Obituaries for the week of May 19 to May 23

May 23, 2003 12:00 am

‘Les' Halley

Leston Earl "Les" Halley, 71, of Pendleton died Jan. 23, 2003, of natural causes.

There will be a military graveside service for him at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall.

Les was born on March 17, 1931, at Carson to Earl and Mildred Irwin Halley. After graduating from Pine Valley Union High School at Halfway in 1949, he attended Vanport College at Portland. While there he excelled in athletics, playing football and baseball.

Proudly, Les served his country with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the Korean conflict from 1952 to 1954. Later, he became a member of the Halfway VFW, Post No. 7847.

Les had a 30-year career with Morrison-Knudsen Corp. of Boise. His pioneering heritage naturally brought him to such projects as the Brownlee and Hells Canyon dams and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. For many years, he also worked at Morrison-Knudsen's Boise headquarters. Retiring in 1989, he lived at Pendleton until his death.

Les loved athletics. Rodeo brought out his competitive spirit. Competing for many years, riding the bulls was his favorite event. He also was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish wherever his travels took him.

Sharing his enthusiasm and talents, he coached Little League baseball and softball. In his later years, his interests turned to golf, trapshooting, horses, and horse racing. He was a proud owner of a thoroughbred colt.

Les cherished family and adored his granddaughters and many nieces and nephews.

All children were precious in his eyes. His ready smile and sharp wit will be missed by every one of his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Joy, of Pendleton; sister, Clarice Davis of Riverside, Calif.; sons and daughter-in-law, Raymond J. and Catherine of Valdez, Alaska, James H. Halley of Pendleton, and Walter Halley of Nampa, Idaho; granddaughters, Chelsea A. and Rachel V. Halley of Valdez, Alaska.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, William Starke and Jerry Starke.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway VFW, No. 7847, through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834 .

Dennis Duncan

Dennis Lee Duncan, 58, of Kennewick, Wash., died May 20, 2003.

There will be no memorial service. Disposition was by cremation.

Dennis was born on Nov. 7, 1944, at Baker City to Elmer A. and Edna E. Duncan.

He attended Baker City schools, graduated from Baker High School and immediately joined his beloved Marine Corps in 1963. He served tours in Vietnam and was honorably discharged after more than 14 years of service.

Dennis then lived on the east coast in Boston, and then Miami where he was employed until becoming ill with respiratory problems.

He moved to Kennewick in 1997 when he became totally disabled.

During his time of illness, Dennis became a computer addict and contacted many comrades from his Marine days via chat rooms and e-mail. He kept daily contact with them as with new friends he met. He was very outgoing and had many stories to tell of his military days, especially his time spent in the war.

Survivors include his brother, Larry Duncan of Kennewick; his special friend, Jan Skeen of Mount Vernon, Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and a sister.

Berdean Whiteley

Carol Berdean Whiteley, 72, died Feb. 8, 2002, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Disposition was by cremation. Her graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. at the Halfway Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall. Everyone who knew Berdean is invited. Coles Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Berdean was born on Oct. 20, 1930, to Ray and Edna Buchanan Robertson at Halfway. She attended Dry Creek School and Halfway Elementary and was a 1948 graduate of Pine Valley High School at Halfway.

She attended beauty college in Portland and later worked as a beautician at Halfway at the Gray Gables. She married Lloyd "Bub" Whiteley on Dec. 12, 1953, at Las Vegas, Nev., where both were employed. They returned to Halfway in the spring of 1954 and Halfway had been home ever since.

Berdean had several passions: kids, horses, rodeo, hunting deer and elk, and searching for the elusive mushroom. She loved kids and she was devoted to teaching them how to ride horses.

She formed the Hells Canyon Junior Riding Club in 1962 and worked with kids who wanted to participate in rodeo without having to purchase the high-dollar horses necessary to compete in the arena events.

