Obituaries for the week of Nov. 28 to Dec. 2

December 02, 2005 12:00 am

Donna Miles

Donna G. Miles, 75, of Baker City, died Nov. 27, 2005.

At her request, she was cremated. There will be a memorial gathering at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at her home at 850 Park St.

Donna was born on May 31, 1930, at Baker City to Herbert and Elaine Miles. She was a 1948 Baker High School graduate and furthered her education at Whitman College at Walla Walla, Wash., receiving her bachelor's of arts degree in English literature in 1952.

After graduation, she moved to California where she lived for 52 years. She spent the last 32 years at Alameda, Calif. She worked for Industrial Indemnity at San Francisco in human resources. She returned to Baker City in April of 2004. She loved all of her family and friends.

Survivors include nephews, William (Pat Smiley) Miles of Easton, Pa.; Kevin (Sharon) Miles of Nottingham, Pa., David Miles and Luis Alvarado of Oakland, Calif.; her dear cousins, Mary Ellen, Judy, Deanna/Marlena, Camille, Janine, Dennis, and Barbara; surrogate nieces, Maggie, Katie and Mollie; stepbrother and sister-in-law, Gordon and Madelyn Olsen of Baker City and their family; best friends, Mary Jo and Pleas Brown of Baker City; three grandnephews; and other friends too numerous to list.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Bob; and her parents, Herb and Elaine Miles.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sumpter Valley Railroad Restoration, the Blue Mountain Humane Society or to a charity of one's choice through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Sylvan Hewitt

Sylvan Star Hewitt, 88, of Union and formerly of Richland, died Nov. 25, 2005, at a La Grande care center.

There will be a celebration of his life at 10 a.m. Friday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., in La Grande. Interment will be at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Visitations will be Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Sylvan Hewitt was born on May 13, 1917, at Richland to Elvira and Icey Hewitt. He attended Richland and Baker schools.

In 1939, Sylvan married La Nore Wilson. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941 and saw active duty in France, Italy and Germany.

After the war, he built and operated a sawmill at Summerville. In 1957 he sold the mill to Val Setz Lumber Co. and moved to La Grande.

Sylvan pursued some other interests at that time, including the purchase of several commercial and residential properties. He spent a short time in the cattle business, purchased an airplane to do some aerial crop spraying and to fly sportsmen into Red's Horse Ranch. He also spent a few years hauling logs.

Sylvan was divorced after 27 years of marriage and in 1973 he moved back to Richland. He had an undying love for gold mining. He built and collected a lot of mining equipment and followed his hobby, which took him to the Snake River, Cornucopia, Sumpter, Granite and finally to Alaska.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and fixing mechanical things and he loved helping people. He enjoyed traveling and took trips to visit his son while he was in Iran and England. His son was training Iranians to fly helicopters.

Sylvan had his share of tragedies. His first-born son was run over and killed at age 7 by a car driven by a close family friend. His second son was killed in a helicopter crash while logging in Montana after his tour of duty in Iran was completed.

Sylvan has survived many illnesses and spent the last three years on dialysis. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and of the American Legion. He had many close friends and will be truly missed.

Survivors include two grandsons, Zachary Stockton Hewitt of Palm Springs, Calif., and Gabriel Stockton Hewitt of Austin, Texas; two brothers, Richard and Bob Hewitt, both of La Grande; and longtime close friend, Etta Ruberg of Union.

He was preceded in death by his two sons, Duane and Tom; and two sisters, Rita and Arvilla.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850. To view the obituary, leave a condolence or sign the guest book online, visit

‘Ernie' Burby

Ernest "Ernie" Burby, 80, a former longtime Baker City resident, died Nov. 27, 2005, at Idaho Falls, Idaho.

His funeral and interment will be at Idaho Falls.

He was born on June 7, 1925, at San Jose, Calif., to Ernest and Phoebe Burby. He attended school at Baker City and was a Baker High School graduate. He loved Baker City and returned often.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce, of Idaho Falls; a daughter, Vickie Whitney of St. George, Utah; and his mother, Phoebe Burby, and his brother, Robert Burby, both of Baker City.

