Obituaries for the week of June 21 to June 25

June 25, 2004 12:00 am

Oscar Coen

Oscar Hoffman Coen, 87, of Baker City, died June 23, 2004, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise.

There will be no funeral. His wife, Virginia, will be happy to receive friends and relatives at her home in a few days.

Oscar Coen was born at Hannaford, N.D., on May 11, 1917, to Archie and Mary Coen. He grew up in Pound, Wis., and received his bachelor of science degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Shortly thereafter, Col. Coen crossed into Canada to take basic training in flying aircraft with the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was a short time before he found himself in England, flying with the British 71st all American Eagle Squadron, where World War II was in pursuit of victory for the allies.

In 1941 he took a long detour through France after his plane was damaged by debris from an ammunition train he attacked. Two months later he was back in England, where he proceeded to fly again with the 71st Eagle Squadron. Col. Coen returned to the United States after the War, and flew with the U.S. Air Force until he and his wife, Virginia, retired in 1962 and came to live in Baker City.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia, and three daughters, Carleen Baily of Pennington, N.J., Robin Coen of Boise, and Tymera Coen of Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Marilyn's Music's Friday Night Sessions, 1821 Main St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Lawrence Neault

Lawrence Martin Neault, 90, a lifetime Baker City resident, died Monday, June 21, 2004 at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

There will be a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, 2235 First St. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin will officiate.

Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the St. Francis Parish Hall after the graveside service.

Lawrence was born on Sept. 20, 1913, at Baker City to Henry Peter and Anna Catherine Hermsen Neault. He attended St. Francis Academy and Oregon State University at Corvallis.

During the Depression, Lawrence worked at Unity for Joe Thompson, breaking horses. He later worked at the First National Bank working his way up to vice president.

In 1950, he opened Baker County Finance Co. He was on the National Consumer Finance Board and served as president of the Oregon Financial Services Association. In these capacities, he traveled throughout the United States, but he always preferred Baker County.

He married Anna Doris Colton on Dec. 4, 1937. Lawrence and Anna had two children, Rory A. Neault and Sally A. Neault.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He hunted in Oregon, Idaho and Canada, obtaining his share of deer, elk, antelope and moose. Lawrence loved the forests and outdoor activities.

He had a cabin at Auburn for a time. Later, he owned and operated a ranch at Halfway, where he managed a million board feet of timber. At the time of his death, he owned a small spot at Sumpter as his "get-away."

Among other pursuits in his earlier years were writing the sports for the local newspapers, The Oregonian and the Baker Democrat-Herald; panning for gold; witty sayings; and horses.

Lawrence was a lifetime member of the Baker Elks Lodge No 338. He headed the committee that built the current Elks building.

Lawrence was active politically for many years in Baker County and at the state level. He was an officer in the Oregon Young Republicans, serving with two or three future governors and U.S. senators and representatives. In later years, he fund-raised and headed political committees for other Eastern Oregon political candidates. Among those he supported were Mark Hatfield, Sam Coon, Robert Packwood, Sig Unander, and Tom McCall.

He was a member of the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral Parish.

He was the family historian and expert on French ancestry, since his family is French. The Neaults were among the first 2,000 families to depart France and settle in "New France," Quebec, Canada. On Lawrence's first trip to Quebec, he went to the phone book to look up a family member's number, and found pages of Neaults or Naults or Nau's listed.

His grandfather and grandmother came by wagon train from Quebec, along with other French Canadians just after the Civil War, and settled in Baker County, in an area called Sutton Creek.

Survivors include his wife, Anna; son, Rory A. Neault, and his wife, Marsha, of Pendleton; daughter, Sally A. Todd,and her husband, Don, of Fairfax Station, Va.; five grandchildren, Victor Lawrence, Heather Ann, Wayne Michael, Jennifer Jean and Stephanie Nichole Todd; six great-grandchildren, Donovan, Scottie, Sebastian, Logan, Dalia and Regan; and three stepgrandchildren, Joshua, Kristoffer and Michelle.

Michael Spriet

Michael Allen Spriet, 42, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 19, 2004, at his home.

