Obituaries for the week of Dec. 23 to Dec. 27

December 30, 2002 12:00 am

Elmer Graven

Elmer W. Graven, 96, of Baker City died Dec. 25, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His graveside funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Ralph Holcomb of the Baker City Christian Church will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Elmer was born on Nov. 27, 1906, at Richland to Clinton and Callie Rose Graven. In his early years he worked various jobs. He hauled fruit from Eagle Valley with his brother, worked at the sawmill in Baker City and also worked for the railroad.

He married Ethel Boyer on April 24, 1926. Together they celebrated 76 years of marriage.

In the early 1940s he went to work at Hereford for the Oregon State Highway Department, retiring as a foreman after 37 years of service. Elmer also ranched during this time at Hereford after purchasing the family ranch from the Boyers.

To Elmer, his family always came first, no matter what his own needs might have been. He was the patriarch of his large family and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Survivors include his wife, Ethel, of Baker City; three daughters, LaVelle Givens of Baker City, Evelyn Wells and her husband, Bob, of Payette, Idaho, and Delma Robinson and her husband, Tim, of Baker City; 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Mitchalene Bacon of Warrenton; and a brother, Calvin Graven, of California.

He was preceded in death by his infant son, Richard; three brothers and two sisters.

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

Jason Reagan

Jason Jae Reagan, 27, of Breckenridge, Colo., and formerly of Union, died Dec. 18, 2002, of a congenital heart condition.

There will be a Celebration of Life service at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Union.

Jason was born on Jan. 11, 1975, at Seoul, South Korea. He was a gift from God to the Reagan family the day before Thanksgiving in 1975.

He graduated from Union High School in 1993, where he ran cross country for six years. After graduation he worked at Alpine Rock & Ready and the North Powder Mill until its closure. He then left Eastern Oregon to live out his dream. He had just started his third season as a ski instructor at the Children's Ski-and-Ride School in Breckenridge, Colo.

Prior to his death, his main task was to instill in the children a love for the mountain and the confidence to conquer it. He left this world doing what he loved.

Jason was an avid sports fan, skier, mountain bike rider, and rock climber. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

He is survived by his parents, Lloyd and Linda Reagan of Union; sister and brother-in-law, Traci and David Black of Union; brother and sister-in-law, Kelly and Christine Reagan of Ithaca, N.Y.; nephews, Jesse and Ethan Black; grandfathers, William Reagan and Roy Bennett; and numerous cousins, aunts, and uncles.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jason Reagan Memorial Fund for support of the Union Cross Country team or the ski program in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Helen Langley

Helen M. Langley, 89, a longtime Baker County resident, died Dec. 23, 2002, at Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Ore.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Vault interment will be at the Lime Cemetery at 1 p.m. Saturday. Family and friends are invited to a dinner reception in the church basement after the funeral. The graveside service also is open to family and friends. Visitation will be Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

Recitation of the rosary will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

Helen Merritt Langley was born on Sept. 30, 1913, at Deer Lodge, Mont. Her parents, Hugh and Helen Holbrook Sheehy, moved in 1917 to Durkee, where they managed a ranch on Swayze Creek. Helen attended elementary school at Plano and then graduated from St. Francis Academy at Baker City.

Her grandmother Holbrook offered to pay her tuition to attend Eastern Oregon Normal School in La Grande, where Helen became one of the first graduates in 1933.

Harland Eugene Langley and Helen were married at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral on July 23, 1936. They raised their family of six children on a ranch at the mouth of Dixie Creek near Lime. After the ranch sold in 1995, Helen lived at Huntington and Baker City for a few years. Her last two years were spent at Independence under the care of her granddaughter, Michelle Hedrick, and her family.

Mrs. Langley taught elementary school at Lookout and Huntington for many years, and after retiring enjoyed membership in the Blue Mountain Fiddlers Association. She was a faithful member of the Catholic Church and was a wonderful hostess to all who graced her door.

She entertained the hobo, the traveling stranger, priest, neighbor, or family member with equal love and acceptance. She had a great love for raising flowers and vegetable gardens.

