Obituaries for the week of Nov. 19 to Nov. 23

November 30, 2001 12:00 am

Virginia Piper

Virginia Lee Piper, 80, a long-time Baker City resident, died Nov. 18, 2001, at her home.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth St. The Rev. Susan Barnes will officiate.

Virginia Piper was born at Bellingham, Wash., on Sept. 14, 1921, to Harold and Irene Rode Villager. She was born in her grandmothers house, as was her mother. She was an only child.

She was raised and educated in Los Angeles, graduating from high school in 1939. In 1940, she attended Sawyer School of Business, after which she worked for Western Airlines in seating reservation during World War II.

During the war, Virginia met Frank Piper through his sister. He was en route to naval training. On his return from Pacific duty, they were married on June 6, 1945, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. They were happily married for 56 years.

The Pipers were living in St. Anthony, Idaho, when their daughters, Penny Lee and Patricia Ann, were born. Subsequently they were transferred to Kealekakua, Kona, Hawaii, by the Soil Conservation Service.

They moved to Baker City in 1958. Virginia worked as a secretary for Baker School District for 15 years.

In Hawaii and Baker, Virginia served as a 4-H leader. She was a deacon and Junior Choir mother for First Presbyterian Church of Baker City. She also performed volunteer secretarial work for the Presbyterian Church.

Virginia was a member for almost 50 years of Order of Eastern Star in Idaho and was active with her daughters in Rainbow Girls in Baker City. After her retirement, she served Meals on Wheels for about 13 years.

In recent years, Virginia enjoyed quilting, bridge and was an avid book reader. She also enjoyed traveling to Denmark, Great Britain, and touring several regions of the United States. In the course of her travels, she researched her family roots and became acquainted with her German ancestors and distant cousins in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Virginia is loved and will be missed by her family.

Survivors include her husband, Frank; children, Penny and her husband, Roger Hunt, and their three children, Paul, Heidi and Aaron, of South Pasadena, Calif., and Patti, her husband, Joe Luckeroth, and their two children, Mark and Greg, of Beaverton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charitable works of the Shriners Hospital for Children or a charity of ones choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Berniece Cockram

Berniece E. Cockram, 88, of Baker City died Nov. 19, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Care Center after a short illness.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St. Pastor David Hahn of the Desert Cross Lutheran Church at Tempe, Ariz., will officiate. Vault interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery

Berniece was born at Wilson Creek, Wash., on Feb. 23, 1913, to J.Q. and Docia Lynch Freeman. She moved to Baker City as a small child to the homestead ranch on Sutton Creek south of Baker City.

She attended schools in the country and in Baker City and was a 1931 Baker High School graduate. She married Ernest Cockram on Sept. 8, 1934. They made their home in Baker City until 1957, when they moved to La Grande to operate their wholesale grocery business.

She was a homemaker until her children were grown and then worked as a receptionist for Dr. Bryce Young for several years before retiring. In 1999, she moved back to Baker City to be close to family. She was an active member of First Lutheran Church in Baker City and Zion Lutheran Church in La Grande.

Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law, Freeman and Shirley of Vancouver, Wash., Fred of Baker City and John and Tonya of Scottsdale, Ariz.; eight grandchildren, Michelle and Collin Kaseberg, Cherie and Craig Ward and Daryl Cockram, all of Baker City, Jeanne and Scott Mohr of Vernonia, Ann and Rick Giles of Vancouver, Wash., Linda and Jeff Sandberg of Newberg, Kacey and David Hahn of Tempe, Ariz., and Keri Cockram of Scottsdale, Ariz; 13 great-grandchildren and seven stepgreat-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Bea Jordan of Washington; and three nephews, two nieces and many friends in La Grande and Baker City.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a brother, a daughter-in-law, two great- grandchildren and a nephew.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Lutheran Church of Baker City, Zion Lutheran Church of La Grande or Doernbecher Childrens Hospital. This may be done through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Carla White

Carla Ann Pierce White, 54, of Hillsboro, a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 1, 2001, at Aloha.

