Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

By Terri Harber


Baker City's Airport Commission has withdrawn its proposal to rename the city-owned airport for Mabry J. Anders, the 21-year-old Baker City soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last August.

Commissioners discussed the matter during their Thursday meeting and decided instead to create a memorial to Anders at the airport.

The Baker City Municipal Airport is also known as Heilner Field, a name that honors Joseph Heilner, a Baker City attorney and aviation enthusiast who was instrumental in building the airport.

Anders' mother and stepfather, Genevieve and Troy Woydziak, own Baker Aircraft, the fixed-based operator at the airport.

Anders worked at the business and he enjoyed flying.

The Airport Commission met Jan. 17 to consider the proposal by commissioner Joshua DeCarl to rename the airport for Anders.

All four members of the seven-person commission who attended that meeting voted in favor of recommending the City Council change the name.

Councilors discussed the matter during their Feb. 12 meeting but they declined to make a decision on the commission's request.

Details about the Anders memorial haven't been decided. A local nonprofit organization probably would oversee the private fundraising campaign, possibly the Baker City Lions Club, said Terry Schumacher, who's chairman of the Airport Commission and a Lions Club member.