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Obituaries for Sept. 27, 2013

The Rev. Lynda Ann Clark

Formerly Baker City, 1951-2013

Lynda Ann Clark, 61, of Salem, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 14, 2013.

A celebration of her life took place on the fall equinox, Sept. 22, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Salem.

Lynda was born on Dec. 24, 1951, at Baker City to Donald R. and Anjeletta Clark, and she lived there into early adulthood. In 1986, Lynda graduated from Eastern Oregon State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She moved to Salem where she went on to receive her Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law in 1989. 

After graduation, Lynda worked in several positions that allowed her to bring greater justice and equality to deserving populations. She was an adjunct professor at Willamette Law School and an attorney for Willamette Legal Clinics. She also worked as a deputy district attorney for Marion County, Ore.

Later, she taught life skills and workplace basics to disadvantaged members of the Salem community through her work with the New Workforce Program at Chemeketa Community College. Lynda continued her work with “at-risk” populations both as director of the Salem Outreach Shelter and as the director of Legal Aid Service of Oregon, where pro bono legal services are provided to those who cannot other wise access them.

Lynda enjoyed acting from a very young age and was involved in numerous acting troupes, including the Pentacle Theatre in Salem. She also loved reading, traveling, gardening, and spending time with her family, especially her three grandchildren, who brought her endless amounts of joy as well as the perfect excuse to exercise her formidable skills as a seamstress and knitter.

A devoted and active member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, she became involved with the Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network serving as the organization’s founding president, compassionately engaging in soul work by helping homeless families locate housing.

Through her work with the UCC and the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Lynda discovered a calling to the ministry. She completed classes at the Northwest House of Theological Studies in Salem in 2006 and went on to attend the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif. 

In 2008 she graduated with a masters of divinity and was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ on Feb. 1, 2009. She was called to the Faith United Church of Christ in Indianapolis as its pastor shortly thereafter. 

Her feminist and inclusive approaches offered new insights and dynamic liturgy. 

Lynda is survived by her mother, Ann Clark of Baker City; her brother, Wayne Clark and his wife, Laurie; three children: Jeremy Golar and his wife, Arisha, and Ruth and Lucien Golar; and three grandchildren: Bailey, Riley, and Elsie Golar.

She was preceded in death by her father, Don.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Willamette Valley Hospice, the First Congregational United Church of Christ of Salem or The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Arrangements were by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Joan Franklin

Baker City, 1938-2013

Joan Carole Franklin, 75, of Baker City, died Sept. 16, 2013.

At her request, there will be no service.

Joan was an adoring mother and grandmother, loving daughter, fun sister, devoted wife, caring aunt and best friend, family members said. She was born on March 24, 1938, at Somerville, Mass.,where she lived until she was 15.

Due to her father’s health, the Buckland family moved to the dry climate of Scottsdale, Ariz., where Joan graduated from Camelback High School in 1957.

Joan loved to have fun and she attended many parties and gatherings with family and friends. She especially loved to visit Baker City where her children and grandchildren live. Joan officially made Baker City her home three years ago. She will be deeply missed by her family ad friends, who will cherish many fond memories.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Kent Franklin; her parents, Paul and Lois Buckland; and a brother, Thomas.

Survivors include her son, Michael Franklin, and his wife, Rebecca, of Baker City, and his daughter, Alannah Biles, her husband, David, and their two sons, Brayden “Bentley” and Cayden of Louisiana; her daughter, Jeanenne Bowers, and her husband, David, and their daughters, Alysia and Erika, of Baker City; her siblings, Pauline Longo, George Buckland and Christine Wages of Arizona and their spouses and their children and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Obituaries for Sept. 25, 2013

Lois Elms

Baker City, 1917-2013

Lois Henrietta Elms, 96, of Baker City, died Sept. 13, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. 

Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Pastor Jesse Whitford will officiate.


Obituaries for Sept. 20, 2013

Norma Ratliff

Baker City, 1936-2013

Norma Jane Ratliff, 76, of Baker City died Sept. 13, 2013, at Settler’s Park. 

 Norma Jane was born on Oct. 30, 1936, at Honolulu, Hawaii, to Adam and Violet Freitas Jose. She was raised in Hawaii and moved to Baker City in 1980.

 Norma was a homemaker and worked as a waitress most of her life.

 She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Virgil; and son, Mitchell Trotter.

 Survivors include her son, Warren Thompson, and his wife, Sheila, of Baker City; her daughter, Debbie Bear of Selma, Calif.; her son, Michael Trotter and his wife, Danielle, of Medford; eight grandchildren and great- grandchildren.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR  97814.

