Virginia Thomas

Baker City, 1923-2013

Virginia Thomas, 89, died peacefully Nov. 9, 2013, at her home at Settler's Park.

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Calvary Baptist Church, 2130 Fourth St. A luncheon will be served afterward.

Virginia was born on Dec. 30, 1923, at New Brunswick, N.J., to Gilbert Irving Runyon and Sarah Elizabeth Brokaw. She was the first of eight children.

Virginia delighted in spending time with her brother and sisters on the dairy farm where they grew up.

After graduating from Princeton High School, she worked in a defense plant until an opportunity opened for the government to pay for nursing students during the war. The war ended prior to her graduation, so she was never sent overseas.

She worked in various hospitals on the East Coast before she and a nursing friend loaded up their cars and headed West. She ended up at Condon, where she met and married Volney Thomas. They have one daughter, Tamera Alice Thomas Pierce. The marriage later ended in divorce.

Virginia moved to New Mexico to be near her sister, Joyce, where she stayed for about 30 years. She later moved to Baker City to be near her daughter, Tamera, and her family.

Virginia had done extensive genealogy research, at Rutgers University and other places back east, tracing some of her ancestors to the Mayflower. She had many interesting stories to tell, and loved to be with her siblings and to hear about their adventures and the adventures of her numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren who she enjoyed.

Virginia worked in many areas of nursing, enjoying caring for others. She was a school nurse in Wheeler County and worked in labor and delivery, postpartum and in a doctor's office, on the surgical floor and in nursing homes.

Survivors include her only daughter, Tamera Alice Pierce, and her husband, Robert; her grandchildren, Crystal, Danielle, and Lloyd Pierce and Lloyd's wife, Rayne; her sisters, Barbara Quick, Joyce Curry and her husband, Jack, Alberta Beckstead, and Sally Fulper and her husband, Robert; her brother-in-law, Fred Bahrenberg; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her infant sister, Janet; brother, Herbert Runyon; and sister, Nancy Bahrenberg.

She will be interred with them in the spring in New Jersey where a memorial service for her family and friends will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Adria Blakeney

College Place, Wash., 1925-2013

Adria Mae Blakeney, 88, died Nov. 24, 2013, at Regency at The Park in College Place, Wash.

She was born on March 16, 1925, at Hot Springs, S.D., to Clarence and Darrell Adria Canfield Huxford. Adria was a woman of fortitude, pragmatism, and a keen sense of justice. In addition to raising a large family, she supported the values of a Christian education for her children and sacrificed to that end, family members said.

She had an affinity for and worked with the elderly in various capacities, as well as with youth at the Juvenile Justice Center in La Grande. Her last job as a bank courier gave her the opportunity to drive and enjoy the changing scenery of the Eastern Oregon she loved.

In 2011, she left her home at La Grande and resided in the Walla Walla, Wash., area until her death.

"There are not enough words to say Thank You to the staff at Regency at The Park for their care of our mother," her children said. "A special Thank You to Skyler and to Walla Walla Community Hospice."

Survivors include her seven children, Dr. Barton (Janet) Moore of College Place, Wash., LaVonne (Dr. Doug) Wood of Oak Harbor, Wash., Lynda DuChene of Tigard, Larry (Cindy) Moore of Milton-Freewater, Pat Rima (George Marlton) of Walla Walla, Wash., Kay (Rick) Cooksley of Canyonville and Brittany Hughes of La Grande; her sister, Olive Anne Strailman of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; her brother, Herbie Huxford of Bremerton, Wash.; 18 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362, is in charge of arrangements.

Family and friends may write memories and sign an online guestbook at