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Obituary for Feb. 3, 2014

Elfrida Free

North Powder, 1931-2014

Elfrida Marie Free, 82, of North Powder, died Jan. 29, 2014, at her home with her family by her side.

She was a breast cancer survivor, had knee replacement surgery, and suffered from dementia.  A graveside service for Elfrida took place today.

Obituary for Jan. 31, 2014

Dennis Patterson

North Powder, 1941-2014

Dennis Larry Patterson, 72, of North Powder, died Jan. 29, 2014, at his home of pancreatic cancer with his wife and children at his side.

Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. His graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the North Powder Cemetery. Bishop Brad Allen of the Baker Valley Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception after the graveside service in the multipurpose room at the North Powder School.

Obituaries for Jan. 29, 2014

Leone Haight

Halfway, 1922-2013

Leone Haight, 91, of Halfway, died Jan. 27, 2014.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church in Halfway. There will be a reception afterward at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Fellowship Hall.

Leone was born on May 18, 1922, at Pocatello, Idaho, to John and Flossie Graham. She graduated from Pocatello High and earned her teaching certificate from Idaho State University, at Pocatello, which meant she was never a Bronco fan!

She met her future husband, Don Haight, on a movie set in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Don was playing the part of an extra. They were married on Sept. 6, 1942. 

The war years were spent moving around the Southwest as Don trained to become a fighter pilot. When the war ended, they settled at Ogden, Utah, where their son, John, was born. 

They soon moved to Mitchell, where their daughter, Donna, was born. In 1952, they bought the ranch on Dry Creek and became “newcomers” to Pine Valley.

Leone taught first grade at the Oxbow School one year and substituted in the Halfway schools many times. Her kids’ worst fear was having their mom as a substitute teacher. 

She was an avid gardener and had two green thumbs. Flowers were her favorite, followed closely by various berries, squash, tomatoes, peas and beans. She was always ready to share a plant or cutting. 

In the winter months her windowsills were filled with pots of flowers, including tropical orchids and caladiums that her daughter brought her from Florida.

She was a member of the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church and a volunteer at Jacob’s Dream from its inception. Leone was an avid bridge and pinochle player, and was also known for her sticky buns.

Survivors include her husband, Don; son and daughter-in-law, John and Ranee Haight; daughter and son in-law, Donna and Chip Carter; grandson, Abe; and many cherished friends she considered family.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Jacob’s Dream or the Halfway/Oxbow Ambulance Service, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Robert Schurman

Baker City, 1927-2014

Robert Wenford Schurman, 86, of Baker City died Jan. 26, 2014, at Meadowbrook Place. 

A private service has been held.

Robert was born on Sept. 9, 1927, at Chicago to Wenford R. Schurman and Ruth Burdett Schurman. After completing high school, Raymond spent two years in college, then enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served for more than two years and made the ranking of corporal. 

He then went on to Boeing Co. where he worked as a flight line mechanic for 12 years.

Robert married his wife, Shirley, at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 1984. He retired in 1985.

 Robert enjoyed spending time in the outdoors fishing, and enjoyed communicating on his ham radio.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley of Baker City; sons, Ronald of San Antonio, Richard of Seattle and Robert of Marysville; daughters, Jeane of Lynwood, Wash., and Joane of Bothell, Wash.

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Schurman; mother, Ruth Schurman; and sister, Donna Hanley. 

Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

‘Ron’ Hogg

Baker City, 1935-2014

Ronald Lee “Ron” Hogg, 78, of  Baker City, died Jan. 24, 2014, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.  

Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Coles Tribute Center. Dick Hindman and Bob Harrison will officiate. Private interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Ron will be honored as a veteran by the U.S. Navy Honor Guard from Boise.

Ron was born on Sept. 11, 1935, at North Platte, Neb., to Theodore M. Hogg and Lola Marrott Hogg. His family later moved to Baker City where Ron graduated. 

In 1953, he joined the U.S. Navy and served four years. While in the Navy, Ron met Evelyn Ann Golar. They were married on June 1, 1954, at Winnemucca, Nev. 

In 1957 Ron ended his military with a rank of interior communications electrician third class. After his navy career, Ron worked for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph (now known as AT&T) at San Diego for 15 years.  He then moved the family back to Baker City where he found himself a “jack-of-all-trades” as a business owner, driving truck for Transcon Trucking, driving a mail truck, doing carpentry work for whoever needed work done, working for the Bureau of Land Management and finally working for Cashway Lumber.

 When Ron retired from the workforce, he could never really settle down and enjoy his retirement.  He would always find something to do and would volunteer his time working at the Heritage Museum, Leo Adler House and Historic Baker City. 

Ron also assisted the Baker City community with his time on the “Citizens on Patrol” program.  He enjoyed helping senior citizens by helping on the Senior Health Insurance Assistance program.

Ron was very proud of the fact he received an honorable discharge from the Navy and an honorable discharge from the Oregon State Defense Force with a rank of major.  Ron was a member of the Teamster Union and Friends of the Museum.

For enjoyment, Ron liked woodworking, reading, driving and traveling.

