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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries

Obituaries for March 25, 2013


Paul Helgerson

Formerly Baker City, 1978-2013

Paul Harland Helgerson, 35, formerly of Baker City, died March 14, 2013, at Petersburg, Va.

There will be a celebration of life service on Saturday, March 30 at 3 p.m. at the Baker County Community Event Center (old armory), 2600 East St., for all family and friends.

Private disposition of his ashes will be sometime this summer.

Paul was born on Jan. 9, 1978, to his parents, Ken and Ramona Helgerson. They could not have been more proud of their beautiful, strong, precious boy. Paul was joined by twin sisters, Alena and Janae, a year later. Paul’s youngest sister, Laura, was born when he was 11.

As Paul grew, it seemed his smile became his trademark — genuine, captivating, at times mischievous, but perfect describes it best. Paul had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. He was always a diligent student in school, wanting to do his very best. Parent-teacher conferences were always a joy for his parents to attend because of his teachers’ glowing remarks. Paul started school in Haines at the community kindergarten and graduated from Baker High School in 1996. Paul excelled in academics, graduating with an honors diploma.

Paul’s childhood included many trips to the mountains with his family. Hiking, fishing and hunting were some of his favorite activities. He loved his home next to the mountains and spent many hours exploring the area with his sisters. Sledding in the winter was always so much fun.

Paul loved baseball and proved to have a strong pitching arm. Some highlights of his baseball career were helping his Little League and American Legion teams advance to state tournaments. Paul also enjoyed playing basketball. Athletics were always a big part of family life with many hours spent at the baseball field, basketball gym and track.

In the fall of 1996 Paul started college at Eastern Oregon State University. He played on Eastern’s baseball team as a pitcher. During college he enlisted in the National Guard and then later joined the Army.

Paul’s life path led him to many obstacles that he struggled to overcome. His family and friends prayed that he could find the direction that created joy in his life that he so desperately sought.

A bright spot in Paul’s life was the birth of his son, Keyshawn Taylor. Though their time together was brief, Paul’s greatest wish was to be a loving father.

Paul is survived by his parents, Ken and Ramona Helgerson of Baker City; his sisters Alena and Janae Helgerson of Boise, and Laura Helgerson of Corvallis; his son, Keyshawn Taylor of Wilmington, N.C.,; his grandmother Sandra Byrne and grandfather Ralph (Tiny) Byrne of Baker City, and his grandmother, Jo Bias of Bend; his aunts, Valerie Morrow of La Grande and Jody Helgerson of Bend; his uncles, Kyle Byrne of Baker City and Mike Morrow of Haines; his cousins, Erica Munsey and her husband, Ryan, of Walla Walla, Tara Byrne and her husband, Nathan, of the Tri-Cities, Jake Edwards and his wife, Tiffany, of Indian Wells, Calif., Jordan Welter of North Tahoe, Nev., Zoe Carlson-Morrow of Baker City, Brock Munsey of Walla Walla, Paris, Aspen, and Brody Edwards of Indian Wells.

Paul was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Paul Frederick Helgerson and Jim Bias; and his beloved cousin, Ryan Morrow.

Memorial contributions to D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) may be sent to Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR  97814.

James Lisle

Halfway, 1920-2013

James Lisle, 92, of Halfway, died on March 15, 2013 in Bend.

A celebration of Jim and his wife Mamie’s (who died in 2011) lives will be held at a memorial graveside service with military honors on Friday, March 29 at 1 p.m. at the Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception to be held at the VFW Hall in Halfway immediately following the service.

James Andrew Lisle was born on June 19, 1920, to Frank and Anna (Thon) Lisle at home, on a sheep ranch across the Snake River from Bliss, Idaho. He was the 9th of 10 children. Jim was raised in many places, including Sandpoint, Idaho, Turlock, Calif., and Naches, Wash.  He graduated form Naches High School in 1939.

Jim joined the Army on Jan. 3, 1942, to do his part in World War II.  He was in the 701st Armored Battalion, in a tank.  Jim saw action in Germany, France, Belgium and Czechoslovakia. He received a Bronze Star for a battle in Hottorf, Germany. One of Jim’s most memorable moments was on Nov. 6, 1945, when he voted for the first time in an apple orchard in France.

After service in World War II, Jim joined the Idaho National Guard. In 1952 his unit was deployed to Korea.  He flew to Korea in a four-engine propeller plane. Jim served as a First Lieutenant in the 148th Artillery Unit. He stayed on with the National Guard and retired as a captain in 1962.  Then he re-enlisted in 1970 and joined his son in a National Guard unit once again. He finally retired from the service in 1976.

Jim married Mamie Alice Hanna in Moscow, Idaho, in 1946. They had one son, Douglas, in 1949. During his life with Mamie, they lived in more than 27 different houses and had 31 different cars.  They lived several years in Othello, Wash., and Moses Lake, Wash., before moving to Halfway in 1991. They loved Halfway.  Jim enjoyed golfing, boating, and trading cars.  Jim and Mamie loved to travel in their RV and visited most of the United States. Jim was a member of Halfway VFW Post 7847.

Outside of the Army, Jim was in the petroleum industry. He started out by driving delivery trucks, then bought his own bulk plant. Later he became a successful salesman for Phillips 66.

Jim is survived by his son, Douglas “Sparky” Lisle and his wife, Polly, of Camp Sherman, Ore.; two grandsons, Thon and his wife, Stephanie Lisle, of Ketchikan, Alaska, and Erik and his wife, Stephanie, of Minot, N.D.; four great-grandchildren; his brother, Robert of Auburn, Wash.; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mamie, in 2011; his brothers, Paul, Don, Charles and Clifford; and his sisters, Mae, Ruth, Nell, and Dolly.

Donations in memory of Jim may be made to the Pine-Eagle Youth Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


Obituary for March 22, 2013


Del Williams

Baker City, 1936-2013

Del Williams,75, of Baker City, died March 15, 2013.

A private service will be scheduled later. 

Del was born on June 21, 1936, at Richland to Walter and Opal Williams. He attended Eagle Valley schools through high school. His college years were at Boise Junior College and Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Initially he studied accounting but switched to physics, which he found much more interesting. His professional life was varied. 

He helped build dams on the Snake River and the Columbia River. At Kaiser Permanente in California he worked on the early automation of medical records.

He missed the friendliness of his home state so after two years, he returned to Oregon to work at Portland Public Schools managing the automation of student records. 

Later he was a department head at Tektronix in Beaverton. After leaving Tek he started his own company, Synertech, designing printed circuit boards for high-tech companies. 

The home he and his wife built near Portland was earth-sheltered. They retired to Baker City. He was a good businessman and had a soft touch for people and animals in need.

His lifelong hobby was Model A Ford cars. In Portland he was active in the Beaver Chapter of the Model A Ford Club of America. 

He also helped start the Lone Pine A’s in Baker County. He was an expert mechanic and loved helping others work on their A’s. His favorite trip in his A was to an international meet in Calgary, Canada. He also attended two rallies in New Zealand.  

He is survived by Julianne, his wife of 30 years.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Model A Ford Foundation Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 95151, Nonantum, MA 02495.