His graveside funeral will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Dean Baxter will officiate. Everyone is invited to a reception after the ceremony at the home of Jodi Hacker, 2435 Myrtle St. Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Mike was born on Sept. 28, 1961, at Baker City to Harley "Ten Bucks" Spriet and Zoe Anne Fuller-Spriet. He received his schooling in Baker City and was a 1981 Baker High School graduate.

After high school, Mike served a mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He related many fond memories of this experience. When Mike returned from his mission, he began work for Albertsons in the produce department where he worked for a couple of years.

He then moved on to P & E Distributing where he worked with his dad for 15 years. In December 2000 he went to work for PW Poly.

Mike was known as "Slyde" or "Mikey" to his friends and family. He had a warm heart and always greeted those he loved with a smile and a hug. His sunny personality and laugh will be missed by all.

His daughter, Kayla, who he affectionately referred to as "Munchkin," was the apple of his eye. Slyde was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping with his friends and family.

Survivors include his daughter, Kayla of Baker City; his mother, Zoe Anne of Baker City; brothers and sisters-in-law, Rick and Cindi Spriet of Springfield, and Harley Dean and Myka Spriet of Baker City; sister and brother-in-law, Jodi and Kyle Hacker of Baker City; his grandparents, Deal and Arlene Spriet, of Baker City; his former wife, Audra Spriet; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Harley Spriet.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kayla Spriet Trust Account through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Jack' Gyllenberg

John Powell "Jack" Gyllenberg, 79, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 18, 2004, at his home from cancer.

His memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane.

Jack was born in Baker City on July 13, 1924, to John "Lee" and Marguerite "Madge" Powell Gyllenberg. He spent a number of years in Baker City before the family moved to Arlington during the Great Depression.

In Arlington, Jack worked as a child on the Hartfield Wheat Ranch. In later years, he shared stories of driving truck, sewing wheat sacks, and working with horse and mule teams. The family then moved to Salem briefly, before residing in Silverton, and later moving into what is now Silver Creek Falls Park.

Jack worked as a guide and shared some of his most memorable moments from taking "dudes" horseback into the park. After a final childhood move, Jack graduated from West Seattle High School in 1942.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He graduated from the technical school of the AAF Training Command as class valedictorian and spent the duration of the war as a radio instructor. He received honorable discharge in 1946. During and shortly after his service, he attended Los Angeles Community College and Utah State University.

Jack returned to Baker to aid his father after the death of his mother. He began working for the Gus Davis Ranch in Ironside and other Unity/Hereford area ranches. A favorite story was his involvement in gathering wild horses in Juntura.

About this time Jack began playing music and started a band that played for community dances throughout Baker County. It was at a Hereford dance he met Janice Munn, whom he married in 1952. Together, they played for dances every Friday and Saturday night until 1962, and continued playing until just a few years ago for special family events.

Jack worked as a saw filer at the mill in Baker before starting a cement block business called Durablock. In 1960 he and Janice purchased their first land in Bowen Valley starting their dream of owning a ranch. From the original 530 acres, the ranch grew to 7,000 acres over 40 years of hard work together.

The couple raised cattle, sheep and hay. After selling Durablock, Jack worked as a mechanic, hauled cattle, custom hayed and studied for his real estate broker's license. As Hat Brand Realty, he sold real estate specializing in ranches until he retired in 2000.

Jack was active in the community, county, and state throughout his lifetime. His voluntary participation in many organizations as well as his help and consideration for individuals in need were numerous.

He was an avid activist for the rights of private property owners. His outgoing personality and positive outlook on life made him well-known and appreciated as a Baker County citizen. He loved people, and will be missed by those who knew him.

Survivors include his wife, Janice; a sister, Marguerite Mason of Boise; four children and their spouses, Brent and Bitsy Gyllenberg of Baker City, Neva and Kenny Parker of Bend, Clay and Chris Gyllenberg of Baker City, and Elissa and Clint Morrison of Baker City; six grandchildren, Justin Gyllenberg, and his wife, Tiffany, of Meridian, Idaho, Dani and Laura Gyllenberg, Cody and Dusty Gyllenberg, and Tynan Morrison, all of Baker City; and one great-grandchild, Lacy Gyllenberg of Meridian.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Northeast Oregon Compassion Center, or the Nazarene Church HOPE Fund through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Barbara Sturgill

Barbara Ann Sturgill, 82, of Baker City, died June 20, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 2130 Second St. The Rev. Dick Toll of Milwaukie will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at the church.

Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Barbara was born to L.D. and Neva Chidsey Clabough on Aug. 12, 1921, at Heppner. She moved with her mother, Neva, and her sister, Dorothy, to Baker City in 1927 when she was 6 years old. She has been a continuous resident of Baker County until her death. She was assimilated into the McCord pioneering family legacy when her mother married Robert McCord in 1932.

Her teen-age years were marked with her characteristic qualities of independence, strong will, exuberance, compassion and tremendous energy. She was active in sports, school activities and summer fun. She often championed the underdog and social misfit, and often exhibited a streak of roguish behavior in the form of prankish, but harmless, practical jokes.

Her headlong charge into life was slowed a bit when, at age 19, she was stricken with the dreaded crippling poliomyelitis. The disease left all her muscles paralyzed from the waist down.

After two years of almost constant hospitalization, surgeries and treatment in Portland, she was released, with her physician's dire predictions she would never walk again, would never be able to bear children and would, in effect, be restricted to a comparatively sedentary lifestyle.

Through sheer grit and determination, Barbara defied all the odds. With the aid of leg braces, laced corseting of her upper body, and a cane for balance, she did learn to "walk" again, swinging her legs by using her upper body muscles. Eventually over the years, she was forced to use two canes, then crutches and finally a wheelchair and electric cart. For the las year and a half she was confined to bed, first at home, then at the St. Elizabeth Health Care Center where she finished out her days.

She married returned World War II Navy veteran Kenneth W. Sturgill on April 21, 1946, in Baker City. She subsequently bore and nurtured two sons, often relying on her far-reaching cane or well- trained dog, Fawn, to retrieve active little boys when they were sure they had outfoxed their mother.

She was an active farm wife, during the first year of marriage sometimes cooking for as many as 16 hay hands, all before electricity or indoor plumbing were installed.

Life became a little more convenient when the family moved into a modest, electrically wired and plumbed house in Baker City in 1952. More convenient, maybe, but only encouraging her to become more involved in family, neighborhood and community affairs.

She actively supported the World War II effort by serving as a volunteer in the local United Service Organizations. She communicated regularly with local servicemen abroad, keeping them apprised of happenings on the home front.

She worked as a secretary to the appeals panel of the local Draft Board. She was an active and creative Cub Scout den mother and helped organize and support PTA, Little League and Babe Ruth.

She was an advocate and strong supporter of all sports and school extracurricular activities. She was a tireless and dedicated 4-H worker in numerous ways, for both her own sons and a multitude of other participants. She either organized or solicited funds for yearly fund-raisers of the National Polio Foundation, Cancer Society and American Heart Association.

She served as a Sunday school teacher and in other positions in her church, was a longtime working member of the popular Me 'N' You dinner/dance club and was active in Lady Elks and CattleWomen for many years.

She unselfishly served as "physician," "counselor," and "second mother" to many, feeling free to chip in with some homespun advice, whether solicited or not, but fondly recalled and appreciated in the recipient's later years.

In addition to nurturing her own family, she often baby-sat the children of friends and neighbors, with or without pay. Periodically, she worked outside the home for KBKR radio station, Leo Adler Magazine Distributors and Realtor Lyle Laeger.

Survivors include her husband of 58 years, Kenneth W. Sturgill; sons, Blair, and his wife, Carolyn, of Roseburg and Robert and his wife, Peggy, of Fort Worth, Texas; sisters and their husbands, Dorothy, and Melvin Durgan of Baker City, Shirley and Robert Clemens of Salem, and Sharon and Joe Hindman of Pullman, Wash.; a brother, Oliver McCord, and his wife, Kay, of Cheney, Wash.; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Stephens Episcopal Church or to the charity of one's choice through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Tony Smith

Tony Howard Smith Jr., 61, of Baker City died June 17, 2004, at his home.