Edith Hopkins

Edith Wilson Hopkins, 84, of Baker City and formerly of Imbler, died Nov. 22, 2005, at St. Elizabeth Care Center.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Summerville Cemetery Chapel.

Edith was born on July 15, 1921, to Benjamin Franklin and Mary Ann Green Hopkins at Duke, Okla. She finished her schooling at Ellsinore, Mo., and then attended Ontario Community College where she earned her nursing degree. She worked for a time at St. Elizabeth Hospital and later was caretaker for her parents.

Edith had a strong sense of family ties and family was the most important thing to her. She had a special collection of angels and enjoyed crafts and gardening. She loved to read and follow the life of Princess Diana. Her two little dogs, Angel and Fluffy, were her children.

Survivors include her sister and brother-in-law, Dorothea and Hal Weinmann of Redmond; brother and sister-in-law, Olin and Margaret Hopkins of Salem, Utah; several nephews and nieces and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by siblings, George Ovie Hopkins, Albert Hopkins, Montana Walking Bull, Dwight Hopkins, Marie Bogart, Baby Ruth Hopkins, Earl Hopkins and Frank Hopkins.

Memorial contributions may be made St. Elizabeth Health Services through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Mable George

Mable I. George, 93, of La Grande, died Nov. 24, 2005 at her home.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., in La Grande. Committal and interment will be at the Hillcrest Cemetery.

Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Mrs. George was born on Feb. 9, 1912, to Henry and Hattie Wade Nollsch at Havana, Kan. The family moved to Oregon in 1922 and lived in the Rock Creek and Muddy Creek areas of Baker County.

She married Paul E. George on Nov. 2, 1932, at La Grande and they made their home at Union. In 1942 they moved to Huntington where Mr. George worked for the railroad. While living there she was active with the PTA and was president of the Rebekah Lodge. In 1946 they moved to La Grande. Mr. George died in 1988.

Mrs. George enjoyed outdoor activities, particularly camping, berry picking and mushroom gathering. She also enjoyed visiting with relatives and friends.

Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Audrey and Willis George of Umatilla; son, Rod George of La Grande; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

She also was preceded in death by her brothers, Henry, Charlie and Guy Nollsch; and sisters, Oma George, Virgie Doty and Lila Bell.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Marie Jones

Marie Lupe Ahumada Jones, 70, of Baker City, died Nov. 19, 2005, at St. Luke's Medical Center in Boise.

There will be a private family gathering later. Visitation was for family only.

Marie had lived the last 12 years of her life at Baker City, but lived most of her life at Los Angeles. She was born on Feb. 14, 1935, in Mexico.

She became a registered nurse after college and loved to help people. She also loved flowers and had a very special touch with them. She never had to do much with them and they grew big and beautiful. She didn't have much luck with houseplants, though.

Marie was a very generous person and would spend her last dollar on her grandkids. Whenever she had a chance, she would play bingo and go to the casinos.

The last 10 years of her life she loved to work with beads, making things and looking forward to selling her beaded jewelry and other items at the Miners Jubilee every year.

"She will surely be missed," her family said.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Kris Jones of Crescent City, Calif., and Richard's son, Michael Jones of Roseburg; her daughter and son-in-law, Jackie and Jeff Heriza of Aurora, Colo., and Jackie's children, Jessica and Whitney McKnight of Boise, and Kristin Jones and Robert Heriza of Aurora, Colo.; her son and daughter-in-law, Roger and Liane Jones of Baker City, and their children, Ashley, Gabby and Dylan Jones; her daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and F. "Scott" Ashby of Baker City, and Sheila's children, Tyler Reich, Kristina Friedman and Faith Rae and Amanda Ashby; her daughter and son-in-law, Theresa and Bill Wenger of Van Nuys, Calif., and children, Billy and Kenny; three great-grandchildren; three sisters; one brother; and many nieces and nephews; and most importantly, her husband of many years, Kenneth.

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