Baker City, 1939-2013
Donald Austin Cole, 74, of Baker City, died Jan. 4, 2014, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.
There will be a celebration of his life at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. There will be a lunch reception afterward at the church.
Don was born July 17, 1939, in a logging camp just outside Crawford, Colo., to Rolland and Irene Cole. His family moved to Baker City when he was 3. He was a drum major for the Baker Elks Drum and Bugle Corps and a 1957 Baker High School graduate.
He was awarded a math and science scholarship to Eastern Oregon State College where he earned his degree in education. He also was the Mountaineers’ drum major.
He married Carolyn Chadwick of Baker City in 1959 and they had three sons: Randy, Rick and Rod. After teaching for three years at Heppner, the family moved to the Milwaukie area in 1964 where Don continued to teach school and to further his education.
He earned his master’s degree in education as well as administrative and counseling certificates from Portland State University. His first administrative position was with a small, one-school district at Three Links near Estacada where he was superintendent, principal, half-time teacher, as well as substitute bus driver and sports coach when needed.
The family moved back to Heppner in 1971 where Don was the elementary/middle school principal for 20 years. He served as the 1989-90 Oregon Elementary School Principals Association president and retired in 1991 after a dedicated 30-year career in Oregon public education.
Don continued to advocate for kids after his retirement and volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for vulnerable children. He was a member of the Heppner Lions Club and also was a lifetime member of the Heppner Elks Club.
He was active in the Heppner Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Committee, Umatilla United Way, and COSA (Confederation of Oregon School Administrators). He was a certified ROPES Course facilitator, which promoted team building for both youth and adults.
In 1991, Don married Glenda Hallgarth Elskamp, originally from Baker City. They lived at Hermiston for 11 years during which time Don spent the better part of two years helping to construct the Harvest Church where they attended. The couple found their way back to Baker City in 2002 after Glenda’s retirement and enjoyed retirement, friends and family.
Don served on the Community Connection Senior Services Board and represented education on the Baker County Senior Council. He also volunteered for Pathway Hospice, Bread of Life Food Bank, belonged to the ROF Club and served in numerous ministries at Baker City Christian Church, which he also helped build.
He could frequently be found supporting many sporting, music or other community events, doing the jitterbug with Glenda or walking the Leo Adler Pathway. He was an avid hunter and felt at home in the hills and mountains around both Morrow and Baker counties. He also enjoyed fishing and above all, being with family, especially the grandkids.
Don had a welcoming smile and a kind spirit, family members said.
“His lot in life was helping people, especially families and children,” they said. “He had a sixth sense of who needed help and would be the first to lend that helping hand. He was a man of strong faith and will be greatly missed.”
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Joyce Kerns of Baker City; and brother, Bill Cole of McMinnville.
Survivors include his wife, Glenda Cole of Baker City; brother, Lloyd Cole, and his wife, Midge, of Palm Desert, Calif.; sons and their wives, Randy and Jean Cole of Hoquiam, Wash., Rick and Claire Cole of Davis, Calif., and Rodney and Mindy Cole of Portland; stepson, Chris Elskamp, and his wife, Paula, of Clarkston, Wash.; step-daughter, Michele Cooper, and her husband, Rick, of Beaverton; and 12 grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 26.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker City Christian Church or the Heppner Elks Lodge 358 11th Hour Club, which helps to support families of fallen Elk members, through Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
La Grande, 2013-2014
Kain Alexander Cardenas, 7 months, of La Grande, died Jan., 8, 2014, at Doernbecher Hospital in Portland.
His funeral will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 42171 Chico Road, in Baker City. Pastor Tony Brandon will officiate. There will be a reception at the church after the service.
Kain was born on May 16, 2013, at Baker City to Jeffrey Kain Cardenas and Trisha Franke. Kain was named after his father.
From the day of his birth, Trisha planned her days between her work and her baby. Kain would wake up in the morning and watch “Planet 51.” His favorite character on that show was Rover and he would just laugh and laugh, his family said.
Kain watched Planet 51 in the mornings and during his lunch. He was a fast crawler and he would go everywhere at a fast speed. He loved lemon, pizza, sweet potatoes and tortillas. Trisha would take pictures of Kain every day because she did not want to miss anything.
Kain would make every person smile, bringing joy to everyone who looked at him. His laugh made everyone’s day and his smile was worth a million dollars. Trisha and Jeffrey will miss his kissy face more that anything.
“You loved his laugh, you loved his smile, you loved his everything, you loved your child,” his parents said.
