Obituaries for the week of March 28 to April 1, 2005

April 01, 2005 12:00 am

John Wright

John William Wright, 79, of Richland, died March 29, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Health Services after a courageous battle with cancer.

His graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Richland Christian Church.

John William was the second child born to Gill and Lucille Wright on Oct. 15, 1925. He joined an older sister, Norma Jean, and a younger brother, Gill Jr. John attended grade school at New Bridge and high school at Richland, graduating with the class of 1943.

In October 1943, John enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was sent to the Reserve Officer Training Program at Willamette University in Salem for two years and the University of Washington at Seattle for one year.

After the war ended he attended Eastern Oregon College at La Grande. He was then called home to operate the family farm when his dad became ill.

John and Evelyn Pearson were married in Baker City on Aug. 30, 1950. In the early 1950s, John worked on the Brownlee Dam project as well as working on the farm. In 1954 the couple purchased their first ranch, the Burford place on Eagle Creek.

In 1963, John began leasing ranches in Halfway and also ended up purchasing three ranches in Pine Valley where he farmed for 20 years. John remained active in ranching until his death. He loved a good farm sale.

John also enjoyed outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and skiing. He had an interest in flying and for a time, took flying lessons.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gill and Lucille; his wife, Evelyn, who died in 1988; and sister, Norma Jean.

Survivors include his son, Kim of Richland; daughter, Susan, and her husband, Bob Cameron, of Seattle; and brother, Gill Jr. of Alma, Neb.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Richland Christian Church or the New Bridge Nazarene Church through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Clara Van Driesche

Clara J. Van Driesche, 93, a longtime Baker City resident, died March 28, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

The rosary will be said Friday at 7 p.m. at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. the Rev. Robert C. Irwin will celebrate the Mass. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be today until 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the funeral home.

Clara was born Feb. 12, 1912, at New Plymouth, Idaho, to James Carpenter and Irene Castles Carpenter. She was a 1930 graduate of New Plymouth High School. After graduation, she worked as a bookkeeper for the Golden Rule Department Store and then for White Hardware at New Plymouth.

She married Cyril Van Driesche on Feb. 24, 1938, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in New Plymouth. They lived their entire married life of 67 years in Baker City. Clara, with her husband Cyril, enjoyed 50 years of square dancing, playing bridge, and fishing. In her younger years she was active in church work.

Survivors include her husband, Cyril of Baker City; four brothers and two sisters, James Carpenter of Middleton, Idaho, Chester Carpenter of Eagle, Idaho, Donald Carpenter and his wife, Iris, and Bill Carpenter and his wife, Barbara, all of Meridian, Idaho, Evelyn Peterman of Meridian, Idaho, and Mary Cook and her husband, Jim, of Boise; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Russell and Francis; and two sisters, Dorothy and Eleanor.

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

Ned Foye Jr.

Ned Foye Jr., 68, of Yakima, Wash., a former Baker County resident, died March 22, 2005, at Salt Lake City while visiting family there.

At his request, there will be no funeral. A family gathering will be scheduled later.

He was born on May 16, 1936, at Baker City to Ned and Vivian Foye of Medical Springs.

He attended the Pondosa grade school and was a 1954 graduate of Union High School. In 1956, he enlisted in the military and was stationed at Korea for two years.

On April 29, 1960, he married Judith Lee Lott, the daughter of "Jack" and Dorothy Lott, formerly of Baker City.

Survivors include his wife, Judy, of Yakima, Wash.; sons, Brad Foye and Scott Foye, also of Yakima, Kim and Theresa Foye and Kyle and Delinda Foye and grandchildren, Kasey and Logan, all of Salt Lake City; his mother, Vivian Foye, a resident of Evergreen Nursing Home at La Grande; and a sister, Janice "Donnie" Baxter and her husband, Jerry, of Medical Springs.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ned Foye Sr.

Steven Bradford

Steven Ray Bradford, 53, of Unity, died March 28, 2005.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Burnt River Community Church at Unity. Pastor Bill Cox of McEwen Bible Fellowship will officiate. The graveside service will be at Unity Cemetery. There will be a potluck dinner at a location to be announced later.

He was born on March 15, 1952, at Ontario to Elbert and Donna Koontz Bradford. He lived at Unity all of his 53 years. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed hunting with his family and friends. In the last few years he was very supportive of the high school sports teams, foreign exchange students and the church youth.

In his early years he worked at the Unity sawmill for Ellingson Lumber Co. He then worked for 10 years on the road crew. He began his own business "Bradford Excavating" and was self-employed until his death.

He will be greatly missed by his friends and family.

Survivors include his two children, Travis Bradford of John Day and Tracy Caylor and her husband, Tom, and four grandchildren, Caleb, Jordan, Hanna and Michael of Shoshone, Idaho; his sisters, Barbara Andrews and Karen Christensen; brothers, Rod Bradford, Brian Bradford and Rob Bradford; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Elbert Bradford; his mother, Donna Bradford; and one brother, Larry Boyer.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Burnt River Memorial Scholarship Fund at Unity through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Ed' Holland

Edward A. Holland, 71, of New Bridge, died on March 25, 2005, at the emergency room of St. Elizabeth Health Services en route home from St Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute at Fruitland.

At his request, there will be no funeral.

Edward Arlen was born on Feb. 18, 1934, at Ontario to May and William W. Holland of Harper.

He attended Harper Grade School, and then in 1947 went to the New Bridge Grade School when his father transferred with the state Highway Division from Harper to Richland.

Ed attended Eagle Valley High School at Richland for four years, graduating in 1953. He was a member of the Eagle Valley High School football teams that won state championships twice, first for six-man football and then for eight-man football. He was also selected as a Baker County all-star baseball pitcher.

