Obituaries for the week of April 18 to April 22

April 25, 2005 12:00 am

Gladys Ward

Gladys F. Ward, 92, a lifelong Baker City resident, died April 19, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St. Pastor Jack Bynum will officiate. Private interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Gladys was born on Oct. 16, 1912, near Wingville to Lewis C. and Laura Phillips Morin. She was married to Al Moser on June 18, 1927.

They had four sons, one of whom died at birth. Al died in March 1968. She married Newton Ward in 1977. Newt died in March 1990.

Gladys was a member of the Royal Neighbors. She was active with the senior citizens and played with the Kitchen Band. She took tap dancing lessons in her 80s.

She was a fine candy maker and dessert cook. She opened her doors to people in need and was always generous and loving with her friends and relatives.

Survivors include her sons, Lewis Moser, and his wife, Patricia, of Anacortes, Wash., and Frank Moser and his wife, Lois, of Caldwell, Idaho; daughter-in-law, Chari Moser of Bellevue, Washington; seven grandchildren, 16 great- grandchildren and two great-great- grandchildren; a brother, Claude Morin of Utah, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sons, Gary and Bruce Moser; her brothers, Reese, Vernell, Ted, Pierce, and Glen Morin; and her sisters, Clata Morin and Nellie Brannock.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Research Alliance of Oregon or to the charity of one's choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Sue' Liebe

Caren "Sue" Liebe, 40, of Hermiston, died March 11, 2005, at her home.

There was a celebration of life gathering for her March 16 at the Hermiston Community Center. Disposition was by cremation. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Lostine Cemetery. There will be a potluck gathering afterward at the Odd Fellows Hall at Wallowa. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Liebe was born on March 15, 1964, at Enterprise to Fred and Darleene Rafferty. She was a 1981 graduate of Riverside High School at Boardman, where she was a natural-born leader. She was involved in various extracurricular activities, including yearbook staff, pep club, pep band, science club and Spanish club.

She was a devoted athlete, participating in varsity-level volleyball, softball and tennis. She even tried her hand at golf. She was a member of the Girls Athletic Association and in her senior year, her fellow students voted her "Most Athletic Female."

She also excelled in scholastic endeavors. She was an honor student, a member of National Honor Society and a Student Council member. She was a Girls State participant and she received the Citizenship Education award her senior year.

She remained involved at school with children in many activities, whether she was helping teach, coaching or encouraging team players.

After moving to Hermiston, she continued her love of sports by participating in softball and co-ed softball, where she earned the name "Top Gun." While playing softball, she met Sonny Liebe. They fell in love and were married on March 27, 1991, at Tacoma, Wash.

Although she was always involved with children in the community, her love and devotion was to her children, David and Mykel, who always came first in her life.

She was self-employed as a licensed tax consultant at Hermiston for several years. She was active in Hermiston Little League, the Blue Mountain Volleyball Association, Bethlehem Lutheran Preschool and numerous other community functions.

Survivors include her husband, Albert Lewis "Sonny" Liebe Jr., her son, David Jacob Liebe, and her daughter, Mykel Raeann Liebe, all of Hermiston; her mother, Dee Stubblefield of Baker City; brothers, Rolin Ray Gorbett of Benton City, Wash., and Timothy David Rafferty of Prosser, Wash.; a sister, Cheryl Ann Post of Pendleton; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her father, Fred Rafferty.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Vange John Memorial Hospice or to TLC Home Health of Hermiston.

‘Bill' Laird

William Edward "Bill" Laird, 66, of Baker City, died April 16, 2005, at his home after a long bout with brain cancer.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Bill was born on Nov. 15, 1938, at Ketchikan, Alaska, to Ruth and Edward Laird, who was an engineer with the Lighthouse Service, now the Coast Guard. Bill's mother died when he was a baby and he was mostly raised by his stepmother, Anna Laura Laird. The family moved to California when Bill was 5, followed by several other moves around the country.

Bill attended high school at the Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, Calif., graduated in 1957 and served in the army in Germany from 1958-60. He lived in San Francisco in the 1960s where he attended classes at San Francisco State University, worked as a photographer, was involved in a co-operative preschool and spent four months as a kitchen worker on a Norwegian freighter, which eventually broke down in Singapore.

He graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in soil science in 1973, followed by a year of graduate school at Washington State University in Pullman. He went to work for the Soil Conservation Service in Baker City in the summer of 1974.

Bill married Barbara Bailey in San Francisco in 1961 and they had two sons.

In 1978 he married Mary Sue Rightmire of Baker City. Two weeks after their daughter was born in 1979, the three of them were on their way to Micronesia, where Bill was in charge of a soil survey of the islands. He spent two years surveying Ponape, Kosrae and Truk and six months in Honolulu writing the report before returning to Baker City in 1981. He later worked on soil surveys in Wallowa County and the big island of Hawaii before returning to Baker City after retiring in 1994.

Bill enjoyed gardening wherever he lived as well as carpentry and wood projects after his retirement. He loved traveling by train, ship and car and he and Mary Sue made a trip around the world in 1998 without taking a plane. He was also an AARP tax volunteer for several years and a math tutor with the Literacy Program at the Baker County Library. Bill was a caring person who found his spiritual way in the past year in the tenets of Buddhism, which teaches tolerance, love and compassion.

Survivors includes his wife, Mary Sue Rightmire of Baker City; his sons, Edward Laird and his wife, Pok Cha, of Eugene, and Abraham Laird and his wife, Annette, of Imperial Beach, Calif., and their children, Amber, Amy and Adam; his daughter, Amelia Laird of Portland; his stepmother, Anna Laura Laird; his sisters, Peggy Dennis and her husband, Dean, and Ruth Delaney and her husband, Bill, all of Richmond, Va., and Laura Ann Brutzman and her husband, Bard, of Charlotte, N.C.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Those who wish to honor Bill may do so by showing loving kindness to those with whom they disagree. Memorial contributions may be given to the Literacy Program at the Baker County Library or to Pathway Hospice, 2192 Court Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Lorena Lessman

Lorena Elizabeth Lessman, 86, of Baker City, died April 14, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Her graveside funeral will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery. Sister Kay Marie Duncan of Pathway Hospice will officiate.

Visitations will be today from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Lorena was born Oct. 31, 1918, at Kamiah, Idaho, to Jim and Martha Carrol Smith. The family later moved to Eastern Oregon. Lorena attended school at La Grande and worked for a short time as a cook on the Peach family turkey farm.

While in La Grande she met Glen Lessman, and the couple was married in 1939 at Boise. Two years later, Lorena gave birth to their only child, a son, Donnie Glen Lessman. To care for Donnie's special health needs, Lorena went to nurse's training and became a practical nurse. She devoted the next 52 years as Donnie's at-home caregiver, a job she loved and lived for.

Travel was difficult for the family, so Lorena was always entertaining people in the home. She loved to cook, and she spent hours preparing food for family and friends when they visited.

Glen's job working in the woods drew the family to the outdoors. Travel was difficult, but Glen and Lorena would clear trails for Donnie's wheelchair so their son could experience the camping trips with them.

Donnie, who never spoke or walked, passed in 1985 from leukemia. He was a very loved and well-cared-for man, thanks to the special care from his loving nurse and mother, Lorena.

Lorena spent lots of time canning the fresh foods from her large garden planted every year. She had an appreciation for music, and she enjoyed dancing. Sewing was also one of her pastimes. When you approached Lorena she would always have a large smile to greet you. She had a good sense of humor and loved to play practical jokes on people.

Lorena is survived by her brothers and sisters-in-law, Charles and Wanda Smith of Boise, and Kess and Phyllis Smith of Portland; sisters, Mamie Woolhiser of Portland, Eva Woolhiser and her husband, Ron, of Vancouver, Wash., Frieda Burnett of Milwaukie, Martha "Alva" Key of Springfield, and Donna Marquand and her husband, Dean, of Waldport; sisters-in-law, Alice Lessman of Enterprise and Ruth Wicklund of Sequim, Wash.; friends and caregivers, Barbara and Herb Burton of Baker City; and many nieces and nephews.

Lorena was preceded in death by her husband, Glen; her son, Donnie; her parents, Jim and Martha Smith; a brother, Alfred; a sister, Alta; a sister-in-law, Rose Peach; and brothers-in-law, Ralph Lessman and Don Woolhiser.

Contributions in Lorena's memory may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital or to the Alzheimer's Association in care of Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.