Obituaries for the week of May 5 to May 9

May 09, 2003 12:00 am

Dorothy Smelcer

Dorothy Louise Romine Smelcer, 91, of Halfway, died May 6, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Her graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway.

Dorothy was born Dec. 24, 1911, at Alamont, Kan., to Eber and Irene Romine. She was the second of nine children. Her family moved to Pine Valley in 1917. She attended Sunnydell School and graduated from Pine Valley High School in 1931.

She married Lawrence J. Smelcer on June 1, 1931, at Vancouver, Wash. They were married for 72 years, and were partners in the cattle operation. They lived on Dry Creek for five years and moved to the home place in the spring of 1941. They raised three children together.

Dorothy enjoyed her garden, her family, painting her scenery pictures and traveling to Yuma, Ariz., to escape the harsh winters in Pine Valley. In her youth, she enjoyed playing basketball.

Survivors include her husband, Lawrence; her sons, Ben Smelcer and his wife, Dortha, of Halfway, and Dean Smelcer and his wife, Margaret, of Emmett, Idaho; daughter, Pam Andersen, and her husband, Terry, of Pendleton; her sisters, Audrey Shaw of Grand Junction, Colo., and Joie McDowall, and her husband, Jack, of Hillsboro; her brother, Harry Romine and his wife, Angie, of Portland; eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Eber and Irene Romine; a grandson, Ray; three brothers, Russell, John and Bob; and two sisters, Helen and Norma.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway/Oxbow Ambulance Service through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

James Hoffman

James A. Hoffman, 68, of Baker City, died May 7, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

A funeral service will be held Monday, May 12 at 2 p.m. at Gray's West & Company Pioneer Chapel. Visitations will be Friday until 8 p.m.

James was born Aug. 12, 1934, in Sunnybrook, N.Y., to Mr. and Mrs. William Hoffman. In 1978 he moved to Sacramento, Calif. Eleven years later, in 1989, he married Elsie Phillips at Sacramento.

Survivors include his wife Elsie; two children, A.J. Hoffman and Elizabeth Derenches; one step-son, Sam Jones, and three grandchildren, Kimberly, J.J., and Amber Derenches, all of California.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in care of Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

David Whitaker

David Leonard Whitaker, 59, of Huntington died April 28, 2003, at his home.

His graveside service will be announced later and will take place at Huntington.

David was born April 6, 1944, to Thomas William and Alexandria Beryl Nevins Whitaker.

Survivors include two sisters, Sandra A. Rose and her husband, John D. of Kuna, Idaho, and Beth Gay Mills and her husband, Kenneth, of Twin Falls, Idaho; a brother, Blynn W. Whitaker of Huntington; nephews, David K. Reed of Tumwater, Wash., Donald D. Rose of Nampa, Idaho, and Thomas and Patricia Rose of Nampa, Idaho; nieces, Brenda Miller of Kimberly, Idaho, Kimberly Miller of Twin Falls, Idaho, Toni Miller of Rupert, Idaho and Elizabeth D. Rose of Nampa, Idaho; great-nephews, Gallan, Kierflen and Adlon Duffen of Rupert, Idaho; and great-niece, Holly Miller of Twin Falls, Idaho.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Alexandria Beryl Nevins; his father, Thomas William Whitaker; and a nephew, John A. Rose.

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

Vivian Holman-Harrison

Vivian D. Holman-Harrison, 83, of Baker City, died April 28, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services with her two children by her side.

At her request, there will be no service. Disposition was by cremation at Gray's West Pioneer Crematory.

Vivian was born at Bremerton, Wash., and raised at Portland with her two sisters, Evelyn and Margaret. Vivian's life as a young girl was anything but ordinary (just like her).

With a fun-loving, seam-stress/dancer mother, who immigrated from Hungary, and a father who had come from Germany, Vivian was taught to go after her dreams and passions and never compromise. Those who knew her well said these principles carried her proudly throughout her life.

At 19, she met the future father of her children, Carl Holman. They were married on Jan. 20, 1940, and soon after had their first child, Carl Jr., whom they affectionately called "Speed." Their beloved son died at a very young age.

All the same, the struggling young couple headed for Baker City in 1946 with a shared dream of owning a photography studio. The couple's mutual creative flair and ambition made their dream a reality. Holman Studio became a well-known business and one of the largest photographic studios in the nation.

Vivian's independence was legendary and quite evident (to say the least) in everything she did, from the outfits she wore to the issues she loved to discuss. Her vivacious nature beckoned her to all corners of the world with camera in hand.