Obituaries for March 20, 2013


‘Lee’ Chaffee

Baker City, 1922-2013

Lillian Ida “Lee” Chaffee, 91, died March 4, 2013, at Settler’s Park Assisted Living in Baker City.

During her last few days, Lee was attended to by her son, Brandon Chaffee, and his wife, Teresa.

There will be a family memorial service in Lee’s honor this summer in Tennessee.

Lee was born on Feb. 14, 1922, at Decaturville, Tenn., to John T. Smith Jr. and Lura Hughes Smith. After her father’s death in 1931, Lee and her mother, Lura, and her two younger brothers, John and Bill, moved to Texas for a short time and then moved back to Clifton, Tenn.

Lee was a 1940 Clifton High School graduate.  She attended Bowling Green Business University in Kentucky in 1941.

During World War II she wrote knot manuals for the U.S. Navy. After the war, Lee took the bus to Hollywood, Calif., where she worked for Eddie Foyer Jr. as his secretary. There she met her future husband, Lester F. Chaffee.

Lester and Lee were married on Feb. 27, 1947, at Las Vegas, Nev. They then moved to New Britain, Conn., where they had three children: Bruce, Brandon and Cathy.

Lee was an expert archer in the late 1950s and ’60s; she was the first woman on record to kill a deer with a bow in Vermont.

In 1965 they moved to San Jose, Calif. Lee worked for Boole & Babbage, a software company as a technical writer.

Lee’s husband, Lester, died on Feb. 18, 2000. In 2004, Lee moved to Richland to be closer to her son, Brandon, and his wife, Teresa. Lee lived on Valley Street. She loved the view from her front porch and said it had to be the best view in all of Eagle Valley.

She was an avid bridge player, and an accomplished artist. She enjoyed painting in oils and watercolors. One of her floral paintings can be viewed at Settlers Park Assisted Living in Baker City as a memorial to her.

Survivors include her son, Bruce Chaffee, and his wife Susan of Cul-de-sac, Idaho, and grandchildren Gregory Chaffee, Jeffrey Chaffee and Shevaun Chaffee of Lewiston, Idaho; her son, Brandon Chaffee, and his wife Teresa of Richland; and grandson Colton Clark-Chaffee of Nampa, Idaho; her daughter, Cathy Lursen-Powers and her husband, Ed, of Madera, Calif.; and granddaughter, Shannon Pham of Hollister, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Eagle Valley Ambulance or Eagle Valley Fire Department through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Andy Dickison

Walla Walla, Wash., 1954-2013

Andy Dickison, 58, of Walla Walla, Wash., died March 6, 2013. 

His memorial service was March 16 at the Calvary Chapel, in Walla Walla, Wash.

He was born on Dec. 6, 1954, at Bayside, N.Y., and grew up in Northern California where he found a love for performing arts and music. He developed great musical skill at an early age and joined the junior symphony where he became concert master.

He was recognized as the best violinist for his age group in all of Northern California. He loved composing music as well, and composed a full-length symphony.

Andy met the Lord in January 1972 at a youth camp in Sonora, Calif., family members said. He was very involved in several ministries in the 1970s. Andy’s faith in Jesus saw him through many trials during his adult years. 

“He may have lost some battles but Jesus won the war,” his family said.

Andy was a proud veteran, and served his country with the U.S. Air Force from July 1978 to March 1981.

Andy spent his last years living at Walla Walla, Wash., where the streets were often graced by the sound of his violin playing on summer days. He found a church family with Calvary Chapel Walla Walla, and blessed many there with his warm personality, friendship, and his musical talent in their worship services. 

Andy was a member of the Rising Sun Clubhouse and had many friends there whom he spoke of constantly and prayed for often. 

“Those who knew him well miss him deeply, but are blessed to know that heaven, the kingdom he spoke of so often, and the God who he longed to see face to face, have been found by him in resurrection,” family members said.

He was preceded in death his parents, Andrew and Betty Dickison. His body will be laid to rest close to theirs at Sumpter.

Survivors include his brothers, Rick Dickison (Sandy), of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Mark Dickison of Pinole, Calif., and Wesley Dickison (Shaun) of Baker City; sisters, Teri Dickison of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Robin Olds (Jim) of Mountain Home, Idaho; and step-mother, Josephine Dickison, of Baker City.

Wesley Kriege

Prineville, 1917-2013

Wesley George Kriege, 95, died March 15, 2013, at Prineville.

A memorial service will be scheduled later.

Wes was born on Nov. 20, 1917, at White River, S.D., to August and Gladys Kriege.

After attending school in South Dakota, Wes was drafted into the U.S. Army on July 14, 1941, at Tacoma, Wash.

While in the Army, Wes was stationed in Papua New Guinea and Australia. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge Per Go 23 HQ 163rd Infantry 43, and Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star and Service Star Lapel Button.

After an honorable discharge on Aug. 25, 1945, Wes began working on the Grand Coulee Dam as a jackhammer operator. In 1947, he moved to Prineville where he began working for Alexander Stewart as a planer man. 

During this time, Wes met the love of his life, Geraldine Blevins. They were married on Dec. 24, 1947. The couple had three daughters, Leona, Linda and Georgia, and continued to live at Prineville until they moved to Seneca. 

While in Seneca, Wes worked as a planer man at Ellingson Lumber Co., and eventually was promoted to a millwright. In December of 1982, Wes retired and became a snowbird with his wife, Geraldine, traveling to Apache Junction, Ariz. 

In April 2011, the couple moved back to Prineville.

Wes greatly enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family and his No. 1 love, Geraldine.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Geraldine; daughters, Leona (Steve) Blasingame of Bend, Linda (Fred) Fell of Prineville and Georgia (Cecil) Morin of Prineville; grandchildren, Tami Steelman-Gonzales of San Leandro, Calif., Christina Olsen of Redmond, Fred Fell Jr. of Pendleton, Marnie Fell of Prineville and Wes Kriege of Prineville; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great- grandchild; sister, Donna Parker of Sisters; brother, Dick Kriege of Sisters; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, one brother and one infant great-grandson.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Charles Hospice-Prineville through Whispering Pines Funeral Home, 185 N.E. Fourth St., Prineville, OR 97754.

Edith Flower

Irrigon, 1925-2013

Edith Turner Gorham Flower, 87, of Irrigon, died March 18, 2013, at her home surrounded by her family.

Her graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the North Powder Cemetery.

Edith was born on Sept. 23, 1925, at Medical Springs to Oliver and Nina Haynes Turner. She and her twin sister, Alice, each fit in the palm of their father’s hand when born at the home of a relative on the way to the hospital. 

She was a Union High School graduate, training her senior year at the NYA (National Youth Administration) School in Pendleton to work at the Umatilla Army Depot during the war. 

A year later, she married her returning soldier, Gordon Gorham, and moved to the family farm at North Powder where five children were born. 

They were divorced 25 years later and Edith returned to school at Baker Business College, earning a degree in business while working at the Democrat- Herald in Baker. She then moved to Halfway and worked as a secretary at Pine Valley High School in 1967. 

Edith returned to work a year later at the Umatilla Army Depot in Hermiston. During her career, she also worked for the Army Corps of Engineers at Pomeroy, Wash., and Cascade Locks, as well as the City of Stanfield and the City of North Powder until her retirement at North Powder.

