Obituaries for the week of March 3 to March 7

March 13, 2003 12:00 am

Hertha Witham

Hertha Witham, 85, of Baker City, died March 5, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church at Third and Broadway streets. Pastor Ed Niswender of the church will officiate. There will be a reception afterward at the Calvary Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

Mrs. Witham was born on Jan. 30, 1918, at Idaho Falls, Idaho. She was raised by Eugene and Mattie Lee LaBrier.

Her early education was received in Boise and at Middleton, Idaho. She graduated from high school at Ontario in 1935. After graduation, she worked for Cables Chevrolet at Ontario where she developed a lasting friendship with Mrs. Cable.

She married Harvey E. Witham on July 26, 1941, at Payette, Idaho. They had been married for 61 years. The couple had four daughters: Evelyn, Jeanne, Reba and Anna Lee.

Mrs. Witham was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church for 55 years or more. She loved the Lord and He was very important in her life and in the lives of her family. Her favorite verses were Philippians 4:11-17. She accepted the Lord while she lived at Middleton.

She was a deaconess for many years. She delivered Meals on Wheels to many a lonely soul. She loved to visit the shut-ins with flowers and to catch them up on the activities of the church and their friends.

She also played the piano for church services for more than 25 years. This was the highlight of her week. She could accompany anyone and she loved to do it. She truly possessed the gift of music and lovingly shared it with all.

She took great delight in having birthday parties for the widows of the church and would take a cake and a card with her. She never missed the birthdays of any one of her 14 grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

Tuesday was her pinochle day and she liked to play with her lifelong friends. She crocheted angels for many people and made the roses that were given out at the church to new visitors. She was a member of the Eastern Star, the Rebekah Lodge, the Irene Mauger Group and she was an Awana leader.

Survivors include her husband, Harvey of Baker City; daughters, Evelyn Ryan and her husband, Robert, and children, Mike, Molly and Mitchell, all of Clark Summit, Pa., Jeanne Schumacher and her husband, Terry, and children, Thomas, Jackie and Carolyn, all of Baker City, Reba Sharp and her husband, Kenny, and their children, Shad and Silene, of Beaverton, and Anna Lee Baum and her husband, David, and their children, Regan, Aleck, Karl and Leigh, of La Grande; and four great-grandchildren, Brendan Ogan, Alyson Ogan, Ashley Reagan and Josie Reagan.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Julia and Leona; and a brother.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church Building Fund through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97824.

Olga Gregg

Olga W. Gregg, 89, of Baker City died March 3, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her memorial service was at 10:30 a.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St. Pastor Dennis Hickman of the church officiated. There was a reception afterward at the First Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.

Mrs. Gregg was born on Feb. 3, 1914, at Riga, Latvia, to Ludwig and Gottlieb Janson. She spent her childhood in Lithuania, where she was educated. She enjoyed learning folk dances of the Baltic states. She was a secretary for a major power plant.

After World War II, while working in Germany as an interpreter, she married Wilfred P. Gregg of Berwick, Pa. He died in 1997. They lived in Germany until 1948 when Will was transferred stateside.

They lived at various military bases in the United States and one in Germany before moving to Baker City. Olga had lived in Baker City since 1959 when her husband was transferred to the Baker Air Force station.

Olga was a member of First Lutheran Church and was a former member of Eastern Star. Her interests included cooking, hunting and fishing.

Survivors include a son, Fred, and his wife, Melissa, of Rochester, Minn.

She also was preceded in death by a brother and a sister.

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

Etta Cook

Etta Lorene Cook, 89, a long-time Baker City resident, died Feb. 22, 2003, at her home.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Ralph Holcomb will officiate. There will be a reception at the Baker City Eagles Aerie, No. 3456, 2935 H St., after the memorial service.

Etta was born Jan. 20, 1914, at Pine Town to Roy E. and Hazel L. Schultz Hilbert. Her grandmother, Mary Marr, came to Pine Valley in a wagon in 1812.

Etta was one of five daughters. Her sisters were Ruth, Mary Jane, Georgia and Leota. She was educated at Pine Valley and through her life experiences.

On Sept. 4, 1932, she married Ralph William Cook at Kilgore, Texas. After their marriage, Etta went to work for various organizations including Boeing Aircraft, as manager of the cafeteria at Ordnance Depot Hermiston, and in the shipyards at Vancouver, Wash. She worked for 17 years at Tektronix and was a housewife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother.

Etta and Ralph had a daughter, Hazel Erlene. They took in many children to give them a loving home when the need arose. She returned to Baker City in 1972 from Hillsboro after the death of her husband, Ralph.

Etta was a member of the Baker County Sheriff Possettes, the Eastern Oregon Chapter of the American Red Cross and she was a founding member of the Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo.

She loved the outdoors and really enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting. She grew a beautiful garden and enjoyed preserving her fruits of labor through canning. She spread lots of love to her family and friends. She will be remembered for her loving kindness.

Survivors include her daughter, Hazel Erlene of Lake Tahoe, Nev.; grandchildren, Ralph Donnie Vinyard and Debbie Lorene Ewing of Baker City and Heidi Marie Miller of Santa Rosa, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Allen James Otto of Hillsboro, Amy Machell Younger of Baker City, Alicia Erlene Fenk, Mellisia Alice Fenk and Derrick James Fenk all of Santa Rosa, Calif.; two great-great-grandchildren, Emilie Jaine Otto and Sydney Elizabeth Younger, making five generations; brothers and sisters-in-law, Fred, Ruby, Carl, Marie, Glenn, Lloyd, Juanita and Betty Cook; and numerous nephews, nieces and many friends who were all loved dearly.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Ustious Cummings Sr.

Ustious G. Cummings Sr., 84, of Baker City, died Feb. 23, 2003.

His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Nathaniel Neff of the Lighthouse Church in Baker City will officiate. Inurnment will be in the veteran's section of Mount Hope Cemetery after the chapel service. A reception will be held at the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City.

Ustious was born Feb. 13, 1919, at Potter, Ark., to Richard and Mary Cummings. He moved to California in the 1930s. In 1942 he entered the U.S. Army to serve his country during World War II.

He served in the Wildcat 322nd Infantry Regiment. He was awarded several decorations and citations. Ustious was discharged in 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant.

He then worked as a steel worker at the U.S. Steel Co., at Pittsburg, Calif., for the next 30 years. After his retirement, he continued to serve the public for another 20 years.

He did community work for the senior citizens and government give away, providing food for the less fortunate. He really enjoyed helping people. Ustious and his wife, Lola, moved to Baker City in September of 2000.

Survivors include his wife Lola, of 61 years; two sons, Ustious Cummings Jr. of Concord, Calif., and Johnny and his wife, Donna, of Baker City; two daughters, Geraldine Krigbaum, and her husband, Tom of Antioch, Calif., and Shirlene Taylor and her husband, Ken, of Caldwell, Idaho; 10 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; one sister, Mamie Taylor and her husband, Frank, of Texas; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and three sisters.

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