Obituaries for the week of Dec. 20 to Dec. 24, 2004

December 27, 2004 12:00 am

Hazel Abrams

Hazel Branch Vogel Abrams, 85, beloved mom and grandma, died Dec. 21, 2004, in the comfort of her home and wrapped in the love of her family.

Her funeral will be Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Cambridge, Idaho. Burial will follow at Cambridge Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Thomason Funeral Home in Weiser, Idaho.

Hazel was born July 28, 1919, at Sublimity, Ore., the fifth of six children of Burton S. and Etta Mae Potter Branch. She was raised on their homestead in the Crane Creek area east of Midvale, Idaho, and she had wonderful childhood memories of riding horses, helping her dad with the farming, learning to cook on a wood stove, attending one-room schools, and being surrounded by a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins.

After finishing eighth grade, Hazel rode her horse into Midvale where she boarded with families so she could attend high school. She was the first in her family to receive a high school education, graduating from Midvale High School in 1936. Soon after that a handsome dark-haired stranger named Bert Vogel swept her off her feet. The two of them were married Aug. 25, 1937, and their love and friendship endured for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health for 38 years until Bert's untimely death in 1975 at age 64.

Most of their 38 years together was spent on their farm five miles southeast of Cambridge, where they worked side by side farming and ranching, milking cows, and raising a family. Hazel always raised a huge garden and canned hundreds of jars of produce for her family. She was an amazing cook and seamstress. She had learned resourcefulness from her parents and had the uncanny ability to create something out of nothing.

Hazel married Alvin Abrams of Weiser on April 1, 1978. Together they enjoyed camping, fishing, and traveling. They lived in Prairie City, Sumpter and Baker City, then moved to Cambridge in 1997 to be near family. Alvin suffered a debilitating stroke in 1982 and Hazel was his loving caregiver until his death on Dec. 26, 1999.

Everything Hazel did became an adventure. She never met a stranger, liked to explore new places, enjoyed reading, music, painting, crafts and gardening. She also loved to dance. She had been a member of the Rebekahs, was a longtime member and officer in the Upper Country Grange, belonged to the Cambridge-Midvale Senior Citizens and was a member of the Cambridge First Baptist Church. She was very involved in her children's lives, serving as room mother, den mother, and 4-H leader while they were growing up. She also became a surrogate mom to many of their friends. She will be especially remembered by family and friends for her extraordinarily quick wit and sense of humor.

Her most important role was that of mom and grandma. She is survived by five children: Charles and Marlene Vogel of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Mike and Nikki Vogel of Cambridge, Susan and Randy Crisp of Cambridge, Tom and Marva Vogel of Payette, Idaho, and Debbie Ford of Boise; grandchildren: Missy and Tim Harrison, Gayle and Steve Peters, Scooter Vogel, Jennifer and Cory Nilson, Jeff Davis and Heather Hodson, Nate Ford, Addie Ford, Kasey and Ben Brock and Isaiah Ford; great grandchildren: Levi and Julia Harrison, Zach and Ian Harrison, Kasey, Becky and Charlie Jones, Crystal and Chris Peters, Blake and Abbie Vogel, and Joshua Nilson; her beloved sister, Bertha McPherson of Hayden, Idaho; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Hazel was preceded in death by her two husbands; her parents; her son, Roger Vogel; her granddaughter, Lori Ann Vogel; two brothers, Milton and Delbert Branch; and two sisters, Mabel Daugherty and Mae Clure.

The family extends their appreciation to Phyllis Ward and Brenda Traxler of Cambridge for their assistance in caring for Hazel; also thanks to the staff of Heart and Home hospice for their loving attention to her final needs.

The family suggest memorials be made in Hazel's name to the Cambridge or Midvale EMT/Fire departments, the Cambridge-Midvale Senior Citizens, the Cambridge Baptist Church or a favorite charity.

‘Windy' Fisher

Raymond H. "Windy" Fisher, 77, of Baker City, died Dec. 4, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His memorial service will be Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. The Veterans of Foreign Wars will accord military rites.

