Obituaries for the week of Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 2005

November 04, 2005 12:00 am

Keith Irey

Keith Irey, 67, a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 23, 2005, at Spokane, Wash.

His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery. There was a service in Spokane earlier.

Keith Irey was born on Jan. 1, 1938, at Baker City. He attended Baker schools and was a Baker High School graduate.

He was a loving husband, brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and, retired in 1994 from the Federal Aviation Administration after 38 years as an engineer.

He enjoyed watching the Seattle Mariners and playing chess and he loved people.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Spokane.

Thomas Hunt

Thomas Aasa Hunt, 71, of Boise, a former Baker City resident, died Nov. 1, 2005, after suffering from cancer for a brief period.

His funeral was at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4, 2005, at the Shamrock and McMillan Road Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Interment was at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.

Tom was born on May 29, 1934, at Baker City to Thomas Clarence and Marie Aasa Hunt. He married Mariam Colleen Boley on Sept. 17, 1954, at the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. They are the parents of four children, Mariam (deceased), Anna Marie, Thomas and Barry.

Tom was always a hard worker. He began delivering newspapers at a very young age. As a teenager, he worked in the lumber yards of Baker City and for the U.S. Forest Service.

Tom was an accomplished pianist and had perfect pitch. In 1952, as delegate to Boys State from Oregon, he performed the musical number "Bumble Boogie" to a standing ovation.

Tom loved athletics. He was a multi-sport star for Baker High School and received scholarship offers in basketball and football.

He graduated from Brigham University at Provo, Utah, in 1956 with a degree in accounting. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force through the ROTC program at BYU.

He entered the Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Tom had a diversified career in the Air Force, with about 6,000 flying hours. Among the agencies he flew for were the Strategic Air Command, NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission.

Tom served as a test pilot for the Boeing plant at Seattle, Wash., where he accepted new aircraft for the military. He also helped in the development of the AWACS system.

In 1965-66, Tom served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam, where he flew C-123 aircraft. He also served his country in Thailand in 1975, where he commanded the SCATBACK Squadron. He helped evacuate the Vietnamese premier and other dignitaries.

He flew one of the last missions into Cambodia to help evacuate military personnel before the borders closed. This was a risky mission that other pilots declined.

During the Apollo 11 lunar mission in 1969, Tom's aircraft relayed messages from the astronauts to the Earth. In his 20 years in the Air Force, Tom was stationed at eight bases, where he flew at least 11 different types of aircraft. He was very patriotic and had a deep love for his country.

After retiring from the Air Force, Tom pursued a lifelong dream and began an 18-year career as a stock and commodity broker with Merrill-Lynch in Boise. He especially enjoyed his associations with his fellow Merrill-Lynch brokers and his many valued clients.

After retiring from Merrill-Lynch, Tom learned the highly specialized art of building fly rods with his friend, Ken Smith. During President George W. Bush's most recent visit to Idaho, the last custom fly rod constructed by Tom and Ken was presented to the president by Sen. Mike Crapo and the Idaho delegation, as a gift from the state. Tom enjoyed many hours testing his fly rods on the South Fork.

As an active and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Tom served in many different capacities. Among his many callings, he enjoyed his time as a temple worker, Elder's Quorum president, High Priest group leader and ward membership clerk. He also served as the LDS group leader while in Thailand. Working with the LDS servicemen was a very rewarding experience for him.

He thoroughly enjoyed his retirement years, especially spending time with his family. He never missed a sporting event or school activity involving his grandchildren. He particularly looked forward to his golf outings with his grandson, Mark.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His family loved him dearly.

"He could be counted on in any situation and has left a void in our hearts that will never be filled," family members said.

Survivors include his wife, Colleen; children and their spouses, Anna Marie and Darryl Neider, Thomas B. and Jan Hunt and Barry C. and Jessica Hunt; grandchildren, Natalie and Mark Neider, Dallas, Cole and Samuel Hunt and Mariella and Christian Hunt; brothers, Jim, John and Robert Hunt; and sisters, Jeanette Hindman, Barbara Beck and Marie Hines.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter, Mariam; infant grandson, Thomas Boyd Neider; brother, Richard Hunt; and sister, Kathryn Hunt.

Gertrude Inman

Gertrude Turner Inman, 96, of Baker City, died Oct. 28, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Her graveside funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Ralph Holcomb will officiate.

Gray's West & Co. is in charge of arrangements. A memorial event is being planned for the future.

Born in Portland on Nov. 8, 1908, to Ernest and Mattie Turner, Gertrude and her mother moved to Baker from Spokane, Wash., in the early 1920s. With family in Canyon City, she and her mother made frequent trips on the Sumpter Valley Railroad.

In Baker City, she met her lifetime best friend, Ava Steiger, and over the years the two became like sisters. In their teens, Gertrude and Ava tended sheep camps in the Wallowas, and developed a lifetime appreciation for travel and the great outdoors.

Gertrude graduated from Baker High School and continued her education at the Normal School in Cheney, Wash. At the age of 17, she began a more-than-30-year teaching career with a class of seventh- graders at Imbler.

She later graduated from the University of Washington at Seattle. The copious notes taken in her Shakespeare texts hint at the joy she found in language and literature. She continued her studies with graduate work at several universities, including the University of Oregon at Eugene.

She married Marion C. Inman at Ontario on Aug. 18, 1945. Together they raised two sons, Roger C. Inman, and John W. Inman, in the Baker house built by Gertrude's mother. Marion owned the Courthouse Market and later was a partner in Our Market. Gertrude taught at Baker schools and spent many years teaching senior English at Baker High School. She was both John and Roger's senior English teacher. The Inmans also raised cattle at their ranch outside North Powder.

After Gertrude retired from Baker High School in 1969, she and Marion began traveling by RV. Their motor home allowed them to visit with their sons and grandchildren throughout the country. Everywhere they went they explored the outdoors, and could usually be found behind a set of binoculars looking for new birds to observe. In the 1980s they had great fun being "snowbirds" in California and Arizona during the winter.

After Marion's death in 1983, Gertrude remained in Baker City, traveling to visit her sons and grandchildren. She and Ava continued their outdoor activities until Ava's death. Her membership in Delta Kappa Gamma, PEO and Eastern Star kept her in touch with many of her former colleagues and she loved to talk with former students.

Survivors include her sons and their wives, Roger and Karen Inman of Tallahassee, Fla., and John and Jody Inman of Salinas, Calif.; grandchildren Ann Gaylord of Huntington Beach, Calif., Amy Landerman of Maitland, Fla., Jill Marie Inman of Leesburg, Va., Marla Blair of Tallahassee, Fla., and Janet Inman Sutton of Anacortes, Wash.; and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Library Foundation or to a charity of one's choice.