Survivors include his father, Jeffrey Cardenas of Baker City; his mother, Trisha Franke of La Grande; his grandfather, James Cardenas, his grandma, Jeni Hyatt, and great-grandparents, Jim and Lori Dunn, all of Susanville, Calif.; his grandmother, Peggy Franke, and his grandfather, Mike Crane, both of Baker City; great-grandparents, Wanda and John Brunecz of Portland; his aunts, Brittany Franke and Amanda Taylor, of Victor, Mont.; and many other aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his great-grandfather, Steve Weeks; a cousin, Brian Stephens; and great-greatgrandparents, LaVerne and Marjorie Stubbs and Dan and Diane Elkins.
Memorial contributions may be made to Kain’s Memorial through Gray’s West and Co., 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR. 97814.
Russell Narkaus Dorran, 86, of Hermiston, a local civic promoter and rural electric utilities industry leader, whose impact was both far-reaching and enduring, died Jan. 11, 2014, at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Wash.
The rosary will be said at 6 p.m. Friday at the Burns Mortuary chapel in Hermiston. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Hermiston. Burial with military honors will be at the Hermiston Cemetery. After the graveside service, there will be a memorial reception at the National Guard Armory, 900 S.E. Columbia Drive, in Hermiston.
Russ was born on May 27, 1927, at Pendleton to William James Dorran and Helen Narkaus Dorran. He was raised both at Helix and on Reed and Hawley Mountain above Weston, graduating from Griswold Union High School in 1945.
After high school, Russ joined the U.S. Navy and then attended Oregon State University at Corvallis, becoming a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He graduated in June 1950 with a degree in agriculture engineering.
Within days, Russ settled at Hermiston and began his long career at Umatilla Electric Cooperative, retiring from his position as general manager in 1991. Russ remained an integral part of various regional and national utilities organizations and committees. He served as the first president of the Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative.
Although retiring the iconic New Orleans hats for which he became famous, Russ has stayed in the energy business heading Hermiston Energy Services as superintendent for the past 11 years. He served many years on the Hermiston Cemetery Board and as its chairman for the past several years.
Twice recognized as a distinguished citizen in Hermiston, Russ was a charter member of several local service organizations, including the Elks Lodge 1845 and the noon Kiwanis group.
It was a Kiwanis social function that gave Russ a reason to insist Delia Felton Williams accompany him for a date. Russ and Dee were married Aug. 1, 1953. She died in 2003.
The couple raised six children and spent most of their married lives in a home that Russ designed to be “certified all-electric” in keeping with the latest in rural electrification.
Baker City was a temporary home for the pair for almost two years in 1987-88 when, with one penny, Russ helped start the new Oregon Trail Electric Co-op to serve that region.
Among his many accomplishments through the decades, Russ was responsible for helping Blue Mountain Community College come into existence, organized an elaborate fundraising auction for transplant patient Becky Howland, directed state lottery dollars to worthy area projects, helped steer the celebration and educational events for the Oregon Trail and Lewis & Clark Expedition anniversaries, as well as finding time to decorate numerous cakes for the yearly West Park Elementary Dad’s Cake Bake.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Delia; parents, William and Helen; and a nephew, Jim Dorran.
Survivors include sons Dave Dorran, Dan Dorran (Terri), and R.B. Dorran (Kris) of Hermiston, Bill Dorran of San Rafael, Calif., and Bob Dorran (Kathie) of Maryville, Tennessee; daughter, Delia Marie Wallis of Hermiston; brother Randy Dorran (Marge) of Pendleton; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; honorary daughter, Inez Griffels (Steve) of Hillsboro; and special associate, Dorothy Hurrle of Pendleton.
Memorial contributions may be made to the BMCC Foundation, P.O. Box 100, Pendleton, OR 97801; or the Umatilla County Historical Society, P.O. Box 253, Pendleton, OR 97801.
Condolences may be made online at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.
Baker City, 1922-2014
Ruth Mabel Erwin, 91, a longtime resident of Baker City, died Jan. 9, 2014.
Her graveside service will be scheduled in May 2014.
Ruth was born on Feb. 18, 1922, at Olympia, Wash., to Seth Matthews and Elizabeth Pettit Matthews.
In 1936, at the age of 14, Ruth and her older sister Janet (who was also her best friend), moved with their parents to Baker City. Ruth graduated from Baker High School in 1939 at the age of 17 and in June of that year, she married Leslie Erwin in a quiet ceremony at Weiser, Idaho.
Ruth and Les raised two daughters, Barbara Williams, and Darlene K. Wolf and enjoyed many adventures together during their 64 years of marriage.
