Obituaries for the week of May 16 to May 20

May 23, 2005 12:00 am

‘Tom' Smurthwaite

Thomas D. "Tom" Smurthwaite, 77, a former Baker resident, died May 15, 2005, at his home in Portland.

His funeral will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Dick Hindman of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will conduct. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the funeral home.

Tom was born to Jesse A. Smurthwaite and Zina Stark Smurthwaite on Nov. 10, 1927, at Baker City. He was a 1945 Baker High School graduate. While in high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy under a special VR-5 Program and was a World War II veteran. Tom served on a mine sweeper "Lucky No. 13" in the Pacific Theater.

In 1948, he married LaVelle Emele. They had two daughters, Lynn and Jan. They later divorced. In 1959, he married Sue Hoff. They had a daughter, Mary "Sam," and a son, William.

Tom had been employed with the trucking industry in sales and accounting for many years in Portland. Tom dearly loved his children and grandchildren. They were the pride of his life.

Tom was a member of the LDS Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars, past commander of the American Legion and a life member of the Baker Elks Lodge. Tom was a very talented man and developed skills in many different fields.

He was a very good musician, playing alto sax, and while in high school started his own big band. His band was the last band to play at the "Covered Wagon" before it burned down. He loved to attend the Jazz Festivals at Sun Valley where his favorite big band was from the Netherlands.

His favorite joys were being with family, camping in the Eagle mountains, fishing, hunting and traveling to Reno for Keno Tournaments where he had friends from coast to coast.

Survivors include his wife, Sue of Portland; his daughters, Lynn of Seattle, Wash., Jan of Pendleton, and Sam and her husband, Scott, of Portland; son, William Smurthwaite of Portland; stepdaughter, Karin of Portland; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his sister, Angela Edvalson of Baker City; brothers, Doug of Baker City and Paul of King City; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Zina Smurthwaite; and brothers, Don, Gordon and Bob.

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

Robert Sheehy

Robert Clinton Sheehy, 79, of Union, died May 15, 2005, at his home in High Valley near Union.

There will be a memorial Mass at 11 a.m. Monday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Union. The Rev. Hank Albrecht officiating.

Mr. Sheehy was born on April 8, 1926, at Baker City to Hugh Francis Sheehy and Helen Merritt Holbrook Sheehy.He grew up on Swayze Creek near Durkee, attended elementary school at the Plano School, and graduated from Baker High School on May 18, 1944. He married Dona Gene Storie in Baker City on June 29, 1947.The couple moved to High Valley near Union in 1956, and were happily married for 58 years.

Mr. Sheehy served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 and was in the Marshall Islands on the atoll of Kwajalein.He joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after World War II, and served until April of 1951.

He worked at the cement plant at Lime as a rock driller and then worked as a millwright at Boise Cascade in La Grande from 1968 to 1988.He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Union, and enjoyed reading, ranching, and being with his family.

Survivors include his wife, Dona of Union; children, Robert and Patricia Sheehy of Thiory, France, Kathleen and Dwight Bloom of Halfway, Daniel and Meleah Sheehy of La Grande, John and Sandy Sheehy of Union, Rosemary and Kim Edd of North Bend, Theresa and Dwight Page of Sandy, Dona and Mark Servid of Baker City, Eileen and Brent Gyllenberg of Baker City, Jim and Sally Sheehy of Union, Tim Sheehy and his fianc, Gloria Kleck, of Union, Kevin and Susie Sheehy of Union, Stephen and Susan Sheehy of Union, and Abel and Sherry Mendoza of La Grande; 32 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren; his brother, Tom Sheehy of Missoula, Mont., and formerly of Wallowa; a sister, Mary Heriza of Baker City; and a brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Darlene Sheehy of Baker City.

Mr. Sheehy was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Hugh Sheehy of Durkee; and two sisters, Ruth Becker of Cove and Helen Langley of Huntington.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Helen Merritt Sheehy Bobcat Foundation Scholarship, or to the Grande Ronde Child Center, through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Odetta Miller

Odetta F. Miller, 78, a lifetime Baker City resident, died May 14, 2005, at her home of natural causes.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Mr. Larry Albert will conduct the service. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be fro 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Odetta was born on June 12, 1926, at Baker City to Howard and Goldie Jacobs. Her best childhood memories included living on the homestead out at Five Mile (Lookout Mountain). She spent most of her time with her father. He gathered mustangs and broke them to use for the summer. Her mother would have to take a shovel to the berry patch to kill rattlesnakes before she could pick the berries.

In addition to "a life of hard-knocks education," she attended public school in Baker City, as well as Baker Business College. She continued her education to get her private investigators license. She received her certified nursing assistant training at St. Elizabeth Hospital in the mid 1970s.

During World War II, Odetta played her guitar, yodeled and sang on the local radio station KBKR. She also worked at the Vancouver, Wash., shipyard with her sister, Edna.

Odetta married William Patterson in 1944. They had two children, Willy and Odett.

Then on June 26, 1950, she married Frank L. Miller at Winnemucca, Nev. After they were married they drove home the same day to do the nighttime milking on the ranch. Frank and Odetta were sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple in 1954.

Frank and Odetta had three children, Lynn, Lacy and Leah. She kept busy as a mother of five and worked helping Frank dairy for many years, and she loved every minute of it.