Disposition was by cremation. There was a memorial gathering of family and friends.

Mrs. White was born on March 14, 1947, at Baker City to Ward and Dorothy Pierce. She graduated from the Emanuel School of Nursing in Portland in 1969.

She worked as a registered nurse in the emergency room at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland for a time and also for Dr. Forrest Bump at Forest Grove.

She was a longtime Hillsboro resident and a member of the Hillsboro United Methodist Church. She was a volunteer for the American Red Cross and the Washington County Health Department.

Survivors include a son, Casey White of Fort Worth, Texas; a daughter, Kara Woodward of Newberg; two grandsons, Jessy and Brittin; a brother, Tracy Pierce of Coquille; and a sister, Paula Lynn of Burns.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, 1650 N.W. Naito Parkway, Suite 190, Portland, OR 97209.

Ole Van Ocker

Elmer Ole Van Ocker, 87, of Baker City, died Nov. 19, 2001, at St. Lukes Regional Medical Center in Boise.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Ralph Holcomb will officiate.

Elmer was born Nov. 30, 1913, at Walla Walla, Wash., to Edna and Ernest Van Ocker. He attended school and graduated from Weston High School at the age of 16.

He was a life-long mechanic and worked mostly on farm and diesel equipment. He had his own repair shop at Haines from 1955 through 1969. From there he went to work at International Harvester Co. in Moro until 1971. He moved to Baker City and was the city shop foreman until his retirement.

In 1933, Elmer married Virginia Wilson at Walla Walla. They both enjoyed fishing and camping all of their lives.

Elmer was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Mildred Skeen.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia of Baker City; sons, Garry Van Ocker and his wife Joan, of Athena, Steve Van Ocker and his wife, Barbra, of Boise; a daughter, Joan Rice of Athena; grandchildren, Mark Van Ocker, and his wife, Allison, of Milton-Freewater, Megan Peterson and her husband, Bryan, of Gig Harbor, Wash., Scott Van Ocker and his wife, Tracy, and Amber Van Ocker, all of Boise, and Jim Rice of Florida; great-grandchildren, Camdon and Kailey Van Ocker of Milton-Freewater, Page and Demie Van Ocker of Boise and Jacob and Clayton Rice of Florida.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker City Elks Lodge through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Gladys Lee

Gladys E. Lee, 96, a longtime Baker City resident, died Nov. 18, 2001, at St Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Roger Scovil of Baker City Christian Church will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Visitations will be until 7 oclock tonight at the funeral home.

Mrs. Lee was born Oct. 29, 1905, at Exeter, Mo., to Charles and Rosa Ridenour. Gladys Ridenour and James Larkin Lee were married in the spring of 1924. She was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Mrs. Lee loved the outdoors, especially gardening. She was very talented musically, and provided many hours of entertainment to her family by playing the organ. Her family was very important to her as she was to them. She was an excellent cook, and enjoyed having friends and relatives in for meals. Her family voted her as the best cook in the world!

She was loved by all her family and friends, including her caregivers at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Survivors include her son, Bill Lee of Baker City; sisters Marge Smith and her husband, Smitty, Doris Alderson and her husband, Buck, of Baker City; a brother, Buck Ridenour and his wife, Naomi, of Fayetteville, Ark.; sister-in-law, Dean Ridenour of Hayden Lake, Idaho; grandchildren, Glenda Cole and husband, Don, of Hermiston, Pat Elms and husband, Ed, of Baker City, Greg Hallgarth and wife, Coby, of La Grande, Lorna Smith, of Walla Walla, Wash., Susan Schroeder and her husband, Forrest, and Bill Lee Jr. and wife, Shandra, of Baker City; great-grandchildren, Chris Elskamp of Clarkston, Wash., Michele Elskamp of Portland, Russ Elms and Ryan Elms of Baker City, Sara Smith of Walla Walla, Tyson Hallgarth of Roseburg, Jacob Hallgarth of Colorado, Kylee Hallgrath of La Grande, and Otis Schroeder and Emily Schroeder of Baker City; great-great grandchildren, Erin Elms and Madison Elms of Baker City, Jacob Elskamp of Clarkston, and Levi Selves; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Lee; mother and father, Charles and Rosa Ridenour; sisters, Grace Bradshaw, Gertrude Griffin and Goldie Walburn; a brother, Leonard Ridenour; a daughter, Loretta Hallgarth; a son-in law, Glen Hallgarth; and a daughter-in-law, JoAnn Lee.

