Obituaries for the week of Sept. 16 to Sept. 20

September 19, 2002 11:00 pm

‘Opal' Dielman

Byrdie "Opal" Dielman, 85, died Sept. 12, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Care Center, where she had been a resident for three weeks.

Her memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St..

Opal, the first of six children of Robert David and Hazel Viola Fox Shropshire, was born on Jan. 14, 1917, at the family farm near Ashland, Kan., 50 miles south of Dodge City. She obtained her education there graduating as valedictorian of the Ashland High School class of 1935.

She married Raymond "Ray" Charles Dielman, who also grew up in Ashland, on April 18, 1936. That summer the couple, along with another newlywed couple, Tom and Beth Window, migrated together in Ray's Model A Ford to Boise, Idaho, where the couple's first two children were born.

In January 1943, the family moved to Baker City, where Ray had taken a job with the Railway Postal Service. In 1945, Ray shipped out to the South Pacific and Opal went to work for C. C. Anderson, a large department store in the 2100 block of Main Street.

In 1951, she left the work force to have a third child, returning to work in 1956 as a timber resource clerk for the U. S. Forest Service until her retirement in 1975.

Opal was a member of the United Methodist Church from her arrival in Baker City in 1943 until her death, serving many years as church treasurer. In the early 1950s Opal volunteered as an aircraft spotter atop Antlers Hotel as part of a nationwide early warning system designed to detect a Russian air attack. She also was a member of St. Elizabeth Hospital Auxiliary for many years.

Opal was preceded in death by her parents; an infant sister, Bonnie; and her brother, Kenneth, who died in 1958 at age 19 in a military aircraft crash.

She is survived by her children, Gary Dielman of Baker City, Chari Moser of Bellevue, Wash., and Cindy Carlson of Gresham; siblings in California, John Shropshire of Tarzana, Louise Shank of Westminster, and Betty Mattocks of San Luis Obispo; grandchildren, Katrina, Jeff, Nels, Greg, Chris, Kella, and Kate; and great-grandchildren Anya, Chrysta, Monica, Ashli, Garon, Kyle, Ariel, and Lars.

Contributions in lieu of flowers in memory of Opal may be made to the Baker Family YMCA or to the charity of one's choice through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Bette Sawyer

Bette Hoge Sawyer, 79, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 12, 2002, at her home in Reno, Nev.

A private service is planned.

Bette Norene Hoge was born on May 22, 1923, to Earl and Mary Hoge in Baker City. She was graduated from Baker High School in 1941.

Her parents were associated with Hoge-Wells Supply Co. in Baker City. The family moved to Reno, Nev. It was there Bette met future husband, Grant Sawyer.

They married in 1946 in Washington, D.C., where Grant was attending Georgetown University Law School. In 1928, the Sawyers moved to Elko, Nev. There they reared their only child, Gail, who survives them and lives at Las Vegas, Nev.

As wife of the late Governor Grant Sawyer, Bette was first lady from 1958 to 1966. Her husband died in 1996.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Nevada Medical School or the Grant Sawyer Studies at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Margaret Milford

Margaret H. Milford, 89, of Bend, a former longtime Baker City resident, died Sept. 13, 2002, at a Bend adult foster home.

Disposition was by cremation. Her funeral will be scheduled later.

Margaret was born at Pleasant Valley on Aug. 19, 1913, to Otto and Velma Lammert. She later married James Milford at Seattle, Wash.

She owned and operated the Coffee Cup restaurant for a while. After selling it she worked as a cook at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City. Upon her retirement, she kept active by doing volunteer work for seniors.

Survivors include her two sisters, Eva Holland of Seattle, Wash., and Frieda Ringer of Bend; four brothers, Ray Lammert of Pleasant Plains, Ill., Arthur Lammert of Oregon City, Robert Lammert of Medford and Eugene Lammert of Gold Beach; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Milford; her parents, Otto and Velma Lammert; two sisters, Peggy Satterburg and Geri Weise; and two brothers, Alfred and John Lammert.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Lutheran Church in Baker City or the Bend-La Pine Hospice through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Chris' Christian

Camiel I. "Chris" Christian, 74, of Baker City died Sept. 15, 2002, at his home with his family by his side.

His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Rod Dickison will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at the American Legion Club, No. 40, 2129 Second St.

Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Gray's West & Co.

Chris, the second child of three, was born on Nov. 28, 1927, to Lewis J. Christian and Selma Van Doornbeldt at the family farm in Victor, Iowa. As the only son, Chris helped his mother run the family farm after his father's death at a young age.

He went to school for a half day and then walked the three miles home to feed the bummer lambs. When Chris came of age, he joined the U.S. Air Force and began a career in communications.

He served our country for more than 20 years, participating in three wars: World War II, Vietnam and Korea. He retired from the military in April of 1971.

During his time in the Air Force, he traveled to many places around the world and he had a story to tell about every place he'd been. After returning to Baker City, he worked as a night jailer for the next 12 years. Chris will be missed greatly by his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Selma Christian; and a brother-in-law, Ralph Albert Jr.

Survivors include his daughter, Denise "D.J." Riley, and her husband, Ted, of Baker City; grandchildren, Christopher and Hillary Pifher, Danielle Pifher and Rich Riley, all of Baker City; his beloved dog, Jessi, who meant so much to him; stepchildren, Richard Pierce of Seattle, Wash., Vickie Wallette of Spokane, Wash., Leslie Pierce of Grants Pass, Tanya Milanez of Boise, Shane and Tangie Colton of Emmett, Idaho, and Tom Pierce and Terry and Kimberly Suitter, all of Baker City; two sisters, Marie Albert of Ladora, Iowa, and Marcella Saylor of Brooklyn, Iowa; three nieces, Connie, Lori and Patty; and one nephew, Danny.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family of Chris Christian through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.