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Obituary for April 12, 2013

Steven Grimes

Baker City, 1942-2013

Steve Grimes, 70, of Baker City, died March 25, 2013, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise.

Steven Kenneth Grimes was born on June 24, 1942, at Santa Rosa, Calif., to Kenneth and Marie Matzen Grimes. He was raised and educated in Petaluma, Calif.  After graduating from high school, Steve joined the United States Coast Guard and served just over a year. 

He worked for years managing the produce department for Lucky Food Store at Red Bluff, Calif., until his retirement. Eight years ago he settled in Baker City.

Steve was an avid model airplane builder, whether they be a few inches long or a remote-controlled craft 5 feet long, and then taking them out to fly. He also enjoyed the outdoors and fishing. 

Survivors include his two sons and two granddaughters. 

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

Obituaries for April 10, 2013

Dusten Nichols

La Grande, 1984-2013

Dusten Edward Nichols, 28, of La Grande, died April 6, 2013, at his home. 

There will be a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. Saturday at theVeterans Memorial Club, 2005 Valley Ave.

 Dusten was born on Dec. 20, 1984, to Robert Edward Nichols Sr. and Jennifer Leigh Bunch Johnson in Boise. He received his education in Portland and moved to La Grande in 2006, graduating from La Grande High School in 2006. 

 He loved music of all kinds and being outside with friends and family.

 Survivors include his father, Robert E. Nichols Sr. of Madras; his mother and stepfather, Jennifer and Russell Johnson of Baker City; siblings, Chantel Nichols, Robert E. Nichols Jr., and Angi Johnson, all of Baker City; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Margaret Nichols; and his maternal grandfather, Herbert Bunch.

Memorial contributions may be made to New Day Enterprises of La Grande through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Michael O’Hara

Baker City, 1923-2013

Michael O’Hara, 89, of Baker City, died April 2, 2013, at Joseph Memorial Hospital in Enterprise.

There will be a celebration of his life at 3 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion, 2129 Second St. There will be a potluck meal. Those attending are asked to bring pictures and mementos to share in Mike’s memory.

A private family celebration of Michael’s life will be scheduled later.

Michael Joseph O’Hara Jr. was born on Nov. 29, 1923, at Butte, Mont., to Michael Sr. and Maryann Conely O’Hara. He was a 1941 graduate of Butte High School.

 Mike then joined the U.S. Navy and served as a gunners mate on a Victory Ship. After his time in the service he went on to work as a copper miner in Montana. 

He later left mining for the construction field. He was a part of the building the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) tunnel in the California Bay Area, working as a heavy equipment operator.

Michael and his first wife, Betty, had three children. He and Betty later divorced.

After retirement, Mike moved to Baker City. He met Barbara Yeske and they became close friends and companions for many years.

They especially enjoyed dancing, RVing, spending their summers at Richland and fishing. Mike also enjoyed working and doing stained glass.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother; four sisters; and his companion, Barbara Yeske, who died in 2012.

Survivors include his daughter, Elizabeth “BJ,” and her husband, Douglas Hickman, of Joseph; son, Michael Jr., and his wife, Nancy O’Hara, of Folsom, Calif.; son, Patrick, and his wife, Sandi O’Hara, of Austin, Texas; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and extended family, Jim and Penny Moore of La Grande.

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

Obituary for April 3, 2013

Roy Lennberg

Lakeview, 1921-2013

Roy Lennberg, 92, a former Baker City resident, died March 26, 2013, at Lakeview.

A memorial gathering will be scheduled later this summer.

Roy was born on Feb. 9, 1921, at St. Paul, Minn. He grew up at Akeley, Minn., and married Mabel Nielsen, his sweetheart of 69 years. 

Roy served his country with honor and valor as a second lieutenant, leading 240 men across Northern Europe, from their landing at Normandy into some of the most violent combat of that war, which ended with the fall of the Nazi machine in April of 1945.

He lost 200 men dead and wounded on that march and was wounded himself. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal, the Purple Heart and carried enemy shrapnel the rest of his life. 

After returning home to his beloved Mabel, the couple had two daughters: Betty and Vikki. It was a sweet interlude until the Korean War, and Roy was again pressed into service.