Children were her joy and she entertained them at every opportunity with stories, games, and tea parties. In her later years, she authored a book on the Sheehy family history called "From Erin to Oregon."

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Hugh Sheehy; a sister, Ruth Becker; a daughter, Ann; her husband, Harland; and a son, Dwight.

Survivors include a daughter-in-law, Tammy Langley of Huntington; a daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Gordon Bloom of Baker City; a daughter and son-in-law, Joy and John Walker of Kingston, Wash.; a son and daughter-in-law, Fred and Arleta Langley of Union; a daughter and son-in-law, Anita and Kent Nelson of Hereford; and a daughter and son-in-law, Gwen and Robert Steele of Independence.

She also is survived by 23 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren who include Mark and Marie Martin and children, Katy, Grace and Luke of Fairbanks, Alaska, Dusty and Christine Langley and son, Dwight, of Fairbanks, Alaska, Andrew and Jennifer Langley and children, Richard, Justin and Erin of Bridgeport, Matthew and Karen Walters of Gilbert, Ariz., Paul Langley of Bozeman, Mont., and Shane Langley of Portland, Gene and Sue Bloom and children, Beth and Doug of Salem, Joel and Gere Richardson and children, Kial and Trace, of Baker City, Jim and Theresa Goevia and children, Paige, Brian, and Hannah, of Rio Rancho, N.M., Jim and Jill Harding and children, Brandon, Lisa, Emily and Jason Boatman, of Issaquah, Wash., Jay and Shannon Howland and children, James, Joseph and Jessica, of Havre, Mont., Jean Claude and Marcia Berger of Seattle, Wash., Terri Barnes and son, Michael, of Beaverton, Dave and Kaylene Malone and daughters, Rachael and Ashley, of Mountain Home, Idaho, Craig and LaVonne Mills and daughters, Stephanie and Chrystal, of Lake Dalles, Texas, Joe and Michelle Hedrick and daughters, Jenna and Amber Rafferty and Anna Hedrick, of Independence, Shawn and Susan White of Weston, Fred and Sarah Serpico of Virginia, Mark and Billie Jo Nelson of Baker City, Matt and Laura Nelson and children, Emilie and Edouard of London, England; and Cpl. Robert Steele and Julie Steele of Independence.

Other survivors include a brother, Tom Sheehy of Wallowa; a sister, Mary Heriza; brothers and sisters-in-law, Dick and Darlene Sheehy of Baker City and Bob and Dona Sheehy of Union and numerous nieces and nephews.

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

Claire Rudolph

Claire J. Rudolph, 93, a longtime Baker City resident, died Dec. 23, 2002, at her home.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Gray's West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Roger Scovil of the Baker City Christian Church will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Visitations will be until 6 o'clock tonight at Gray's West & Co.

Claire was born March 29, 1909, at Lostine to Charles and Catherine Standley Whisman. She attended Brooklyn Elementary School in Baker City. In her mid 20s she attended beauty school at Walla Walla, Wash.

After earning her beautician's license, she went to work at a beauty shop in the Baker City Hotel. She later worked for The Bootery on Main Street, which housed a beauty shop on the upper floor.

Claire met Earl A. Rudolph in the mid 1930s and the couple were married a short time later. Earl and Claire bought the old Safeway store and changed the name to Our Market, which they operated for about 20 years. They retired in the late 1960s.

Both Claire and Earl were avid golfers. They often played on the old sand greens in east Baker City. They were instrumental in the development of the current Baker City golf course.

In 1990, Claire was awarded a lifetime membership to the course. She really enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling and of course, golf, which she continued to play well into her 80s. In recent years, she spent quite a bit of time gardening and canning foods, which she had down to a science.

Survivors include a brother, Wayne "Bud" Hardwick, and his wife, Karen, of Anchorage, Alaska; a nephew, Jim Hermsen of Baker City; and many other nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl; and three brothers and three sisters.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Marjorie Kelley

Marjorie R. Kelley 81, a long time resident of Baker City died Sunday December 22, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

At her request cremation was held; a celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

Mrs. Kelley was born March 20, 1921, at Baker City to Edgar W. and Iva May Best Chambers. She was raised and educated at Baker City.