There will be an informal celebration of his life at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Gray's West & Co. Interment will be at the Sumpter Cemetery.

Tony was born on Aug. 31, 1942, at Weatherford, Okla., to Howard and Exxie Hughes Smith. As a child, he came to Oregon to live with his father and stepmother, Ruby. He grew up in Eastern Oregon.

He played football while attending high school at Mitchell and also was also involved in track and field. Tony loved the outdoors and enjoyed fishing, hunting and gathering mushrooms. He often spent most of the summer camping.

Tony enjoyed many other things in life including food, antiquing, auctioning, and flea markets. He had a special place in his heart for babies and little children, who brought out his most kind and gentle traits.

He was preceded in death by his birth mother; his father and step-mother; a son, Jody Smith; two brothers; and two sisters.

Survivors include his companion, "Ma" Anita Buzzard and her three children and his children, Tony Franklin Smith, Tammy Wright and her husband, Troy, Sherry Smith, Tina Stritmater and her husband, Dave, Sheila Smith, TJ Smith, and Russell Smith; brothers and sisters, Dennis, Larry, B.J., Rose, Anna, Lori and Dana; 13 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; 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.

Eugene Deiter

Eugene "Gene" Deiter, 66, died June 18, 2004, at his daughter's home in Vancouver, Wash. He had been ill for the last few years.

There will be a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 349 South Egan in Vancouver, Wash.

Gene was born on Oct. 17, 1937, at Rifle, Colo., to Edwin and Pearl Nichols Deiter. He attended grammar school in Colorado until 1949, when the family moved to Burns, where he continued his education. When he was 17, he joined the military and served during the Korean War.

During his military service, he married Elaine Williams in 1955. Later, they divorced. In 1974, he married Joann Kennedy. They had two children, Rose and Tracy.

For 19 years he was employed by Edward Hines Lumber Co. Gene enjoyed gardening, working, traveling and talking with people.

Survivors include his wife, Joann of St. Helens; mother, Pearl Deiter of Burns; brothers and sisters, Lana and Bob Barber and Vivian and Brent Drury of Hines and Dennis and Novell Deiter of Burns; children, Albert Deiter of Burns, Kelly and Ray Gregg of Redmond, Danny and Lou Ann Deiter of Burns, and Rose Quigley and Tracy Deiter of Vancouver, Wash.; stepsons, Joseph Fox and Jason Tryon of Vancouver, Wash.; 16 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Edwin Deiter; brothers, Ronald Deiter and James Deiter; and a sister, Karen Deiter.

‘Betty' Lovelace

Elizabeth V. "Betty" Lovelace, 81, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 17, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

A memorial Mass will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, 2235 First St. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at St. Francis Parish Hall after the service.

Betty was born on Nov. 17, 1922, at South Canaan, Pa., to Valeria and Andrew Jarusik. After her high school graduation, she worked as a secretary for RCA and DuPont corporations before coming West.

She married William Edgar Lovelace at St. Francis Cathedral in 1946. During her years in Baker City, she worked as a secretary to Leo Adler and later for Baker County in both the Health Department and County Court.

After her employment with the county, Betty worked for Irving Rand and then became a real estate agent with Curfman Real Estate and Lovelace Real Estate.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, William and Frances Lovelace of Baker City; a brother, Stanley of Frenchburg, Ky.; and sister, Antoinette James of Toms River, N.J.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William; and brothers, Charles, Carl, Henry, John, Joseph, Leo and Louis.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Baker County Meals on Wheels Program through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Theresa Dean-Moore

Theresa Marie "Terry" Dean Moore, 86, died Nov. 29, 2003, at Providence Hospital in Portland.

A graveside memorial will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Terry was born March 29, 1917, at Baker City. She moved to Portland in 1939 and resided in the Portland/Vancouver until her death.

She retired from the Multnomah Athletic Club in 1982.

Terry is survived by her daughter, Mary Ann Cantrell of Portland; two brothers, Robert E. Dean and Jefferson E. Dean Jr., both of Vancouver, Wash., and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John, in December 1988.

Her countless friends, colleagues and loved ones will miss her quick wit, generous nature, outspokenness and fun-loving spirit.

The family requests no flowers.

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