Obituaries for the week of Jan. 3 to Jan. 7

January 07, 2005 12:00 am

Lawrence Smelcer

Lawrence J. Smelcer, 97, a lifelong Pine Valley resident, died Jan. 1, 2005, at his winter home in Yuma, Ariz.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church in Halfway. Interment will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church.

Lawrence was born on Aug. 4, 1907, in the Panhandle of Baker County to Marion X. and Milda Schmidt Smelcer. He was raised in Pine Valley and attended Pine Town grade school and Halfway High School.

He married Dorothy Romine on June 1, 1931, at Vancouver, Wash. They were married for 72 years. They bought and sold many ranches in the area, settling in their home place in 1941 where he continued to make his home in the summer.

Lawrence always wanted a winter home in Yuma and spent the last 30 winters enjoying the warmer weather. He never met a stranger. He loved to socialize and to go out to dinner. He enjoyed visiting with his neighbors.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorothy; his brother, Leroy; sisters, Vyril Agen and Letha Hubbel; and a grandson, Ray.

Survivors include his sons and daughters-in-law, Ben and Dortha Smelcer of Halfway, and Dean and Margaret Smelcer of Emmett, Idaho; a daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Terry Anderson of Pendleton; grandchildren, Darrell, James and Sandra Smelcer, Brad and Brian Smelcer, Shari Hartwig, and Katlyn and Dane Anderson; great-grandchildren, Sara Smelcer, Trevor and Dallas Smelcer, Meghan and Jennifer Smelcer and Lenore Hartwig; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Granite Peaks Assisted Living through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834.

Goldie Ewing

Goldie J. Ewing, 90, a lifetime Baker City resident, died Jan. 4, 2005, at Ashley Manor.

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Jimmy Larkin of Jehovah's Witnesses will officiate.

Goldie was born on Sept. 8, 1914, at Keating to William H. and Pearl Shulenbarger Best. She married Harvey C. Ewing on April 1, 1936, at Payette, Idaho. The couple were married 43 years when Harvey died in 1979.

Home and family was the most important thing in her life. She was always there for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She was a better carpenter than most and an accomplished seamstress. She enjoyed repairing dolls and making the clothes for her large collection until she lost her eyesight.

Survivors include her son, Duane E. Ewing, and his wife, Sharron, of Baker City; foster daughter, Bonnie, and her husband, Eugene Warden, of Woodland, Wash.; brother, Elton Best of Baker City; two sisters-in-law, Veda Knoblauch of Baker City and Luella Densmore of Pendleton; grandchildren, Duane S. Ewing, and his wife, Melonie, of Haines, Mark D. Ewing and his wife, Debbie, of Baker City, Carmen E. Nelson and her husband, Jeff, of Baker City and April L. Bowers and her husband, Dave, of Baker City; great-grandchildren, Anne Lacey of Los Angeles, Levi, Sacha, and Goldie L. Ewing of Haines, Angela and Heather Ewing, both of Baker City; stepgrandchildren, Laura Bowling and Dominic Collins, Jessica Profitt, Joseph Profitt and his wife, Brittney, of Baker City, and Columbus-James "CJ" Bowers and Rab Bowers of Baker City; foster grandchildren, Roger, Erling, and Ralph Warden; seven great-great-grandchildren, most recently, Landen Profitt, born on Nov. 30, 2004; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; three brothers, Harold, Loyd and John Best; a sister, Olive Standefer; five nephews; and a great-granddaughter, Kassandra S. Ewing.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Casey Eye Institute through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Rena' Evans

Lorena Louise "Rena" Evans, 64, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 31, 2004, of heart failure.

There will be a celebration of her life at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Nazarene Church Fellowship Hall, 1250 Hughes Lane.

Mrs. Evans was born on March 29, 1940, at Carlton to Lloyd and Gladys Greenslit Lovik. She was married to Wayne A. Evans, who preceded her in death.

