Obituaries for the week of July 28 to Aug. 1

August 01, 2003 12:00 am

Emma Shipman

Emma Shipman, 87, wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, partner and friend, died July 25, 2003, after an extended stay at St. Elizabeth Care Center, attended lovingly by wonderful caregivers.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Baker City Christian Church, 2998 Eighth St. Mr. Jack Pittman and Pastor Roger Scovil will officiate.

Mrs. Shipman was born at Sunset, Washington County, Ark., the eighth child of David Franklin Alexander and Rosa Elizabeth Simpson Alexander on Feb. 6, 1916 (according to her birth certificate). Her mother died when she was 4 years old and she was adopted by Fritz and Ethyl Woods Klein. They celebrated her birth date as February 13, 1916.

She lived at Henryetta, Okla., and on a reservation in New Mexico before settling at Oak Creek, Colo., where her foster father worked in a mine. They took in a boarder, Frank Lester King, also a miner.

He and Emma were married and had one daughter, Alice Adeline, born in 1937. These were depression years and her husband had to leave Colorado to find work. He eventually joined the Army and was killed in Anzio and is buried at Nettuno, Italy.

She later met La Verne Gilbert Shipman. They were married at Sedalia, Colo., on June 2, 1940. Emma's husband and another man had a job in the mines in the Philippines. They were to get their shots to ship over when Emma found out she was pregnant with her son, Leland Gilbert.

The Shipmans' friends went ahead to the Phillipines and ultimately spent 3 years in a Japanese prison camp, broken in body but not is spirit. Only the Grace of God and Leland spared Emma and Verne this ordeal.

The couple next had a daughter Barbara Elizabeth, born on Christmas day 1943. She was a frail child and died of meningitis at Doernbecher Hospital at the age of 18 months.

Emma's second son, Keith Vernon Shipman, suffered kidney failure at the age of 27. Emma gave him dialysis at home for two years until a compatible kidney was found. The transplant was successful, but Keith died at the age of 33 from serum hepatitis from transfusions.

Emma's daughter, Vena Gay Shipman, born on Jan. 19, 1949. She was a talented musician with a beautiful singing voice. She lost her life early after a long illness.

Through all this Emma never lost her faith in God, who was her strength. She was a faithful member of the First Christian Church and an active member of the Friendly Circle and Mary/Martha group. She worked with the Rainbow Girls and DeMolay boys and was a tireless Girl Scout leader.

She supported her husband in every aspect of their life. Her greatest joy, after 64 years, was having her birth family find her and arrange a reunion. They traveled to Arkansas and met 200 relatives. She had a few good years corresponding and visiting with her family.

Survivors include one sister, Martha Jane Mc Daniels of Paragold, Ark.; a brother-in-law, Charles "Bink" Lewis, and his wife Glenabell; daughter, Alice, and her husband, Vernon Guy Knapp Sr. of Baker City; a son, Leland Shipman of Aurora, Colo.; grandchildren, Lorna Moncrief of Boise, LuAnn Jensen of Washington, Lesley Kay Waggerby of Baker City, J. Leonard Waggerby and his wife, Debra, of Aurora, Allison Lee Eschweiler and her husband, Lee, of Denver, Colo., Emily Patricia Bonner and her husband, Russell, of Aurora, Colo., and Vernon Guy Knapp Jr. of Fort Hood, Texas; stepgrandchildren, Mike Knapp and his wife, Judi, Debbie Knapp-Ard and her husband Cleve of Matthews, N.C., and Vikki Athen of Santa Clara, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Dane Timothy Creger and his wife, Candi, Thadeus Creger and his wife, Lorasa, all of Pendleton, Jewel Marie Jensen and Jessica Jensen, both of Baker City, Alice Michelle Jensen who is serving in the U.S. Army in Germany, Justin Lee Jensen of Woodburn, Shane Russell Sturdivant of Alabama, Dylan Russell of Baker City, Alissa Rene and James Waggerby of Aurora, Auriana Grey and Lauren Page Bonner of Aurora, Colo., Camlin Rene Ard of North Carolina and Suzanne Elizabeth Athen of Santa Clara, Calif.; and great-great-grandsons, Tyson and Austin Creger of Pendleton and Jonathon and Jayden Griffith of Baker City.

Emma was preceded in death by both sets of parents and her children, Barbara, Keith and Verna Gay Shipman.

