Obituaries for the week of Sept. 8 to Sept. 12

September 12, 2003 12:00 am

Margaret Dinger

Margaret Hack Smith Dinger, 84, of Ontario, died Sept. 9, 2003, at her home after an illness.

At her request, there will be no funeral. Burial is under the direction of Ontario's Lienkaemper Chapel.

Margaret was born on Jan. 20, 1919, at Jasper. She was the fourth daughter of Loyal R. and Frona Hills Hack. She graduated from high school at Springfield and later attended the University of Oregon at Eugene.

She married Goff M. Smith in 1938. She worked in accounting for the U.S. Forest Service for many years, retiring in 1981. Goff died in 1975.

She married Lloyd E. Dinger in 1981. He died in 1993.

Survivors include a sister, June Lloyd Awbrey of Springfield; and several nieces and nephews.

She also was preceded in death by her parents; and two sisters, Wilma Jozwiak and Shirley Hedlind.

Grace Aldrich

Grace L. Aldrich, 94, of Union, a former Baker County resident, died Sept. 10, 2003, at her home.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Union United Methodist Church. The Rev. Jerry Peters will officiate. Committal and interment will be at the Haines Cemetery.

Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley in La Grande.

Mrs. Aldrich was born on Jan. 2, 1909, at Rock Creek to John W. and Bertha George Blize. She attended schools at Muddy Creek, Haines and Baker City.

She married Everett Aldrich on July 21, 1924, at Baker City. They moved from Haines to Island City in 1946. They later moved to Union and then to Hermiston and back to Union.

Mrs. Aldrich was a member of the Union United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women. She also was a senior meals helper.

She was a member of the Jewel Rebekah Lodge and had been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary at Union since 1952. She enjoyed dancing, fishing and playing cards. She loved bingo.

Survivors include her children, Kenneth Aldrich and Glen Aldrich, both of Union, George Aldrich of Cove and Betty Ann Griffith of Prineville; 14 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; a brother, John Blize of Winlock, Wash.; sister, Emma Graves of Weiser, Idaho; numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Wilma, in 1928; a son, Elmer, in 1949; her husband in 1970; and a son, Frank, in 2001.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Hospice through Daniels Chapel of the Valley. To view the unedited obituary, sign the guest book or leave a condolence, visit:

Keith Simonis

Keith Lorin Simonis, 78, of North Powder, died Sept. 7, 2003, at his home.

His graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the North Powder Cemetery. Mr. Jimmy Larkin will officiate. Military rites will be accorded by Co. A3-116th CAV Oregon Army National Guard. Vault interment will be after the service.

Visitations will be today until 7 p.m. at Coles Funeral Home.

Keith was born June 9, 1925, at Baker City, a son of Ernest and Olena Johnson Simonis. He was raised at North Powder and Union, receiving his education in Union.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II on March 11, 1942, at Portland. He achieved the rank of sergeant and was very proud of having served in the Leading Night Fighter Squadron. He was honorably discharged at San Diego on April 2, 1946.

On Sept. 26, 1969, he married Margalee Putman at Winnemucca, Nev. They made their home in North Powder. Keith worked as a heavy equipment operator all over Oregon.

He loved to fish, hunt, and tell a good story. He loved to play his guitar and accordion for his family and friends. He wrote many of his own tunes. He loved to spend time with his grandchildren and was a pinochle playing fool.

Keith was a member of the Elks Lodge, the Eagles Lodge and the 701 Union.

Survivors include his wife, Margalee of North Powder; sons, Randy Simonis, Bobby Simonis, and Dusty Simonis and his wife, Nancy; daughters, Vickie Simonis, Linda Burnside and her husband, Wayne, Suzie Travis and her husband, Ted, Jeanna Valencia, and Kim Larkins and her husband, Chris; stepchildren, Danny and Carla Putman, Mark Putman, and Shawn Schisler; brother, Elvin Simonis; 24 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Vernon Simonis.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice, 1904 Resort St., Baker City, OR 97814, or in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Juanita Leep

Juanita Leep, 86, a lifetime Halfway resident, died Sept. 5, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Nursing Home.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Pine Valley Christian Center in Halfway. Vault interment will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception after the interment at the Christian Center.

