Obituaries for the week of March 15 to March 19, 2004

March 19, 2004 12:00 am

‘Bill' Searles

William C. "Bill" Searles, 79, of Union, a former Baker City resident, died March 17, 2004, at his home.

His graveside funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery with vault interment afterward. Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at the Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., in La Grande.

Mr. Searles was born on Oct. 25, 1924, at Fort Collins, Colo., to Archie and Augusta Massengale Searles. He was raised and educated at La Grande.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was discharged in 1945. He returned to La Grande and worked for the City of La Grande public works department for several years.

He married Vernitta Harmon on April 8, 1952, at Pendleton. After the marriage, the couple moved to Baker City where he worked for the City of Baker City public works department for about 10 years. He owned and operated several businesses afterward, including the Spudnut Doughnut Shop and Dad's Cafe in Baker City. He later owned and operated the Fix-It Shop in Baker City.

He had a special talent for being able to fix almost anything. He also was a skilled carpenter who enjoyed buying and remodeling houses, doing the work himself with the help of his wife and kids. He had been retired for many years.

In his younger years, he was a very talented musician and had his own local band. He was offered the chance to play for Riley Shepard at the Grande Ole Opry, but turned it down to stay with his family. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and playing music.

He had been a past member of the Baker Elks Lodge and the American Association of Retired Persons. He will be truly missed by those who knew and loved him.

Survivors include his wife, Vernitta Searles of Union; four daughters and their spouses, Janet and Lloyd Coffman of McMinnville, Kathleen Searles-Brown and Charlie Brown of Seal Rock, Lorraine Andregg of Pendleton and Margie and Gary Rick of Baker City; two sons and their spouses, William A. and Dawn Searles of Union and Kenneth and Kristi Searles of McMinnville; his sisters, Fern Homan, Thelma Hull and Joan Petry, all of Baker City, Darlene Martin of Port Orchard, Wash., and an adopted sister, Ileen Holman of Beaverton; 15 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter, Gloria Jean Searles; and two baby sisters.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice. The Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Betty Scott

Betty Frances Scott, 62, died March 17, 2004, at her home in Haines.

As Betty's wish, there will be no funeral. A celebration of her life will be scheduled later.

Betty Frances Chandler was born on Dec. 2, 1941, to Russell and Margaret Hendren Chandler at Council, Idaho. She was the oldest of three children, with younger brothers Tom and Jay. The family lived at Bates prior to moving to Baker City in the late 1940s.

She married Paul Raymond Scott on Feb. 6, 1959, at Baker City.

Betty had two children, James Emery, born on June 10, 1960, at Baker City, and Joseph Earl, born on Feb. 23, 1963, at Provo, Utah. The family moved home to Haines in 1965.

Betty worked over the years at several different positions, as a nurses aid, restaurant cook, at the Sell-Rite store in Haines, and as a professional tax preparer. Her most important work was as a wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker. Her family and friends were her top priority in life.

She always had a big heart and an open door for children and animals of all sorts. Betty had a habit of placing everyone else's needs before her own. If anyone needed help with something, all they had to do was ask, and she was there. She always remembered birthdays and holidays; you could rely on receiving a card from Betty on your special day.

In her younger years, she enjoyed the frequent family snowmobile trips, fishing and camping excursions, and gatherings with good friends. She always enjoyed the outdoors, especially in the spring. Later, she enjoyed time spent with family, grandchildren and animals. She was active in the Neighborhood Watch, and looked forward to her Friday night duties.

Survivors include her husband, Paul Scott; son, Jim Scott, and grandson Justin Scott; son and daughter-in-law, Joe and Noel Scott, and granddaughter Riana Lee Scott; her mother, Margaret Chandler; brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Maxine Chandler, and nephews, Tom and Robert Chandler; brother, Jay Chandler, and nieces, Maureen and Michelle Chandler; granddog, Rowdy, and cat, Lucy.

She was preceded in death by her father, Russell Chandler; and a granddaughter, Jennifer Lea Scott.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines Neighborhood Watch through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Darlene Newell

Darlene Newell, 68, of Haines, a former Halfway resident, died March 13, 2004, at her home.

Her memorial service will be scheduled later in Idaho.

Darlene was born on June 15, 1935, at Harper, Idaho, to Ben H. and Sara Goff Young. In the winter of 1953, Darlene married Buck Newell in Nevada. They made their home in various locations following Buck's work in logging and construction. She loved to go and was Buck's parts person, traveling to various cities getting parts for him.

She especially enjoyed living in Idaho and Halfway. She loved to cook and the family loved her cooking. She enjoyed being with babies and kids.

Survivors include her husband, Buck Newell of Haines; children, Brennon Kirk Newell of Portland, Donald Grant Newell of Boise, Deborah Irene Newell of Burns and Cammeron Garrett Newell of Baker City; seven grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings and one son.

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

Joni Nichols

Joni Lee Nichols, 50, of Gresham, a former Baker City resident, died March 8, 2004, at Gresham.