She married Roy D. Kelley at Weiser, Idaho, on May 21, 1938. She lived and worked at the Fremont Power Plant until going to work in the shipyards while her husband was serving in the South Pacific in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

When the war was over they returned to working for the Fremont Power Plant and then moved to Rock Creek where they lived at the Rock Creek Power Plant until moving to Baker City in 1969. She was a homemaker after moving to Baker City, where she had lived since.

She liked gardening, flowers, camping, playing cards, especially cribbage, and reading. She loved animals.

Mrs. Kelley belonged to the Royal Neighbors of America and was also involved in the Home Extension Service.

Survivors include her granddaughter, Tammy Bloom of Baker City; a brother, Kenneth L. Chambers of Portland; sister, Thelma M. Clark of Elgin; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Lillie and Bob Grindstaff of Baker City; sisters-in-law, Ruth Chambers of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Mary Kelley of Beaverton; and several nieces and nephews survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Roy Kelley; stepfather, Sidney Jensen; daughter, Eileen Bloom; two brothers, Delbert E. Chambers and Orville Chambers; and a sister, Opal M. Worley.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Lung Association or American Heart Association, Oregon Affiliate, through the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Baker City, OR 97814

James Phelps

James Edmond Phelps, 73, of Payette, Idaho, died Dec. 20, 2002, at an Ontario care home.

His funeral was at 10 a.m. today at the United Methodist Church in Payette, Idaho. Pastor John Tucker officiated. His graveside service was at 1 p.m. today at Mount Hope Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel at Payette.

Jim was born April 29, 1929, at Chelan Falls, Wash., to Samuel and Gladys Phelps. He was a Baker High School graduate.

Jim's life centered on his love for his family, his love of animals, and his work. He ranched in the Baker Valley as a young man. Jim was in the trucking business throughout his life and a 25-year employee of Ore-Ida Foods Inc.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Sylvia, of Payette; four children, Larry Phelps and his wife, Peggy, of Payette, Garry Phelps and his wife, Val, of Whitefish, Mont., Ken Phelps and his wife, Kathie, of Fruitland, Idaho, and Julie Phelps of Boise; two sisters, Ruthie Crim of Baker City and Rosie Pedracini of Granite; seven grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or the Multiple Sclerosis Society through the Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, P.O. Box 730, Payette, Idaho 83661.

LaVelle Kinne

M. LaVelle Kinne, 71, of Hood River, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 18, 2002, at Providence Medical Center at Portland.

Her funeral was at 11 a.m. today at the Hood River Christian Missionary Alliance Church. Private interment was at the Pine Grove Cemetery.

She was born Oct. 8, 1931, at Baker City to Harold "Bill" and Violet Craig Boyer. She was raised and educated at Baker City and was a 1949 Baker High School graduate.

She married Gearl J. Seal in 1950. They had five children: Gearl C. Seal of Prineville, Shawna Nelson and Vernon Seal, both of Hood River, Debbie McGaughey and Candace Seal-Burton of Salem.

She relocated to Hood River in 1975. She married Dean W. Kinne on April 17, 1976. They celebrated their 26th anniversary this year.

LaVelle's greatest joy was her family. She loved to cook, bake and can and enjoyed her flowers in the yard.

She managed the Grizzly Bear Pizza Parlor for a few years at Hood River and also enjoyed day care in her home for several years.

She could always be found in her kitchen doing what she loved to do most: cook for her family and anyone else in need.

Survivors include her husband, Dean Kinne of Hood River; four children; 11 grandchildren, Andrew, Audra, Cody, Holly, Shannon, Mandy, Rick, Jarren, Danyel, Jessica and Sara; and seven great-grandchildren, Justin, Matthew, Dakota, Kayla, Chandelle, Brandy and Kaylie. She also loved her little dog and companion, Sadie.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Violet Boyer; and her daughter, Debbie McGaughey.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Odell Fire Department, Emergency Medical Service, through Anderson's Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97301.