Mrs. Evans worked for several years at Ryder Bros. Stationery Store and enjoyed spending her time with co-workers and customers. She was involved, with her husband, Wayne, in the Oregon Hunters Association. She enjoyed traveling, hunting, ceramics and crafts.

Survivors include a son, Michael, of Albany; two daughters, Teela of Astoria and Lisa Parr of Jefferson; three grandchildren, Michael, Brandon and Marissa Parr; and two brothers, Martin Lovik of Sweet Home and David Lovik of Bend.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Baker Chapter, Oregon Hunters Association, P.O. Box 629, Baker City, OR 97814.

Wilma Davis

Wilma D. Davis, 86, of Hood River, a former Northeastern Oregon resident, died Jan. 4, 2005.

The family will gather later for burial of her ashes.

Wilma was born on April 20, 1918, at Prairie City to Alma Davis and Annie Merle Dalton Davis. She grew up and attended school at Prairie City. She later lived in the Hood River area.

Wilma's dad and his family came from Kansas across the Oregon Trail when he was 5 years old.

She is remembered by her family as a very compassionate person who always had a ready smile.

Survivors include her brothers, Leslie Davis, and her niece, Cheryl Davis of Baker City, Gene Davis and his wife, Georgine of Sparks, Nev., Wayne Davis and his wife, Barbara, of Redding, Calif.; a niece, Barbara Henshaw Parker, and family of Portland; nieces, nephews and cousins from Seattle to New York City, Redding, Calif., to Alabama, including David Davis of Baker City.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Forest Davis Henry Davis and infant brother, Virgil Davis; and her sister, Ellen Davis Henshaw.

In lieu of flowers and contributions, the family suggests planting flowers in memory of your loved ones. Her brother, Leslie, and his family have planted several rose bushes in memory of family members and they now have a beautiful rose garden.

Coles Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

David Baxter

David Patrick Baxter, 80, of Portland, a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather, died Dec. 12, 2004, surrounded by his family. David died of esophageal and lung cancer.

David was born March 17, 1924, in Sterling, Ill., to the Rev. Thomas and Eliza Baxter.

After his mother's death in 1932, his father married Myra. They lived in Elgin, Ill., then moved to Austin, Minn.

His family later moved to Baker City, where his father was a minister at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. David was a standout football and basketball player at Baker High School.

After graduating in 1942, he attended Oregon State College, where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and served on the aircraft carrier Fanshaw Bay in the South Pacific. After the war ended, he tried to maintain order on trains ferrying soldiers and sailors home as a member of the Shore Patrol.

Upon his return to Oregon, David graduated from the University of Portland. He worked for GMAC in Portland as credit manager and sales manager for 32 years.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Margaret; their children and spouses, Robert and Teresa, Donald and Jan, and Carolynn and Blair Campbell; six grandchildren; and a half sister, Dorothy Walrath of Reno, Nev.

David was preceded in death by his siblings, Harris and Janet.

‘Betty' Miles

Elizabeth E. "Betty" Miles, 70, of Salem, a former longtime Granite resident, died Dec. 29, 2004, after a long battle with lung disease.

At her request, there will be no memorial service.

She was born on Lopus Island, Wash., on Oct. 26, 1934, and spent her early years in the Puget Sound area.

She married James L. Miles on Nov. 3, 1956. Jim was in the U.S. Air Force.

As a military family, they lived in Japan for several years where they adopted two daughters, Tammie from Japan and Linda from South Korea. They returned to the United States and moved to South Carolina, then Idaho and Alaska before finally settling in Oregon in 1974.

In 1977, Jim and Betty purchased 10 acres at Granite and began the long process of constructing their own home. Jim died in 1989 and Betty continued to live in Granite until 1996, when for health reasons, she relocated to La Grande. She moved to Salem in 1997.

Betty was a remarkable person, strong-willed and independent. These characteristics and her faith helped her battle the challenges of her lung disease.

