Levi Brence: 21, of Baker City, died April 8, 2014, at his home. Gray’s West & Co. is in charge of arrangements.
Jeanne Tharp: The rosary will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at St. Therese Catholic Church in Halfway. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the Pine Valley Grange Hall in Halfway after the service. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Therese Catholic Church or to the Halfway/Oxbow Ambulance Service through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Elizabeth Marie “Betty” Veleke Rud: Memorial service, 11 a.m., Saturday, April 12, at Crossroads Carnegie Art Center, 2020 Auburn Ave.
Sid Johnson: Celebration of Life service, 11 a.m., Monday, April 21, at the Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. Coles Tribute Center is in charge of arrangements.
James Lowell “Jim” Sells and Susan Marie Spence-Sells: Joint memorial service and a celebration of their lives, 11 a.m., Saturday, April 26, at the Haines United Methodist Church.
Benny Smelcer: Graveside memorial service, 1 p.m., Saturday, April 26, at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church.
Formerly Halfway, 1920-2014
Jeanne Cathrine Tharp, 93, a former Halfway resident, died March 26, 2014, at Copper Summit Assisted Living Center in Pocatello, Idaho, with her family by her side.
The rosary will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at St. Therese Catholic Church in Halfway, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward, at the Pine Valley Grange Hall.
Childress, Texas, 1969-2014
Raymond W. Chase, 44, of Cuba, Mo., and formerly of Baker City and Union, died March 20, 2014, at Childress, Texas.
His memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Pastor Jesse Whitford will officiate.
Bozeman, Mont., 1932-2014
Jean Griffith, 81, of Bozeman, Mont., a former Haines-area resident, died March 30, 2014.
Her funeral was Tuesday in the Spring Hill Presbyterian Church at Bozeman.
The family will announce plans for a local service later.
Baker City, 1933-2014
Sanford Benjamin “Ben” Mewhirter, 81, of Baker City died March 13, 2014, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise.
There will be a celebration of his life at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Baker City Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, 2005 Valley Ave.
Ben was born on Feb. 12, 1933, at Sturgis, S.D., to Sanford Benjamin Mewhirter Sr. and Margaret Benoist Mewhirter. He was half American Indian and was a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of Eagle Butte, S.D.
At age 16, Ben enlisted in the National Guard, followed by serving six years in the U.S. Navy and three years for the U.S. Army Corps. He finished his active duty in 1960 and worked the next 22 years for the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Milpitas, Calif.
Ben was first married to Yachiyo Nanaka of Japan who had a daughter, Judy. They divorced in 1977, and in 1978, he married his “wife for life,” JoAnna Kirkman, who had five children: Dean, Dan, Julie, Rita and Rick.
After the Ford plant closed in 1983, Ben worked at a company that manufactured camper shells, a residential home for the mentally handicapped, and a tour bus company. In 1996, Ben and JoAnna moved to San Luis Obispo, Calif., where Ben drove a van to transport mentally and physically handicapped people.
In 2002, the couple bought a home at Baker City and Ben worked seasonally for the U.S. Forest Service. In 2008, JoAnna was moved to an assisted living center at San Jose, Calif.
After his separation from JoAnna, Ben decided to spend his final years surrounded by Oregon’s open-spaces, beauty, and charm, family members said.
Ben accepted the Lord as his savior and went to church throughout the years. He enjoyed fishing and being in the outdoors.
Ben was a very quiet, gentle, caring, and kind man, and always went above and beyond to help others. He is deeply loved and will be greatly missed, family members said.
Survivors include his wife, JoAnna Mewhirter; daughters, Judy Segura of Gilroy, Calif., Julie (Tim) Perry of Atascadero, Calif., and Rita Burns of San Jose, Calif; sons, Dean (Cathy) Lees of Atascadero, Calif., Dan Lees of Baker City and Rick (Lynda) Rodarte of San Jose, Calif; niece, Cheri Davidson of Eagle Butte, S.D.; nephews, Sanford Gabe of Ft. Thompson, S.D., and Kevin Mewhirter of Eagle Butte, S.D.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Estelle Marie.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Northeast Oregon Compassion Center, 1250 Hughes Lane, Baker City, OR 97814.
Baker City, 1928-2014
Gustav “Gus” Sword, 85, of Baker City, died March 25, 2014, at his home.
His memorial service was Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City. Interment was at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Gus Sword was born on June 2, 1928, at the old Protestant Hospital in Baker City to Efraim “Ed” and Anna Sword. He was raised and educated at Baker and was a 1946 Baker High School graduate.
Gus was drafted into the U.S. Army on Oct. 1, 1950, during the Korean War and served at the Ordnance Supply Depot in Japan.
