Obituaries for the week of June 2 to June 6, 2003

June 05, 2003 11:00 pm

Virginia Halladay

Virginia Jean Halladay, 66, of Baker City, died May 28, 2003, at her home with her husband by her side.

Her celebration of life service will be held at Honeyman Park in Florence on June 28.

Virginia was born to Eleanor and Henry Willis on June 8, 1936, at North Platte, Neb. She moved to Oregon in 1955.

Jeannie will be remembered for her openness — she never knew a stranger. She had done a little of everything, from breaking horses to helping run a tavern at Florence. She was active in Special Olympics.

She and her husband, Russell, helped support fund-raising efforts for projects such as children's trips to China.

They lived in Richland before moving to Baker City in 1998. While there, she was active in the Grange, served on the City Council and was mayor for a short time. She was also an EMT with the Eagle Valley Ambulance for a few years.

She especially loved being a foster parent and loved all children like they were her own. She will be missed by many.

Survivors include her loving husband, Russell of Baker City; her mother, Eleanor Hartman of Baker City; her children, Kathy Lott of Baker City, Al and Carol Free of Baker City, Ervin and Kay Burch of Missouri, and John and Shelly Ficek of Springfield; 15 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; eight siblings, Jim and Nan, Cliff and Pattie, Corky, Angie, Emma and Tim, Ida, Walcie, and Patrick; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Special Olympics through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Raymond Yankey

Raymond Yankey, 85, died May 24, 2003, at his home in North Powder.

At Ray's request, there will be no service. Disposition was by cremation at Gray's West Pioneer Crematory. Private inurnment will be at the Haines Cemetery.

Ray was born on June 16, 1917, to James S. and Ida May Looney Yankey at Haines. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during World War II. He was a diesel mechanic for more than 40 years.

Ray enjoyed fishing. Anybody who talked to him knew that his favorite saying was "This, that and the other!"

Survivors include Ray's only son, Jim Yankey, and two grandsons, Cody and Jesse Yankey.

William Leigh Sr.

William Paul Leigh Sr., 84, of Baker City died May 29, 2003, at his home.

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Monte Loyd of Baker Valley Christian Assembly will officiate.

Mr. Leigh was born on Aug. 26, 1918, at Parma, Idaho, to William Edison Leigh and Mary Lois Boyles. He attended Parma High School. His higher education consisted of the Westpoint welding and diesel school at Chicago.

During World War II he welded in the shipyards of Portland. He then returned to Baker County and began working in the logging industry.

He built roads, did mechanic work, drove truck and was a night watchman until he retired in 1981 from Ellingson Lumber Co. He also farmed and ranched on the side.

He was involved in the hunter education classes, Powder River Sportsman's Club, Baker County Mounted Posse and shot and reloaded for the Oregon State Police pistol team.

He was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting and fishing and he had a great love for animals, especially horses.

He married Elaine B. Lewis at Winnemucca, Nev., on June 7, 1947. He spent the last four years of his life at the Madison's Foster Home in Baker City.

Survivors include his sister, Myrtle Clark, age 101, of Payette, Idaho; his wife, Elaine of Baker City; son and daughter-in-law, Bill Leigh Jr. and his wife, Cindy, of Baker City; daughter and son-in-law, Lon and Mary Nalder of Oxbow; a stepson, Lyle Ingram of La Grande; five grandsons, seven granddaughters and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a stepson, Carl Lewis "Lewy" Ingram; and two sisters, Francis Young of Roseburg and Betty Orth of Los Angeles.

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

‘Dee' Davis

Opal "Dee" Davis, 71, of Boardman, died Jan. 25, 2003, at his home at Boardman.

There will be a graveside celebration of life service at noon Saturday at the Canyon City Cemetery. Pastor Denny Diezel of the John Day United Methodist Church will officiate. There will be a potluck dinner afterward at the Clyde Holliday State Park.

Dee was born on March 27, 1931, at Waldron, Ark., to Reacel and Monta May Starr Davis. He was raised at Booneville, Ark., and then moved to Oregon in 1948. He married Norma Jean Wood on Aug. 9, 1949, at John Day. They had four children: Linda Davis Pifher, Della Davis Edison, Rick Davis and Roger Davis.

Dee loved to hunt, fish and to be with his family. He always had a story or joke to share. He was always ready to go fishing, rain or shine. He hunted up until last year when his health declined.

He will be greatly missed by those who dearly loved him.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Jean Davis; his son, Roger Davis; his parents; and an infant brother, Glen Davis.

Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Linda Davis-Pifher of Boardman and Della and Jim Edison of Baker City; a son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Dalene Davis of Baker City; 12 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Arnold, Elmer and Dean; a sister, Janie; many nieces and nephews; and a very dear and special friend, Clarice Dumler.

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

Ruth Wilson

Ruth M. Wilson, 93, of Lake Oswego, a former longtime Baker City businesswoman, died May 2, 2003.

Her memorial service was May 17 in the chapel of River View Cemetery at Portland.

