Obituaries for the week of June 3 to June 7

June 07, 2002 12:00 am

‘Dick' Backlund

Richard A. "Dick" Backlund, 71, of Baker City, died June 1, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

There will be a celebration of his life from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 7, at the Eagles Lodge, 2935 H St.

Richard, or "Poppy," as his grandchildren called him, was born on Feb. 26, 1931, at Everett, Wash., to Leonard and Berniece Backlund. He attended schools at Everett, Wash. He served in the U.S. Army in 1949, and was in the Korean War. He then was stationed at Fort Belvore, Va.

He worked as a mechanic at Chet Smith Garage, at the Ellingson mill and at St. Elizabeth Hospital until his retirement in 1994.

Dick enjoyed life and always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his blue eyes. He also enjoyed his garden, which he shared with his wife, Donna. They were married in 1991.

Dick liked fishing, camping and carpentry work and very much loved his dog, "Sassy."

He had been a member of the Moose Lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Eagles Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Leslie, William and Roland Backlund; and his parents, Leonard and Berniece Backlund.

Survivors include his wife, Donna Backlund; sons, Rick Backlund of Fort Royal, Va., and Rob Backlund and his wife, Lorrie, of Baker City, sons by his first wife; sisters, Nan Martin of Baker City, Beverly Diggins ad her husband, Don, of Wallowa, Sue Braughton and her husband, George, of Baker City and Kathy Kissire and her husband, Kerry, of Baker City; grandchildren, Robby, Randy, Kelsie and Raymond Backlund, all of Baker City and Corey Backlund, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps; two great-granddaughters, Sierra and Ashlie; stepchildren, Ken, Joe and Steve Kowing and Cindy Davis; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to Doernbecher Children's Hospital or donations will be accepted to help with funeral expenses through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Chuck' Wilson

Charles Earl "Chuck" Wilson, 61, of Baker City, died June 1, 2002, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise.

His graveside funeral will be at 3 p.m. Friday at the Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Leonard Hill of the Halfway Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officiate. There will be a potluck afterward at the Halfway Lions Park.

Chuck was born on Nov. 19, 1940, to Frank and Martha Connor Wilson at Cambridge, Idaho.

Chuck worked as a long-haul truck driver for part of his life and as contract mail carrier in the Baker City and Halfway areas until his retirement in 1990. At that time, he began spending his winters in Arizona and his summers in Baker City.

Chuck loved fishing and camping and had a huge love for cars and for working on them.

Survivors include his son, Charles Wilson Jr. of Pasco, Wash.; his sisters, Fern Schell of Gresham and Darlene Carpenter of Baker City; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was living with his nephew, Daniel Wilson and his family in Ontario, at the time of his death.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Martha Wilson of Halfway; his brothers, Darrell and Donald Wilson and Vernon and Lee Curry; and his sister, Evelyn Lyman.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Vivian Stewart

Vivian Joy Stewart, 83, a life-long Baker City resident, died June 4, 2002, at Providence/St. Vincent Hospital in Portland.

Her graveside funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday in Mount Hope Cemetery. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral will officiate.

Mrs. Stewart was born Nov. 17, 1918, in Baker City, a daughter of John Kelly and Mabel Grisdale Kelly. She was educated at the St. Francis Academy in Baker City.

She married Robert "Bob" Stewart on March 26, 1938, at Weiser, Idaho. Mrs. Stewart lived her entire life in Baker City, except for a few years during World War II when they lived in Portland. She loved her home in south Baker and loved Baker City. She was a devoted housewife and mother.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Andy Tuttle of St. Helens; son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Margie Stewart, of Anacortes, Wash.; grandsons, Wes Tuttle and his wife, Cassie, of Donald, Chris Stewart of Marysville, Wash., and Russ Stewart of Anacortes, Wash.; granddaughters, Maggie Cowen and her husband, Chuck, of St. Helens and Gwen Potter of Mount Vernon, Wash.; great- grandchildren, Chase Tuttle, Chad and Samuel Cowen, Trey and Maegan Potter; and sister-in-law, Marion Hasher of Baker City.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Stewart, and a sister, Nora Burnside.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice, 1904 Resort St., through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Henry Ritsch

Henry Ritsch, 88, of Chico, Calif., died May 24, 2002, at a Chico care center.

Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Henry was born May 7, 1914, at Potlatch, Idaho, to Valentine and Maria Ritsch. He married Lulu Davis on Feb. 23, 1940, at Boise.

Henry worked for Collins Pine Co. for 36 years and received a Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature for his dedicated service as a logging supervisor.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Douglas; his sister, Anne; three brothers, Ed, Carl and Frank; grandson, Dean; brother-in-law, Bert Peterson; and son-in-law, Denver Stout.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Lulu of Chico; a daughter, Mary Stout of Baker City; a brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Shirley Ritsch of Grants Pass; a sister, Elizabeth Patterson of Tigard; a brother-in-law, Sherrill Bushnell of Merlin; sisters-in-law, Fern Ritsch of Susanville and Gloria Ritsch of Grants Pass; grandsons, Vernon Stout, and his wife, Myra, and Damien Ritsch; granddaughter, Tami Fetter; great-grandchildren, Joe, Melissa, Dallas, Ray, David and Stephen; and daughter-in-law, Beverly Ritsch.

Richard Bryant

Richard M. Bryant, 76, of Baker City died May 31, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Lennie Spooner of the Baker City Church of the Nazarene will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be until 7 o'clock tonight at the funeral home.

Mr. Bryant was born April 14, 1926, at Lebanon, Oregon. He was a son of Cassius and Ella Pittman Bryant. He lived and received his schooling in Lebanon.

He entered the U.S. Marine Corps on June 26, 1944, in Portland and proudly served his country for the next two years during World War II. He served at San Ago, Guam, Tinsin, China, and was on Iwo Jima when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He was honorably discharged on May 5, 1946. After his discharge, he returned to Lebanon and married Phyllis Byers. They had four daughters: Jackie, Kathy, Joella and Becky. He was a dairy farmer at Lebanon for 30 years. He sold the farm in 1976 and moved to Baker City in 1977, where he built a house.

In 1978, he went to work for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as a warehouseman and equipment operator. He retired in 1989.

It was during this time, that he met Ginny, who also worked in the warehouse and office for the Forest Service. They were married on May 10, 1986, at the Nazarene Church. They were very happily married for 16 years and were inseparable. You very seldom saw one without the other.

Dick accepted Jesus as his savior in 1986. He joined the Nazarene Church and was baptized on June 27, 1993, by Pastor Jerry McConnel. After their retirement, Dick and Ginny traveled for three summers until Dick got sick.

He loved to garden and he and Ginny fished a lot. He also enjoyed watching the birds in his back yard as well as carpentering and doing crafts. He also enjoyed bird hunting. He was very talented in shooting pistols and was ranked 18th in the nation by the NRA for target pistol shooting.

He loved people and accepted his two stepchildren, Larry Wright and Ginny Bennet, as his own. He was especially known for his willingness to help, his kindness and for being a good friend. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Ginny, and his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Ginny Bryant of Baker City; daughters, Jackie Eckert of Rockaway Beach, Kathie White and Joella Bryant, both of Las Vegas, Nev., and Rebecka Bryant of Portland; two step-children, Larry Wright of Yerington, Nev., and Ginny Bennett of Pendleton; and 12 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Clarnell Nickles of Albany.

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

Laura Newton

Laura Newton, 95, of Baker City, died May 30, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Her funeral will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Gray's West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Debbie Livingston of St. Elizabeth Health Care Center will officiate. Vault interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at Gray's West & Co. Visitations will be tonight until 6 o'clock at the funeral home.

Laura was born on Sept. 26, 1906, at Hartsville, Mo., to Edward and Elsie Hall Kirk. She married Henry Newton on April 24, 1929, at Baker City.

She was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church. She enjoyed gardening, the outdoors, spending time with family and crocheting.

Survivors include her two nieces, Rae Dean Moulton of Union and Dora Dean Barker of Grangeville, Idaho, and their children, Brent Moulton, Scott Moulton, Judy Salisbury and Wayne Barker; and several other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; two brothers, Charles and Frank Kirk; and two nephews, Mike Moulton and Calvin Kirk.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Elizabeth Health Care Center or the charity of one's choice through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.