As her daughter Jerri Kay said, "For a kid on a horse, having a benefactor like Berdean Whiteley is like being touched by an angel — just a little harder, a little louder and with a tad more cussing." She loved to hunt, but probably even more she enjoyed looking at the beautiful animals. She would watch herds on a hillside for hours and was a local expert about where a hunter should go.

Her legendary mushroom spotting was unparalleled. She could spot a mushroom on the bank when nobody else could see a thing. Berdean was unique, a one of a kind, and special person and will be missed by her family and friends.

Survivors include her husband, Bub Whiteley of Halfway; her daughter, Jerri Kay Goodwin of Meridian, Idaho, and her two granddaughters, Macy Hack and Brittany Goodwin; her brother and wife, Daryl and Dulcina Robertson of Halfway; aunts, Lena Buchanan, Edith McDowell, and Estella Summers; a niece and numerous nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Edna; her father, Ray; and her son, Mickey.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo in care of Linda Miller, P.O. Box 734, Halfway, OR 97834 or Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Joan Allen

Joan Martha Allen, 73, of Portland, a former longtime Baker City resident, died May 16, 2003, of cancer at her son's home in Portland.

Her funeral was at 3 p.m. today at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Portland. Her graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery.

She was born on June 23, 1929, at Portland. She married Silas Allen in 1971. He died in 1998. She moved to Portland two years ago. She had lived at St. Anthony's Village assisted living center the first year and then moved to the home of her son, Jim Glenn.

She worked at Coast to Coast in Baker City for many years. She was a member of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral and a charter member of the Trail Tenders. She was a longtime volunteer at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

She loved gardening, fishing and her family.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Susan, who died at birth.

Survivors include a son, Jim Glenn of Portland; daughters, Kathy Smith of Seattle, Wash., and Judi Owen of Enterprise; a stepdaughter, Kathy Berreth of Boise; brothers, Gene Bradshaw of Portland, John Brettrager of California; sisters, Dolores Cavanaugh of Arkansas, Marie D'Ermangard of Portland, Milly Allen of Salome, Ariz., and Lisa Nicholas and Tina Thompson, both of Seattle; 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; and 15 nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony's Village, 3560 S.E. 79th Ave., Portland, OR 97206.

Susie Gorham

Susie Cecilia Gorham, 85 of Wallowa and formerly of North Powder, died May 11, 2003, at Spokane, Wash.

Her funeral was Friday at the Wallowa Christian Church. Burial was at the Wallowa Cemetery.

Mrs. Gorham was born May 27, 1917, to Edward Alvin and Hattie Myers Davis at North Powder. She grew up at North Powder, where her grandparents homesteaded, attending public school and graduating from Powder Valley High School.

She married Clifford Owen Gorham on June 30, 1935, at North Powder. The family moved to Wallowa in 1942. She served in the Air Force Ground Observation Corps during World War II and was the first county manager for the Senior Nutrition program, a position she held for 17 years.

After she retired she continued as a volunteer with senior services and the food bank. She was a 50-year member of the Rebekah Lodge of Wallowa.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Larry and Cheryl Gorham of Colfax, Wash., Kenneth and Sarah Gorham of Kirkland, Wash., and Kay and Craig Braseth of La Grande; 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; brothers, Clayton Davis of Seattle, Wash., and Kenneth Davis and his wife, Mary of Wallowa; sisters, Joyce Tippett of Wallowa and Jackie April of La Grande.

Her husband died on Aug. 6, 1990. An infant daughter, Donna June Gorham, and Mrs. Gorham's sons, Clifford Alvin Gorham, Roger Gorham and Richard Lee Gorham, also preceded her in death.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wallowa Senior Center through the Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise, OR 97828.

Emily Wilder

Emily Ellen Wilder, 70, of Pendleton and a former Baker City resident, died May 13, 2003, at her home.

A funeral service was held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in La Grande. Committal and interment followed at the Island City Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of Daniels Chapel of the Valley in La Grande.