Ruth was born on Aug. 8, 1909, at Schofield, Wis. Her mother, Mrs. Durkee, owned a knitting shop in Baker City for many years.

Ruth and her first husband, Bill Stofft, had two children, Paul William and Lois Elaine. In 1935, the Stoffts opened a corner grocery store at Sixth and Broadway streets in Baker City. It was this family owned and operated business that started to define Ruth as a hard and committed worker. Business hours were from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year. The business offered free delivery in the city limits.

Life was hard, but business was constant. After Bill's sudden death in 1948, Ruth continued to run the store until 1950 when she closed it and moved to Portland.

Her interest in music got her a job as a salesperson and demonstrators of pianos, organs and sheet music. She also pursued her passion for travel.

She took her first cruise in 1958 from Los Angeles to Hawaii. She then took a solo cruise to Alaska. Her most ambitious cruise was an international adventure from Southern California to Hawaii, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and home again. She often commented that she loved living in Oregon and had seen no place better in her travels.

Always out to improve herself, Ruth took classes in bookkeeping. With her new skills she gained employment at the Portland YMCA, the King Towers and at the Lake Oswego Country Club where she finally retired in 1973.

In 1971, Ruth met Laurence R. Wilson. They were married in the fall of 1972 and enjoyed bridge parties and musical engagements together as well as traveling. Costa Rica, Panama, British Columbia, the East Coast and Palm Springs were a few of the stops on their itinerary.

After Larry died in 1980, Ruth continued with her musical events and parties while keeping up their Lake Oswego home. She continued to travel on a limited basis.

Anyone who knew Ruth, especially in her later years, knew that she had a lifelong fascination with dolls. She loved beautiful objects and collecting dolls in particular gave her great satisfaction. She had hundreds of dolls of all sizes and expressions in her collection when she died.

Ruth was an avid game player. Throughout her life, she was always ready to play — whether it was Scrabble, Yahtzee, pinochle or bridge. And every morning her ritual over a cup of coffee was to work on the daily crossword puzzle.

She loved words and often said that if she were stranded on a desert island, the one book she'd want with her would be the dictionary.

She was always concerned and interested about the lives of her many nieces and nephews. Her engaging conversation and musical contributions will be missed by all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her son, Paul W. Stofft; and her husband, Laurence Wilson.

Survivors include her daughter, Lois S. Johnsen and her husband, Albert of San Jose, Calif.; a daughter-in-law, Joyce Stofft of Raleigh, N.C.; four granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, National Multiple Sclerosis Society or a charity of one's choice.

Meda Scott

Meda C. Scott, 95, of Baker City, died June 2, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Roger Scovil of the Baker City Christian Church will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Meda was born on May 14, 1908, at Sumpter to Albert and Nettie Gillmore Pritchard. She lived at Sumpter until 1941, and then moved to Pondosa. In 1946 she moved to Baker City.

She married George A. Scott in 1929 at McEwen. They had four sons: George, Herschel, Evan and Gerald Scott.

Meda loved her garden and flowers. She will be greatly missed by all of her family, friends and neighbors.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George A. Scott; her son, Gerald Scott; her parents; two sisters; and four brothers.

Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law, Herschel and Donna Scott of Baker City, George and Stella Scott of Baker City and Evan and Joan Scott of Bandon; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Ramona Garcia

Ramona Maria Garcia, 61, of Huntington, died June 4, 2003 at her home.

Her graveside funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Monte Loyd of the Baker Valley Christian Assembly will officiate.

Ramona was born on Jan. 12, 1942, at Huntington where she lived her entire life except for a few short intervals.

Survivors include three sisters, Anita Daffer and her husband, Charles, of Weiser, Idaho, Miriam Rosera and her husband, David, of Eagle, Idaho, and Carole Krein of Huntington; a brother, Albert Garfield, also of Huntington; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mountain Valley Mental Health Clinic through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

John Griffin

John David Griffin, 80, of Middleton, Idaho, died May 30, 2003, of natural causes.

His memorial service was Wednesday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Caldwell, Idaho.

He was born on June 14, 1922, at Durango, Colo., to James and Clara Logan Griffin. He served in the 104th Infantry Division during World War II. He jumped into France on D-Day and during his four years in the Army he was shot once and bayoneted once and received two Purple Hearts.

After getting out of the service he herded sheep for three big ranches: Little's, Stringer's and Quintona. He also worked on rock crushers in Oregon and in the Nevada mines and was a security guard in the Nevada casinos. And he worked in the Nyssa Sugar Factory.

He married Arlene Reed on Sept. 4, 1976. They had lived in many different places together, settling at Middleton in July 1992.

Survivors include his wife, Arlene; a brother, Alvin Griffin of Chappell, Neb.; a sister, Polly Nicely of Baker City; three stepsons, Van Polley of Murphy, Idaho, King and Suzette Polley of Baker City and Larry and Sherry Rogers of Twin Falls, Idaho; and several nephews and nieces.

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

The Flahiff Funeral Chapel of Caldwell was in charge of arrangements.