Obituaries for the week of June 14 to June 18

June 18, 2004 12:00 am

Alvin Willits

Alvin Ray Willits, 65, of North Powder, died June 15, 2004, at his home.

His graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Lane Memorial Gardens, 5300 West 11th Ave., Eugene. Visitations will be from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the Lane Memorial Gardens Chapel.

Mr. Willits was born on Feb. 4, 1939, at Des Moines, Iowa, to Raymond Dewey and Stella Marie Monroe Willits. As a small child, he moved with his family to Eugene, where he attended school.

In August 1968, he married Kara-Jo Dean-Mather. He worked as a driver and a mechanic for Swift Logging Co. at Springfield. In 1980, Alvin and Kara-Jo moved to North Powder where they owned and operated Evans Corner Grocery Store. Alvin also drove farm trucks for Kerns Ranch and Browne's Haying and drove school bus for the North Powder School District.

Alvin enjoyed fishing, deer and elk hunting, and spending time with his family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Raymond and Stella Willits; sisters, Eva Wyatt, Lucille and her husband, Addy, and Clovalee; brother, Leland Willits; and a nephew, LeRoy Wyatt.

Survivors include his wife, Kara-Jo Willits; four daughters, Lisa Fouts, and her husband, Jason, of Union; Tami Myers of Eugene, Janie Sweeney and her husband, John, of Eugene, LaVona Mathers and her husband, Ed Wallace, of Eugene; two sons, Clifford Mather, and his wife, Rhana, of Mount Hood, and John Daffern of Eugene; a brother, Albert, and his wife, Carmen, of Eugene; five sisters, Blanche Patrick, and her husband, Bill, of Springfield, Alice Willits of Myrtle Creek, Marylou Jenkin of Myrtle Creek, Janna Walton and her husband, Wayne, of Eugene, and Nancy Johnson and her husband, Jim, of San Diego; 21 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

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

Bruce McMurren

Bruce Joseph McMurren, 67, a lifelong Baker City resident, died June 10, 2004, at his home.

Friends and family will officiating at Bruce's service at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Bruce's family would like family members and friends to join them for a reception and to visit at Joan's house after the service.

Visitations will be at Gray's West & Co. on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from noon to 8 p.m.

There will be a private family inurnment later at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Bruce was born on Dec. 23, 1936, at Baker City to Joseph Samual and Ruth Charity Spencer McMurren. He worked as a laborer in sawmills and construction. He ended his working days at Ash Grove Cement.

Bruce liked hunting, fishing, camping and boating.

He was preceded in death by his father, mother, and four brothers: Harry Smith, Arthur McMurren, Cecil McMurren and David McMurren.

Survivors include his wife, Joan Alene Duncan McMurren; a brother, Lloyd McMurren of Wrangell, Alaska; three children, Jody Califf and her family of Corvallis, Mary Williamson and her family of Baker City, and Robert McMurren; six grandchildren, Courtney, Charles, Zachary, Amber, Ryan and Rachel; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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

‘Jack' Driscoll

John Allen "Jack" Driscoll, 77, of Baker City, died June 2, 2004, at his home.

His memorial service at sea will be on July 11, 2004, off Dana Point, Calif.

Mr. Driscoll was born on March 31, 1927, at Chicago to John Clifford and Bessie Allen Driscoll. He worked as an electronic technician in aviation and was retired from the Air Force. He had lived at Baker City since 1991.

Survivors include his wife, Sandra; seven children and stepchildren; two sisters; two brothers; 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews, all living out of state.

Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Elizabeth Hospital Auxiliary through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Pauline Lewis

Pauline Lewis, 84, of Baker City, died June 6, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her graveside memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Pastor Roger Scovil of the Baker City Christian Church will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck at Geiser Pollman Park after the service. In case of bad weather, the potluck will be moved to 2750 College St.

Pauline was born in a farm home at Onarga Township, Ill., on May 25, 1920. Her mother died when she was young so she and her sisters went to live with their paternal grandmother in Campbellsburg, Ind., for four years.

Afterward, the oldest sister, Leona, stayed in Indiana with an aunt and uncle. Pauline and her other two sisters moved to Chatsworth, Ill., for five years, where each lived with a different family.

Then the 16-year-old Pauline and her youngest sister moved to West Chicago, Ill., where she maintained her father's household. Her daily chores included fixing meals on a wood-burning stove, pumping and carrying water from a well 300 feet from the house, washing clothes with lye soap on a washboard in a galvanized tub, drying laundry on an outside clothesline, and ironing clothes with Sad Irons heated on the wood stove. Preparing meals for the family laid the foundation for her lifelong love of cooking and baking.

At 20, Pauline married Lawrence D. Lyman of West Chicago, Ill., a father of three sons from a previous marriage. Over the next 15 years, five children were added to the family. When the youngest was up and about, the couple enjoyed horseback riding and raccoon hunting with friends.

In 1968, the couple and two youngest children moved to Estacada. In the following years, Pauline was known for providing friends and family with a continuous supply of delicious baked goods.

Lawrence died in 1975 after a lengthy illness. Pauline remarried in 1976 to Joseph P. Lewis of Estacada. The couple spent the next years working as watchmen at area gravel rock-crushing sites, before retiring and moving to LaPine in 1977. Joseph's health declined and he died in 1996.

Pauline left LaPine and spent the next several years dividing her time between her children's homes. Her final home was with her son, James Lyman, and his special friend, Ronda Irey, Baker City residents. In Baker City, she enjoyed daily two-mile walks to the Truck Corral for coffee unless prevented by icy conditions.

Pauline will truly be missed by her family and wide circle of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Lawrence Lyman and Joseph Lewis; a daughter, Violet Donovich; and daughter-in-law, Evelyn Lyman.

