremated. No services are planned.

He was born and school in Riverside, Calif.

He is survived by his former wife, Jodi; his daughter, Danielle; grandchildren, Skyler and Jayden of Baker City; his father, Donald Layton of Riverside; his sister, Sheila Layton of Riverside; his brother, Dan Layton of Columbus, Ohio; and nieces Michele Rowan of Portland and Kristal Hackett of Baker City.

Mr. Layton had two previous marriages that yielded other children who wish to remain anonymous at this time.

Roland Campbell

Baker City, 1929-2012

Roland Campbell, 83, of Baker City died Dec. 15, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City after a tiring battle with aspirated pneumonia.

His funeral will be Friday, Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Baker City Nazarene Church, 1250 Hughes Lane. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall of the church.

 Roland was born on March 10, 1929, at Baker City to Ralph and Wilma (Holt) Campbell. He attended Saint Francis Academy and graduated from Baker High School in 1947. He also attended South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Wash., for a short time while his father worked in the naval shipyards during World War II.

After graduating from high school he went on to attend Linfield College in McMinnville. His mind was more on a young lady he had met on a blind date while visiting friends in Port Orchard than it was on college courses, so he decided to follow his heart. Instead of returning to Linfield the following year, he extended his hand in marriage to the love of his life, Irene Stratton. Irene and Roland were married on Aug. 19, 1950, celebrating 60-plus years of marriage before Irene’s death May 24, 2011.

In his early years of employment, Roland worked at his father’s business, Campbell Electric, doing repairs on electric motors. He enlisted in the Naval Reserves in June of 1949 and was honorably discharged in March of 1954.

A few days before his 24th birthday Roland received the honor of becoming a fireman for the Baker City Fire Department. He was able to serve in this new career for only eight months due to some unforeseen circumstance that would change the course of his life. He was one of three fireman hurt in the Huntington Roundhouse Fire in 1953.

While recovering from injuries he received in the fire, Roland contracted polio. Although he was no longer able to offer his physical help as a fireman he later returned to the station as a volunteer manning the alarms.

He spoke often of the guys at the station; laughing and smiling as he recalled practical jokes, good conversations, and cups of strong coffee. He considered them as part of his extended family and they held a special place in his heart.

After an extended recovery from polio, his determination and integrity landed him a job with the accounting firm of Mitchell & Guyer, now known as Guyer & Associates. He displayed a strong work ethic and developed many friends over the years he worked for this firm. His dedication was recognized beyond the walls of the accounting firm and he was offered a job as City Finance Officer in 1973 for the City of Baker. This position lasted for 23 years until his retirement in 1996.

Roland was known as a “people person” and formed many friendships while working in public office. His dedication, hard work, and high moral standards were a positive and prosperous benefit for the community in which he lived and served.  He was proud to call Baker City his home.

When he wasn’t pushing pens and pencils, and adding numbers, Roland focused on his family and his faith. He found pleasure in attending his children’s school, church, and sporting activities. He was a proud father who offered his children sound advice, encouragement, and prayer.

He enjoyed gardening and spent many hours helping Irene care for their large vegetable garden and processing the harvest to feed the family of seven throughout the winter.

For many years, he kept bees and harvested the honey from the hives. This hobby as a “Bee Keeper” earned him the title as “Grandpa Honey” which he was referred to by all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

When a quiet time of R & R was needed Roland could be found with fishing pole in hand and casting his line in the rivers and streams of Baker County. However, the hobby that had the strongest pull on him was HO Model Railroading.  The sight and sound of those miniature trains brought out the little boy in him and he could spend hours reading Model Railroad magazines.

He was looking forward to setting up his large collection of trains and tracks this winter at his daughter and son-in-laws home where he was living. His son-in-law, Chuck, had built a large portable table and provided heat in his garage, offering a space for Roland’s Model Railroad to come to life. Being able to have his collection set up on display and be able to play with his trains any time of day (or night) was a lifelong dream of Roland’s.

His love for trains wasn’t limited just to small scale. His attention could easily be lured away by the sound of a whistle or the sight of a passing train. While watching it pass he often offered history and details of engines, cars and cabooses. Before his passing, he was able to enjoy many train rides in the states and a few beyond U.S. borders.

After retiring, Roland and Irene were able to fulfill their dreams of traveling. Their adventures led them throughout the U.S. and Europe. Many trips were as a team members with Work and Witness offering their talents and skills to the various projects as a labor of love.

Roland had a servant heart that motivated him to volunteer in many areas. Some of those organizations fortunate to have him come along side and offer his talents and gifts were: Boy Scouts, Little League baseball, Northeast Oregon Compassion Center, and the Baker City Nazarene Work and Witness Teams. He also served as a church leader, Sunday school teacher, and officiated for many years at council meetings for the City of Baker.

Many will remember Roland as a man anchored in strong faith and integrity, driven by determination and detail, and prompting smiles and laughter with his quick wit. He will be greatly missed by those who had the pleasure of knowing, loving, and befriending him.

He is survived by his three daughters: Nancy Campbell of Seattle, Diane Buchanan of Yakima, Wash., and Jeanine Carey and her husband Chuck, of Baker City; and a son, Lyle Campbell of Sacramento. Roland had the job of being “Grandpa Honey” to eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Madeline; his parents; two great-granddaughters; a son, Alan Campbell; and his wife, Irene.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Baker City Fire Department, the Northeast Oregon Compassion Center, Nazarene Work & Witness Teams, or a Youth Camp Scholarship through the Nazarene Church through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

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