Jessica Wright

Baker City, 1981-2013

Jessica Wright, 32, of Baker City died Sept. 15, 2013.  Her memorial service will be Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Baker City with Pastor Katy Nicole officiating.  Friends are invited to join the family for a reception in the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall following the service. 

Jessica Erin Wright was born March 26, 1981, at Baker City to Mike and Ruth Wright and John Birkmaier.  She was raised at Haines, graduated from Baker High School and attended Future #1 College of Cosmetology to become a hairstylist.

Jessica was a sweet soul and gave much to others.  She knew the meaning of forgiveness.  She knew sorrow and because of it, she knew great kindness. Her kindness will live on in all who knew her, family members said.  

Survivors include her siblings,  Jason Wright of Eugene, Judd Wright of Haines, Jenna Hendriksen and her husband, Tom, of La Grande, Krista, Michelle and Travis Birkmaier, all of Baker City; grandparents,  David and Jeannie Wright of Baker City, and Ron Tye of Enterprise; aunts and uncles, Trish Everson and her husband, Chuck, Susy Kaser and her husband, Kurt, Molly Mansfield and her husband, Wes, Jim Wright and his wife Cindy, Robbie Sorn and her husband, Jeff, Rene Layton and her husband, Ron,  Loretta Tye, Rosemarie Preston and her husband, Baron, Rhonda English, Randy Tye, and John Tye and his wife, Terri; and an extended family of many aunts, uncles and cousins.

 She was preceded in death by her father, Mike Wright; her mother, Ruthie Wright; her uncle, Joe Tye; and grandmothers Jane Tye and Mary Ann Moore Wright.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the family to help defray expenses through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR   97814.

Von Miller

Baker City, 1981-2013

Von Conrad Miller, 66, of Baker City, died Sept. 10, 2013, at his home.

His funeral was Tuesday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.  Friends were invited to join the family for a reception and time of sharing at Von’s home after the service.

Von was born on Nov. 4, 1946, at Ashland to Jesse Ellis and Jayne Elizabeth Murray Miller. He was a 1964 West Anchorage High School graduate and a 1969 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Architecture. He attended many workshops and conferences in architecture, art and science throughout his life. 

Von was a licensed architect in both Oregon and Washington. He retired as architect emeritus for the state of Oregon after 41 years of service. 

 He met and married Sharon Young in Eugene while they were students at the University of Oregon. Upon graduation, they moved to Coos Bay where they raised their two daughters. Von joined HGE, Engineers and Architects where he was vice president and principal. 

 After moving to Portland, Von married high school friend, Gaynelle Marie Nielsen, in November 2001. In 2007, he joined Seattle-based Trinity ERD. He retired Dec. 31, 2011, when he and Gaynelle moved to Baker City.

 Von fell in love with Baker City working with local officials to move and transform the Baker City train depot. He loved fly-fishing and exploring the mountains, streams, lakes and forests. He checked river levels and everything concerning fishing on a daily basis. Artistic by nature, he was a skilled photographer, painter and model builder.

 He contributed to the communities he loved as a member of the Coos Bay and Portland Rotary Clubs, a Board Member of the Coos County Library, and most recently, he was appointed to the Baker City Parks and Recreation Committee. 

 Survivors include his wife, Gaynelle Nielsen of Baker City; daughters, Jennifer M.S. Miller and her fiance, Benjamin C. Findley, of Atlanta, Ga., and Sarah Anne Miller of Oakland, Calif.; stepson, Scott Roberts Nielsen and his wife, Rayna, of New Orleans, La.; one grandson, Chance Warren Nielsen, also of New Orleans; sisters, Jamie Miller Rongo of  Cottonwood, Ariz., and Nancy Miller Lipsner of Kent Island, Md., and brother, Jerrery Miller of Half Moon Bay, Calif., and their families.  

He was preceded in death by his parents. 

 Memorial contributions may be made to a favored organization, Save Our Wild Salmon through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Claudine Prowell

Baker City, 1931-2013

Claudine Jane Prowell, 82, of Baker City, died Sept. 11, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City after a short illness.

Her memorial graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Claudine was born on Sept. 7, 1931, at Haines to Jesse and Helen Locken. Claudine attended grade school at North Powder and Haines. She was a 1952 Baker High School graduate.

Claudine worked as a switchboard operator for the Haines Telephone Co. and then as a certified nursing assistant at the old St. Elizabeth Hospital. She later worked at the new St. Elizabeth Hospital. After retiring from the hospital she worked for Mountain View RV Park.