He married Cleta Faye Simrell on April 29, 1955. They had a son, Joseph Carl, and daughter, Carol Jean.
He worked for the Howard Jones-John Deer Tractor Co. Later, he worked at Burnt River Lumber Co. and retired from Ellingson Lumber Co. He was a lifelong member of the Calvary Baptist Church. His Christian faith and family were very important to him, family members said.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Cleta; children, Joseph Sword, and Carol and her husband, Bob Whelan; brother, Don Sword and his wife, Evelyn, of Vale; special nieces, Neva Walter Clark of Nevada, Jeanne Walter Gillert of Texas, and Laura Sword Hancock of Vale; sister-in-law, Betty Simrell of Costa Rica; brothers-in-law, Barry Simrell and his wife, Esther, of Milton-Freewater, Norman Simrell and his wife, Luella, of Prairie City, and Robert Simrell and his wife, Vicki, of Eugene; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Viola, and her husband, John Walter; and nephew, Steven Sword.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church Memorial Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Donald D. “Pete” Boice, of Richland, died March 21, 2014, at his home.
There was a gathering, celebration and stories of Pete’s life Sunday, March 30, at the Shorthorn Restaurant in Richland.
He was born on Sept. 18, 1930, at Brackenridge, Pa., to Walter D. and Florence M. Behning. He graduated from high school at Brackenridge. After work in steel mills, ranches and lumber camps, he attended college at Fort Collins, Colo., where he met and married Frances R. Heywood.
He worked his way through school, and his education in geology eventually led him to management level positions with cement plants around the world, from Rogue River and Grants Pass in Oregon, to Trident, Mont., Apple Valley, Calif., Marietta, Ga., Jakarta, Indonesia, and Morgan City, La.
His last position was with US Steel in Trenton, Mich., where he was vice president of the lime and gypsum division. He retired in Elgin, and then moved to Richland.
Pete loved fishing, hunting, camping, and puttering in the shop, family members said. He will be greatly missed by his family, and his dog, Hector.
Survivors include his four children, Karen, Dave, and Kevin, all of Montana, and Dan of Michigan; grandchildren, Brad, Jenny, Amanda, James, Peter and Ben; nine great-grandchildren; his sister, Jean Schaeffer; nieces, Linda, Michelle and Laura; nephews, Bob, Bill and Lane; and his aunt, Betty Blackmore.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Jack.
Memorial contributions may be made to Ducks Unlimited through the online memorial page http://www.ducks.org/tributes/Donald%20D.%20%22Pete%22%20Boice, or sent to the Baker Chapter through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Baker City, 1923-2014
Patricia Louise “Patty” Perry, 91, of Baker City, died March 17, 2014, at the Partners In Care Hospice House at Bend. It was St. Patrick’s Day and her 91st birthday.
Her graveside funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at the Eagle Point National Cemetery in Eagle Point. There will be a memorial service in her honor at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Agape Christian Center, 650 Highway 7, in Baker City.
Patricia was born on March 17, 1923, at Mishawaka, Ind., to Grant and Myrtle Wynegar. She grew up in Indiana and graduated from high school at South Bend.
She married Burt B. Perry in 1953 at Costa Mesa, Calif. After moving the family to Oregon, Patricia worked as a school bus driver for the Grants Pass School District for many years.
Patty was well-known for having a big heart, family members said. She enjoyed traveling, spending time with her friends from church and providing ministry at the Powder River Correctional Facility.
She particularly loved her dog, Hayley. She was a member of the Agape Christian Center in Baker City, and a past member of the Red Hat Society.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Burt Perry; and her son, Rick Schricker, and his wife, Leslie; and one brother.
Survivors include her daughter, Debbie (Frank) Davis; her grandchildren, Jeff Schricker, Jayme Schricker, Matthew Davis and Francesca (Ben) Kenfield; and her great-grandchildren, Jonny and Sebastian Kenfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Partners In Care Hospice, 2075 N.E. Wyatt Court, Bend, OR 97701 or at www.partnersbend.org.
Baird Funeral Home of Bend is in charge of arrangements.
Jamie M. Snodgrass, 46, of Texas, a former Baker City resident, died March 23, 2014, in Texas.
There will be a candlelight vigil in her honor at 6 p.m. Saturday at Geiser-Pollman Park. For more information, call Daisy Carrier, 541-519-3406.
Jamie loved rock climbing and collecting, watching birds, swimming and camping. She loved the outdoors. In addition to her Baker City and Texas homes, she also had lived in Washington.
