Obituaries for the Week of April 23 to April 27

April 30, 2001 12:00 am

Erma Gray

Erma L. Gray, 74, of Haines, a former longtime Forest Grove resident, died April 17, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Forest Grove Memorial Chapel at Forest Grove. Pastor Art Mentzer will officiate. Concluding rites and interment will be at the Forest View Cemetery in Forest Grove.

Grays West & Co. is in charge of local arrangements.

Mrs. Gray was born May 13, 1926, at Spokane, Wash., to Oscar and Maude Pearl Johnson Coombes. As a young girl, she moved with her family to Oregon, settling in the Baker City area where she lived and received her education. After high school, she attended Pacific University at Forest Grove, where she earned a bachelors degree in 1949.

While attending Pacific University, she met William Clifford Cliff Gray in her chemistry class. They were married in November of 1947 at Forest Grove.

After their wedding, they made their home in the Forest Grove community until 1991, when they moved to the Baker City area. Mr. Gray died on March 15, 1996. The couple had been married for 48 years.

After raising her six children, Mrs. Gray worked as an adult caregiver for 15 years until June of 2000. She was a member of the First Christian Church at Forest Grove and later was a founding member of the Cornelius Christian Church. Since living in the Baker City area, she was a member of the Baker City Christian Church.

Among her interests, Mrs. Gray enjoyed making jewelry, reading, quilting, gardening, baking and traveling, especially overseas. She volunteered many hours with senior citizens. She enjoyed studying her Bible and taught Sunday school for many years. She loved her family and always enjoyed spending time with all.

She also was preceded in death by her father and her first child, Jean.

Survivors include two sons and a daughter-in-law, Franklin Gray of Muncie, Ind., and Joseph and Anita Gray of Phenix, Ala.; three daughters and sons-in-law, Sandra and Jose Garcia of Forest Grove, Carol and Michael Pelky of Nevada and Rebecca and Joseph Larrimore of Forest Grove; her mother, Maude Coombes of Haines; five brothers and sisters-in-law, Donald Coombes of Haines, Ben and Doris Coombes of Stanfield, Jasper Coombes of Richland, George and Perry Coombes of Seligman, Mo., and Ed and Elise Coombes of Winchester, Idaho; and a sister and brother-in-law, Jabudah and Al Grossmiller of Baker City; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association of Oregon, 9320 S.W. Barbur Blvd., Suite 140, Portland, Ore. 97219 or to the Ninos de Mexico (Childrens Orphanage), P.O. Box 309, Union, MO 63084.

Janie Barton

Janie Gassoway Barton, 53, of La Grande, and a former Baker City resident, died April 21, 2001, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise.

A celebration of her life will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 1702 Sixth St. Pastors Wayne Pickens, Rick McKinley and Frank Wiens officiating. Committal and interment will be at the Island City Cemetery. Visitations will be today until 7 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande.

Mrs. Barton was born Sept. 15, 1947, at Ontario to Loren and Verna Gardner Davis. She was schooled in Ontario, graduated from high school at Goldendale, Wash., and received her degree in education from Oregon State University at Corvallis.

On July 26, 1968, she married John Gassoway in Barton. In 1988 they moved to La Grande for a year and a half, before moving to Baker City. In 1992 they returned to La Grande. Mr. Gassoway died on Nov. 29, 1994.

On Sept. 14, 1996, she married Doug Barton in Reno, Nev. They made their home in La Grande. Mrs. Barton worked for Valley Insurance and had recently become a certified insurance counselor after many years of study.

Mrs. Barton was a devout Christian and an active member of the La Grande First Baptist Church, where she was part of one of the churchs care groups. She enjoyed reading her Bible and learning from other Christians through readings and sermons. She loved being a homemaker, sewing, and her family.

Mrs. Barton is survived by her husband, Doug Barton of La Grande; her children, Rachel and Jamie Lindvall of Santa Clarita, Calif., Scott and Freedom Gassoway of Sutherlin, Brenda and Ron Overton of Cove, Dr. Brent and Selena Barton of Hermiston, and Belinda and Scott Young of Donald; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild; her parents, Loren and Verna Davis of Estacada; brothers and sisters, Jerry Davis, Jean Davis, Joann Nordquist, Neal Davis, Richard Davis and Mark Davis, all of the Portland area; and other relatives and many friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the La Grande First Baptist Church or Birthright through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, Ore. 97850.

Winifred Prouty

Winifred I. Prouty, 93, of Baker City and a former Springfield resident, died April 23, 2001, at a foster care home in Baker City.

At her request, disposition was by cremation. A memorial service will be scheduled later at Springfield.

Mrs. Prouty was born on July 4, 1907, at Joliet, Ill., to Otto and Alice Carpenter Sallenbach. She married Kenneth B. Prouty on Nov. 27, 1929. She is survived by her only child, Wesley B. Prouty of Durkee.