Survivors include his wife, Evelyn, of Baker City; sons, Joseph Hogg of San Diego, and Theodore Hogg of Hillsboro; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore and Lola Hogg; a brother, Clarence; and a son, Michael.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place Street, Baker City, OR  97814.

Obituaries for Jan. 27, 2014

Joyce Calhoun

Baker City, 1935-2014

Joyce Calhoun, 78, died on January 12, 2014 at St. Alphonsus Care Center in Baker City. 

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Elkhorn Baptist Church, 3520 Birch St. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family afterward for a reception at the Missouri Flat Grange at 1050 Hughes Lane. The Grange Hall will be open at noon for those bringing food items for the reception.

Obituary for Jan. 24, 2014

Ernest Thompson

Baker City, 1931-2013

Ernest Lee Thompson, 82, of Baker City died Jan. 13, 2014, at his home.

Ernest was born on Jan. 29, 1931, at Pittsburg, Okla., to Vernon and Matlida J. (Burgess) Thompson. Ernest’s mother passed away when he was 15 so he had to go through school without her.  After completion of high school, Ernest entered the Navy and served for four years. During those four years, Ernest spent most of his time at sea and was proud to serve his country. After leaving the Navy, Ernest became a heavy equipment operator.

Ernest was married to Marilyn and they had two children, a boy and a girl.  He was devoted to his family but lost Marilyn around 1996.  They had made many friends and among one was a lady named Dixie Leath. He and Dixie were friends but Ernest soon found he wanted her as a longtime partner, and Dixie stayed at Ernest side until his passing.

Ernest was a very active person and enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to hunt and fish. Not only did he love the outdoors he also enjoyed indoor games as he loved to bowl and play pool. To relax, he would pick up a book and read.

Ernest also was active in clubs. He belonged to the V.F.W, Eagles, American Legion and Moose lodge.

Ernest is survived by Dixie, his lifetime partner; a son, Ray Thompson of California; a daughter, Mattnae, from Florida; and his brother, Bob Thompson of California.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Vern and Matlida Thompson; his wife, Marilyn Thompson;  and a brother, Bill Thompson.

Arrangements are being handled through Gray’s West & Company, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Obituaries for Jan. 22, 2014

Nancy Mitchell

Kennwick, Wash.

Nancy Kaye Mitchell, 54, of Kennewick, Wash., died Jan. 14, 2014.

Her memorial service will be Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. at the LDS Chapel, 515 S. Union Ct. in Kennewick. Those who would like to share a comment or memory, please visit her Facebook page at Nancy Mitchell Health Update.

Nancy will be interred next to her mother, Beverly Mitchell, at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Obituaries for Jan. 20, 2014

Larry Moura

Baker City, 1954-2014

Larry Moura, 59, of Baker City, died Jan. 13, 2014, at his home.  

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Baker City Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, 2005 Valley Ave. 

Larry Neil Moura was born on March 21,1954, at Baker City to Neil Moura and Arlene Rose Engum Moura.  He was a 1972 Baker High School graduate and attended Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario.

Larry worked at Baker Valley Auto Parts for 22 years in counter sales. He recently started working at O’Reilly Auto Parts. He was very knowledgeable about vehicle parts and repair.

 He married Leslie Peck in November 1989 at Baker City. Larry was an excellent hunter and an avid fisherman. He enjoyed spending time in the mountains going for long drives and walking around in the woods.

He was a member of the Baker Elks, BPOE  No. 338, and the Baker City VFW Post, No. 3048. Larry spent many years with the Baker Elks Drum & Bugle Corps.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William “Bill” and Arlene Clegg; a brother, Tony Moura; and a daughter, Marie Rose Moura.

 Survivors include his wife, Leslie Moura, and step-daughter, Megan Cloyd, both of Baker City; a nephew, Jeff Moura of Ontario; four grandchildren; and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family of Larry Moura through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR   97814.

Nancy Taylor

Haines, 1938-2014

Nancy Ann Taylor, 75, of Haines, died Jan. 15, 2014, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. 

Her private graveside service was at 1 p.m. Monday at the Haines Cemetery. Pastor Jack Hatfield of the Haines First Baptist Church officiated. There will be a celebration of her life at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Haines First Baptist Church.

Nancy was born on Dec. 29, 1938, at Portland to Emerson Teague and Merlyn Young Teague. Her school years were spent at Salem.  It was at Willamette University that she met Keith Taylor. They became engaged in 1957 and later married.

Upon graduating from Willamette University at Salem, she began her teaching career. She taught PE and Spanish for various school districts in Oregon and California. 

She loved teaching and was Teacher of the Year for the Palos Verdes School District in California. She is also listed in the Who’s Who of Women Teachers in the United States.

Nancy was very active in her church and had considered becoming a missionary but was led to teach junior high kids in Sunday school, camps and other activities. She also loved music and directed church choirs wherever she was. 

The choirs responded positively to the music she chose, which was to please and honor the Lord she served, her family said. She was affectionately named “The General.” She most recently became a member of the Haines First Baptist Church. 

 She loved the country lifestyle and was a master gardener. She believed in raising what she ate. She also raised various animals, including goats.

She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and students.