A private service will be scheduled later.

Joni was born on Oct. 5, 1953, at Portland to John Nagel and Mildred Wayne. She was raised and educated at Portland and continued her education at Central Oregon Community College at Bend where she studied photography and computer science. She later worked as a secretary for many companies and industries, including Trimet, a medical office and a construction company.

She lived at Baker City for a few years before moving to Gresham in 2002. She enjoyed crafts, bead work and candle making and she loved people. She was of Catholic faith and was a member of the Native American community.

Survivors include her son, Joshua Miller of Portland; her daughter, Theresa Miller of Baker City; her mother, Mildred Short of Baker City; brothers, Larry Short and Calvin Elliot, both of Baker City, and John Nagel Jr. of Portland; a sister, Chelle of Pendleton; and three grandchildren.

Arrangements were under the direction of Bateman Carroll Funeral Chapel.

Orel Aldrich

Orel Norma (Ensminger) Aldrich, 89, a longtime resident of Rock Creek near Haines, died March 12, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

The Rosary will be said Thursday at 6 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets in Baker City. Her funeral will be Friday at 10 a.m. at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., with Deacon James Watts, Cliff Cole and Father Rob Irwin officiating. Vault interment will follow at Haines Cemetery, with a reception afterward at Haines United Methodist Church.

Visitations will be Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gray's West & Co.

Orel was born July 9, 1914, at Muddy Creek, the third of four daughters of George and Amy (Savage) Ensminger. She lived most of her life near Haines, a community she dearly loved. She attended schools in Haines and Muddy Creek, and graduated from Muddy Creek High School. In recent years she lived among new friends at Elkhorn Village in Baker City.

In 1934 she married Dorrell F. Spence, and they ranched in the local area for many years. They became the parents of two sons, Dorrell F. Spence Jr., and Dennis R. Spence.

She married George Aldrich in 1957 and continued to ranch and live in the local area.

Orel loved her family dearly and very much enjoyed farming, gardening, cooking and family reunions. She loved life and the people and things that were a part of it. She enjoyed outings. She loved rodeos, horse racing, picnics, the Oregon Coast, and just a friend or family member stopping by to visit. She continued to enjoy crossword puzzles, keeping her mind active. She loved to watch "Jeopardy!" each evening.

Orel is survived by her sister, Norma Walker of Baker City; sons and daughters-in-law, Dorrell F. Spence and his wife, Toye, of Baker City, and Dennis R. Spence and his wife, Kathleen, of Haines; grandsons, of whom she was proud and loved dearly, Dorrell III, Patrick, Jonathan, Jason and Matthew, and their families; as well as seven great-grandchildren. She also is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Orel was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George; sisters, Myrtle Aldrich, Mae Vande Vanter and Belva Ensminger; and a beloved niece, Clarice Beach.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Eastern Oregon Museum in Haines or to a charity of one's choice. This may be done through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, Or 97814.

‘Mike' Whittington

Christopher Michael "Mike" Whittington, 31, a former Baker City resident, died March 13, 2004, at Pendleton.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Pendleton.

Mike was born May 13, 1972 at Lodi, Calif., to Larry and Alice Whittington.

Mike was a lover of the outdoors, and an avid hunter and fisherman.

He had lived in Eastern Oregon since 1979. He graduated from Baker High School in 1990. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was a veteran of Desert Storm.

Afterward he returned home where he enjoyed Monday Night Wrestling and many friends. He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.

Survivors include his parents, Larry and Alice Whittington of Pendleton; his wife, Amanda, of Baker City; daughter, Chelsey, of southern California; sister, LeAnne Hightower of Lodi, Calif.; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews from California and Oregon.

Memorial contributions can by made in Mike's name to Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, 336 SW Dorion, Pendleton, OR 97801.

Patricia Hesseltine

Patricia Ellen Hesseltine, 48, a former Baker City resident, died March 14, 2004, at her home in Albany.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Fisher Funeral Home, Third and Washington streets in Albany.

Patricia was born Feb. 2, 1956, at Prairie City to Samuel and Juanita A. (Crane) Bunch.

She moved to Baker City as a child where she grew up and met her one and only love, Larry Hesseltine Sr.

They married July 1, 1972 at Caldwell, Idaho, and moved to Albany in 1983.

She was a caregiver and homemaker for 33 years.

Her true joy in life was her family and friends. She was a mom more than an aunt to all of her nieces and nephews, their friends and anyone else who happened to become a part of her life. The greatest joy was her four grandchildren.

As a grandmother, she was active in the Waverly PTA, along with every extracurricular activity that they participated in.

She is survived by her husband, Larry Hesseltine Sr. of Albany; sons, Samuel Hesseltine of Albany and Larry Hesseltine Jr. of Shedd; brothers, Herbert Bunch of Baker City and Samuel Bunch Jr. of Albany; sisters, Glenda Lambert of Florence and Verna Sue Boone of Albany; four grandchildren, John, Alex, Michelle and Alicia; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Billy Jerome Bunch.