Ruth spent her life as a wife, mother and homemaker and she loved making her home a special place for family and friends. Everyone was welcome at Ruth’s house and no one would leave hungry after a visit.
She was fond of gardening and took great pride in her flowers, especially the lilies in her front yard. Year after year her family and the surrounding neighborhood would look forward to the beautiful blooms and their heavenly smell that would fill the air each spring, family members said.
Ruth and Les enjoyed many hours together hunting and fishing, especially at Beaver Meadows. In the 1950s, she and Les ran the Union 76 service station on the corner of Washington and First Street, the current site of Sterling Bank.
Ruth was also an avid baseball fan and kept track of the players for many years. She loved watching any sports game but baseball was her favorite.
After Les died in 2003, Ruth was an active participant at the Senior Center, especially the Monday afternoon and Friday night card games along with her daily bus trip to lunch. The Senior Center staff and members, especially the bus drivers, took good care of Ruth and ensured her comfort and safety.
Ruth was blessed with seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren (six girls and one boy) and one great-great-grandchild born in September of 2013. “Grandma Ruth” was passionate about her family and loved spending time with each and every one of them.
Family members expressed their appreciation to her special caretaker, Jodee Howlett, who for five years provided constant care for Grandma Ruth, day and night and was more like a daughter than a caretaker. They also offered thanks for the care provided by the staff at Hospice and Park Street Manor.
Survivors include her daughter, Barbara Williams of Baker City; grandchildren, Robin (Mike) Jones, of Heppner, Karen Williams of Portland, Mike Williams of Baker City and Lisa Rockenbrandt, Chris Rockenbrandt and Misty Wolf, all of Salem; seven great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter; and numerous extended family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Les Erwin; a daughter, Darlene Wolf; a grandson, Larry Rockenbrandt; and a son-in-law, David L. Williams.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Senior Center through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR. 97814.
Baker City, 1932-2013
Robert Aaron Gardner, 81, of Baker City, died Dec. 31, 2013, at the Boise Veterans Hospital.
Burial with military honors will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Robert was born on April 25, 1932, at Huntington to Fred Aaron Gardner and Bessie Kathryn Lane Gardner. After finishing his education, Robert joined the U.S. Army and was proud to make the military his family for four years.
Robert was proud of the fact he fought for his country in the Korean War where he drove a tank and was very proud of his Korean Service Medal and his National Defense Service Medal.
After serving his country for four years, Robert left the military and started driving truck. He made a number of friends on the road and enjoyed spending his extra time meeting them and having coffee. He also enjoyed fishing and did that as much as possible.
Robert was married, but the marriage ended in divorce. He was always grateful that he had a daughter, Theresa Ann Lilly, from his marriage, family members said.
Survivors include his daughter, Theresa Lilly of Vancouver, Wash.; a sister, Pauline Marshall of Vancouver, Wash.; and a number of cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Bessie Gardner
Gray’s West & Co. is in charge of arrangements.
Anthony Perry Jr.
Anthony Perry Jr., 92, of Richland, died Jan. 2, 2014, at his home.
Tony was born on Sept. 18, 1921, at Springfield, Mass., to Anthony Perry and Josephine Cardaropoli Perry.
After his school years, Tony joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served four years. He ended his service as a motor machinist’s mate 3rd Class. Tony was proud of the fact he was entitled to wear the World War II Victory Ribbon, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon and two stars and the Amphibious Insignia.
In 1948, Tony married the love of his life, Ruth Vasilacosta. They had two daughters from that marriage and Tony took care of Ruth and his daughters until Ruth’s death on July 4, 2010.
He supported his family by becoming an aerospace quality control foreman until he retired in 1982. Most of the kids in the family loved to call Tony “Uncle Junior” because he was a junior in his family.
His daughters were proud of what Tony taught them because he showed them the importance of family values and hard work. His friends said he was a “stand-up kind of guy” who could do anything from plumbing to installing a motor in a pickup and would go out of his way to help anyone who needed him.
Tony loved the outdoors and enjoyed his fishing and hunting. He was an outstanding husband, father, grandfather and friend, family members said.
Survivors include two daughters, Brice Perry of Richland and Colleen Perry of Lindenhurst, N.Y.; a grandson,William A. Perry Jr.; and his two great-grandchildren, Logan A. Perry and Zack W. Perry.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 62 years, Ruth Perry; and his son,William Perri.
Gray’s West & Co. is in charge of arrangements.
Baker City, 1926-2013
Martha Earline Bowman Morris, 87, of Baker City, died Dec. 11, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Care Center in Baker City.