Lena Juanita Bowerman was born on Jan. 4, 1917, at Halfway to Floyd and Esta Thompson Bowerman. Juanita attended schools at Sunny Del and Halfway.

Juanita married LaVerne Leep on March 22, 1940 in Halfway. The first five years they lived at North Powder where LaVerne worked for the Shady Lane Dairy Farm. They lived the rest of their lives at Halfway.

Juanita was a member of the Pine Valley Christian Center. She had a great love of flowers, gardening, crafts and cooking.

Survivors include two daughters, Shirley Hansen of Portland and Kay Boncquet and her husband, Clark, of Canby, Ind.; a sister, Aleta Fraser and husband, Paul, of Bend; four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, LaVerne; two grandchildren, Kenneth Higby and Trinia Bonequet; and a brother, Jarold Bowerman.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pine Valley Christian Center or the American Cancer Society through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

‘Tiny' McClurg

David W. "Tiny" McClurg, 46, of Baker City, died Sept. 3, 2003, at the Central Oregon Community Hospital in Redmond.

At his request, there will be no funeral.

Tiny was born on Dec. 24, 1956. He worked as a long-haul truckdriver.

Survivors include his parents, James W. and Dolores McClurg of Baker City; two sisters, Mary Centre of Bishop, Calif., and Laurie McClurg of Baker City; three brothers, John McClurg of Baker City, and Paul McClurg and James McClurg, both of Big Piney, Wyo.; his nieces, Jovanna Centre of Walla Walla, Wash., and Lana Nguyen of Pendleton; his nephews, William Centre of Bishop, Calif., and his son, Ricky, and daughter, Gwen, and Timothy Nguyen of La Grande and Justin McClurg of Baker City; his best friend, Marcus Montgomery of Culver; and his dog, Brownie.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

Daryl Steenhard

Daryl Roger Steenhard, 52, of Richland, died Sept. 5, 2003.

There will be a celebration of his life at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Grange Park, on the left just as you come into Richland from Baker City. Those attending are invited and encouraged, but not required, to ride their horse to the celebration.

Daryl was born on Aug. 4, 1951, to Fred and Trenetta Wessels Steenhard at Mason City, Iowa.

He spent his youth in Iowa. After high school graduation, he attended college at Ames and majored in pre-veterinarian medicine.

His life dream of being a cowhand began in 1974 with a job on the Jewett Ranch at Big Piney, Wyo. In 1975 he met his wife, Anna, while visiting family in the nearby town of Pinedale. Their journey together took them to Northern California and then to Richland. They enjoyed 27 years as partners in everything.

Daryl worked for 10 years for the Lovell Charolais Ranch in upper Keating Valley, honing his training skills under the tutelage of "Tex" Newsom. Over the years, Daryl attended many training clinics given by numerous trainers. After attending a Ray Hunt clinic, he began to develop his own horse philosophy.

Without saying, he loved horses (his second passion). Recently he trained his first buggy horse for Warren and Betty Whitnah, where he had worked for the past three years. Daryl loved training and working horses so much it could hardly be called "work."

He was a skilled welder and carpenter. He could shoe a horse and diaper a baby. He learned to juggle and enjoyed surprising people with that talent. Daryl loved a good practical joke and was feared on April Fools Day!

He loved to dance and competed throughout the Pacific Northwest with his wife and members of the "Baker City Rocky Top Dancers," a swing-dance club. He had been an avid bow hunter for the last 12 years, and was looking forward to bow season this year.

Daryl became a volunteer EMT at Richland several years ago. He received a lot of personal joy in helping others, whether it was as an EMT or as a friend.

Daryl loved the wilderness and a trip by horse into the mountains was one of his greatest pleasures. An excerpt from a favorite book of Daryl's sums this up: "See the heavens, smell the air, hear the wind, and the wild, feel the motion of your horse — On a good day, that's all you need. On a bad day, that's all you need. (Texas Bix Bender)

Daryl will be deeply missed and his memory truly treasured by his loving family, friends and the countless people whose lives he touched.

Survivors include his wife, Anna; sons, Kyle, Brandon, Cody and Matthew; a grandson, George; his mother, Trenetta Smith; a brother, Fred; and a sister, Suzzette Jacobs.

He was preceded in death by his father and an older sister, Cheryl.

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