After his wartime experiences, Roy and his family moved to Citrus Heights, Calif., where he lived until his retirement in 1984.  He was a woodworker by profession and a successful Western artist by pleasure. 

Later they moved to Ukiah, Calif., and then to Baker City, to be near their daughters. In 2011, Roy and Mabel moved to Lakeview.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel; daughter and son-in-law, Betty and Mike Moore of Ukiah, Calif., and daughter, Vikki Wyatt of Lakeview; grandchildren, Leigh Ann and James Evans of Lakeview, Wells Wyatt of Hazelton, Idaho, Heather and David Atherton of Rocklin, Calif., and Sean and Hailey Moore of Oakland, Calif.; five great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives.

Obituaries for April 1, 2013

Ivan Jensen

Formerly Baker City, 1924-2013

Ivan E. Jensen, 88, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, formerly of Baker City, died March 23, 2013, at the Country Living Adult Foster Home in Pendleton.

A celebration of Ivan’s life will be Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. in Baker City at the Sunridge Restaurant.  

Ivan was born on Dec. 6, 1924, at Pleasant Valley, near Baker City, to Christain and Pearl Jensen. After completing school, he enlisted in the Army and served until October 1946. During this time he earned a Good Conduct Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Service Star, Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal and Army of Occupation Medal (Japan).

Ivan married Lena Fulton in 1951 and they divorced in 1956. In 1957 he married Margaret Sipp. The couple eventually settled on the Sipp Ranch in Bowen Valley where he built the house they resided in. After many years of service, Ivan retired from Ellingson Lumber where he worked as a certified lumber grader.

Ivan enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and carpentry.  He loved to bowl. He fed as many as 300 quail during the winters. He called them his “chickens.” Spending time with family and his faithful dog Willie was important to him.

He is survived by his daughter, Pam Williamson, and her husband, Pat, of Rochester, Minn., daughter, Rhonda McNeilus, and her husband, Pat, of Dodge Center, Minn., daughter, Shirley Baird and her husband, Dave, of Pendleton, son, Keith Jensen and his wife, Janet, of Baker City, daughter, Denice Wilson of Pilot Rock, and son, Robert  Jensen of Hermiston; he is also survived by his brother, Lloyd Jensen, and his wife, Carolyn, of Bly, sister, Mildred Stringer of Seattle, and sister, Norma Long of Baker City; 21 grandkids and 35 great-grandkids with two on the way; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret; his twin sister, Iva Brehmer, sister Thelma Metsker, sister Murel Roumagoux, and brothers Norman Jensen and Wayne Jensen.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimers Association or a charity of your choice in care of Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop, 131 S.E. Byers Ave., Pendleton, OR.  Online condolences may be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

‘Marnie’ Carter

Baker City, 1922-2013

Marjory “Marnie” Carter, 90, of Baker City, died March 23, 2013, at Angel Wings Adult Foster Care. 

A celebration of her life took place on Saturday, March 30, at Baker Valley Church of Christ.

Marnie was born on Aug. 3, 1922, at Portland to Dr. Willmot and Francis (Depue) Foster. The family moved after her birth to Minnesota, back to Portland, Newberg, Halfway, and then to Baker City. During her youth she was on the swim team.

Marnie married Merrill LeRoy Carter on March 17, 1951. She attended the University of Oregon where she became an X-ray tech. She was also a homemaker for many years.

She loved to watch and feed wild birds, knit, crochet, and read. Marnie was a kind, loving woman of Christ who will be welcomed with open arms in heaven by our Father. She will be missed.

 Marnie is survived by her husband; her children: Patrick Lee Carter, Cosette Marie Carter, Larry Lee Carter and Norma Jean Peterson; her grandchildren: Bobbi Joella Lunsford, Kelli Kollete Nunn and Artesha Carter; and her great-grandchildren: Kendra Lynn Lunsford, Dakota Randall Lunsford, Makayla Hope Lunsford, Natalie Nina Rose Nunn and Katelynn Nevaeh Nunn.

Vada Cameron

Elgin, 1943-2013

Vada Cameron, 69, died on March 27, 2013, at Robin’s Nest in Elgin.

A graveside service will be held at Welsh Hills Cemetery at Weathersfield Township, Ohio.