Memorial services will be announced at a later date.
Earline was born on Nov. 24, 1926, in Pratt City, Kan., to Earl and Tillie Bowman. When she was 13, she moved from Kansas to Oregon with her parents. She attended Baker High School and graduated in 1945.
Earline married Ernest H. Morris on Nov. 21, 1946. She enjoyed staying home and taking care of her family. She loved gardening and was so proud of having a big yard where she could grow her roses and other kinds of flowers. When you entered her home, you would always find fresh flowers and house plants. Earline seemed to always attract stray cats and would become their friend and care for them.
She is survived by her nephew, Dell Francis, and her niece, Wilma Bishop, both of Baker City.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Ernest H. Morris; her mother, Tillie Bowman; and her father, Earl Bowman.
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker through Gray’s West and Company, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Dorothy Bates Tilgner, 87, of Richland, died Dec. 18, 2013.
Services will be this spring in Vale. Date and time will be announced.
Dorothy was born on March 8, 1926, in Nebraska, the 12th of 13 children. The family moved to Vale, and lived in the stone house for several years.
Dorothy helped cook and clean for her large family, and was always known for her excellent cooking skills. Dorothy worked for many years at Becker’s Market, which later became G&B Market. She enjoyed friendships with many co-workers during her years of employment. She enjoyed camping and fishing with her family.
Following the death of her first husband, Mel Bates, in 1972, Dorothy married Tharrell Tilgner in 1975 and eventually settled in Richland where she lived for the past twenty five years. Dorothy and Tharrell enjoyed traveling to Quartzsite, Ariz., each winter. Dorothy loved being an Arizona “snowbird” because it allowed her to escape the cold winters of Richland.
Dorothy is survived by her husband, Tharrell Tilgner; her children, Terry Kurata and Michael Bates; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Mel Bates; her daughter Cindy Pennington; and her grandson, Jason Keller.
For those who wish to make a donation in memory of Dorothy, the family suggests the Eagle Valley Ambulance or the Eagle Valley EMT Training Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Baker City, 1932-2013
Earnest Kenneth Blair, 81, of Prairie City, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 22, 2013, at his home.
Private services have been held.
Mr. Blair was born on May 1, 1932, at Baker City to Harvey “Pops” Blair, and Irma Verhaeghe Blair. While growing up at Baker City, he attended St. Francis Academy. He was in the U.S Army from 1951 to 1954, and received an honorable discharge with the rank of corporal.
Earnest worked as a truck driver making fuel deliveries to various places in and outside of Grant County. He did this for 65 years, until retiring in 1998.
He enjoyed fishing and woodworking. He was a volunteer for the Prairie City Fire Department for more than 20 years, was involved with the City Council at Prairie City and was a Boy Scout leader.
Survivors include his sisters, Louise Blair Stewart, Loretta Blair Cook and Jeanette Delepierre Beck; his brother, Francis Delepierre; his sons, Kenneth A. Blair of Vancouver, Wash., and Scott E. Blair of Portland; daughter, Deanna L. Vosika of Portland; and his companion and best friend, Beverly Schmit of Prairie City; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Irma Blair.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.
Baker City, 1914-2014
Velma Ann Snow Shults, 99, of Baker City, died Jan. 2, 2014, while at Meadowbrook Place.
Visitations for Mrs. Shults will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Coles Tribute Center. Sally Wiens of the Haines Methodist Church will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Velma was born on Sept. 22, 1914, in Laclede County Mo., to Claude and Ressie Pittman Snow. She grew up in Missouri, married, and had a daughter, Bobbie. The marriage ended in divorce.
She then met and married Howard Shults in 1946 and they moved West to California, living at various locations. Her second daughter, Liz, was born at Alturas, Calif., in 1948.
They moved to Baker City in 1950 where he worked as a bookkeeper for Ellingson Lumber Co. They later moved to Chiloquin where Howard died in 1965. Velma became a widow at the age of 51.
After Howard’s death, she moved back to Baker City to be near her oldest daughter, Bobbie, and worked in the office of Baker Dairies. In the early 1970s, she moved to North Bend, where Liz lived. She was there for more than 20 years, working as a clerk in a drug store. She retired at the age of 75.
Approximately 10 years later, she moved back to Baker City where she remained, eventually living at Meadowbrook Place Assisted Living Facility for the past six years.
Her family remembers Velma as a wonderful homemaker, making delicious desserts and meals for her family. She was a seamstress supreme, making outfits for her daughters to wear for special occasions. In her later years, she read lots of her favorite novels and crocheted dozens of dish rags. She endured her old age very well with her friends at Meadowbrook Place. She is already missed by all who knew and loved her, family members said.