She married Charles Flower at Stanfield in 1970. Mr. Flower died in 2001 and Edith relocated to Irrigon to live near her daughter.

Edith was devoted to her family, enjoyed flowers, gardening, camping, fishing, and hunting. She had a great sense of humor and shared her home and love with many children throughout her life. 

It was well known that if you visited Edith you were always strongly encouraged to enjoy a meal, which she would prepare at a moment’s notice. She was a lifelong member of the Wolf Creek Grange at North Powder and had served as a Boy Scout leader and a 4-H leader.

She taught Sunday School at the North Powder Methodist Church, often served as classroom mother for her children and supported and enjoyed her son’s and grandchildren’s many athletic events throughout their school years.

She rarely missed an event, no matter how far she needed to travel to attend.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husbands; brothers, Clyde, and Alford “Bud” Marsh; twin sister, Alice Eft; sister, Rosemary Krause; infant daughter, Jacqueline; sons, Donald and Gordy Gorham; and grandson, Gordy Gorham Jr..

Survivors include her son, Robert (Suzanne) Gorham of Forest Grove and daughter, Kathy (Elias)  Mendoza of Irrigon; brothers, Forrest (Nellie) Turner of Union and Jim (Joyce) Turner of Elgin; brother-in-law, George Eft of Hermiston; sisters-in-law, Linda (Don) Silva and Marsha (Gordy) Bruner; grandchildren, Lynne (Tim) McCormick of Culver, Jacque (Troy) Walker of Salem, Krista (Troy) Donahue of Keizer, Angela (Craig) Nelson of La Grande, Ben (Lisa) Gorham of Vernonia, Chris Pulse of Forest Grove, Rebecca Davison-Stitzel (Rebecca Morehead) of Spokane, Wash., Jennifer Davison of Adams, and Frank Jauregui of Irrigon; 15 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved as her own.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vange John Memorial Hospice, 645 W. Orchard Ave., Suite 300, Hermiston, OR 97838; Stokes Landing Senior Center, 195 N.W. Opal Place, Irrigon, OR 97844; or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Attention: Memorial/Honor Program FH, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905.

Send condolences online to burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements. 

Ronda Dillman

Halfway, 1946-2013

Ronda A. Dillman, 66, a lifelong Halfway resident, died March 17, 2013 at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

There was a Celebration of Life service for Ronda today at the Halfway Lions Club. Pastor Shawn Thatcher of the Pine Baptist Church officiated.

Ronda Ann Dillman, proud to be a true native of Halfway, was born on Aug. 14, 1946, at Halfway to Everett and Virgene Hulse Payton. She attended all 12 years of school at Halfway and was a 1964 Pine Valley Union High School graduate. She married Walt, the love of her life, on Feb. 27. 1965.

Her first job was with Morrison-Knutson at Brownlee Dam.  She had wonderful stories to tell about her commute to and from work. Her one working experience away from Halfway was a job with Boeing in Seattle. She had a good experience, but was happy to return home.

She then worked as a secretary at Pine-Eagle High School, where she mentored many young women. Staying home with her children, Ronda became the editor for the Hells Canyon Journal. She worked from her home and produced a weekly issue of the Journal.

After she sold that business, she then went to work for the Forest Service. Her favorite time there was going on a fire. 

She enjoyed the excitement, long hours, and adrenaline rush. No matter what job Ronda had, she gave it her all. She loved to work and took a lot of pride in doing her job -— any job — well.  

She and Walt purchased the Halfway Garage, where she worked in the family business. She didn’t even mind pumping gas, as she liked to visit with everyone who came in, family members said.

Yes, Ronda did like to visit. She rarely met a stranger.  After her mother’s retirement, Ronda became a Farmer’s Insurance agent.

If you were lucky enough to have her for your agent, you know she always went the extra mile for “her people,” as she called them. She particularly worried about some of her older clients, and took special care of them. 

After her retirement from Farmer’s, she continued to serve her many customers in various insurance policies.

Ronda loved life, family, laughter and friends. She told stories that would keep her audience howling with laughter. She was a prolific letter writer, challenging whatever injustice she perceived.

She loved to cook and was always trying new recipes. She loved to camp with friends and family, and she particularly liked to hunt. 

One year she went all out and bought some camo shorts to go antelope hunting. She called herself Jane Wayne, along with her hunting partner, John Wayne.  She also enjoyed playing “Old Clyde” with her mom and Glenna, or anyone, for that matter, family members said.

Taking after her dad, she developed a passion for hummingbirds. She must have had the nectar touch, because she fed up to a 100 birds a day. She and her guests enjoyed watching them. Her favorite vacation was to the Oregon Coast.  Placing second was camping and Jackpot.

She was known as “Aunt Ronda” to numerous kids in the valley. She loved a challenge and was always ready to try new things. She and Walt participated in many lip syncs, including “Doggie in the Window” and “Rocking Chair.”

She welcomed everybody who dropped by and really enjoyed having people around. She had open house always. She loved all of her family, doting on her children and her grandchildren. She had a lot of love to give and she gave it freely. 

The family especially wants to thank Kate Grace for all of her love, support and help. She was a very dear friend to Ronda.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Walt Dillman of Halfway; her children, Josi Mack and her husband, Larry, of Baker City, and Corey Dillman and his wife, Cathy, of Washington state; her brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Beth Payton of Halfway; sister and brother-in-law, Dawn and Roger Coles of Baker City; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Lonnie and Marie Dillman of Baker City, and Dock and Cynthia Dillman of Crooked River Ranch;  seven grandchildren; her aunt, Corene Hulse of Pasco, Wash.; special friends, Bob Hamby and Marvin Lee, “The Milwaukie Hunting Group,” Sandy and Dennis Sargent and Donna Barnes and her late husband, Jim;  and numerous nieces and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her grandparent; aunts and uncles;  and several cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway Ambulance Fund through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814. 



Obituaries for March 18, 2013


Lois Franklin

Formerly Baker City, 1917-2013

Lois Carmen Comstock Franklin, 96, a former Baker City resident, died March 14, 2013, at Starr Retirement home in Chelan, Wash.

At her request, there will be no funeral. There will be a future gathering for disposition of ashes at Chelan, and additional interment of ashes at Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker City.

Lois and her twin sister, Louine, were born on March 10, 1917, at Cove to Ray W. and Susan McNeill Comstock. The twins and their older brother, George Dale Comstock, were reared in Baker.

Lois attended Baker schools, playing cello in the Baker Symphony and piano while in high school. She was a 1935 Baker High School graduate. 

After graduation, Lois was employed locally at O.H.P. McCord Realty office. Later she worked for U.S. Bank in Portland as loan officer.

In October 1945, Lois married World War II Navy medic Alpin Earlynne (A.E.) Franklin in a ceremony at the Methodist Church in Baker. They became parents of two sons, Wesley and Ray, both of whom were born at Wenatchee, Wash.

A.E. and Lois, along with A.E.’s brother, David, and his wife, Verona, owned Franklin Furniture Co. in Chelan for 22 years. Later, A.E. and Lois operated the Cabana Motel in that city. 

Lois and her husband were actively involved in all aspects of the Boy Scouts of America program at Chelan, where both of their sons achieved Eagle Scout rank.