Memorial contributions may be made to charity of ones choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, Oregon 97814.

James Rose Sr.

James Russell Rose Sr., 87, a longtime Baker City resident, died Nov. 17, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Heath Services.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Baker City Christian Church, 2998 Eighth St. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be until 8 oclock tonight at Grays West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave.

Mr. Rose was born and raised at Ontario. He married Marion Phyllis Frazier in September of 1935. He worked several jobs before moving to Pondosa in 1944, where he worked at the mill there until it closed in 1958.

The family moved to Baker City in 1962 and after his retirement from the city he continued working as a volunteer with Community Connection. For more than 30 years he drove dial-a-bus and for the last few years he helped in the kitchen. He was named state Volunteer of the Year in 1997. He also worked and served his church (The First Christian Church of Baker City.)

An avid dancer, he and his wife attended dances in the area. He loved the mountains and camped in them as much as possible. Many people benefited from his woodworking skills.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion; his son, Clyde Ed Rose; and sisters, Vera Oliver, Bessie Henry and Ethel Parker.

Survivors include his daughters, Nancy Dickison of Elizabethton, Tenn., and Kay Rose of Corvallis; a son, James Russell Bud Rose Jr. of Kennewick, Wash.; sisters, Nellie Reed of Olympia, Wash., and Helen Pennington of New Plymouth, Idaho; grandsons, Wade Dickison of Seymour, Tenn., J. Scott Rose of Olympia, Wash., Russell Dickison of Kansas City, Mo., Troy Rose of Newberg and Larry Dickison of Elizabethton, Tenn.; granddaughters, Trudy Rose-Waggoner of McDade, Texas, and Jenina Rose-Peltier of Mountain Home, Idaho; and three great-granddaughters and three great-grandsons.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker City Christian Church or Community Connection through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Goldie Bittenbender

Goldie Faye Bittenbender, 90, of North Powder, died Nov. 15, 2001, at home from complications associated with pneumonia.

She requested there be no funeral. Her family will schedule a memorial service later.

She was born Goldie Farmer in Neosho, Mo., on Sept. 20, 1911. She married Lois Marks in 1931. He died in 1943 during World War II. Goldie married Al Bittenbender in 1945. Mr. Bittenbender died in 1987.

Goldie said one of her favorite things was that she and Lou never missed a Saturday night dance. She also loved to tag along with Al on his hunting and fishing trips. She spent the last several years enjoying her grandkids, Tyler and Megan Hufford.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Maude; her father, Frank; four brothers, Earl, Delmer, Bert and Bill Farmer; and a sister, Eura Barnes.

Survivors include her son, Gene Marks of North Powder; a daughter, Pat Bittenbender of Walnut Creek, Calif.; a grandson, Jim Marks; a granddaughter, JoAnne Hufford; great-grandkids, Tyler and Megan Hufford; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Doernbecher Childrens Hospital or the North Powder Quick Response Team through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Robert Mudd

Robert Linton Mudd, 87, of Union, died Nov. 15, 2001, at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

There was a celebration of life service in his honor today at Loveland Funeral Chapel in La Grande. Pastor Ray Bates and assistant paster Jim Meyers of the Sonrise Free Methodist Church officiated.

Mr. Mudd was born on May 14, 1914, to Jacob and Grace Quible Mudd in Bassett, Neb. He moved to Union from Crawfordsville 25 years ago.