Survivors include her daughter, Bobbie, and her husband, Glen Daugherty; her daughter, Liz, and her husband, Andrew McGuire; several grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Shults; her parents, Claude and Ressie Shults; and her only brother, Claude Snow Jr., and his wife, Mary Ann.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice or a charity of one’s choice, through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Formerly Baker City, 1962-2013
Leslie M. “Bud” Nichols, also known as Leslie M. Heyen, 51, formerly of Baker City, died Sept. 1, 2013, while camping in the great outdoors he loved so much.
Cremation will be in Cottage Grove, and there will be a private family service in the summer.
Bud was born on March 27, 1962, at Roseburg to the late Margaret and Leslie C. Nichols. He was the third of four siblings.
The family moved to Baker City in 1969 and Bud attended Baker City schools, graduating in 1983.
Bud married Teri April in 1989. Two daughters were born to this union. The marriage later ended in divorce.
He married Donna Taylor in 1996. A son was born to this union. The marriage later ended in divorce.
Bud married Tracy Heyen in 2002.
Bud worked for the Union Pacific Railroad, in sawmills and the logging industry throughout his life. He was injured in a logging accident, became disabled, and battled health problems for many years. He enjoyed camping, hunting with rifle and bow, fishing and any excuse to be outdoors.
He is survived by his wife, Tracy Heyen of Yoncalla; his daughter, Chalene Nichols of Baker City; his daughter and son-in-law, Kashia Nichols and Jack Clark, and granddaughter, Aspen Clark of Emmett, Idaho; his son, Leslie “Buddy” Nichols of West Lake Stevens, Wash.; his father and stepmother, Leslie C. and Norma Nichols of Bouse, Ariz.; his sister and brother-in-law, Jodi and Jim Thomas of Baker City; his sister and brother-in-law, Kari Nichols and Jerry Raver of Grandview, Wash.; his brother, Robert Nichols of Madras; several stepchildren and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret Nichols, and his grandmother, Elva Nichols.
Baker City, 1926-2013
John Braxton Bohn, 87, of Baker City died Dec. 24, 2013.
Born at North Powder on Aug. 21, 1926, to Axel and Sada Bohn, he attended both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. John married Mary Roedel and together they had four children.
When he was 24 he opened Bohn’s Clothing Store at 1917 Main St. (formerly Powers Shoe Store and the current location of Zephyr). Levi’s sold for $2.25 a pair. In 1961 the store moved to 2023 Main (currently Bella), then again in 1975 to 2021 Main. In 1995 John sold the business. Levi’s then sold for $36 a pair. John was a successful business man and we fondly remember his store motto “Anyone can get in our pants.”
John was active in city government, the Elks Club, golfing, hunting, fishing, gardening and teasing. He was involved in many local business ventures and good deeds. He was respected by all and a friend to many.
John was happily married to Mary for 63 years. She and their son, Steve, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his three daughters: Jane, Kate, and Chris (Chip Moulds); seven grandchildren; four greatgrandchildren; and his sister, Betty Boersma.
He will be remembered for his practical jokes, being a pillar of the community, his generosity and being the best Dad ever.
John was a special man. He touched many people whether it was around a coffee table, a cocktail table, or a hunting and fishing adventure.
John’s three great-grandsons share his namesake as his legacy lives on.
The family would like to thank the staff at both Settlers Park and Heart N Home for their special care and love during his last years.
Baker City, 1949-2013
William Paul “Bill” Leigh, Jr., 64, of Baker City, died Dec. 26, 2013, at his home with his loving family by his side.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. at the Baker Harvest Church, 3720 Birch St., with Pastor Brad Phillips officiating. A reception will be at the Harvest Church immediately after the service.
Bill was born on Jan. 2, 1949, at Baker to William Paul Leigh Sr. and Elaine Betty Lewis Leigh. They purchased the old Pleasant Valley schoolhouse where Bill spent a good portion of his youth. After graduating from Baker High School in 1967 he moved to Portland to further his career with Safeway. While working at Safeway he noticed a young lady working in the bakery department and found out her name was Cindy Kerby. It did not take him much time to realize she would be the love of his life.
They were married on June 12, 1975, while in Victoria, B.C. When he married Cindy, he realized he also was blessed to become a father to Cindy’s seven-year-old daughter, Penny. Bill began working for Portland Bottling Company and spent many years delivering beverages to grocery stores. In 1979 Bill and Cindy was blessed by having a son, Ryan, who brought them an immense amount of joy.