Lois loved to quilt, and she was an active member of the Chelan Sewing Club. She also served as treasurer of the Chelan Senior Center. She was active for many years in the Lake Chelan Garden Club and was an avid birdwatcher. She was known for her fun-loving nature (especially practical jokes) and her adventuresome spirit. She was never without a cat’s companionship.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years; by both parents; by her brother, George; and by her sister, Louine.

Survivors include her sons and their wives, Wesley and Mary Franklin, and Ray and Debby Franklin; her grandchildren, Victoria, Erin, Tamea, and Romy Franklin; her sisters-in-law, Grace Levi and Verona Franklin; her brother-in-law, Jim Franklin; plus nieces, nephews and cousins. She will be missed.

Precht’s Funeral Home of Chelan is in charge of arrangements.

Lillie Grandstaff

Formerly Baker City, 1923-2013

Lillie Grindstaff,  89, of Baker City, died March 1, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. 

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Lillie was born on Nov. 7, 1923, at Baker City to Clarence and Alice Corn Kelley in Baker, Oregon, where she was raised and went to school. She was a 1942 Baker High School graduate.

She married Robert S. Grindstaff on July 4, 1942, at Weiser, Idaho. Robert joined the U.S. Navy and served during World War II on the USS Bullock. 

They had two children: Rosalie J. and Donald S.

Lillie worked at Jantzen Knitting Mills in Portland.  She retired as a housekeeper for St. Elizabeth and a Baker City doctor’s office.

She enjoyed fishing, picnicking, camping, spending time with her grandkids, and gardening.  She had a beautiful voice and spent a lot of her time singing. 

She devoted her time to her love of Jesus and her fellow parishioners, whom she loved very much, at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church.

“She is home with God — her very presence lit up the room!” family members said.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her son; her sister, Opal; brothers, Roy, Forrest, and Clyde; and great-granddaughter, Kayla Rose.

Survivors include her daughter, Rose, and her husband, Norm; seven grandsons;  three granddaughters; five great-granddaughters; nine great-grandsons; and numerous nieces and nephews, each one very special to her; and several cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to The Lighthouse U.P.C. through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel,  1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Mark Coombs

Formerly Prairie City, 1955-2013

Mark Steven Coombs, 57, a former Prairie City resident, died Feb. 22, 2013, at Abuyog Leyte, the Philippines.

A graveside memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, March 25, at the Prairie City Cemetery. 

Mark was born on July 31, 1955, at Prairie City to John and Marva Howard Coombs. He graduated from Prairie City High School in 1974, when he enlisted in the U.S. Marines serving as a bandsman until 1982. On May 24, 1987, Mark married Susan Haberger in Boise.

Mark always loved sports and was very musically inclined. He lived for almost 20 years in Massachusetts and was involved with his church’s music ministry. He played the saxophone in the church band playing at many multi-faith events in Foxboro, Mass.  On a church band ministry trip to London and Wales, he was able to reach out to the community. Mark loved the outdoors and to fish with his son. He was very proud of where he came from and was a loving and caring father. He will be deeply missed by all.

Mark always cared about children in need and loved to help the less fortunate. His mission in the Philippines was to help just such children. He brought joy and smiles to everyone he met and knew. Mark’s spirit will live on through his only son, Rick Coombs, and his sisters, Pam and Penny.

Survivors include his wife, Susan, and son, Ricky Coombs, both of New York; his father, John Coombs; two sisters, Pam Gangler, and her husband, Tom, and Penny Black and her husband, Wendell, all of Prairie City; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Marva Coombs; a brother, Ricky J. Coombs; his grandmother, Marie Howard; and his aunt, Donna Edmunson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion /American Legion Auxiliary Post No. 106 through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.


Obituaries for March 13, 2013


Alice Hensley

Baker City, 1916-2013

Alice Ann (Malone) Hensley, 96, of Baker City died March 6, 2013, at Settler’s Park. 

There will be a private graveside service at Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. 

Alice was born on May 3, 1916, at Richland to Arthur and Sally Gordon Malone. She was a graduate of Eagle Valley High at Richland.

She married Virgil Hensley on July 6, 1937, at Baker City. They were married for 74 years. 

She enjoyed crocheting, sewing and grew a large garden. She attended the Richland Christian Church and was a member of the Eagle Valley Grange.

Survivors include her daughter, Rita Marcum of Enterprise; six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Virgil; and brother, Alfred Malone.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Eagle Valley Ambulance through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Beverly Mitchell

former Halfway resident, 1925-2013

 Beverly Joan Powell Mitchell, 87, died March 8, 2013, at Farmington, N.M.

Her graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon afterward at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel in Halfway.

Beverly was born on Oct. 5, 1925, in Pine Valley to Nettie Darrough and Bert Powell. The three loves of her life were her children, quilting and basketball in that order. 

She most enjoyed time spent with her family. She taught most of them to sew or to quilt. During professional basketball season, Beverly could name every player from every team in the NBA. Most of her days, she spent growing some type of garden. She cultivated a rose garden, a rock garden and a vegetable garden. 

Her occupations during her lifetime were many, from bookkeeping to property manager, clerical, and most importantly homemaker. She lived in many places, including Ely Nev., Halfway, Cottage Grove, Basin City, Wash., Union, Stanfield, Hillsboro and Henderson, Nev.

Beverly loved meeting and talking to people. She had the ability to get people to open up to her. She enjoyed spending time at the Oregon Coast. Beverly mostly taught her posterity about love through her Christ-like example, family members said.

She was preceded in death by her parents and five grandchildren.

Survivors include her sister, Sherry; her children, Gary Mitchell, Tom Mitchell, Nancy Mitchell, Gina Leverson, Paul Mitchell and Joel Mitchell; and 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Hank Allen

Halfway, 1995-2013

 Hank Darrell Allen, 17, of Halfway, died March 5, 2013, in a motor vehicle accident near Watford City, N.D.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday in the Halfway Elementary School gymnasium. Burial will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of life gathering afterward at the Halfway Lions Hall. 

Hank was born on March 17, 1995, at La Grande. There were no limits to what he wouldn’t or in his mind couldn’t do, family members said. Every bit of his life was lived “full throttle” thanks to his dad, Darrell Allen. Hank’s adventure began when he was 3 days old, loaded up in the logging truck with his dad headed for the woods. Darrell became an expert in shifting gears while mixing Hank’s bottles. 

Hank lived at Pendleton until he was 2 years old and then he went on the truck with his mom, Cindy, and dad, Darrell. Hank got to travel to every state. 

His trips took him to Orange County Choppers in New York, Yankee Stadium, where he was given a signed baseball, the Roy Rogers & Will Rogers museums, and Washington D.C. He ran the racing circle of NASCAR in Bristol, Tenn., and even got to tag along on a lumber delivery to the home of his hero, Dale Earnhardt. 

When it was time to go to school, Hank and his parents moved to Halfway where they looked forward to snowmobiling in the winter months. 

His first snowmobile was a Polaris 340 with a custom paint job with his name on it that he received when he was 5 years old. It didn’t take Hank long to break it in.