She was preceded in death by her mother, her father, her stepmother, her sister, her husband and her brother.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of ones choice through the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, Ore. 97814.

Jessie McLeish

Jessie Elizabeth McLeish, 88, a longtime Baker City resident, died April 21, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Ralph Holcomb will officiate. Friends and family are invited to the American Legion, 2129 Second St., for a time of fellowship and sharing after the service. There will be a private vault interment after the service.

Mrs. McLeish was born on Oct. 20, 1912, at North Powder. She was a daughter of Ira and Laura Luster Emery. She attended school at Pocahontas and was a Baker High School graduate. She worked for several years at the laundry and as a waitress for several restaurants until she met George McLeish.

They were married at Carson City, Nev., on July 21, 1951. After their marriage, she became a housewife and took care of her husband and their home.

She loved all flowers and had a beautiful flower garden, which she enjoyed immensely. She also loved to do crossword puzzles and completed one every day.

Another favorite pastime was gambling, and she and her husband looked forward to the twice yearly trips to Nevada, where she was always lucky. She really enjoyed playing the video poker machines. She was a member of the Anthony Lakes Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, Post 3048.

Survivors include her husband of 49 years, George McLeish of Baker City; her brother-in-law, George Turner and his wife, Effie, of Baker City; her sister-in-law, Doris Burton of Milwaukie; special friends, Louise and Bill Balfour, Ed and Margaret Hindman and Bob and Joan Scarbrough, all of Baker City; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Pearl Babe Turner, and twin sister, Bessie Rank; and a brother, Duane Emery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, the VFW Auxiliary Cancer Fund or a charity of ones choice through the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Hayward Tibbs

Hayward O. Tibbs, 84, of Salem, and a former Haines resident, died April 21, 2001, at Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the First Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. The Rev. Ron Kratzer of the First Church of the Nazarene will officiate. Interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Mr. Tibbs was born on Feb. 18, 1917, at McEwen. In 1922, the Tibbs family moved to the Rock Creek area where he received his education at Rock Creek Grade School and then at Haines High School.

He was quite the jokester as a young man, playing many jokes on his younger sister. He learned to play the piano at an early age and played razzmatazz style. He formed a band, which played for dances from Baker City to Pendleton. The band was paid $3 an hour for its three to four hours of playing.

In 1946, Mr. Tibbs accepted Christ into his life and quit playing for dances. After leaving school, he went to work using a team of horses to haul ore from a mine in the Rock Creek Butte area to Haines, where it was loaded on rail cars. He also logged in the Bates area.

He married Marjorie Trimble in 1937. They had seven children.

In 1941, he and his wife bought their first ranch in the Rock Creek area. They milked cows and raised sheep. Mr. Tibbs also broke wild horses.

They sold this ranch in 1943 and purchased his parents place, continuing their ranching activities. In 1944, he made his first large machinery purchase, a Massey Harris combine that he bought for $2,540. The combine came in several crated pieces and Mr. Tibbs had to assemble it.

They leased out the Rock Creek Ranch so they could lease a 2,100-acre ranch in Pyles Canyon in 1945. Mr. Tibbs worked this ranch and did custom combining until 1952, when they sold the Rock Creek ranch and moved to Baker City.

His first job in Baker City was working for Earl Stiffs Blue Mountain Oil Co. On Feb. 10, 1953 the day their son, Douglas, was born Mr. Tibbs signed a dealership contract with Massey Harris Machine Co. Massey Harris floored the machinery and Mr. Tibbs purchased $3,000 in part.

The first location of Tibbs Equipment Co. was on a small corner lot at 10th and E streets. The next year, Mr. Tibbs purchased land farther north on 10th Street where he built a 40-by-60-foot building featuring a show room and parts department.

Mr. Tibbs cancelled his contract with Massey Ferguson and leased the shop and land to Carroll Adams. He later bought the Ford tractor dealership from Adams and sold it in 1965.

The Tibbses leased a ranch from Marion Inman and farmed there until 1970. While living in Baker City, they purchased a large home on the corner of Fourth and Estes streets and rented out rooms in their basement to boarders.

Mr. Tibbs was very active in the Nazarene Church throughout his adult life, teaching adult Sunday school classes for many years.

In the fall of 1970, Carroll Adams offered Mr. Tibbs a sales job at his Ford tractor and New Holland dealership at Walla Walla, Wash. Two years later, Adams offered him the job of managing the John Day dealership. Mr. Tibbs lived there until he retired in 1982.

After retiring, he and his wife moved to Salem to be near their youngest son, Dan. Mr. Tibbs lived in Salem until his death. During his retirement years, he enjoyed the many winters they spent at Yuma, Ariz., as well as hunting and fishing when at home in Oregon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Martha Tibbs; brothers, Walter and James Jr.; sisters, Pearl, Effie and Ellen; and their first two children, Martha and Herbert.