In 1983 Bill made a career change from delivery man to computer programmer and he had to move his family to Bend,. As his skills and training advanced, a longing to return to his childhood hometown of Baker grew in his heart and when the opportunity presented itself Bill moved to Baker where he became the IT manager of a newly formed Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative during 1988.
Bill loved his family and encouraged each one in their ventures. He became very involved with his son’s sport activities, attending all the games, volunteering to umpire and coach and eventually becoming vice president of the Babe Ruth League. Spending time with his family in the mountains, four-wheeling, hunting, fishing and driving around looking for animals brought him much joy.
Bill’s love for Jesus and faith in God was an important part of his life and you could see his love by the way he always offered a helping hand to anyone who needed his friendship. Bill maintained a positive outlook in life after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and he battled to spend as much time with his family as possible. Bill was an active member of the Harvest Church in Baker City, the Powder River Sportsman’s Club, the National Rifle Association and the retired Men’s Coffee Group.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Cindy Leigh; his daughter and son-in-law, Penny and Phil Lemmon of Baker City; his son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Donna Leigh of Nampa, Idaho; his sister, Judy Ingram of Baker City; his brother-in-law and sister, Lon and Mary Nalder of Oxbow; and three grandchildren, Hayley and Whitney Lemmon and Autumn Leigh.
He was preceded in death by his father, William Leigh Sr.; his mother, Elaine “Hap” Leigh; and his two brothers, Louis and Lyle Ingram.
Memorial contributions by be made to the Harvest Church Missions-YWAM or the Harvest Christian Academy-HCA through Grays West & Company, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR, 97814.
Rhea Ann Woods Bunch, 57, of Durkee, died Dec. 23, 2013, due to complications associated with cancer, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise with her loving family by her side.
A celebration of Rhea’s life will be Saturday, Dec. 28 at 11:30 a.m. at the Durkee Community Building. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception and meal following the service at the Durkee Community Building.
Rhea was born on Oct. 27, 1956, at Covina, Calif., to Richard and Ione Woods. Rhea’s younger years were spent in California. Her family moved to Alamo, Nev., in 1961 and she began grade school in 1962.
Rhea was a great student. At a young age she developed a lifelong love for horses and riding. In 1971 she moved with her family to Weiser, Idaho, where she graduated high school in 1974. Rhea worked various jobs while in school including working in the onion sheds, washing dishes, working as a dispatcher, and working in the assessor’s office.
After high school she attended Treasure Valley Community College where she was a member of the rodeo team. In 1978, Rhea met Rodd Bunch through mutual friends. They were married on Sept. 12, 1981, in Durkee, where they have lived for the past 32 years on the family ranch.
Rhea obtained her Oregon real estate appraisers license before starting her 30-year career as an independent real estate appraiser. During her career she also completed her associate’s degree through Blue Mountain Community College.
Rodd and Rhea have two children: Charlene, born in 1984; and Levi, born in 1986.
Rhea enjoyed reading, working on the ranch, especially during the fall gathering of cows and shipping the calves, and of course following her kids to numerous events and just being a fabulous mom.
Rhea is survived by her husband, Rodd Bunch of Durkee; her daughter, Charlene (Kyle) Henrikson of Roseburg, with a grandchild due in May 2014; her son, Levi (Amanda) Bunch of Durke; her mother, Ione Woods of Durkee; her brothers: Alan (Patty) of Weiser, Rollin (Julie) Woods of Winnemucca, Nev., and Ray (Betsy) Woods of McCall, Idaho; and also numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.
Rhea was preceded in death by her grandparents and her father, Richard Woods.
For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Rhea, the family suggests either the Muscular Dystrophy Association for Joe Davis (son of Heather Vaughan) and Friends, or the Baker County Livestock Producers Foundation Scholarship, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Baker City, 1932-2013
Clayton Young, 81, a lifelong Baker County resident, died Dec. 16, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Care Center-Baker City.
Clayton’s memorial service and a celebration of his life with military honors will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the American Legion Hall, 2129 Second St. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the American Legion Hall.
Clayton was born on June 26, 1932, at Baker City to Charles Henry and Susie Benona York Young. He was the oldest of four children. He attended the Haines Grade School and was a 1950 Baker High School graduate.
While attending high school, Clayton developed a strong work ethic. He was employed on a farm and also worked at a gas station. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Korean conflict and also was stationed at Germany.
Clayton played the alto saxophone in the U.S. Army Band. He was honored to perform for the president at the White House.