Memorial contributions may be made to Baker City Christian Church Building Fund through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Arlene Griffin

Arlene Dora Griffin, 75, of Middleton, Idaho, died July 25, 2003, of natural causes.

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Old Highway 30 at Caldwell, Idaho. Cremation and services are under the direction of Flahiff Funeral Chapel of Caldwell.

Arlene was born Dec. 20, 1927, at Baker City to Warren and Easther Reed. Arlene spent her younger years at Unity.

She graduated from Baker High School in May 1945. During her high school years, she worked after school folding bandages. She also spent several years helping her mother manage the Steakhouse Restaurant in Baker City.

In September of 1976 she married John Griffin. They lived many places together, but moved back to Idaho in 1986 where Arlene worked as a home health nurse for many years.

She loved to sew and do crafts. She was a very talented woman.

Survivors include her sons, Van Polley of Murphy, Idaho, King Polley of Baker City and Larry Rogers of Twin Falls, Idaho; and several grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and a son, Walt Cox.

Grace Spears

Grace M.L. Spears, 82, of Baker City died July 23, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Aaron Olgesbee of the Agape Christian Center will officiate. Because of the ongoing construction, those attending the funeral are asked to park on Estes Street. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Grace was born on March 1, 1921, at Hyannis, Neb., to Ira S. and Myrtle Lester Draper. She attended school at Fort Morgan, Colo., where she graduated from high school. She furthered her education at Denver Opportunity School for about a year.

She later graduated from beauty school and worked as a manicurist for a while. She eventually went to work for the telephone company in Denver as an elevator operator. She also modeled the uniforms for them. Later, she was trained as a telephone operator and worked in Denver for many years.

About 1953, she moved to Pendleton to be near her family. Grace also worked as a telephone operator for several years in Pendleton before she and her husband, George, moved to Baker City. After relocating, she continued her career for a while and later retired from the telephone company in Baker City.

Grace was known to have a big heart. She was gentle and caring and was genuinely concerned for people. She had heard about a school for the American Indian Children of South Dakota called the Red Cloud Indian School. Grace, being proud of her own Native American heritage, felt compassion for the needs of those children and often donated money to help fund the school.

After her retirement, she and her good friend, Fern, made a weekly event out of visiting the residents of the nursing home and taking them treats, reading to them, and just cheering them up. Grace loved reading and studying her Bible. Her walk with the Lord meant everything to her.

Survivors include one brother, Stephen F. Draper, and his wife, Ramona Sue of Baker City; two sisters, Juanita Lois Thompson of Athena, and Betty Jean "B.J." Calvert of Stanfield; and numerous nieces and nephews and great- nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George Spears; and her parents, Ira and Myrtle Draper.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Red Cloud Indian School of South Dakota or the Agape Christian Center in Baker City through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Jean Mehlhorn

Jean Mehlhorn, 72, of Hood River, died July 20, 2003, after a short illness.

A memorial service for her and her husband, Dale, will be scheduled later.

Jean was born on Feb. 3, 1931, to Dorothy and Ray Smith at Mill City, Kan. She was a few minutes older than her identical twin sister, Joan.

The Smith family moved to California where Jean spent her childhood and early school days. They settled in Halfway where she attended high school and met Dale Mehlhorn.

Jean and Dale married in 1948 and moved to Corvallis, where Dale attended Oregon State University.

Jean and her family then returned to Baker County. She worked as a receptionist for several area doctors and raised her boys. Jean's greatest joys were camping with her family and watching her boys grow and participate in all manner of sports.

In 1968 Jean and Dale moved to Ontario where together they managed Delta Feeders. After the sale of that business she went to work at an area drug store as manager of the cosmetics department.

Retirement brought new interests. Dale and Jean became avid golfers. They spent many happy times traveling and playing dozens of courses throughout the West.

They settled for the last time at Hood River, where they spent three happy years.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Fred Mehlhorn; and her husband, Dale.

Survivors include her son, Ed Mehlhorn and his wife, Jana, of Fruitland, Idaho; granddaughters Ragan McBeth (Page), Sara Mehlhorn and Pam Kelly; grandson, Christopher Mehlhorn; great-grandson, Luke McBeth; great-granddaughter, Katie Kelly; sister, Deloris York, and twin sister, Joan Bloom; and brothers, Bud and Fred Smith.

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.