Vada Louise was born on Nov. 5, 1943, at Tunnelton, W.V., to William and Ida (Ridenour) Sypolt. She was raised and attended school in West Virginia. On Dec. 19, 1960, she married Hale Burkholder in Youngstown, Ohio.  They had two children, son Hale Jr. and daughter Vada. 

Most all of Vada’s life, she was not only a wife and mother to her family, she was a caregiver to many of her family members. Throughout Vada’s life she always put other people’s needs ahead of her own.

She enjoyed country music, dancing, and visiting family and friends in West Virginia. 

Hale died in 1984. Later Vada married Leslie Cameron, and they had 20 years together, later moving out west to Oregon.  She and Les lived in La Grande until her health began to fail. They then moved to Robin’s Nest in Elgin. 

Vada is survived by her husband, Leslie of Elgin; her daughter, Vada Louise and her husband, Richard Reid of McDonald, Ohio; her son, Hale Burkholder Jr. of Austintown, Ohio; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; her brothers, James Sypolt and Carl Sypolt; and her sisters, Elizabeth Moore, Garnet Sypolt and Betty Lou Sypolt.   

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Hale Burkholder; her parents;  her sisters, Mary Johnson, Alice Sypolt and Edna Johnson; and her brother, Charles Sypolt.

Those who wish to make a donation in memory of Vada may do so to the Oregon Chapter of the American Cancer Society through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

‘Bobbie’ Dangerfield

Sparta, 1924-2013

Edra Anna “Bobbie” Dangerfield, 88, died on March 24, 2013, surrounded by her family at her home in Sparta.

A private family gathering will be enjoyed celebrating her life this summer.

Edra Anna was born on March 30, 1924, at Amboy, Wash., to Ray and Gertrude (Crosby) Billings.  At the age of 5 or 6 her mother gave her a haircut. When her sister came in the room and saw Edra, she said “aren’t you a fine looking bobbie?” The nickname stuck. She grew up on a big farm near North Plains in Washington County, Oregon. Bobbie graduated high school in Hillsboro in 1942. Bobbie met her future husband, Keith E. Dangerfield, while attending civil service communication school. They were married on Oct. 9, 1943.  They had three children.

In her early working years, she worked at the U.S. War Department during World War II at Spokane’s Galena Air Base.

Bobbie loved her life as a wife of almost 70 years, a mother and homemaker. She enjoyed gardening, canning her fruits and vegetables, and making jam. She also enjoyed hunting, fishing, reading, circle a word puzzles, puzzles and card games. A thought and value she shared with her family was that the “door was always open.” She made all who came through the door welcome and comfortable. Bobbie was well known for providing good home-cooked meals and she made sure that there was room for all at the table.

While raising her family, the family lived in Grants Pass. These last seven years they have enjoyed living in Sparta. Keith and Bobbie would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this year.

Bobbie is survived by her husband, Keith; her daughters: Margaret Anna and her husband, Lindsey Lutman of Grants Pass, and Frances Carol and her husband, Bob Smithson of Grants Pass; her son, Michael Grant and his wife, Peggy Dangerfield of Roseburg; 12 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Francis Billings and Lester Billings; her sisters, Enid LaMerle Heiser and Edna Billings; and a great-grandson.

Those who would like to make a donation in memory of Bobbie may do so to Oregon Chapter of the American Heart Association through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Obituaries for March 29, 2013

Stanley Griggs

Baker City, 1925-2013

Stanley Gilbert Griggs, 87, of Baker City and formerly of Caldwell, Idaho, died March 25, 2013, at a Baker City care center.

Visitations will be Monday, April 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. MDT at Flahiff Funeral Chapel in Caldwell. Graveside services will be Tuesday April 2, at 11 a.m. MDT at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Caldwell. Condolences for the family may be given at www.flahifffuneralchapel.com.

 Stanley was born on May 29, 1925, at Caldwell, the oldest child of Orel Lincoln Griggs and Velma Winifred Stevens Griggs. Stanley was educated in Greenleaf and Caldwell rural schools.  Stanley entered the Navy in March 1943. While in the Navy, Stanley served as a motor machinist 2nd class and was honorably discharged in February 1946 at Bremerton, Wash.

After his discharge from the Navy, Stanley met the love of his life, Aleta Mae Perry. They celebrated 66 years of marriage this past February. They were married in Caldwell on Feb. 7, 1947.  They have two sons: Dennis, born in October 1948, and Doyle, born in April 1952. 