It was on a trip to Joseph, with his mom and dad and Denny and Jan Oliver where Hank’s dad decided to go full throttle on the snowmobile. Darrell was unaware that Hank decided to follow. The snow flew and the race was on.

Hank was directly behind Darrell and catching up fast, that is until Darrell slowed down and Hank didn’t! Hank rode home with his mom as his dad towed his snowmobile home. 

As Hank started getting older his interest included bicycles, skateboards, and horses. Hank’s first horse was named Cricket. Hank, not being very experienced, when Cricket crow hopped he would say “look mom she’s doing a wheelie.”

When Hank was 12 he went snowmobiling at Fish Lake with his mom. They met up with some friends from Joseph and as Hank watched the older guys climb Fish Lake Mountain he said “Mom I’m going to the small side of the hill, I’ll be back.”

Half way across the frozen lake, Hank turned his sled and headed for the big hill. Hank made it to the top, went up and over, and then as he came back into sight he stood on the top of the hill jumping and screaming in joy! When he got back down to the bottom he was shaking more than his mom was, from the adrenaline rush it gave him. Hank’s stories could go on and on.

Hank’s life was fast, wild, and always full of adventure. There was never a dull moment. Hank loved his life, his friends, his hunting days with his brothers Sam and Don, and adventures with his sisters Tami and Cheyenne. Hank always had a story to tell. 

Hank and his older sister, Tami, were considered the “Jesse James Gang” of the family. They were always getting into trouble when they were together. Hank spent a lot of time with his sister, Tami, and she recalls babysitting Hank when he was only 3 weeks old.

Tami would pray that when 6 a.m. came that Hank would sleep for just 10 minutes longer. Hank and Tami had a bond that couldn’t be broken, family members said. 

After Hank passed his Hunter Safety Course at age 12, he was taken on his first hunt by his brother, Don, his mom, and Lucas and Jeremy Simpson. After three hours of hiking up a hill just as dawn was approaching, they spotted several huge bull elk across the canyon.

Hank shot his first bull elk which scored a 328. Hank finally had bragging rights and constantly reminded his brother Don of that. 

The first time Hank learned to drive stick shift was when his sister, Cheyenne, asked him if he wanted to go for a ride to town. Hank said “only if I can drive.”

Hank was only twelve and he was excited to show his sis what he thought he knew about driving. Off to town they went, a 15-minute trip turned into a two-hour road trip. 

Hank had decided that it was so much fun driving that he didn’t want to stop and held Cheyenne hostage in the passenger seat of her own car. From that point on, even though Cheyenne lived on the opposite side of town, Hank would frequently call her asking her if she needed to go to town, and saying that he would be glad to drive her.

Once when Hank’s older brother, Sam, came to visit, Hank snuck into Sam’s truck and tore into the middle of the field where Sam, his mom, and his stepdad, Mark, were standing. He spun cookies with Sam’s truck, tearing up the field. Even though Sam could only laugh at how crazy Hank was. 

Hank loved all types of sports, including baseball, soccer, football and wrestling which he competed in at the state level. He always wanted to push the limits. 

When Hank was 15 he traded in his horse for a bicycle. The bicycle proved to be too much one night as Hank was transported to the hospital while holding his two front teeth in his hand. He always said the girls liked him better with no teeth because they thought he was tough. 

Hank decided to buy a longboard and skate down the Richland grade. His mom, Cindy, said “no way” but was later convinced by Mark, Hank’s stepdad, that it would be OK as long as he followed in the pickup. 

So Cindy grabbed the camera and videotaped Hank as he glided down Richland grade on his skateboard and also down the Halfway grade on the way back. He knew then that he had pulled his new stepdad Mark into his web of adventures.

At the age of 16, Hank moved to North Dakota with his mom and stepdad. Hank had his own man cave camp trailer to live in, which later became the party house for him and all his new friends. That was until Cindy moved him right next door to her. 

Hank had struggled with the new school and so he decided to get his GED instead. Hank went to Williston State College in North Dakota and got his GED in just one month. 

Hank would have turned 18 on March 17; he had planned on returning to Oregon to learn how to drive a log truck with his dad. 

Hank wanted to continue the family tradition of logging that came from both his mom’s and his dad’s sides of the family. 

Survivors include his mom, Cindy Mecham; stepdad, Mark Mecham; dad, Darrell Allen; brothers, Sam Thompson, and his wife, Georgea, of Pilot Rock and Don Chandler, and his wife, Nicole, of Halfway; sisters, Tami Dudley of Halfway and Cheyenne Pollock of Halfway; grandparents, Mary Thompson of Pendleton, Don and Joyce Allen of Cottage Grove and Eva Allen of Pendleton; stepbrother, Cody Mecham of Eugene; and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hank Allen Athletic Memorial Fund/Pine-Eagle Schools through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. 

Jim Melchior

Halfway, 1953-2013

Jim Melchior, 59, of Halfway, died March 9, 2013, at his home.

During his last days, Jim was attended by his wife, children and sisters. With all of their efforts, they were a tight-knit loving family up to the very end, providing the end of life care that honored Jim’s wish to die at home. 

A private family gathering in his honor will be scheduled later.

James Eugene Melchior was born on Sept. 3, 1953, at the Coronado Naval Station in Coronado, Calif., to James Robert and Bertha “Peggy” Melchior. During his youth, he was raised in San Diego, and in his teens, the family moved to Oregon.

Jim was seriously injured in a hunting accident in California when he was 13. He overcame a serious disability from that accident. 

Jim was married briefly to Laura Wolf. He later met Dianna “Lynne” Carey in 1983 when visiting his mom, Peggy. The moved in together a week later. They were married on Sept. 4, 1988, and raised their two children in Halfway.

Jim spent several years mining and ranching, but he was passionate about logging and being in the woods. From 1993 to 1997, the family lived at Chama, N.M., where Jim worked for Webber Logging Co.

Jim could spot an elk lying down a mile away. His family said he was 50 percent elk and 50 percent human. Jim’s favorite season was hunting and he most wanted to be remembered for working hard and playing harder.

He was a strong rebel with a huge heart for children and the elderly, family members said. Jim was bigger than life and funny in numerous ways. He had a sense about people (which was always right).

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Gary Melchior; and nephew, Gary Thompson.

Survivors include his wife, Lynne; children, Nikolas Melchior, and his wife, Jen, and Shyla Melchior of Halfway; stepson, Kestin Masterson; sisters, Sherry Downing, Dorothy Thompson and Pamela Miller; nine grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews, who loved their Uncle Jim (he was a brother, uncle and father to all of his nieces and nephews).

Memorial contributions may be made to help defray end-of-life expenses through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Joseph Galloway

Conrad, Mont., 1989-2013

Joseph Lee Galloway, 23, died March 8, 2013, in Conrad, Mont.

A celebration of his life will take place in July in Northeastern Oregon, with details to be determined later.

Joe was born on April 11, 1989, at Lebanon, Ore.

Always a “busy” kid, Joe was loved by all who met him and he never knew a stranger in his life. Everyone he met was his friend. He loved to hike and spend time in the mountains with his family and friends enjoying nature in all weather conditions. When Joe was not outside he played video games and pool with his friends.