Mrs. Wilder was born June 20, 1932, to John and Suzy Ellen (Tate) Osbon in Hati, Mo. She was the youngest of four children. The family traveled throughout the states and settled in Eugene when she was still in school.

In October 1948 she married George Wilder at Eugene. They lived in Eugene, Perry, Baker City and La Grande before moving to Pendleton. Her family was extremely important to her and she loved spending time with them.

Mrs. Wilder enjoyed tole painting and reading. She also enjoyed doing bonsai and she loved the Lord Jesus.

Survivors include her husband of 54 years, George Wilder of Pendleton; children, Cristy and Terry Gaertner of La Grande and Dane and Kristin Wilder of Bend; grandchildren, Jeff and Heidi Gaertner, Aaron and Niamh Gaertner, Cameron Gaertner, Bryant Secl, Baylee Wilder, Ashlea Secl and Kindyl Wilder; great-grandchildren, Landry and Dawson Gaertner; sister, Mildred Voorhees of La Grande, and other relatives and friends.

Barbara Denton

Barbara Denton, 89, of Pendleton and formerly of the Marble Creek area near Baker City, died May 15, 2003.

Graveside funeral services were held Tuesday at Skyview Memorial Park.

Alice was born to Stanley Carter and Onlie Foster Wright on Feb. 5, 1914, at Clovis, N.M.

She was the oldest of four children. She grew up in various locations in Iowa and Missouri. She graduated from high school in Lamoni, Iowa and also briefly attended Graceland College in Lamoni.

In 1932, the family moved to Oregon and settled in Medical Springs, later moving to the Marble Creek area.

She married Wilmot R. Hunt of Joseph in March 1936 and they divorced in 1958.

Barbara married Robert Andrew Denton April 24, 1958 at Austin, Nev. He preceded her in death June 4, 1991.

Her interests were crossword puzzles, geology, railroading and she was active in the Pendleton Soroptimist Club.

Survivors include her sons, Garry W. Hunt of Pendleton and Richard W. Hunt of Klamath Falls; step-children, Vernon Fisher of Nampa, Idaho, Dallas V. Denton of The Dalles, Nadine Johnson of Iowa Falls, Iowa, Shelley Abel of La Grande and Todd Denton of Stanfield; grandchildren, Brookes Hunt-Gilman, Kerri Holley, Megan Hunt, Tracy Hunt, Dathy Hunt, and one great-grandchild.

Bishop Funeral Chapel in Pendleton handled the arrangements.

Ruth Reider

Ruth Oneita Reider, 97, of Baker City, a lifetime Eastern Oregon resident, died May 16, 2003, at Meadowbrook Place Assisted Living.

Arrangements are being handled by Gray's West & Co. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery after a private service in accordance with her wishes.

Ruth was born on Dec. 23, 1905, at La Grande to Ibra Randolph Snook and Frances Arvilla Snook. In 1914, the family moved from La Grande to Haines and then to Baker City in 1917.

Ruth was a 1923 Baker High School graduate. She married Andrew Neal Reider on Aug. 10, 1929. Ruth was employed as a legal secretary, office manager, accountant and lumber salesman during a long business career. Baker Wood Products, the U.S. Forest Service, Phillips-Long Ford and Ellingson Lumber Co. employed her during this period.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Neal; her brother, Gideon Snook; her sisters, Marjorie Young and Marion Luce; her daughter-in-law, Chloe Reider; her nephew, Thomas Young; and her niece, Ruth Ouellette.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Jack and Betty Reider of Rancho Palos Verde, Calif.; her granddaughter and her husband, Katrina and Robert Anderson of San Ramon, Calif.; her grandson and his wife, Lindsey and Melissa Reider of Syracuse, N.Y.; her granddaughter and her husband, Gretchen and Daniel Pearson of San Ramon, Calif.; her niece, Louann Riner; her great-grandchildren, Kelly Pearson, Lucy Pearson, Joseph Pearson, Brooks Anderson and Calvin Anderson; four grandnieces and five grandnephews; and 15 great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

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