Obituaries for Feb. 23 to Feb. 27, 2004

February 27, 2004 12:00 am

Fabian Mack

Fabian S. Mack, 81, of Ontario died Feb. 25, 2004, at his home after an extended illness.

There will be a vigil service and the rosary will be said at 7 p.m. MST Sunday at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario. Liturgy of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. MST Monday at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario. The Rev. W. Raymond Jarboe will preside. Burial will be at Hillcrest East Cemetery in La Grande at 2 p.m. PST. Lienkaemper Chapel of Ontario is in charge of arrangements.

Fabian S. Mack was born on March 6, 1922, to Anton and Katherine Black Mack near Minot, N.D. He grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch. Mack served in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1938 and graduated from high school in 1941.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force as an aviation cadet in May of 1942 and served as a B-24 bomber crew member in the 8th Air Force stationed in England. He flew 30 combat missions over Europe during World War II in 1944 and was awarded six air medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. He was honorably discharged in September 1945 as a tech sergeant.

Mack went on to study watchmaking and graduated from the American Academy of Horology (watchmaking) at Denver in 1947. He was employed for a time in Minot, N.D., as a watchmaker and watch inspector for the Great Northern Railroad.

He married Irene Klein in November 1947. In 1949 they opened "Mack's Jewelers" in Baker City. Mack opened a second store in Pendleton in 1957, a third store (Davis Jewelers) in Ontario, in 1977, and a fourth in Weiser, Idaho, in 1982. Mack was one of the earliest graduate gemologists of the Gemological Institute of America (1956), sharing the title with only six others in Oregon.

In addition to the jewelry business, the Macks maintained a working ranch on which family members spent half their time. Fabian enjoyed hunting with his sons. He traveled extensively, often with his daughters, visiting wartime landmarks in Europe and leisure spots in the United States, Caribbean and Hawaii.

In 1987, he sold his interests in the jewelry stores to two of his sons and retired. The stores changed their name to "Mack & Sons." Of his 13 children, seven are actively involved in the jewelry industry.

In 2003, Mack completed a lifetime dream of writing and publishing his memoirs. Titled "Fabian's Story," the book chronicles Fabian's life starting with the immigration of his ancestors, through his life on the farm, in the CCC, in the military, and then through the development of his businesses and his family. The book will be available during the services.

Fabian was a life member of the Elks Lodge, a life member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree, and a longtime member of the American Legion.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, in 1984.

Survivors include his seven sons and six daughters, James A. Mack of Middleton, Idaho, Jerrold F. Mack of St. George, Utah, John P. Mack of Montrose, Colo., Jeffrey S. Mack of Oak Harbor, Wash., Joseph D. Mack of St. George, Utah, Jason R. Mack, of Montrose, Colo., Jordan T. Mack of Littleton, Colo., Joyce I. Mahlum of Longview, Wash., Janice Mack Talcott of Olympia, Wash., Julia K. Crippin of Montrose, Colo., Jacqueline Mack Hill of Hermiston, Judith Mack Cameron of Lake Oswego, and Jillona M. Moretti of San Antonio, Texas; 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; four brothers and two sisters, Wendelin, Mack of Hermiston, Larry Mack of Minot, N.D., Tony Mack of Karlsruhe, N.D., Dan Mack of Baker City, Peggy Keller of Minot, N.D., and Barbara Goin of Albany; and his former wife, Beatha, of Ontario.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Pathway Hospice, 323 W. Idaho Ave., Ontario, OR 97914; The Knights of Columbus, Council 1656, Ontario; or The Elks Education Scholarship, Ontario.

Ella Craven

Ella Marie Geils Craven, 94, of Baker City died February 17, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Private interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Ella was born on May 12, 1909, at Baker City, the second daughter of eight children born to Fred G. and Bertha Sophia Schiller Geils. She attended Baker City schools. She married Loren G. Craven of Baker City in 1927. They had two children, Carol and Arnold.

The family moved to Boise, Idaho in 1941 where Ella worked many years at the Boise Water Co. and Loren was a baker for Eddy's Bakery. In 1951, Loren enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and home was many places, until 1971 when they returned to Baker City.

