Obituaries for the week of Aug. 9 to Aug. 13

August 13, 2004 12:00 am

‘Gene' Duncan

Roscoe E. "Gene" Duncan, 65, a lifetime Baker County resident, died Aug. 11, 2004, at his home.

His memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. The rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Sunday at the church. The Revs. Jim Stephens, Robert C. Irwin and Camillus Fernando will concelebrate the Mass.

Gene was born in Baker City on Oct. 12, 1938, to Rock and Ruth Duncan. He spent his childhood in Keating Valley and attended the Keating School as the only student in his grade level.

He then moved to the Baker Middle School and attended high school at St. Francis Academy. Gene then attended Oregon State University at Corvallis, Gonzaga University at Spokane, Wash., and Eastern Oregon University at La Grande.

In 1961, Gene was drafted into the U.S. Army. He married Mary Claire Montgomery on Nov. 15, 1961. After his discharge, he returned to the ranch in Keating Valley where they lived for a couple of years.

In 1964, they moved to Baker City where they raised their four children. Gene was a born salesman. He eventually started his own business, Duncan Wholesale, a food wholesale family run business.

In his last working years, he worked in the agricultural department at Farmterials and Lumbermen's, until his health conditions forced him into early retirement.

Gene enjoyed life and played as hard as he worked. After a 14-hour workday, he would spend hours coaching kids in the evening. He was very involved in youth sports and spent 25 years refereeing basketball from B league up to the 4A boys and girls state tournaments. He loved the Eagle Cap Mountains and the family spent quality time hunting and camping there.

Gene was a 44-year member of the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338, and for several years he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also a Knights of Columbus member for 44 years.

He served as president of both baseball associations, Little League and Babe Ruth. He was a lifetime member of the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Claire Duncan of Baker City; his children, Hugh Duncan, Colleen Downing and her husband, Ken, and Matt Duncan and his wife, Jennifer, all of La Grande, and Kathy Duncan-Casper and her husband, Donald, of Wallowa; sisters, Sister Kay Marie Duncan of Baker City and Emmy Ann Bellows of Ontario; an aunt, Mildred Williams of Portland and an uncle, Robert Hermsen of Palo Alto, Calif.; five grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roscoe and Ruth Duncan.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Diabetes Association or St. Francis de Sales Choir Loft Fund through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Pat' Gentry

France P. "Pat" Gentry, 80, of Baker City, died Aug. 6, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Her funeral will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Coles Funeral Home. Pastor Jack Bynum of the United Methodist Church will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be until 7 o'clock tonight at the funeral home.

She was born in 1924 at Stuttgart, Ark., to Frank and Anna Sanders Guy. She was raised by her uncle and aunt, Horce and Minnie Jackson, at Mound City, Ill., where she attended school. She was a 1942 Mound City High School graduate.

She married Robert P. Gentry in 1943. They settled at Baker City in 1947. She worked as a housekeeper for the Baker Hotel from 1948 through the 1960s.

She worked at numerous motels and retired from housekeeping after working at the old St. Elizabeth Nursing Home in 1987 after 13 years.

Survivors include her sons, Homer Gentry and his wife, Bonnie, of Baker City, and Carl Gentry and his wife, Trina, of Benton City, Wash.; daughters, Katherine Gentry of Baker City and Sheila Esquibel and her husband, Wayne, of Gillette, Wyo.; 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Ruby Lawrence; her husband, Robert P. Gentry; daughter, Pamela S. Haggard; and grandson, Dennis E. Allen.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or to to the Humane Society through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Metta Pitman

Metta D. Pitman, 85, a longtime Baker City resident, died Aug. 8, 2004, at Haines.

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Roger Scovil of the Baker City Christian Church will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a luncheon at the Baker City Christian Church, 2998 Eighth St., after the service.

Metta was born on June 8, 1919, to Elva Carl and Rosella Lewis Perry at Nampa, Idaho. She graduated from Meridian High School at Meridian, Idaho, and went on to Albion Normal School, Albion, Idaho. She received her teaching certificate in 1939.

Metta married Chester W. Sater in 1939. They were later divorced. She married John Pitman on Aug. 19, 1949. She was a teacher in Baker schools from 1945 until her retirement in 1981, having taught at Brooklyn, Churchill, North Baker and South Baker elementary schools.

Metta enjoyed traveling with Eastern Star and in her RV, and spending time with family. She liked to read, tend her flower gardens, pick huckleberries, do needlework, and play cards. She was a member of the Eastern Star, Esther Chapter, and was very active at both the local and state levels.

Survivors include her two sons, Chester Sater and his wife, Linda, of La Grande; Jack Sater and his wife, Arlyne, of Lolo, Mont.; her stepdaughter, Marilyn Brinkerhoff, and her husband, Kendal, of Pangutich, Utah; her two brothers, Jack Perry and his wife, Pat, of John Day, and Earl Perry and his wife, Joann, of Lowman, Idaho; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and many stepgrandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Metta was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 1996; her parents, Elva and Rosella Perry; and a brother, Everett Perry.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or the charity of one's choice through Gray's West & Co., PO Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Michael Ellis

Michael Hugh Ellis, 58, of Pendleton died on Aug. 6, 2004, after a short stay at St. Alphonsus Critical Care Unit in Boise.

His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception after the services.

Visitations will be until 8 o'clock tonight at Gray's West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave.

Michael Hugh was born on June 17, 1946, to Charles E. and Nellie Mae Colton Ellis at Baker City. He worked as a superintendent of the Pendleton Flour Mill.

He married Gail Van Sickle on March 4, 1987, at the Ioloni Palace in Oahu, Hawaii.

Mike enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Gail, and their son, Jarrod, 14, of Pendleton; his sons, Michael and his wife, Tara, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Randal and his wife, Julie, of Bellingham, Wash.; daughter, Suzy, and her husband, Russel Poole of Louisville, Ky.; 14 grandchildren; his mother Nellie Mae Colton Owen of Baker City; his two brothers, Gregg "Pat" Flint of Baker City and Timothy J. Flint of San Francisco; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in Baker County and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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

Irene Stuart

Irene DeVos "Tu-Tu" Stuart, 79, of La Grande, died Aug. 5, 2004, at her home after a short illness.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in La Grande. The Rev. Father Hank Albrecht will officiate. Private interment will be later.

Irene was born on July 29, 1925, at Baker City to Edgar and Maria DeVos. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Belgium in 1921.

Irene was a successful businesswoman for many years, a world class cook and homemaker. She took great pride in her flowers and yard. She loved to decorate for the Christmas holidays, inside and out.

Irene was a devout Catholic. Her faith was her foundation and her family was her fortress.

Irene was an avid animal lover. She fed and found homes for all stray cats and dogs that were lucky enough to land on her doorstep. Her favorite charity was the Blue Mountain Humane Association.

"Irene leaves a large hole in the hearts of everyone she touched. She was a hard act to follow," her family said.

Irene was married to the late Dr. Robert L. Stuart, who died in 1983.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Linda Danes and Rick Snyder of La Grande; son and daughter-in-law, Robert A. and Stacey Stuart of West Linn; grandson, Ricky D. Snyder of La Grande; a very special nephew, Dr. Gary DeVos and his wife, Shirly, of Baker City; niece, Debby DeVos Cantrell of Aloha; nephew, Tony DeVos of Astoria; stepdaughters, Joetta Stuart Smith of La Grande and Theresa Stuart Kennedy of Maui, Hawaii.

She also was preceded in death by her mother and father and an infant sister.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Blue Mountain Humane Association through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.