Mr. Mudd enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 24, 1945, at St. Louis, Mo. He married Nell Anderson on Aug. 25, 1946, at Broken Bow, Neb.

He attended the University of Nebraska, Diesel and Electric Trade and Agricultural School. He worked as a rancher and mechanic for 46 years. He was a deacon of the Christian Missionary Alliance for the Nazarene Church in Union. He also was a member of the Sonrise Free Methodist Church in La Grande. He enjoyed listening to music.

Survivors include his wife of Union; children, Barbara A. Toweill of Yakima, Wash., Janet Conyers of Gresham, J. Theodore Ted Mudd and Terry L. Mudd, both of Union, Kathy Hardrath of Baker City, Robert Mudd of Kimberly, and Joyce Stevens of Payette, Idaho; sisters, Marjorie Gibbs of Lincoln, Neb.; grandchildren, Nathan Stevens, Isaac Stevens, Timothy Stevens, Dan Toweill, Allen Toweill, Linda Toweill, Ben Conyers, Janeen Conyers, Latina Erickson, Lorissa Erickson, Jennifer Mudd, Michelle Mudd, Abel Burnett, Jeremy Mudd, Kariann Mudd, Jesse Mudd, Sandra Mudd, Kevin Mudd, Victoria Mudd, William Hardrath, Jason Hardrath, Nathan Mudd, Mathew Mudd and Kirsten Mudd.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, M. Louise Erickson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Building Fund of the Sonrise Free Methodist Church.

Nancy Weeks

Nancy E. Weeks, 77, of Portland, a former Baker City resident, died Nov. 16, 2001, at a Portland care home.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Peace House in Portland.

Mrs. Weeks was born on Sept. 8, 1924, at Portland to Walter and Nan Beason. As a child, she moved with her family to Baker City where she was raised and educated. She was a 1942 Baker High School graduate.

After graduating, she returned to Portland where she met William G. Weeks. Mr. Weeks was honorably discharged from the military after serving in World World II. The couple were married at Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church in Portland in the mid 40s.

After their marriage, Mrs. Weeks cared for their home and family while living at Oceanside and Astoria. They returned to Portland in 1955 and had lived there since.

Mr. Weeks died in 1974. As time passed, Mrs. Weeks worked part time for the U.S. Census Bureau as a census taker. She retired in 1986.

Her love of travel took her to Europe, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Italy and Alaska. She also was an avid golfer and loved to go to Spirit Mountain Casino. She also loved to bowl and to read.

Survivors include a daughter, Karen Kemp of Vancouver, Wash.; sons, Stephen Weeks of Vancouver and Daniel Weeks of Portland; a brother, Robert Beason of Eugene; her faithful companion, Charlie; and two grandchildren, Kristine and Joseph Kemp.

Memorial contributions may be made to Grief Watch in care of Peace House, 2116 N.E. 18th Ave., Portland, OR 97212.

Inez Rumney

Inez Rumney, 93, of Prairie City, a former La Grande resident, died Nov. 16, 2001, at Blue Mountain Nursing Home at Prairie City.

There was a celebration of her life Sunday at the Island City Cemetery.

Mrs. Rumney was born on March 12, 1908, to William H. and Bessie Rimbey Fields at Elgin where she attended school. She met Stuart Francis Rumney in a construction camp where she was cooking.

The couple were married on Oct. 13, 1928, at Walla Walla, Wash. They lived mainly in La Grande and later moved to Island City. Mr. Rumney worked as a heavy equipment mechanic and operator in the construction industry.

Mrs. Rumney worked for the American Optical Co. and for Dr. Ralston and Dr. Pearl in La Grande as an optician.

She enjoyed gardening and her roses. She loved to knit from a kit. She also loved the outdoors and loved fishing. She always caught fish.

Survivors include her brother, Vern Fields of John Day; a niece, Meredith Ediger of Mount Vernon; a nephew, William Fields of Canyon City; and two sisters-in-law, Vida Fields of Union and Elizabeth Fields of La Grande.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, Ilo and Edward.