Obituaries for the week of Sept. 1 to Sept. 5, 2003

September 05, 2003 12:00 am

‘Cass' Burke

Sandra "Cass" Burke, 62, of Sumpter, died Sept. 1, 2003, at her home.

At the family's request, disposition was by cremation at Eastern Oregon Pioneer Crematory. A private memorial service will be scheduled later.

Cass was born March 31, 1941.

She was a wonderful mom, "the best on the block," always taking time to color or play with her children.

Cass spent the last years of her life with her husband, Bo, and friends near Whitney. She enjoyed entertaining her loved ones and will be greatly missed for her sense of humor, her amazing zest for life, and let's not forget her wonderful talents in the kitchen. Cass worked at Borello's Restaurant in Sumpter.

Cass is survived by her husband, Raymond "Bo" Bohanman; close friends, Kathy Smith and Bonnie Quesenberry; daughters, Karen (Kelly) Mayo of Corvallis, and Marta Thompson of Albany; a sister, Lynn Phillips, of Susanville, Calif.; grandchildren, Levi Easton and Ryann (Joe) Johnson, both of Redmond, and Travis Easton of Bend; and great-grandchildren, Jackie, Christopher and Alana Easton, and Justin, Destiny and Eric Johnson.

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

‘Les' Erwin

Leslie Roy "Les" Erwin, 85, of Baker City, died Aug. 29, 2003, at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

His graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Lennie Spooner of the Baker City Church of the Nazarene will conduct the service. After the memorial service, a luncheon for everyone will be served at the Nazarene Church Fellowship Hall. Coles Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Erwin was born Jan. 26, 1918, at a home in the Missouri Flat area of the Baker Valley. His parents were James and Vera Shulenbarger Erwin. He went to school in the Baker Valley until the eighth grade.

On June 11, 1939, he married Ruth Pettit in a small ceremony at Weiser, Idaho. The couple lived in Baker City for their entire married lives.

Les served in the U.S. Army during World War II, stationed in Alaska. He then came home and worked in lumber and construction, and he also was a shop foreman at the Valley Motor Garage for many years. He also owned his own service station for a short time. He was a member of the Baker City Church of the Nazarene.

In his retirement, he enjoyed working on his daughter and son-in-law's family ranch, gardening, woodworking, hunting and fishing. He never missed any activities of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He made an effort in his later life, traveling great distances to participate in his family's life.

Les had an endearing sense of humor. He loved to tease and visit with everyone. He had a special and unique relationship with his late son-in-law, David Williams. He always had a kind word for everyone.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ruth Erwin; children, Barbara Williams of Baker City and Darlene Wolfe of Salem; six grandchildren: Robin Jones, Karen Williams, Mike Williams, Lisa Rockenbrant, Chris Rockenbrant and Misty Wolfe; great-grandchildren, Brianne and Kellee Jones, Emmi and Tori Williams, Ashley and Stephanie Rockenbrant and Tyler Witherspoon.

He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers; one sister and a grandchild, Larry Rockenbrant.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Senior Center where Les and Ruth have spent many memorable hours with many wonderful friends. This may be done through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Gene W. Hedrick

Gene W. Hedrick, 55, of Cove, a former Haines resident, died Sept. 1, 2003, as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident near Cove.

There was a celebration of his life Friday at the Loveland Funeral Chapel in La Grande. Private inurnment will be at a later date.

Mr. Hedrick was born Oct. 13, 1947, at Hillsboro. He was the son of George W. and Ann Ustic Hedrick. He attended school and graduated from high school in Seattle. He worked there for a time before he began attending college at the University of Washington at Seattle.

After college, he worked as a drug and alcohol social worker for a time in the Seattle area.

He married Diane Pelt on Sept. 26, 1977, at Winnemucca, Nev. The family then moved to Haines.

Mr. Hedrick worked for the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management as a firefighter before he returned to college at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario. He graduated from TVCC in 1983 with a degree in engineering.

The family moved to Hermiston in 1985 where he began working as an engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation. He and his wife moved to Cove from Hermiston in 1990.