Survivors include her husband, Keith Taylor; and Nelda Marshall, a close friend.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Emerson and Merlyn Teague; a sister, Janet Paulsen; and a brother, Richard Teague.

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

Theresa Kinney

Baker City, 1973-2014

Theresa Marie Kinney, 41, of Baker City, died Jan. 17, 2014, at her home with her family by her side. 

There will be a celebration of her life at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Harvest Christian Church, 3720 Birch St.  Pastor Brad Phillips will officiate. There will be a potluck afterward in the church fellowship hall. 

 Theresa was born on Dec. 8, 1973, at La Mirada Calif. She is the daughter of Rochelle and Ronald Stoaks of Baker City and Robert Flores Sr. of La Grande. 

Theresa graduated from Baker High School and married Richard Kinney. Rick and Theresa’s children are  Kayla Kinney, 21, Jay Kinney, 18, and Tanis Kinney, 16.

Theresa enjoyed crafts, camping, sewing, playing cards and spending time with her friends and family. She devoted much of her time and energy to her family and children.

Survivors include her husband, Richard Kinney of Baker City; three children, Kayla, Jay and Tanis of Baker City; five siblings; Candi Carmona of La Grande, Robert Flores Jr. of Union, Shannon Regan of Baker City and Shelley DeVore of Baker City; her mother, Rochelle Stoaks of Baker City; stepfather, Ronald Stoaks of Baker City; father, Robert Flores Sr. of La Grande; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Cora Elizabeth Casteel.

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

Raymond Seeley

Baker City, 1955-2013

Raymond Hal Seeley, 58, of Baker City, died Dec. 31, 2013, at his residence.

Private services have been held.

Raymond was born on July 9, 1955, at Springfield, Calif.,  to Annie Marie Rhines. Raymond worked various places as a mechanic working on vehicles. 

He also enjoyed fishing and working on landscaping and enjoyed mowing lawn at the Baker City Nazarene Church. Raymond had never married.

Survivors include his brother, Hermes Brown, and his wife, Dana, of Baker City; other brothers and sisters; and a daughter.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Annie; a sister, Lois; and a brother Delbert.

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


Claude Michel

Baker City, 1933-2013

Claude Watkins Michel, 80, of Baker City, died Dec. 30, 2013.

His memorial service and a celebration of Claude’s life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Mountain Baptist Church, 2998 Eighth St. Friends are invited to join the family for a refreshment reception afterward at the church.

He was born on Feb. 19, 1933, at Middleton, Idaho, to R. Marion and Myrtle Michel. He grew up as the youngest of three children on his family’s farm. He was a 1951 graduate of Middleton High School. 

While in school, he met his lifelong sweetheart on a double date. Mom would say he chased her until she caught him, their children said.

After their wedding on June 3, 1951, they lived and farmed near Meridian, Idaho, for eight years. The family moved to Estacada and then to Prineville to continue farming.

After more than 16 years of farming, Claude made a career change and began driving truck. First it was local freight and then it became furniture nationwide, and then freight again nationwide as he drove for Willis Shaw Express for 14 years. Twelve of those years  were shared co-driving with his wife.

After “retirement” he found ways to drive more locally. He moved equipment for his son’s logging business for another 10 years, and until recently worked part time hauling hazmat cleanup diggings. His favorite things to do were driving and being productive, especially if it helped others.

In addition to caring for his family, he enjoyed serving in numerous capacities in all the churches the family attended over the years.

“What we appreciated most about Dad was his willingness to say, ‘Yes,’ to Jesus: ‘Yes, I need you. Yes, I care what you want for me. Yes, I care what you want of me. Yes, I will take Your word seriously,’ ” his children said.

As a result, he demonstrated what it meant “to love your wife and live with her in an understanding way,” they said.

He became an encouraging and instructive father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He lived his faith as a man of honor, integrity and consistency, regardless of his station in life.

A neighbor summed up his character in a recent card, which read, “You are a truly unconditional, non-judgmental and altruistic man of integrity with an incredibly kind heart.” 

That was Claude, and he is missed, his family said.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Velma; their five children and their spouses, Cindy  and Mike Whitmore, of La Grande, Bob and Sally Michel of Rowlett, Texas, Jim and Carla Michel of Baker City, Eric and Diny Michel of Elko, Nev., and Sharon  and Doug Hile, of Avondale, Ariz.; his brother and his wife, Richard and Helen Michel of Nampa, Idaho; sister, Maxine  and Ken Grafham, of Baker City; a niece, Carla Michel; nephews, Brad and Brian Hathaway; 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Marion and Myrtle Michel; his nephew, Tom Michel; and his niece, Becky Hathaway.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice, Lydia.inc. (support for Cambodia orphanage), the Northeast Oregon Compassion Center, Wounded Warrior Project, or the Shriners Children’s Hospital, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


Obituaries for Jan. 17, 2014

Donald Cole

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.

Kain Cardenas

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.

Obituaries for Jan. 15, 2014

Russell Dorran

Hermiston, 1927-2014

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.

Ruth Erwin

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. 

Obituaries for Jan. 10, 2014

Robert Gardner

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.

Richland, 1921-2014

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.

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