Clayton was married in 1956 to Carol Bates, who was also from Baker City. He was very interested in mechanic and electrical work and took many college classes gaining certification.
He then went to work for Clark Electric as an automotive mechanic/electrician, and was employed at the business for more than 30 years. He was also a gifted builder and wood craftsman. He built most of the furniture in his home.
Clayton was a great friend and help to the community he loved, family members said. He always gave a 100 percent at everything he did.
Clayton always had an undying allegiance to his family and friends. His wife, Carol, died in 2003.
The next year, Clayton attended a dance at Community Connection where he met Kathy Doud. It was love at first dance, which started a 10-year romance.
The couple loved being together, dancing and fishing. They enjoyed their yearly trip to the coast and traveled on a cruise to Alaska.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Carol Elaine, who died in February of 2003; daughter, Linda Marie Young; and two brothers, Charles Vernon and Emil Leroy.
Survivors include his son, Joe Sturdivant of Baker City; daughter, Savannah Elaine Sturdivant-Young of Stevenson, Wash.; sister, Aurilla Hubbell of Butte Falls; loving partner, Kathy Doud of Baker City; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and many longtime friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Hall in Baker City through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home PO Box 543 Halfway, Oregon 97834.
Baker City, 1929-2013
Irene Lyons 84, of Baker City, died Dec. 14, 2013, in the Southwest Idaho Advanced Care Hospital.
Graveside services were today at 1 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery with Pastor Tim Fisher of the Elkhorn Baptist Church officiating.
Mrs. Lyons was born on Feb. 6, 1929, at Utleyville, Colo., and was the daughter of Horace K. and Elva Mae (Phillips) Smith. The Smith family moved to Weston, Ore., where she received her education. She married John Lyons on Oct. 18, 1947, at Pasco, Wash.
Mrs. Lyons worked as a bookkeeper for their logging business for 30 years. She also was a cook and housekeeper for the Sisters at St. Francis for four years, cooked six years for Elkhorn Village and worked at H&R Block assisting families with taxes.
In raising her family, spending time with her spouse and grandchildren and extended family and 63 years of marriage, she perfected cooking and baking along with successfully helping others complete income taxes, managing finances with the business with perfection.
Her hobbies were crocheting, arranging flowers, baking, cooking, gardening, restoring furniture, sewing and encouraging others. She attended the Brethren Church and was a member of Methodist Church. She also did volunteer work for the Weston non-profit community organization.
She is survived by her children: daughters, Linda Good of Salem; Carlotta F. Piete of Baker City, son and daughter-in-law, Wayne and Shelly Lyons of Baker City; her sister-in-law, Juanita McCullough of Weston; 10 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren; and also numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John Lyons; her sisters, Laura and Ida Faye; her brothers, Harold “Kirby” and Charlie; her grandson, Brian Good; and her son-in-law, Michael Piete.
Those wishing to make memorial contributions in her memory may direct them to the American Cancer Society, this maybe done through the Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Baker city, OR 97814.
Baker City, 1915-2013
Pearl Josephine Bush, 97, of Baker City died Nov. 20, 2013.
A memorial service will be scheduled later in Arizona.
Pearl was born on Dec. 29, 1915, at Boxes Cove, Ala., to McKinley and Josephine Selby. Her mother died shortly after Pearl was born.
In 1919 at the age of four, she moved from Alabama to Casa Grande, Ariz., with her father and grandparents. Her sister, Gladis, stayed behind in Alabama, and eventually married Ira Travis and had two children, Harry and Carolyn.
Pearl graduated from Mesa High School at Mesa, Arizona. At the age of 19 she met Joseph R. Bush and married him. She was a faithful wife to her husband as she traveled and, at times, worked with him from California to Arizona, Oregon and Nevada.
She gave birth to their first son, Joe R. Bush, on Feb. 12, 1936. On Aug. 3, 1950, she gave birth to Jerry W. Bush at San Diego.
Before Pearl and Joe retired, they managed mini-storage units. She was always full of energy, family members said. She knew no strangers and loved to talk and laugh.
Her husband, Joseph, died on June 25, 2002.
Pearl is survived by those who loved her and were loved by her, family members said.
They include her sons and their spouses, Joe R. Bush and his wife, Nancy, and Jerry W. Bush and his wife, Sandee; grandchildren, Joe Jr., Jeffrey, Jeremy, Aaron and Kristina; great-grandchildren, Mandy, Reese, Kori, Jeffrey II, Marilena Pearl, Aimee, David and Danielle; great-great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Keegon, Kallie, Julie, Jason, Shelby, Jade, Tristine, Kession, Sage, Willow, Raylin, Cali, Jace and Haley; her sister, Gladis Travis; nephew and niece, Harry and Carolyn, and their children Teresa, Stephanie and Jesse.