He is survived by his parents, Richard and Lynnette Galloway (Falk) of Columbia Falls, Mont.; his brother, James, of Columbia Falls; and his grandparents, Don and Marty Falk of Imbler.

Joe was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lee and Lucille Galloway, and a grandmother, Oveta Falk, all of Elgin.  


Obituaries for March 6, 2013


Vern Knapp Sr.

Baker City, 1934-2013

Vernon Guy “Vern” Knapp Sr., 78, of Baker City, died Feb. 24, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise after a short stay attended by family members and hospital staff.

His memorial service will be Tuesday, March 12, at 10 a.m. at the Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. in Baker City. There will be a reception after the service at Vern’s Saw Shop, 890 Elm St.

Vern was born on July 21, 1934, at Hermiston to Guy Elmer and Ida Mae Stewart Knapp. They both were from pioneer families of Wallowa, Union and Baker counties.

Vern’s first eight years of school were spent at Mission. He was the only “white boy” out of 21 students. All eight grades were in one room with a pot-bellied wood stove. There was a small barn for the horses if the weather was bad. If the weather was really bad he had to stay with the teacher. In the summer he rode his bike 11 miles up hill both ways.

When World War II broke out his brothers, George and Ray, joined and Vern had to stay home to help his dad on the farm. He was only 7 years old but learned to operate equipment and run machinery before he could reach the pedals.

When his brothers and brothers-in-law came home from the service they built and operated a large sawmill on the Upper Umatilla River near Bingham Springs. They owned 920 acres with 2,000 acres of Taylor Grazing Act land. They lived in a huge log house with many outbuildings. The log house is still there. They cut ties for the railroad.

Vern and his brother, Ray, hunted, successfully, for more than 60 years, 40 years in the Elkhorns and Alaska. They both asked to have their ashes scattered in Killamacue and on their claim on Lightning Creek.

Vern did many things during his lifetime. He rode his motorcycle nearly 200,000 miles in his younger years, not quite making it to Alaska. He worked construction, ranched, logged, worked as a millwright, mined and scuba dived. He was an expert welder. He helped build the dams on the Snake River and the radar tower. He shot as a Master. He cut logs and right-of-way for 17 years until a tree broke his back. He continued cutting for two years until he had surgery. He went into Cliff’s Saws and Cycles to pick up some supplies and didn’t get out of there for 13 years. He had no equal as a two-cycle engine mechanic.

Vern and Alice bought Elk Creek Enterprises from Snoose and Ellen Williams in 1984 and ran a successful business for 28 years. There has been many changes in the industry but he maintained his good work ethic and cultivated many close friends whom he considered his extended family.

Vern’s greatest joy was his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids and being able to pass on the fun of living off the land and realizing the value of our natural resources and guarding our God-given rights. He really loved this land.

Vern married Colleen Marie Lozier and they produced Michael Ray, Debbie and Vikki Lee Knapp. They were later divorced.

Vern met Alice Shipman Waggerby. She took care of his children for a while before they were married. Alice brought into this union Lorna Lee, LuAnn, Leslie Kay and James Leonard Waggerby. Vern fully accepted the responsibility and a year later added Vernon Guy Knapp Jr. Vern called him the glue that cemented this family together. This unique family was raised in one household with one bathroom.

With his uncanny ability to make anything run, Vern made sure all the kids had motorcycles (which he built), snowmobiles, bikes and later cars. He also taught them to shoot and enjoy the outdoors. They all had animals and chores. They all had jobs at an early age. He was very much involved in their lives.  Vern was Alice’s best friend, companion and partner.

Survivors include his wife, Alice; his sisters, Irene Brinkman of Clackamas and Verla Loree Frost of Hermiston; his children, Michael Ray Knapp, Debbie Knapp, Ard and husband, Cleve, Lorna Lee and Kurtis Creger, LuAnn Jensen, Vikki Lee Athen, Leslie Kay Hawkins and husband, Scott, James Leonard Waggerby and his wife, Debra, Vernon Guy Knapp Jr. and his wife, Winnie; grandchildren, Camlin Ard, Dane Creger and wife Candi, Thad Creger, Jewel, “Little Alice” Duron and husband, Andrew, Justin Lee Jensen and Jessica Lyn Holliday, Suzanne Elizabeth Athen, Shane Sturdivant and wife, Katrina, Dylan Leight Russell, Alissa Renne Zimmerman and her husband, Kent, James Lee Waggerby, Jonathon, Dayden and Jordan Griffith, and Christian Guy Knapp.

Great-grandchildren, Tyson, Austin, Kya and Jayleese Creger, Ady Duron, Addison Ray, Wyatt Lewis Hall; and many nieces and nephews.

Vern was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, George Knapp and his wife, Mary, and Raymond Knapp, his wife Saimie, and Ray’s companion, Blanche Porter; his sisters, Velma and her husband, Nel Kuust, Marjorie and her husband Leon Shockman; and brothers-in-law, Charles Brinkman and Boyd Frost.

Those wishing to make contributions in Vern’s memory may direct them to the charity of their choice. This may be done through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Fred Moseley

Halfway, 1933-2013

Fred Moseley, 79, of Halfway, died on Feb. 27, 2013, while traveling in Yuma, Ariz.

There will be a celebration of Fred’s life in August, date and time to be announced.

Fred William Moseley was born on Oct. 27, 1933, at Halfway in a house down the hill from the Allstead place (on the north end of Halfway), to Nannie “Nancy” and Robert Kelso Moseley Jr.  He was raised and educated in Halfway, graduating from Pine Valley High School in 1952.

After graduation, Fred joined the U.S. Air Force in June of 1952. He went to school and had electrical training. During his stint in the service he was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyo., Guam, Thule, Greenland, France, Morocco, North Africa and New Mexico, being honorably discharged June 6, 1956.

Fred married Carol Jean Baird on Oct. 5, 1957, at Rose Hills Hillside Chapel in Whittier, Calif. They had four children, Mark and Craig, both born while the family lived in California, and Tami and Lori were born when the family relocated to Oregon.

Fred joined the Boilermaker Union in Portland and worked as a welder and business agent for 27 years.  He retired from the union.

Fred loved to travel, make friends and fish. One of his highlights was going to the Grand Ole Opry and he recently went to a Mark Chestnut concert where he was able to go back stage.  Fred  belonged to several organizations, which included the Masonic Lodge, Oregon Elks Lodge and Shriners. He was a Turkeybutt member for 30 years.

Fred loved to travel in his fifth-wheel home. He would spend the summers in Halfway and at Oxbow. He loved the area, but when winter came, he was headed down south, spending part of his time in Las Vegas, then traveling farther south the colder it got.

Fred never knew a stranger. He had a great laugh, a wonderful sense of humor and will be missed more than words can say, family members said.

Survivors include his daughter, Tami, and her husband, Lynn Carpenter, of Halfway; his son, Craig, and his girlfriend, Shane Nystrom, of Portland; his daughter,  Lori Moseley of Portland; grandchildren, Erick Carpenter of Troutdale, Sheri Carpenter of Portland, and Jami Young of Milwaukie; his brothers-in-law and their families, Joe Baird of Oceanside, Calif., Don Nelson of Blythe, Calif., and Bill Wise of Fremont, Ohio; several great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and a wealth of friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol Moseley in 1997; his son, Mark Moseley in 2005; and six siblings.

