Obituaries for the week of June 23 to June 27

June 27, 2003 12:00 am

David Blair

David L. Blair, 54, of Baker City, died June 22, 2003, at the Boise Veterans Hospital.

His graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Military rites will be accorded by the Baker City American Legion, Post 41. Vault interment will be after the service.

Visitations will be until 7 o'clock tonight at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

David L. Blair was born on Dec. 27, 1948, at Baker City to James and Eva Blair. He attended St. Francis Academy in his earlier years and later attended Baker High School.

He worked at Truss-Joist in Boise. He worked at many other jobs in the Baker City area prior to joining the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Germany.

David was seriously injured in a logging accident in 1976 while employed at a local logging company. He worked a short time as a manager of The Salvation Army Store. He also worked as the manager of the Grizzly Bear Pizza Parlor.

He worked as a manager of the Step Forward recycling center and later was a live-in resident manager. He worked at the Sunridge Inn for six years as a bartender, cook and office clerk. David was a jack-of-all-trades. His disabilities eventually led to his retirement in 1992.

David was very active in the community. He was dedicated to assisting anyone who had a need for help. He implemented the Ponglada Cancer fund, was a board member for MayDay and was instrumental in getting the drug dog, Reed, for Baker County.

He was very active in the American Legion, Post 41, where he held several officer positions. He drove the Disabled American Veterans Van to transport veterans to the Boise Veterans Hospital. Every year he sold veterans poppies in front of Albertsons. He also enjoyed working in his wood shop where he designed creative birdhouses and signs.

Survivors include his wife, Susie; daughter, Tina, and her husband, Jeremy of Baker City; son, Justin of Boise; daughter, Shanda of Tacoma, Wash.; daughter, Kim, and her husband, Lance of McCall, Idaho; his father, James Blair; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim and Pam Blair of Corvallis, Wally and Arlene Blair of Springfield and Alan and Nit Blair of Baker City; five grandchildren, Rachel, Shelby, Shane, Jennifer, and Andy Hughes, age 6, who was a very special grandson to David.

He was preceded in death by his mother; his son, Shane; sister, Sylvia; and two beloved nieces, Katrina and Ponglada.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion, Post 41, or to his wife through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

George Bryan

George Bryan, 74, a longtime Richland resident, died June 19, 2003, at the Boise Veterans Hospital.

His funeral and a celebration of his life will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Pine Baptist Church in Halfway. There will be a military graveside service afterward at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a dinner after the interment at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall.

George Duane Bryan was born on Nov. 6, 1929, at Baker City to Emery and Alice Aklin Bryan. He was raised and educated at Copperfield and at Baker City. He was a 1947 Baker High School graduate.

After high school, George enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served from 1950 to 1951 in the Korean conflict. He was injured by a grenade while fighting from a foxhole, an injury which hospitalized him for more than six months. George was awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he received in combat.

After recovering from his injuries, he worked as a meat cutter at Sigmund's Market in Pendleton where he met Marjorie Kaesemeyer. Marjorie was working as a waitress at the soda fountain connected to the market. They married on Nov. 11, 1953, and had been a wonderful example of love, affection, and commitment to family for nearly 50 years.

George spent most of his working life owning and operating small businesses in Pine Valley. At various times George owned Jimtown Meat Market, Bryan's Market (with his brother Jerry Bryan), and Old Pine Enterprises. He also sold real estate for five years. He enjoyed gunsmithing and ranching when he was not running his businesses.

George had a passion for hunting and fishing, and was a great outdoorsman. He loved his family and spent as much time as possible with them. He enjoyed working on projects at home and then taking time out to play with his horses. He was a lifetime member of Post 7847 and at one time served as post commander.

Survivors include his wife, Marjorie Bryan of Richland; son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Lauri Bryan of Halfway; daughter and son-in-law, Nikki and Richard Jeffery of Oakhurst, Calif., and son and daughter-in-law, Monte and Christy Bryan of Roseburg; grandchildren, Andrea, Christy, Stephanie, Noelle, Caleb, Elizabeth, Trevor, Cole and Hannah; his brother, Jerry Bryan, and his wife, Roberta of Halfway; and nieces, Majella Schaeffer of Boise and Lori Sapp of Weiser, Idaho.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Boise Veterans Hospital through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Newton Thompson

Newton Leland Thompson, 74, of Halfway, died June 20, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

There will be a private family gathering in his honor later.

Newt was born on Oct. 25, 1928, at Halfway to Nona Belle Miller and Lee Thompson. He graduated from high school at Halfway in 1946.

During the Korean War he was a navigator of a B-26 Bomber. He was a member of the 1956 Olympic ski team as first alternate.

During his schooling at Stanford he flew in the air guard and was captain of the ski team. He graduated from Stanford in 1958, from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1962 and went on to the University of Utah to complete a three-year residency in orthopedics. He practiced as an orthopedic surgeon at Reno, Nev., from 1969 to 2002.

Newt loved his children and loved teaching, being a doctor, skiing and riding motorcycles. All of these he did with a steady devotion that was characteristic of his life.

He especially loved to fly airplanes, a love that began when he was a young boy mowing a field of hay with a team of horses. Looking overhead he saw a formation of fighter planes flying on their way to World War II and was in awe of the incredible machines. He continued to fly over the course of his life, carting around friends and family with exhilaration, until his death on June 20.

Newt's sense of humor was always sharp and sprung from his ability to find laughter in human foibles and a deep insight into situations. The loyalty of his family and friends was a final testament to the honesty of his life.

Newt had a lot of accomplishments, but his heart was always in Halfway and he never forgot his roots. After he realized he was dying he stated, "I want to go back to Oregon, I am a Halfway boy."

Survivors include his children, Brooks Thompson, Craig Thompson, Inga Thompson, Heidi Ellsworth, Lee Thompson, and Taryn Thompson; his 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; and his brother, Norman Thompson.

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Hildreth Thompson and Olive Pinaire; and a brother Dolliver.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7847, through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

‘Jerry' Russell

Gerald Dee "Jerry" Russell, 67, died June 22, 2003, at his home in Baker City.

At his request, there will be no formal funeral. His family will have a private gathering in celebration of being a part of Jerry's life.

He was born on Nov. 8, 1935, at Farmington, Iowa, to Craige and Annabelle Lucille Dee Russell. About the age of 8, he moved with his family to Fruitland, Idaho. It was there that Jerry graduated high school and a short time later married Barbara Reimers. The couple had two daughters: Lori and Sandra.

During his life he worked as a route man for American Linen Supply in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho. Most all of his working years were spent in the Oregon and Idaho areas.

He worked for the National Guard Reserves in Boise for three years in maintenance repair. He then transferred to the armory in Baker City. He served at that site for eight years, retiring in 1974.

He then moved to Salem where he lived for four years before moving to California. Last May Jerry moved back to Baker City, living with his daughter, Sandy, and his granddaughter, Kaitlin.

Jerry was so thankful to be surrounded by his family during the last days of his life. Even on those days when his health seemed to betray him, he always had a sparkle in his eye and a wonderful genuine sense of humor.

Jerry enjoyed being outdoors, hunting and fishing. In his early years he enjoyed bowling.

Survivors include his daughters, Lori, and her husband, Rich Daniels, and Sandy Cassidy of Baker City; grandchildren, Harmony Leah Sage Daniels and Kaitlin Korren Cassidy; brothers, Earl Russel of Ontario and Jim Russel of Fruitland, Idaho; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his older brother, Norman; and a sister-in-law, Betty.

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