Nevertheless, whether shooting pictures of the natives in Machu Picchu, or hiding behind her famous rose bushes to capture the perfect shot of her unknowing grandchildren, family took the leading role in Vivian's life.

Her two children, Yvonne and Gary, her grandchildren, Francisco and Alexander, her daughter-in-law, Celeste, son-in-law, Maurice, and her stepgrandchildren, Jodi and Kevin, were the recipients of her endless love and loyalty, not to mention her homemade cream puffs and newspaper clippings.

After the death of her husband, Carl Holman, she married Eldon Harrison in 1972. The two spent many winters in Arizona together, he improving his handicap and she reading, gardening and collecting the native turquoise jewelry she loved.

Even after Eldon's death in 1991, Vivian kept moving, never losing sight of her interest and zeal in the world and all that it had to offer. Her colorful home boasted of adventure, with artifacts from Latin America, paintings from Singapore and souvenirs from the shores of Bali. Her flawless garden showed signs of a skillful and meticulous owner, and of course, weekly bridge soirees with "the girls" were essential to her schedule.

Although Vivian was from Portland, she always considered Baker City her home. She lived here for 57 years. But, like they say, "You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl." Vivian was proud of her little corner of the world and in recent years, she loved volunteering with friends at the Oregon Trail Regional Museum. She felt it was an opportunity to give back to the community she had grown to love and respect.

In typical fashion, Vivian has requested something out of the ordinary. She hated funerals, memorials and solemn occasions, her family said. She would rather her friends and family celebrate her passing with fond memories and lots of love. Her wishes will be honored.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Friends of the Oregon Trail Regional Museum through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Buster' Zemmer

Harvey "Buster" Zemmer, 76, died April 25, 2003.

He was born to Charlie and Francis Zemmer on Feb. 2, 1927, at Baker City. After being dischargd from the U.S. Army in 1942, he remained in Oregon.

He went to work for Ellingson Lumber Co. about 1962 and worked there until his retirement. He married Jeanette on July 13, 1984.

They both loved hunting and fishing, so he and his best friend spent as many hours as they could going everywhere to hunt and fish. You could hardly drive a mile in any direction without him pointing to a spot where he had either shot or caught something.

Survivors include his wife and best friend, Jeanette; her children, Molly, Curtis and Donna; two stepchildren, Cathy and Dan Titus; two sisters, Emeline Wright of Prairie City and Josephine Stafford of Hood River; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Jesse, Finley and Jerry.

Edna Mae Stanley

Edna Mae Stanley, 88, formerly of Baker City, died April 22, 2003, after a long struggle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

Disposition was by cremation and interment will be at River View Cemetery.

Edna Mae Dick was born Jan. 18, 1915, near Mankato, Kan., to May and John Dick. She grew up on a farm, rode horseback to high school, graduated at 16, and went to work at a dairy.

Edna came of age during the Great Depression, and like many of her generation, she knew the value of hard work.

In 1936, she married William Stanley, a civil engineer with the Soil Conservation Service. The couple settled in Baker City in 1941 where they raised their two children. Edna managed the household while her husband was often away on engineering projects for the government.

When her children were older, she worked as a secretary, tended her large garden, and enjoyed playing bridge and square dancing.

The Stanleys moved to Portland in 1959. Edna worked at several law firms as a legal secretary until her retirement in 1973.

In 1967, her son went missing in action while flying missions in Vietnam. Edna became an activist in the POW/MIA movement, was a member of the National League of Families, and attended numerous conventions. Although she never got word of her son, she maintained her courage and optimism in the face of personal tragedy.

Edna was devoted to her family and was the family historian, corresponding with relatives and keeping meticulous records. In her retirement she enjoyed gardening, antique shows, and the Portland Trail Blazers.

She will be remembered by those who loved her for her intelligence, her love of beauty, her independent nature, and for the brave way she faced her illness.

Edna is survived by her daughter, Carol Kirklin of Portland; grandchildren, Deborah Kirklin of Sebastopol, Calif., Jeffrey Kirklin of Portland and Curtis Stanley of Albuquerque, N.M.; great-granddaughter, Sarah Poplack of Sebastopol, Calif.; brother, Jim Dick of Norco, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her son, USAF Captain Robert W. Stanley in 1967, and her husband of 62 years, William, who passed away in 1998.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial Fund, 1750 SW Skyline Blvd. #15, Portland, OR 97221, or Hopewell House Hospice Center, 6171 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97239.