Stanley held several jobs during his life, including a 25-year career at the College of Idaho, which he ended in 1978 as head of maintenance. After leaving the College of Idaho, Stanley and Aleta moved to Mount Vernon, Ore., where Stanley worked in the forests cutting lodgepole pine, and later as a boiler-dryer operator and night watchman at the Prairie City sawmill. Stanley and Aleta moved several times in the next 20 years, settling in Baker City.

Stanley enjoyed fishing and hunting, especially with his grandchildren, when his health permitted. He also enjoyed being with his eight grandchildren and attending their many school activities.  In the past several years, Stanley enjoyed the numerous country and mountain drives taken with both sons and their families.

Stanley is survived by his wife, Aleta; his sons, Dennis and his wife, Judy, of Caldwell, and Doyle and his wife, Wilma, of Haines; eight grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; one brother, Ernest, of Maryland; and several nieces and nephews.

Stanley was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Carroll; and two sisters, Juanita and Melva.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ’N Home Hospice or a charity of your choice.

Mildred Jacobs

Baker City, 1922-2013

Mildred Helen Jacobs, 90, of Baker City, died March 23, 2013 at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

Her funeral will be Thursday, April 4 at 2 p.m. at Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Urn burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Helen was born on June 26, 1922, at La Grande to John Ezra and Frances (Gregory) Burnett. Following graduation from Baker High School in 1940, she married Clarence on June 26, 1941, in Weiser, Idaho.  

They spent several years working the ranch and living with Clarence’s parents at Wingville. In the spring of 1947, the family purchased a ranch at Keating from Sam Coon. Jake was born in May of 1947 and Carol was born January of 1951. The family resided in Keating for approximately 30 years.  

During that period, Helen was active in the Keating Grange, the Home Economics Club and was an avid 4-H leader. She always supported her children’s activities such as 4-H, FFA, choir, football, Bakerettes and more. She and Clarence spent many Saturday nights square dancing either at the Sportsman’s Club in Baker or at one of the many Grange Halls around Baker County. She loved to go with Clarence riding for cattle or helping drive the sheep over the mountain to Trout Meadows.

Helen and Clarence moved to Baker City in 1977 and lived near the Missouri Flat Grange Hall on a small acreage. They became very active in the Baker City Christian Church where she did a great deal of volunteer work. She also volunteered at the Baker Heritage Museum for several years and helped with meals at the Senior Center. Clarence died in September of 1982.  Following Clarence’s death, Helen moved to a smaller house. She resided there for some time and then in 2010 she moved to assisted living facilities. 

Helen is survived by her two children, Owen (Jake) Jacobs of Evergreen, Colo., and Carol Jacobs of Prairie City; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her husband; her brother, Russell Joseph Burnett; and her sister, Lorene L. Miller.

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

Obituary for March 27, 2013

Lillie Johnson

Baker City, 1942-2013

Lillie Mable Geraldine Johnson, 71, of Baker City, died March 22, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Care Center.

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

Lillie was born March 7, 1942, at Joplin, Mo., to Clifford and Beulah (Swisher) Seiber. She married Charles William Johnson II on Dec. 29, 1963. Lillie was a maid at the Oregon Trail Motel and enjoyed crocheting, collecting Elvis items, and yard sales. She was a loving, strong-willed woman who was loved by all. She was a very giving person. She fought a long battle with COPD for eight years and went peacefully in her sleep. She will be missed by all.

She is survived by her children: Charline Simmons and her husband, Jeron, Charles Johnson and his wife, Eunice, Clifford Johnson and his wife Leanna, James Johnson and his wife, Sara, all of Baker City, Beulah Harmon and her husband, Jim, of Pendleton; her brothers: Darrel Seiber and his wife, Hazel, of Mill City, and Herman Seiber and his wife, Tiny, of Salem; his sisters: Ferna Saunders and her husband, Gene, of Haines, and Jewel Lopez and her husband, Gilbert, of Baker City; 19 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many foster grandchildren.

 Lillie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charles; an infant sister, Bonnie Seiber; a sister, Cliftina Jones; and an infant grandson, Cody Johnson. 

Contributions may be made in Lillie’s memory to May Day through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR 97814.

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.

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