He spent his summer vacation in 1952 working for the U.S. Forest Service, a job he got in an unusual way. In those days the Forest Service searched for farm boys to hire. When Union District Ranger Harold Dahl was told that Ed Holland was working for farmers he asked Edward Braswell, then Sparta Butte lookout to see if Holland would drive to Lily White to meet the Union District clerk, Reynolds Baxter, to sign employment papers.

Ed took the job and began splitting fence posts, then went on horse bridge construction. After graduation he was stationed at Lily White and was in charge of district field crews. He soon also became a fire control officer's aid. He moved from timber to engineering when the forest specialized.

During the last 20 years of his service, he held a division boss card on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Fire Suppression Team, which fought project wildfires both on and off the Wallowa-Whitman. He retired on April 11, 1984, on his 31st wedding anniversary.

Ed told wonderful stories of the years he worked in the forest for the Forest Service. He knew every creek, every draw, every inch of the forest. He loved being on "his mountain" and genuinely appreciated the absolute beauty of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, which he told everyone was God's work. He kept his mountain home and huge yard meticulously neat and well organized.

He was a skilled underwater swimmer and once saved the life of a woman who was drowning in the Thief Valley Reservoir. For a time, he operated a second guide boat in white water for Jim Zanelli of Hells Canyon Navigation. There was not much he couldn't build, weld or create and his expertise in engine repair was amazing.

His great-grandchildren adored "Papa" and he never ignored their requests for an extra hug, a shared story or going for a walk. If he was talking to somebody and they were at his feet waiting to be picked up, they didn't have to wait many seconds before, without missing a beat, he would continue his conversation and at the same time, scoop them up into his caring Papa arms and give them his attention.

Survivors include Carmelita Holland, his wife of nearly 52 years; his two sons, Gary and Brian; a grandson, Phillip Wayne Holland; his two cherished great-grandchildren, Phillip Edward, 5, and Kandice, 4; his brother, William W. Holland, and his wife, Doneita; and one niece and two nephews and their families.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Dale Holland, killed in World War II; his sister, Wilma Gullett; and a nephew, Kenneth Gullett, a casualty of the Vietnam war.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute, or a charity of one's choice through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Jerry Bailey

Jerry Dwayne Bailey, 58, of Baker City, died March 23, 2005, at St. Luke's Medical Center in Boise.

His funeral will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. There will be a reception afterward at the church's Family Life Center.

Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Visitations will be today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Jerry was born Oct. 5, 1946, at Enterprise to Willis and Barbara Nelson Bailey. He graduated from Enterprise High School in 1964. He was an outstanding athlete at Enterprise, playing in the East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game in 1964.

He attended Eastern Oregon College in La Grande on a football scholarship, graduating in 1968 with a degree in teaching. He received a letter of interest from the Dallas Cowboys prior to suffering an injury that ended his football career. He always enjoyed horses and for a time rode bareback horses in rodeos. Later he found a sense of freedom taking his motorcycle on road trips.

Jerry was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a medic in Vietnam. After he was discharged from the Army he held various jobs until going to work for Qwest. At the time of his death, he had just completed 28 years with Qwest.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sports, and spending time with his family, especially his loving wife, Nancy. He also enjoyed woodworking and carpentry. He was a very humble person, not taking any credit for himself. His family enjoyed his quiet, gentle spirit and his unique sense of humor. Jerry was a Christian and truly loved the Lord.

Survivors include his wife, Nancy, of Baker City; son and daughter-in-law, Joe and Dina Bailey of New Jersey; daughter, Brandy Bailey of Portland; stepson, Tyler Frakes of Eugene; his parents, Willis and Barbara Bailey of Joseph; sister and brother-in-law, Bob and Judy Johnson of Eugene; brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Cindy Bailey of Joseph and Jeff and Chris Bailey of Heppner; a granddaughter, Natalie Bailey of New Jersey; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his son, Bart Bailey.

Contributions may be made to The Hope Fund at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene, or to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation through Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Rulen Collier

Rulen Frank Collier, 86, of Union, died March 24, 2005, at his home.

His funeral will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Union. Don Baxter will conduct the service. Interment will be at the Union Cemetery. Visitations will be Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley in La Grande and on Wednesday at noon at the church prior to the service. All are invited to bring a dish and attend a potluck after the service at The Hut in Union.

Rulen Frank Collier was born Dec. 2, 1918, at St. Anthony, Idaho, to Frank and Ethel Thompson Collier. Rulen attended schools at Harper and later graduated with the class of 1937 at Star, Idaho. After high school, Rulen went to work for the Morrison Knutson Co. overseas during World War II. Rulen was captured and was a prisoner of war for 44 months. Upon his release, he was recognized as a veteran of foreign war with the U.S. Navy. He spent a short time in Guam before returning to the United States

In 1949 Rulen married Ruth Fisher. The couple raised two children. Ruth preceded him in death.

On Jan. 1, 1976, Rulen was married to Dennis "Denny" Allred at Union. Rulen spent most of his life as an owner and operator of numerous restaurants, including Stockman's and the Nugget in Halfway, the Smoke Shop in Baker City, the Disco Bar in Mountain Home, Idaho, the Tropadara in La Grande and The Hut in Union. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling, and barbecues with his family and friends. He will always be remembered for his lifetime of hard work.

Survivors include his children and their spouses, Jeff and Patty Collier of Union, Bethel and Bruce Moore of Chimacum, Wash., stepchildren and their spouses, Paul and Brenda Carman of Union, Sandy and Ron Droke of Union, Elvin and Carolyn Carman of Columbia Falls, Mont., and Rodney Carman of La Grande; 16 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Denny Collier; two brothers, Bob and Bernie Collier; and a sister, Lola Neilson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Home Care Services through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850. To view the obituary, sign the guest book or leave a condolence on-line, visit,