Survivors include her mother, Mary Eskridge; her father, Marshall “Poppy” Eskridge; her partner, Michelle Standley; sons, Robert Osborn and his family, and Albert “Little Man” Rowley; her uncle, Chris Specht; and her daughter, Daisy Carrier.
Baker City, 1921-2014
Mary Hopkins, 93, of Baker City, died March 19, 2014, at Settlers Park Assisted Living Community, in the embrace of loving family and compassionate caregivers.
Her memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The family has invited all attending the service to share a dinner with them after the service.
Mary was born on Jan. 22, 1921, in Michigan. She was the second of four daughters born to Frank and Gertrude Howland.
Her early years were spent with her family in Eastern Oregon and Idaho, including a part of the Cambridge Valley, known then and now as Advent Gulch. It was there she met her future husband, Orin Hopkins. They were married on Dec. 8, 1938.
Colville, Wash., 1933-2014
Nancy Catherine Bates Fee, 80, of Colville, Wash., died March 20, 2014, at her family home after a long illness.
Her memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Baker United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St.
Nancy was born on Dec. 18, 1933, at Baker City to John and Hazel Gilbert Bates. She was one of five children.
Formerly Baker City, 1977-2014
Nathaniel Lee Johnson, 36, a former Baker City resident, died March 12, 2014, in Bend.
His funeral was March 17 at Harvest Church in Baker City with Pastor Brad Phillips officiating, followed by interment at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Nathan, his family’s gift from God, was born Sept. 7, 1977, at Baker City to Gary L. and Anita L. Johnson. He joined a sister, Melodie Eve.
Bert W. Vanderwall, 86, of Haines, one of the true pioneers of skiing, died March 13, 2014, surrounded by his family.
There will be a viewing from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. There will be a celebration of his life at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. There will be a graveside service afterward at the Haines Cemetery.
He was born on Feb. 8, 1928, at Haines to Roy and Loddie Hornbeck Vanderwall. He joined a brother, Royal, and was preceded in death by a brother, Garrett.
Bert attended Muddy Creek School and graduated with the last graduating class from Muddy Creek High School in 1947, riding his horse to school all year long.
Bert’s passion was skiing and he made many trips to the Little Alps and Anthony Lakes prior to the ski area being active, by hiking to the top. This was often a nine-hour day for only a couple of trips off the mountain for pleasure. Bert and his dad were instrumental in helping to create and open the ski area as we know it today.
Bert married his high school sweetheart, Betty Cox, on Aug. 6, 1948. They had three daughters: Rhea, Hilda, and Roberta.
Bert briefly attended Oregon State University at Corvallis, but returned to work on the Muddy Creek farm when his Dad was injured in an accident. He quit farming when he and Betty bought Anthony Lakes Summer Resort.
Bert drove logging truck and then worked construction for more than 35 years. His favorite machine was a Cat 235 excavator. He loved that machine!
Bert was a ski instructor for more than 50 years, and on the Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol (ALSP). All three of his daughters followed in his footsteps and became members of ALSP. All of his kids and grandkids have followed the family tradition and become skiers.
Bert was a legend at Anthony and for many he really was “Anthony Lakes.” If you ever skied on the mountain, undoubtedly you knew Bert or at least skied Bert’s Run. Bert was mountain manager and ski host for years.
In 2012, Bert received the Gemutlichkeit Award given out by Oregon Ski Magazine. This award is given to those who are known for their “comfortable ambience, friendliness, informality, coziness, snugness, good nature, pleasantness, approachability, easy going nature, warm, amicability.” This was BERT!
He loved to sing and play songs. He was often up at Anthony Lakes to lead the Easter Sunrise service with his music. He was a very active member of the Haines Baptist Church and in the choir, and really enjoyed his time spent volunteering and spiritually mentoring inmates.
After retiring, Bert became involved with the Small Woodlands Association. He served on the board of directors, earning the distinction of first runner-up for Tree Farmer of the Year, while tree farming their forest properties.
He was often found using his sawmill to help build fencing rails, or whatever anyone wanted. He loved spending time out tinkering with wood in his shop, using wood that he got for himself in the mountains. He made numerous small tables and figurines.
“What we will always remember is his contagious smile, great attitude, and friendly demeanor, which he maintained through his last days,” family members said. “Next time you’re at Anthony Lakes, ski a few runs for Bert.”
Survivors include his wife, Betty; his three daughters, Rhea Patton (Jim), Hilda Knight (Bill), and Roberta Vanderwall; his grandkids, Kristie Osborn, Bert Huddleston (Tobey), Wendy Secl (Kelly), Amanda Bowman (Travis), Miryka Donovan (Bill), and Riley Huddleston; and 11 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol or the Haines First Baptist Church.