She also is survived by Geneva Leona Bush, her favorite granddaughter.
“She was always available to her grandmother whenever the need arose to go to the doctor, grocery store, church or needed to visit,” Joe Bush said. “The list goes on an on. Thank you, Geneva, for the love and kindness you extended to your grandmother over the years.”
Memorial contributions may be made to New Hope Church through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Tacoma, Wash., 1948-2013
Diana Lynne Wells, 65, of Tacoma, Wash., died Nov. 13, 2013.
Her life was celebrated Dec. 7 at the University Place Presbyterian Church at University Place, Wash.
Diana was born on May 5,1945, at Omaha and grew up at Kennewick, Wash. She was a graduate of Central Washington College at Ellensburg and taught kindergarten at Tacoma for many years. She retired in 2004.
Diana enjoyed line dancing, traveling, walking beaches and geocaching with her husband, Larry. She was active in the University of Puget Sound Women’s League, serving as treasurer and assisting in coordination of the annual flea market.
For the last several years she coordinated sewing and stuffing of Christmas stockings for children of local food bank families. She was also a child care volunteer for the Mothers of Preschoolers program at University Place Presbyterian Church.
Her family members expressed their appreciation to hospice workers for their compassionate care of Diana.
Survivors include her husband of eight years, Larry Wells; daughter, Anna Cole, and her husband, Jack; stepdaughters, Rhonda, Brenda and Karen; stepgrandchildren, Sierra and Jesse; mother, Marcine; sisters, Rhonda, Holly, Melody and Natalie; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Peck; daughter, Marija; father, Lyle; and brother, Kyle.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Franciscan Hospice House, 2901 Bridgeport Way W., University Place, WA 98466.
Baker City, 1923-2013
Zona M. Clarke, 90, of Baker City, died Nov. 30, 2013, at Meadowbrook Place.
A vigil service will be on Friday, Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. at Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., with a memorial service on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets.
Zona Marie Parker was born on May 6, 1923, at Baker City. As a child she spent time with her grandparents, William and Caroline Colton, while her mother, Nell R. Colton, pursued an education degree in Ashland and Eastern Normal School. She had many memories of her grandparents’ home on Spring Garden Avenue and the Colton family. Zona attended schools in Haines, North Powder and Baker City. During her high school years she lived in Wingville near the Elkhorn Mountains.
She graduated from Baker High School in 1941 and entered Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane. Upon graduation she joined the U.S. Army Nurses Corps and was stationed at the Army Hospital in Spokane then transferred to Fitzsimmon in Denver. As part of a chest surgery team she served in Kwan-Ju, Korea, at the 1st Station Hospital and later in Boop Young-Kwanj-Do, Korea, at the 382nd Station Hospital as a surgery nurse supervisor.
While in Korea she met Capt. F.B. Clarke from Benton, Ill., commanding officer of liaison pilots under General Hodge. They married a year later in 1947 and spent their honeymoon in Okinawa, Japan and Shanghai, China.
F.B. and Zona settled in Wingville. Life was busy and full, raising their six children, running a wheat ranch, harvest time, gardens and canning for the family, all the while working nights at St. Elizabeth Hospital. In the fall of 1961 the farmhouse in Wingville burned to the ground as the family traveled to a church picnic. Together they built a new home. She faced every challenge with a calm grace and determined spirit.
Continuing her nursing career she was director of nursing at both Cedar Manor Nursing Home and St. Elizabeth Hospital. In 1984 she received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University. Upon her retirement, Zona and F.B. joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Patan and Katmandu, Nepal.
Community service included the Oregon State Ethics Board, EOU Foundation Board, memberships in P.E.O and AAUW. She served on the Baker City Golf Board helping to develop the new course and was instrumental in establishing the nursing program at EOU.
The Chamber of Commerce honored her as Legacy Woman of the Year in 1996.
Survivors include her children: Vicki and Glen Herman, and Patti and Ray Stinnett, all of La Grande, Terri and Kevin Bell, Tabor and Dee Dee Clarke, Nelson and Amy Clarke, and Mike and Kim Clarke, all of Baker City; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Patty Hunter; nephew, John and Betty Ann Clarke; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, F.B. Clarke; her mother, Nell Grant; her stepfather, Nelson Sieg; and her sister, Jayne Christjansen.
Zona was a remarkable, kind and valiant woman, her family will miss her.
Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.