In October 1956, Claudine married Patrick Richard Morang. Patrick and Claudine had one daughter, Cathy. 

They later divorced. Claudine married Virgil Prowell on Feb. 17, 1963, at Baker City. They had two sons, Sidney and Jeffrey. Claudine and Virgil were married for 18 years before Virgil died in September of 1981.

Claudine then met her best friend and companion, Denny Thacker, and they had 31 wonderful years together.

Claudine and Denny loved to go to the Eagles Lodge to dance. Claudine loved to dance, and one of her favorite TV shows was “Dancing with the Stars.” She was also an avid bowler and was in a bowling league for many years, winning a first-place trophy with Denny for the Sunday Night Mixed League. 

Claudine was a member of the Eagles Lodge for 28 years. She served as past president for one year, and was also a member of the Baker Elks Lodge for many years.

Survivors include her children, Cathy Brandhagen, and her husband, Dave, of Pendleton, Sid Prowell, and his wife, Lisa, of Baker City, and Jeff Prowell, and his partner, Melinda Gettings of San Antonio, Texas; grandson, Jace Prowell, and granddaughters, Shelby Prowell and Lora Beth Brand Hagen; and her longtime friend and companion, Denny Thacker.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jesse and Helen Locken; husband, Virgil Prowell; and granddaughter, Amyjane Brandhagen.

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

Jan Merriman

Baker City, 1949-2013

Jan Merriman, 64, of Baker City, died Sept. 18 2013, at her home. 

There will be a Celebration of Life service at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Pastor Randy McElveen of Calvary Baptist Church at Milton, Fla., will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the Baker City Christian Church Fellowship Hall after the service.

Janis Lynn Merriman was born on Sept. 1, 1949, to Richard Lee and Helen Cecilia (Janis) McGuffin at Alameda, Calif. She was raised at San Diego and graduated from Monte Vista High School. 

Jan married Roy Allen Merriman on May 25, 1967, at San Diego. They moved to Baker City in 1991.  She was assistant director for the Baker City YMCA for 20 years.

 Jan enjoyed gardening, riding motorcycles with her husband and serving Jesus Christ. She was a member of Blue Mountain Baptist Church.

Survivors include her husband, Roy Merriman of Baker City; daughters, Nicole Adamson, and her husband, Jason, Dawnyel Dishman and her husband, James, all of Denton, Texas; son, Joel Merriman, and his wife, Lisa, of Canby; sister, Wendy Gentry of Spring Valley, Calif.; and grandchildren, Brennen Merriman, Dru Dishman, Zoe Dishman and Ford Adamson.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and brother, Richard McGuffin.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vapor Sports Ministries through Blue Mountain Baptist Church, 2145 21st St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Obituaries for Sept. 18, 2013

Daryl Gillum

Richland, 1937-2013

Daryl L. Gillum, 75, of Richland, died Sept. 8, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

A family memorial was held on Sept. 15 in Portland.

Obituaries for Sept. 16, 2013

Verdell Davis

Halfway, 1923-2013

Verdell Davis, 90, of Halfway, died Sept. 8, 2013, at a care facility in La Grande.  A private family service will be held at a later date.

Verdell was born on April 5, 1923, at Richland.  He was raised in Richland and attended a one-room schoolhouse near Richland. Verdell joined the Army at the age of 17.  He served from September of 1940 until August of 1945 during World War II and was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines.  He received a Bronze Star for his service.

Obituary for Sept. 13, 2013

‘Jill’ McCrae

La Grande, 1958-2013

Susan “Jill” McCrae, 54, of La Grande, died Sept. 6, 2013, at her home. 

A Celebration of Life service for Jill will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Faith Center in Island City.

 Jill was born on Sept. 10, 1958, at Enterprise to Keith and Ielene Kuhn Searles. She was raised at Enterprise where she graduated from high school. 

Jill was active in volleyball and cheerleading during her high school years. Afterward, she attended Blue Mountain Community College where she received her associate degree in social science. 

Jill was active in FFA and was chosen as Chief Joseph Rodeo Court Queen.

Jill married Blake McCrae. She was employed at Albertsons and worked as a veterinary technician for The Animal Clinic. She enjoyed caring for animals and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

She liked to go swimming and camping and attending church. She especially enjoyed watching her grandchildren play sports. Jill’s family says she was an amazing mother.

Survivors include four children and their spouses, Tadd and Tina McCrae of Dayton, Wash., Amanda and Billy McCrae of La Grande, Goldie McCrae of La Grande and Cody and Kendra McCrae of La Grande; her mother, Ielene Searles; three siblings, Kent Searles and his wife Nancy, Kerry Searles and his wife, Vicki, and Jolene Searles; and seven grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her father Keith Searles.