Although she was tethered to an oxygen tank, she swam laps and when that became too difficult, she did water aerobics. She remained as active as possible.

In recent months, when she was no longer able to do water aerobics, she was content to do puzzles. She made the most out of difficult situations.

Betty was a member of McEwen Bible Fellowship at Sumpter and later attended the Salem First Church of the Nazarene. She had a zest for life, enjoyed meeting new people and was open to trying new adventures and challenges. Betty loved to garden, cook, and was involved in many crafts and hobbies.

Survivors include her two daughters and sons-in-law, Tammie and Edward Offia of Portland and Linda and Richard Fenske of Salem; four grandchildren, Jamie, Elizabeth, Angie and Adam; two great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army, Union Gospel, American Lung Association or a charity of one's choice.

‘Jerry' Smith

Geraldine Ila "Jerry" Talbot Smith, 89, a longtime Huntington resident, died on Jan. 3, 2005, at the Presbyterian Community Care Center in Ontario.

At her request, no service was planned. Cremation was under the direction of Haren-Wood Crematory in Ontario.

"Jerry" was born on May 18, 1915, at Notus, Idaho, to David Earl Talbot and Myrtle Alma Moreland Talbot. She graduated from Notus High School in 1933. In 1935 she married L. Harold Smith, also of Notus.

Harold worked for Idaho Power Co. and they lived at Halfway and in the Idaho communities of Parma, Wilder and Homedale, and in Huntington where they eventually retired. Four sons were born between 1942 and 1949.

The family would like to thank her friends who visited her and loved her in Huntington and Ontario, and especially those care workers at the Presbyterian Community Care Center who faithfully cared for her needs over the past two years.

Survivors include three sons and daughters-in-law, David L. Smith and Rhea of Ontario, Daniel H. Smith and Kathy of Baker City, Robert M. Smith and Linda of Weiser Annex; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law; and four nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by he third son, Johnny K. Smith; her parents; and brother, Donald Edward Talbot of Pocatello, Idaho.

Mary Shook

Mary Annette Shook, 79, a former Halfway resident, died Dec. 28, 2004, at Pomeroy, Wash., after a year of declining health.

Her memorial service will be scheduled this spring to allow distant relatives to attend.

Mary was born May 28, 1925, at Chinook, Wash. She grew up in Astoria, graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis, and then taught home economics at Halfway High School. She married Robert Shook of Halfway on March 6, 1949, in Astoria.

In 1951 they moved to Seattle and there raised three sons. Robert and Mary retired to Halfway in the summer of 1980 to their new house on Dawson Street. Robert died in February of 1984. Mary was diagnosed with a brain tumor in November 2000, and complications from surgery to remove the tumor prevented her from returning to her home.

She spent her last years at Memory Manor Nursing Home in Pomeroy.

Mary enjoyed cooking, sewing, traveling and collecting dolls. She especially enjoyed making doll clothes, which she would give to children or donate to charity fund-raisers. She was an avid volunteer, a leader with Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, and she taught sewing classes and helped with programs for seniors citizens in Halfway and Baker City.

Survivors include her brother, Capt. Warren G. Leback; her sons, Vernon William, Michael Robert, and Allen Todd; daughter-in-law, Majlis Marie Shook; granddaughter, Caitlin Jessica Shook; step-grandchildren, Gregory Ward Becken and Amanda Elizabeth Nelson; nine nieces, four nephews and her devoted traveling companion, Bill Allen.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Capt. Vernon Leander Leback and June Josephine Leback; and by her brother, Capt. Calvin C. Leback.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Connection Senior Center Bus (transportation from Halfway to Baker City) or to the Halfway-Oxbow Ambulance Service through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Virgil Wunder

Several survivors were omitted from Mr. Wunder's obituary provided to the Baker City Herald and published in Friday's issue.

Mr. Wunder also was survived by nieces and nephews Lela and Harold Bell, Alta and David Fales, and Alvena and David McGill.