Those who would like to make a donation in memory of  Fred may do so to the Halfway High School Alumni Association, Pine Valley Museum or the Oregon Cancer Society through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

W. Floyd Douglas

Baker City, 1917-2013

W. Floyd Douglas, 95, of Baker City, a much loved husband, dad, grandpa and friend, died March 3, 2013, surrounded by family and friends.

At his request, there will be no service.

Floyd was born on April 5, 1917, at Portland. He experienced a life of many changes and technical advances, which he wholeheartedly embraced. He spent his early years on the family farm near Cherryville, Ore. 

Among his memories as a small child were watching his dad work their fields with horse-drawn machinery and riding in a horse-drawn wagon with his folks to pick huckleberries at the base of Mount Hood.

He spent many of his teenage years at the family mining claim near Greenhorn. Being the camp meat provider gave him the opportunity to roam the mountains there and develop a deep love of the outdoors that he instilled in his own children and grandchildren.

He met the love of his life, Madaline Hyatt, in 1939; they were married in 1940 and had a marriage that was legendary in its love and total commitment to each other. From the horse and buggy days to the space age/computer age, Floyd worked hard; raised four children; helped his neighbors and friends; and always met each day with that rearing-to-go attitude of his and contagious smile. 

Early in his marriage he and Madaline moved to Bourne, where he worked in the gold mines. During World War II, they moved to Vancouver, Wash., for employment in the shipyards there. After the war, he and Madaline moved back to Oregon, settling in Baker City where he spent the remainder of his life.

For several years Floyd was part-owner of Commercial Welding Company. He later started his own business, Douglas Welding & Supply, and before retiring, he worked for a time at Ellingson Lumber Company. While in his 80s he took a computer class, taught himself to type, and became very adept at “surfing” the net and emailing family and friends. When in his 90s and it became difficult for him to see the print, being an avid reader, he easily mastered his eBook and kept up with his reading until the very end.

Floyd is survived by his wife of 72 years, Madaline; four children: Larry (Nelli) Douglas, Ted (Gary) Douglas, William (Woody) Douglas, and Sharon (Jeff) Ziegenhagen; three grandchildren: Suzie Douglas, Mike (Shannon) Douglas, and Kathleen (Shannon) Quintero; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and very special friend, Ben Estes. Good bye, dad/grandpa. We love you; miss you; will never forget you. Rest in peace. 


Obituaries for March 4, 2013


‘Jim’ Gibson

Baker City, 1924-2013

Newsom James “Jim” Gibson, 88, of Baker City, died Feb. 17, 2013,  at his home. 

Those who knew him and valued his friendship are invited by family members to join them in a Celebration of Life Reception from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

He was born to Newsom James and Frances Gibson on May 14, 1924, at St. Louis, Mo. Shortly after his high school graduation in Benson, Ariz., World War II broke out. Immediately, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in both the Aleutians and the Pacific Theater, most notably on Okinawa. He later graduated from The University of Southern California where he met his wife, Harriet, and they began 62-plus wonderful years together.

He began a career in law enforcement that spanned 35 years, taking him from a patrolman in Palo Alto, Calif., to the chief of police of Arcata, Calif., and later chief of police of Auburn, Wash. 

During his career, he was chosen to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., where he achieved all-time top honors, receiving the J. Edgar Hoover Medal for Excellence in the Study of Law Enforcement. 

He also was selected to serve on the Police Task Force of the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, representing smaller police departments nationwide. In their personal travels, he and Harriet fell in love with the Blue Mountains and the elk that reside there, leading them to Baker City in 1990 to retire.

You may have known him through the Rotary Club of Baker City, the Powder River Sportsmen’s Club, the Powder River Rural Fire Protection District, or simply chatted with him wearing his signature brown hat at one of the many local businesses where he would shop with his wife, Harriet. 

Maybe he served buffalo burgers to you or your family at the Miners Jubilee or waved to you while setting out or picking up the American flags distributed each holiday by him and his fellow Rotarians. He was very proud of his perfect attendance for more than 40 years in Rotary. 

As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, you might have met him at one of the gun shows he so much enjoyed. However you knew him, he will be sorely missed, family members said.

Survivors include his wife, Harriet; four children, Jim Gibson of Boulder, Colo., Cliff Gibson of McKinleyville, Calif., Frances Cloyd of Medford and Clay Gibson of Littleton, Colo.; and seven grandchildren. 

Memorial contributions may be made to The Rotary Foundation or the National Rifle Association through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

LeRoy DeWitt

Haines, 1938-2013

LeRoy DeWitt, 75, of Haines, died March 1, 2013, at his home.

LeRoy requested that there be no services.

LeRoy Elton was born on Feb. 3, 1938, at Sheridan, Wyo., to Kenneth and Gloria (Gaskin) DeWitt. He graduated in 1956 from Twin City High School in Stanwood, Wash.

 On April 4, 1958, he married Kathleen Lee at Freeborn, Wash. They had two children, Lisa and Daniel.  During his life he worked at many occupations, including farmer, truck driver, equipment operator, logger, anything to make a living for his family.  He went to work for Cascade Natural Gas and retired after 36 years. 

He served with the Army National Guard in Washington for six years, two of the years in the Army Reserve.

LeRoy had many hobbies. He raced motorcycles for about 15 years and rode in rodeos in his younger days.  He enjoyed raising horses at home. The hobbies that he said he most enjoyed were hunting and fishing with his family and friends. According to LeRoy, every event began at dark thirty and according to family and friends, he had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed playing pranks whenever and wherever he could. 

LeRoy is survived by his wife, Kathleen; his daughter, Lisa Renee Locke, and her husband Rick of Sedro Woolly, Wash.; her son, Daniel Lee DeWitt, and his wife Utanna of Klamath Falls; his mother, Gloria Schwalbe of Wyoming; his sister, Dolores Ann Donner of Upton, Wyo.; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. 

 He was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Stanley DeWitt.

Those who would like to make a contribution in memory of LeRoy may do so to Heart ’n Home Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Bessie Darrow

Formerly Baker City, 1923-2013

Bessie Gustava Wyant Darrow, 89, a former Baker City resident, died Feb. 28, 2013, at Ashley Manor Manzanita 2 in Hermiston.

There will be a viewing for friends and family on Wednesday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. in Baker City.

Following the viewing there will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery. Kathryn Nicole of the First Presbyterian Church will officiate. Immediately following the service there will be a gathering for friends and family at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth St. in Baker City.

Bessie was born on Aug. 6, 1923, at Arcadia, Kan., to William Perry Wyant and Malone Emiline Cooper Wyant. She grew up in Kansas City, Mo.

She married John Haskell Darrow on Oct. 6, 1942, at Lebanon, Mo. From there they moved to Oregon. They lived in Eugene and on the Oregon Coast before settling in Baker City. The couple had six children together.

After the passing of her husband and surviving colon cancer, she decided to move in with her son, Ronald Darrow, and his family, in Boardman.