Memorial contributions to help with funeral expenses may be made to Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

 Online condolences to the family may be made at www.lovelandfuneralchapel.com.

Obituaries for Sept. 11, 2013

Alice Langer

Baker City, 1930-2013

Alice Marie (Sagers) Langer, 83, of Milton-Freewater, a former longtime Halfway resident, died Sept. 4, 2013. 

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Halfway. A dinner will be served afterward at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall. Everyone is welcome.

A second memorial service is scheduled at the Milton-Freewater LDS church at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

Obituaries for September 9, 2013

‘Millie’ Wagner

Baker City, 1922-2013

Mildred Irene “Millie” Wagner, 91 of Baker City, died Sept. 5, 2013, at Settler’s Park. 

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Gray’s West and Co. A graveside service will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Edward Stoaks will officiate. 

The Women’s Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3048, will provide a fellowship luncheon afterward at the VFW Hall, 2005 Valley  Ave.

Millie was born on Jan. 28, 1922, at Sunnyside, Wash., to Lyle and Lizzie Breshears Anderson. She lived at Sunnyside until the family moved to Ontario when she was 15.

She was a member of the Ontario High School Class of 1941. She married Fred Wagner on Oct. 8, 1945, at Reno, Nev. 

The couple lived at Burns from 1945 until moving to Baker City in 1959. She and her husband owned and operated Wagner Brothers Beer Distributing, selling Blitz and Lucky Lager beers. They operated the business until 1969.

Millie was a member of the Baker VFW, Post No. 3048, Women’s Auxiliary and the Baker City Lady Elks. She was an active volunteer at the Baker Heritage Museum. She loved socializing and hosting events for her family and friends. 

She was known as the family caregiver.

Survivors include her sister, Viola Russel Wagner of Klamath Falls; 12 nieces; and eight nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Fred, who died on June 25, 1989, at Baker City; and one brother. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the VFW Auxiliary, the Baker Heritage Museum, Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice or a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West and Co., 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR 97814.

Obituary for Sept. 6, 2013

Nadine Titus

Baker City, 1933-2013

Nadine Titus, 79, a longtime Prairie City and Baker City resident, died on Sept. 1, 2013, at her home in Baker City.

Her graveside service was today at the at the Prairie City Cemetery.  Friends joined the family afterward at the Prairie City Grange Hall.

Nadine was born on Nov. 19, 1933, to John Nathan “Nate” and Hazel Agusta Robison Horrell. She was raised and educated at Prairie City with her brothers, Stanley and John Nathan “Jack” Jr. and her sister, Anita. When she was 9 years old, Archie started visiting her brother, Jack.

Nadine graduated from Prairie City High School in 1952. She and Archie were married at Prairie City in 1953 and celebrated their 60th anniversary in March of this year. They raised seven children together.

Nadine loved her garden and flowers, quilt projects and her neighbors, Sue, Pat and Alice. Her special lifelong friends, Dorothy, Donna and Wilma, spent most Tuesday afternoons having tea with her at Charley’s Ice Cream Parlor in Baker City.

Nadine enjoyed volunteering her time at the Baker Food Co-op in Baker City.

Survivors include her husband, Archie; her sons, Archie, and his wife, Kathy Titus, of Fruita, Colo., James Titus of Bowman, N.D., Justin and his wife, Colette, of Bowman, Clayton and his wife, Danyel, of Bowman, Dustie Titus of Baker City, David and his wife, Janette Titus, of Baker City; her daughter, Anita Handyside, and her husband, Gary, of Baker City; special friends Tricia, Linda, Jay and Jean, who thought of her as their “other mother” and whom she nurtured in the same way; her grandchildren, Julia, Archie, Luke, James Nathan “Nate,” Shane, Daniel and Logan Titus, Dillon and Max Titus, Vic, Jeannie, Jocelyn and Kyle Handyside;  many great-grandchildren; her brother, Stan, and his wife, Polly Horrell; her sister, Nita, and her husband, Leonard Cardwell; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Jack; and her sister, Mary.

The family was served by Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home.

Obituaries for Sept. 4, 2013

Claire Hobson

Milwaukie, 1929-2013

Claire Hobson, a longtime Baker City resident, died Aug. 28, 2013, at Milwaukie, the day after her 84th birthday.

Her graveside funeral will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker City. Remembrances may be shared on the Peake Funeral Home website: www.peakefh.com.

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