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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.


Obituaries for Dec. 30, 2013


Earline Morris

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 Tilgner

Richland, 1926-2013

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.


Obituaries for Jan. 8, 2014


Earnest Blair

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. 

Velma Shults

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.

‘Bud’ Nichols

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.


Obituaries for Jan. 1, 2014


John Bohn

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.

‘Bill’ Leigh

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.


Obituary for Dec. 27, 2013


Rhea Bunch

Durkee, 1956-2013

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.


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