Ella said Baker was always their home. She traveled extensively in these years and lived in Europe, Alaska and eight different states. She said the water was best here of anywhere she had lived and she loved the mountains.

Although she worked cashiering and selling for 32 years, she loved being home and caring for her family. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed needlepoint, and making afghans, 38 of which she gave to relatives and friends. She had much sadness in her lifetime, but she continued to smile. She also enjoyed playing cards, pinochle and bridge.

Survivors include her four granddaughters, Pamela of Indiana, Lynetta of Texas, Angela of Idaho and Bonnita of Washington; and several dear nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Loren; her two children, Carol Scott and Arnold Craven; three brothers, Walter, George, and Ralph Geils; four sisters, Aletha Howe Mayo, Mabel Voyles, Doris Washington, and Anna May Morey; and two grandsons, Bill and Dan Murdoch.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Senior Center or to the charity of one's choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Mary Jean Morris

Mary Jean Morris, 78, of La Grande died Feb. 19, 2004, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

A service in celebration of her life was at 11 a.m. today at Mount Hope Cemetery.

She was born on May 7, 1925, at La Grande to Easton and Maurine Thompson Metcalf. She spent her early childhood in La Grande. The family moved to Telocaset and later to Durkee following her father's career with the railroad. She was a Baker High School graduate. After graduation, she went to work for Woolworth's in Baker City.

She married Robert "Chuck" Morris on Nov. 9, 1945, at Baker City. They moved to Seattle when Chuck joined the service. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and they returned to Baker City.

They moved to La Grande in 1950. In 1965, they purchased property at Wallowa Lake and started to build their dream cabin. Mary Jean and her husband were proud to say that they did all the construction, except the electrical work. Once completed they spent all their free time enjoying a job well done with family and friends.

Mary Jean enjoyed cooking, bowling, playing bridge, walking, gardening, golfing, reading, knitting, waterskiing, and most of all spending time with family at the lake.

Survivors include her husband, Robert "Chuck" Morris of La Grande; her daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Jim Rygg of La Grande; her sister and brother-in-law, Karen and Gayle Christensen of Baker City; two grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two nieces.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Phyllis Chase.

Loveland Funeral Chapel of La Grande is in charge of arrangements.

Florence Wendt

Florence Wendt, 88, a former Baker County resident, died Nov. 15, 2003, at San Rafael, Calif.

There will be a memorial service celebrating her life with family and friends this summer.

Florence was born at Carbondale, Pa., on April 24, 1916, to Mary and Charles Gillen. Florence moved to New York City during her adolescence and lived with her Aunt Kitty. Upon graduating from high school in New York City, she immediately entered medical school to pursue nursing.

Upon her completion of Kings County Hospital's nursing program, she received her credentials as a registered nurse and was stationed at Panama. It was in Panama City that she met and married Harlan Wendt.

After the war, Florence moved to the Baker area. She spent time during her early married years on the Wendt Brothers cattle ranch at Bridgeport. She then moved the household to Baker City in 1958 where she spent the majority of her years. During her later years she moved to San Rafael, Calif., to be closer to her children.

Florence was dedicated both as a mother of five children and a grandmother, who all have great love for her. One of her great joys was baby-sitting for the neighborhood children. She always felt blessed with having many dear friends from all walks of life, they were a joy to her.

Being a devoted Christian, she had an uncompromising love for the Lord Jesus Christ. "Should there ever be an angel on earth and soldier of God, Florence would be that angel," her family members say.

Survivors include her children, Eric Wendt, Kereen Stohl and her husband, Richard, and son, Sasha, Mary Wendt and Henry Wendt, all residing in the San Francisco Bay area, and Charles Wendt and his wife, Darlene, of Federal Way, Wash.; grandchildren, Jared Wendt of San Francisco, Monique Montgomery and her husband, Michael, of Lakewood, Wash., and Clare Bruce and her husband, Patrick, and two great-grandchildren, Hailey and Connor Bruce all of Cove.