He greatly enjoyed his hobbies of fishing, shooting, sailing and camping. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor. He was a member of the Association of Engineering Employees.

Survivors include his wife, Diane Hedrick of Cove; a son and daughter-in-low, Jason and Marlee Hedrick of Spanaway, Wash.; a sister, Georgann Gulley of Beaverton and two grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Food Bank, or the Portland Rescue Mission through Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.

John Sager

John Robert Sager, 84, of Baker City, died Aug. 30, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St. Pastor Dennis Marttala will officiate. There will be a reception afterward at the church.

John was the first baby born at Bates. He was born there on Oct. 21, 1918, to Jack and Clara Sager. During his younger years he moved with his family to sawmill towns from Stillwater, Minn., to Glenwood, Wash., where he finished the seventh grade. The family then moved to Pondosa, where he completed the eighth grade and graduated from Union High School in 1937.

John worked for Collins Lumber Co. in Pondosa for 21 years. During that time he spent a year in the U.S. Army receiving an honorable discharge in 1943. When the mill closed in Pondosa, John moved to Baker City in 1959 to work for Ellingson Lumber Co. He spent his working years as a lumber grader and finished his last years as head grader.

John enjoyed the outdoors and spent most of his free time camping, hunting, and fishing. He especially enjoyed camping and fly-fishing in the Eagle Caps, hunting for chukars or deer on the breaks of the Snake River, and bait fishing on the Powder River. When John wasn't enjoying the outdoors he was designing and building with wood.

He happily undertook many woodworking projects at his church including building the Easter resurrecting cross, rebuilding cabinets for the preschool, and quietly doing anything that needed doing. John was a member of the Lutheran Church for 63 years and served on the church council for many years. He was also a life member of the Elks Lodge.

John is survived by four generations of family who will all miss his sense of humor, patient guidance, and gift of woodworking.

Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Helen Raley Sager; niece, Kathy Hudson Coulter of Boise; stepson, Larry Raley, and his wife, Beverly, of Baker City; stepdaughter, Shila Hessler, and her husband, Gene; grandchildren Cherie and Scott Ludwig, Gail Talus, Todd and Carol Wyatt all of Portland, Lance and Denise Raley, and Stephanie and Chris Mays of Baker City; great-nephews, Sean and Jerrod Coulter of Boise; and eight great-grandchildren, Jessica and Paul Wyatt, Courtney and Katelynne Raley, Kaleb and Hollie Mays, and Dustin and Danielle Ludwig.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Clara Sager; and sisters, Dorothy Peterson, and Virginia Hudson Fager.

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

Clairene DeGroote

Clairene DeGroote, 85, a former Baker County resident, died Aug. 28, 2003, at a Wilsonville care center.

A Memorial Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Matthew's Catholic Church Chapel in Hillsboro. Her graveside service will be at noon Thursday at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland. The Rev. Loren Kerkof will officiate.

Clairene was born on March 2, 1918, at Halfway to George and Jennie Laird Fleenor. After graduating from high school at Halfway, she worked as a bookkeeper for Baker Meat Packing.

She met her future husband, Marcel DeGroote before the war. Wanting to do something for the war effort, Marcel and Clairene moved to Portland to work in the shipyards during World War II.

Clairene worked in the shipyard office. After the war, they remained in Portland where Marcel built their house, where Clairene lived for most of her years.

She loved to play bridge and bunco. She always enjoyed hearing about her nieces, nephews and cousins and their children.

Her husband died in 1970. She also was preceded in death by her three sisters, Floriene Crook, Elaine Huff and Vivian Fleenor.

Survivors include her sisters-in-law, Julia DeGroote of Baker City and Mary Claeys of Hillsboro; her nephews, Rodney Huff, Norman Huff of Halfway and Gayland Huff of Grand Ronde; her cousin, Cass Vanderwiele of Baker City; her niece, Marlene Thompson of Hillsboro; and nephews, Richard Claeys and Donald Claeys of Portland and Robert Claeys of West Linn.

Memorial contributions may be made to Legacy Home Health Hospice, P.O. 3426, Portland, OR 97208, whose staff watched over her in her last days.