Survivors include three sisters, Leona Hughes of Salem, Ind., Rose Stover of Birchwood, Wis., and Mary "Betty" Marlowe of Estacada; sons, James Lyman of Baker City and David Lyman of Springfield; daughters, Delores Stuart of Butte, Mont., and Donalda Weinmann of Mable, Minn.; 21 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

‘Rosie' Darlington

Ella Rose "Rosie" Darlington, 70, of Pendleton, a former Baker City resident, died June 7, 2004, at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton.

At her request, there will be no funeral. Private inurnment will be later at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Rosie Darlington grew up in Baker City and was a 1951 Baker High School graduate. She married William Ralph Darlington on Nov. 17, 1951, at Pendleton.

She worked as a secretary for the Pendleton Junior High School. Rosie was one of the managers of the Community Bargain Counter in Pendleton. She loved traveling, sewing and collecting silhouettes. She died after a short illness.

Survivors include a son, Rod Darlington, and his wife, Cindy, of Pendleton; a daughter, Shirley G. Westfall, and her husband, Martin, of Pendleton; a brother, Donald Averett, of Portland; brother-in-law, Ernie Darlington, and his wife, Alberta, of Baker City; sister-in-law, Vera Walters, and her husband, Gurney, of Pendleton; two granddaughters, Ginger Blair, and her husband, Jeff, of Elgin and Cody Agnew and her husband, Randy, of Seattle, Wash.; a grandson, Nick Darlington of Pendleton; three great-grandchildren, Hayden, Sheldon and Kendell Blair; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, W.R. Darlington; and a brother, Tom Averett.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Bargain Counter, 358 S. Main St., Pendleton, OR 97801.

‘Cal' Suksdorf

C.K. "Cal" Suksdorf, 86, of Prairie City, who mined in Baker and Grant counties over the past 50 years, died June 12, 2004, at Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day after a brief illness.

At his request, there will be no funeral or memorial. He and his wife, Clementine, will be remembered in a private family ceremony in the Mormon Basin.

Cal was born on Feb. 20, 1918, at Angel Camp, Calif. He grew up in Death Valley, Calif., and lived in Oregon and Idaho during his youth. He served his country bravely in World War II as an airplane mechanic.

He married his wife, Clementine, in 1942. They enjoyed 56 years of marriage before Clementine died in May 1998. Cal lived and worked as a minor, prospector and equipment operator in Oregon his entire life, especially in and around his beloved Mormon Basin.

He gave to his community through the Church of Latter-day Saints and the Elks Lodge.

Cal also loved golf and fly-fishing and to sing, play guitar and collect good poems. Walt Whitman was one of his favorite poets.

He bequeathed his family the strength of a gentle man, the common-sense humor of a working man and the love of an honest man.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Nursing Home through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

Brenda Beatty

Brenda L. Beatty, 63, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 8, 2004, at her home.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 2177 First St. The Rev. Richard Thew will officiate. Deacon Connie Boone will assist. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Brenda was born on March 3, 1941, at Ontario to Thad P. and Genevieve Clinkingbeard Beatty. She attended school in Baker City and was a Baker High School graduate. She went on to college, getting her degree in nursing.

She was a registered nurse and worked in the operating room during all of her career, working in Baker City and Boise, Idaho, hospitals. She retired as head surgical nurse from St. Elizabeth Health Services in Baker City.

Along with her mother, she owned an antique shop in Baker City for 18 years. After her retirement, she went to work at Coles Funeral Home, working for Roger and Dawn Coles, as a receptionist. She also helped out with services and provided grief counseling. Because Brenda was raised around funeral service, she really enjoyed working at the funeral home and felt good about helping people through a difficult time.

She loved flowers and gardening and enjoyed spending time with her family. She and her mother went to San Salvador, El Salvador, in Central America to adopt her daughter Gena, who was only 2 years old at the time. She was so proud of her daughter and her grandchildren.

She spent many wonderful times with her cousins in Boise, Idaho. She was very talented in doing crafts and was instrumental in organizing the St. Stephens Gingerbread Festival. She spent many hours in antique shops, flea markets and yard sales, looking for that elusive treasure.

Brenda was very knowledgeable about the value of items and she helped many people price their items for sale. Brenda was generous of heart and had a wonderful sense of humor.

She loved her four-legged companions as if they were her other kids. Most will remember seeing Brenda with her dog, Moppet, right beside her wherever she went. She enjoyed life and had many wonderful barbecues with friends and family.

Brenda was a member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church. She served as president of the women's group and also served in the vestry for the church. She was a past member of Soroptimist International of Baker County, the White Nile in Boise, Idaho, and P.E.O. Chapter AX of Baker County. She volunteered for the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center for many years and was a member of Trail Tenders. She helped organize the "Class of 1959" reunions and many other events in Baker County.

Survivors include her daughter, Gena Beatty Tran, and her husband, Kenneth, of Baker City; grandchildren, Callista Belle, and Zievan Quinten Tran; aunts, Jeanette Anderson and Jean Beatty; uncle, Bill Clinkingbeard; cousins, Charlotte Beatty Gloshen of Boise, Leslie Beatty Hayden and her husband, Glen, of Boise, Andrea Beatty Tlucek and her husband, Laddie, of Oklahoma City, Kathy Beatty Renney and her husband, Dan, of Sand Point, Idaho, Dr. Cynthia Lou Clinkingbeard of Boise, Bill Anderson and his wife, Kathy, of Boise, Joyce Anderson Welton of West Chester, Ohio, Joe Anderson and his wife, Darla, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Judy Anderson Hulbert and her husband, Robert, of Harpers Ferry, West Va.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and several other family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.