Bessie is survived by five children and their spouses: Evelyn and Hal Mallory of Roy, Wash., Donald and Victoria Darrow of Baker City, Sue and Tommy Lee Bradford of Boise, Ronald and Carla Darrow of Boardman, and Milli and Brent Joseph of Baker City; 12 grandchildren: Albert Rivers Jr., William Rivers, John Rivers, Kerry Rivers, James Darrow, Mike Darrow, Donnie Edmondson, Debra Devin, Curtis Darrow, Kayla Joseph, Rebecca Joseph and Tyler Joseph; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Bessie was preceded in death by her mother and father; two sisters; three brothers; her husband; her son, Johnny Darrow; and her granddaughter, Katherine Darrow.

Donations in Bessie’s memory can be made to MayDay Inc. at 1834 Main St., Baker City, OR 97814, or to Ashley Manor Manzanita 2, 1355 S.W. Manzanita Place, Hermiston, OR 97838.


Obituaries for March 1, 2013


Jerry Marks

Baker City, 1966-2013

Jerry George Marks, 46, passed away February 21, 2013 in Huntington. 

There will be a celebration of life at 2 p.m. March 2 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Prineville.  

Jerry was born on Aug. 15, 1966, at Grants Pass to Richard and Louise Marks. He attended high school at Prairie City where he received his GED in 1984. Later that year he went to work for Prairie Wood Products, where he worked until 1988. 

He had a long career as a mill worker. He worked for many years at Ochoco Lumber, where he became an accomplished setup man. 

He also was a commercial fisherman in Alaska with his brother, Jay, and worked in the building industry in Montana. He did some logging and was also a paint contractor. 

Jerry married Merrillee Magnuson. Their son, Austin Marks, was born on Feb. 3, 1990, and then Whitney Marks was born on May 4, 1991.  

Jerry loved to hunt in Grant County, fish on the Snake River, salmon fish on Shear Bridge, hunt for arrowheads and carve wood. He loved his family very much and will be missed by all. 

Jerry was very spiritual and felt closest to God when he was in the outdoors hunting and fishing, family members said. 

Survivors include his son, Austin G. Marks; daughter, Whitney N. Marks; twin brother, Jay R., and wife, Verna Marks; and good friend, Joey Villava. 

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Charles Hospice – Prineville or to Whispering Pines Funeral Home in memory of Jerry through Whispering Pines Funeral Home, 185 N.E. Fourth St., Prineville, OR 97754.

Joyce McKie

Baker City, 1940-2013

Joyce McKie, 72, of Baker City died peacefully on Feb. 25, 2013, with her loving companion of 11 years, John Lorimer, at her side.

Joyce was born on March 10, 1940, at Rochester, N.Y. Some people are born to serve and to save. Joyce McKie was one of those very special people. As a young girl it didn’t matter to Joyce whether it was a bumblebee or a bird that needed her help. She was always prepared, ready to assist and save a life.

Joyce opened South Window Kennels in the 1980s. It was home away from home for her patrons of dogs, cats, birds and rabbits. No soul too small to care for, Joyce could be found preparing home-cooked meals or giving insulin shots to one of her guests.

Joyce and South Window Kennels were the centerpiece in the establishment of Best Friends of Baker Inc., a local rescue group. Without the generosity of Joyce it is questionable whether Best Friends would have survived. Joyce was midwife, psychologist and doctor for hundreds and hundreds of pets and strays.

Joyce will be sorely missed by her friends in both the human and animal kingdoms; she moved so easily from one to another. She is survived by her companion, John Lorimer; her dog, Heather; her friends, Susan Castles, Dee Hoheimer, Lloyd and Vi Thompson; and many more friends and customers she enjoyed knowing through the years.

Her companion, John Lorimer, said: “On the day you left, a red-winged blackbird arrived at the snow-covered south window. He seemed to be saying, ‘Joyce, come away with me,’ and though now you’re gone I can hear your songs. I’m free to fly, free to be. I say fly high, Joyce, I’ll see you soon. Love John.”

The family would like to thank the Department of Human Services, and a special thank you to Dr. Charles Hofmann and all his staff.

For those who wish to make a memorial donation in memory of Joyce, you may do so to help defray end of life expenses through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


Obituary for Feb. 25, 2013


Marne Baines

Baker City, 1949-2013

Marne Baines, 64, of Baker City, died where she had wished, at her home, on Feb. 20, 2013.

Her memorial service will be Thursday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. at the Missouri Flat Grange at Cedar Street and Hughes Lane in Baker City. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception to be held immediately after the service at the Missouri Flat Grange.

Diagnosed with fourth-stage cancer on Nov. 9, 2012, Marne had gone under the care of  Heart and Home Hospice soon after her diagnosis. Marne was totally at peace. She had no fear of death. She saw death as an open door one went through and that door closed behind you. A devout Christian, Marne passed serenely into a joyous afterlife where there is no more sickness and death.

Born Feb. 19, 1949, at St.  Petersburg, Fla.,  Marne grew up in the South. Most of her life was spent as a caregiver. In her early 20s Marne went on an adventure from Alabama to Nevada. She moved to Baker City from Gardnerville, Nev., in 2002.

Survivors include her husband, Tom Baines of Baker City; her oldest son, Ronald Skipper of Baker City; her youngest son, Wade Skipper of Reno, Nev.; a granddaughter, Haley Skipper of Sparks, Nev.; a grandson, Elijah Skipper of Reno; and a sister, Jeanne Kirkland and family of Raleigh, N.C.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth Solomon, a nurse; and her father, Roy Solomon, a World War II veteran.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heart and Home Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


Obituaries for Feb. 22, 2013

Ruth Flaherty

Bend, 1927-2013

Ruth M. Flaherty, 85, of Bend, died Feb. 14, 2013, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Her son, Jim, and daughter-in-law, Betty, were with her.

At her request there will be no service.

Ruth was born on Feb. 23, 1927, in Sterling, Colo. She married Earl Flaherty in 1946 and they moved to Oregon. Together they raised a family of five. She lived in Westfall, where they managed the old Becker ranch from 1952 until 1960. 

She moved to Burley, Idaho, where the family farmed potatoes until 1963 when they returned to ranching in Hereford. In 1985, she and Earl move to Umatilla. In Umatilla, she assisted at the local grade school as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching assistant.

After her husband died she moved to Bend to be closer to family.

Ruth was artistic and loved to draw. She also enjoyed bowling and her bunco club. She was happiest when she was with family and friends.

Survivors include her children, Jim and Betty Flaherty of Bend, MaryBeth and Ray Cornell of Burns, Mike and Dawnel Flaherty of Parma, Idaho, Barbara Sanders of The Dalles; her son-in-law, Clinton Tarvin of La Grande; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl; her daughter, Kathleen; and her brother, Vern.

In lieu of flowers,the family suggests memorial contributions to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Autumn Funerals of Bend is in charge of arrangements.

Pearl Haydock

Formerly Baker City, 1920-2013

Pearl Jeraldine Willis Haydock, 92, a former Baker City resident, died Feb. 18, 2013, at Forest Grove. 

 Pearl was born on April 12, 1920, at Blackfoot, Idaho, to Charles and Pearl Celia Van Ostrand Walker. 

Survivors include her daughters, Lorraine Swiger of Hillsboro and Barbara Apple of Roy, Wash.; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee B. Haydock.

 Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814, is in charge of arrangements.


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