Windy was born June 26, 1927, in Yakima, Wash., to Howard and Anna (Morgan) Fisher. He received his education in Wapato, Wash. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He later worked as a shepherd and farm hand.

Windy came to Baker City from Ontario in 1988. He was a member of the Baker County Senior Citizens, Inc. Most will remember Windy riding his bicycle around Baker City, his patriotic flags waving.

Windy is survived by his children, James Fisher and Kathy Jones, both of Longview, Wash.

Contributions in Windy's memory may be made to the Disabled American Veterans Van Fund, in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Maxine Schlegel

Maxine Schlegel, 81, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 19, 2004, at Nampa, Idaho.

At her request there will be no services. Disposition was by cremation.

Maxine was born June 17, 1923, at Charleston, W.Va., to P.O. and Mae Carnes Nicely.

She received her education at Fort Saint Jones, Canada. She graduated from Grant Union High School in John Day.

Maxine worked at several restaurants in Baker City and Elgin.

She is survived by her son, Dean Schouten of Nampa; a brother and sister-in-law, Phil and Polly Nicely of Baker City; and several grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Maxine was preceded in death by her parents, P.O. and Mae Nicely; her husband, Willie Schlegel; her son, Victor Schouten; a sister, Geraldine Nicely; and a brother, Dale Nicely.

June Bennett

June Bennett, 79, of Baker City, died Dec. 15, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

The date of her memorial service will be announced later.

June was born in the Fort Francis territories along the Canadian and American borders on June 1, 1926, to John Julies and Nellie Borcher. She was the youngest of three children.

Her family moved to Evanston, Wash., in the 1930s were her father, "J.J.", found employment in the lumber industry and in private enterprise up and down the Oregon and Washington coast.

June was a 1944 graduate of North Bend High School. She went on to join the Cadet Nursing Corps and attended the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Baker City. She graduated in 1949.

She met and married Dale Bennett of Baker City in 1948, beginning life on the family ranch at Keating where their three children were born. The family moved to Baker City in 1958 where June began working at her career as a registered nurse and mother until retirement.

June was a woman of many and varied interests. She lived to fish and to read books. She was an excellent bowler and loved golfing. She liked watching birds, walking in the surrounding trees and sage.

Survivors include her husband, Dale Bennett; her older brother, Richard Borcher of Los Molinos, Calif.; her oldest son, Vance Bennett, his wife, Celeste, and their three children, Beamus, Cooper and Duncan, of Winnemucca, Nev.; her second oldest son, Daniel, and his friend, Steve Rabitory, of Portland; and her daughter, Leslee Baily, and her husband, William Baily, and their daughter, Nellie, of Baker City.

She was preceded in death by her parents, J.J. and Nellie Borcher; and her oldest brother, William Borcher, of Coos Bay.

In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Pathway Hospice through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Russell Williams

Russell Davis Williams, 91, who grew up on his family's ranch at Muddy Creek, died Dec. 13, 2004, at Sun City, Calif.

Mr. Williams, the youngest of seven children born to Harry and Ida Williams, graduated from Muddy Creek High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1935 and served on the USS Minneapolis, which took him to Hawaii, through the Panama Canal, and to Central America.

After being discharged, he married Maxine McGrath of North Powder in 1939. He and his late brother, Ed Williams, a longtime Baker City resident, both worked for Basche-Sage Hardware Co. for more than 30 years.

In 1951, Russell and Maxine moved to Payette, Idaho, where he served as Basche-Sage's sales representative in southwestern Idaho and they raised two daughters.

In 1978, they retired to Sun City. Although he gave up trout fishing when he left the Northwest, Russell remained an avid fan of big band music and the New York Yankees throughout his life.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Maxine Williams; two daughters, Diane Wilson of Washington, D.C., and Maryann Green of Tacoma, Wash.; a sister, Hazel Toney, of Baker City; four grandsons and one granddaughter, and four great-grandchildren.