She canned more than 1,000 quarts of fruits and vegetables per season and baked five loaves of bread every other day for her family. All of her family loved to hear her play the guitar, sing, and yodel. She loved family, music, flowers and her goats.

Survivors include her husband, Frank Miller of Baker City; her children, Odett Patterson of Virginia; Lynn Miller of Baker City; Lacy Gargan of Lynnwood, Wash., and Leah Bussard of St. Helens; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Dewayne and Dewey Jacobs; one sister, Ethel Rogers; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother; a son, Willy Miller; two sisters, Edna Brill and Erma Price; two brothers, Harold and Edward Pointer; and one grandson, Christopher Bussard.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Stanley Schmidt

Stanley Noel Schmidt, 66, of Baker City, died May 14, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

There will be a celebration of his life later this summer.

Disposition was by cremation at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Crematory.

Stan was born Aug. 4, 1938. He was a professional truck driver for the better part of his life. He drove for Safeway for 27 years before retiring in 1997. Stan then moved with his wife, Carol, to Baker City.

He was an avid outdoorsman. Some of his favorite hobbies were hunting, fishing, and riding his horse, Roanie. He also had a great love for his black Peterbilt truck, "Miss Carol M." Stan was a member of the Nazarene Church.

He is survived by his wife, Carol; daughters, Nichole Conner and Christy; a son, Jerry; a granddaughter, Cheyenne Karber; stepdaughters, Dena Westfall and Jaqu Long; stepson, Jimmy Karger; and numerous other grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jim Davis

Jim Boyd Davis, 75, of Prairie City, a former longtime Ironside resident, died May 15, 2005, at his home.

A memorial service will be planned later.

Jim was born on May 21, 1929, at Forestville, Calif., to Sid and Louise Proshold Davis. He had one older sister, Helen.

He grew up working in the orchards of Napa Valley in California. In 1946, the family bought a ranch and moved to Sisters. Jim joined the army in 1951 and completed boot camp at Fort Lewis, Wash. He served as a corporal in Hamburg, Germany.

He met Harland Jones in boot camp and they served most of their time in the Army together. Jim became pen pals with Harland's sister, Loretta Jones of John Day. They were married in 1953.

Jim worked in logging and ranching and lived at Powell Butte, Spray, and Canyon City before moving to Ironside in 1958, where they lived for 32 years. After retiring from logging due to injuries and arthritis, Jim and Loretta lived in Summerville, Baker City, Mount Vernon, and recently moved to Prairie City. Jim enjoyed hunting and fishing, and his dogs.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Loretta; a son, Dan Davis, and his wife, Connie, of Hereford; a daughter, Debbie Tinch, and her husband, Buddy, of John Day; six grandchildren and their families, Jim and Kim Davis of Prairie City, Ron and Joey Perry of California and their mother, Charlotte Davis, of Austin, Joseph Davis and his mother, Heather Vaughn of Durkee, Amanda Smith of John Day, Gabe and Chassidy Smith of Weiser, Idaho, and Jake Smith of Hereford; 10 great-grandchildren; special cousins, the Nestle and Ray Davis Sr. family of Monument; sister-in-law, Florence Jones of Prineville, and her family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of Jim's grandson, Joseph, through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR, 97845.

Vivian Gargan

Vivian W. Gargan, 85, a former longtime Baker City resident, died May 15, 2005, at her home in Caldwell, Idaho.

Her funeral will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Rev. Lewis Hank Albrecht of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in La Grande will officiate. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Vivian was born Oct. 24, 1919, at Portland to Alfred and Hilja Johanna Taskinen Dening. Vivian was raised in Gresham and graduated from Gresham High School. She married James F. Gargan on Oct. 22, 1949, in Baker City. The couple raised five sons.

Vivian was a member of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City, and a longtime member of the St. Francis Altar Society.

She lived a very private life, and loved the outdoors and farm living. She enjoyed painting, and on Friday afternoons shopping and having coffee and dessert with her sister, Juanita, and friends.

Vivian is survived by her sons: Bruce and his wife, Shelley, of Caldwell; Greg and his wife, Lacy, of Seattle; Michael and his wife, Natania, of Okinawa, Japan; Thomas of Boise; and Richard of Baker City; her sister, Juanita Wright of Baker City; and nine grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Parkinson's Resources of Oregon in care of Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City OR 97814.

Thelma Clark

Thelma Marie Clark, 88, of Baker City, died May 11, 2005, at Emmett, Idaho.

A gathering of friends and family will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at Gray's West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Thelma Marie was born Feb. 9, 1917, in Baker City to Edgar and Iva Best Chambers. She was married to Elmer L. Clark on March 7, 1942, in Weiser, Idaho. The couple had two sons, Richard and Dallas.

She worked as a teacher at Copperfield/Oxbow for many years before changing carriers and working in the Oxbow Post Office. After retiring, Thelma moved to Baker City.

Thelma was a leader in the Oxbow 4-H while she was teaching. She loved to read, sew and knit and enjoyed the outdoors.

Always with a smile, Thelma was happy-go-lucky and liked to laugh and joke.

She is survived by her son, Richard Clark of Baker City, special friend Sandy Turcato of Emmett, Idaho, five grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer, son Dallas, three brothers and two sisters.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Association in care of Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.