Survivors include his wife, Marjorie of Salem; daughters, Marlene Ritchie of Las Vegas, Nev.; Anita Raymond of Bend; Bonnie Bartholomew of Concord, Calif.; sons, Douglas, of Meridian, Idaho, and Dan of Salem; 23 grandchildren; 30 great-great-grandchildren; and sisters, Jessie Tartar and Margie Chubb of Hermiston.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Church of the Nazarene through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Daniel Brown

Daniel Campbell Brown, 92, of La Grande, and a former Baker City resident, died April 19, 2001, at his sons home in La Grande.

At his request there will be no public services. Private interment will be at Rock Creek Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels Chapel of the Valley in La Grande.

Mr. Brown was born Oct. 25, 1908, at Condon to Charles Arthur and Missouri Pearl Fitzwater Brown. In 1924 he moved to Baker City. During World War II he was stationed in Italy with the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he was an engineer on PBY airplanes. He was shot down twice. In December of 1948 he married Aletta Fae Dunn in Winnemucca, Nev. The marriage later ended in divorce.

During his career as a teamster route man he drove a fuel truck and was a delivery driver for Crown Cleaners in Baker City. After moving to La Grande in the early 1950s he drove truck for Blue Mountain Distributing and later for Connies Distributing, from which he retired in 1973.

In 1966 he married Mary Alice Goodwin in Winnemucca. She preceded him in death in July of 1997.

Mr. Brown was a member of the Baker Elks Lodge. He will remembered for his love of life and the outdoors. He was an avid reader and dirt bike enthusiast. On his 80th birthday he took his last spin on his dirt bike before he sold it. Many will remember the dune buggy he built, and which is still in the family.

Mr. Brown is survived by his children, Dan D. Brown of La Grande, Irene Trible of Albany, Gary Brown of Cordova, Tenn., Mike Kelly of Meridian, Idaho, Linda Beeson of La Grande, Norma Flanagan of La Grande and Dennis Goodwin of Condon; his sister, Doris Macomber of Lacey, Wash.; several grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

Pat Davis

Joseph Pat Davis, 77, of Baker City died April 23, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services after a two-year battle with cancer.

His graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery. The Rev. Susan Barnes of the First Presbyterian Church will officiate. Ritualistic rites will be accorded by the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338. Visitations will be until 7 oclock tonight at Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

Mr. Davis was born on March 17, 1924, at Portland to Joseph and Mary Davis. He grew up mainly in Baker City and graduated from St. Francis Academy. During World War II, he served in the Merchant Marines on a T-2 tanker, delivering aviation fuel to Allied forces in the South Pacific.

In 1947, he met Margaret Nation in Portland. They were married on June 20, 1947. Shortly after they married, they moved to Baker City where he began working for the Union Pacific Railroad as a mail plier. During his career he held different jobs with the Union Pacific and retired as the Baker City agent.

He was past exalted ruler and a life member of the Baker Elks Lodge, past president of the Baker Lions Club, a member of the Baker Lodge, No. 47, AF&AM, and a member of Esther Chapter, No. 11, Order of Easter Star.

In 1959, Mr. Davis was the Democratic district chairman for the Elect John F. Kennedy for President Committee. He was instrumental in having Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy visit Baker City. They spoke to a full house at the Baker Community Center.

The story is told that Mr. Kennedy was a bit late getting to the Community Center because he and Mr. Davis and a couple of other people rode in Mr. Daviss orange Plymouth station wagon to do some politicking. Mr. Davis attended the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles where John F. Kennedy was nominated as the Democratic Partys presidential candidate.

Mr. Davis enjoyed hunting and fishing during his younger years, but what he really enjoyed was traveling around the country seeing new sights and making new friends. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed.

Survivors include his children, Patrick M. Davis and his wife, Diane, of Baker City, and Daniel Davis of Baker City; his brother, Thomas Don Davis and his wife, Peg, of Ben Lomond, Calif.; his sister, Beatrice Plant of Indiana; two grandchildren, Jeremy Davis and Emily Davis of Baker City; numerous nieces and nephews; and the Miriam Higley family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Mary Davis; his wife of 43 years, Margie; his sister, Ellen Marie Badley; a niece, Jackie Badley; and a nephew, Joe Badley.

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

Fred Moody

Fredrick Michael Fred Moody, 53, a longtime Pine Valley resident, died April 22, 2001 at his home.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Pine-Eagle High School in Halfway. Leonard Hill will officiate. Vault interment will be in Pine Haven Cemetery at Halfway. Visitations will be until 7 oclock tonight at Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at PEHS Friday. There will be a celebration of life service in his honor at the Lions Hall afterward.

Mr. Moody was born Nov. 14, 1947, at Boise. He lived most of his early years in Baker City and in the Eagle and Pine valleys. He attended the first two years of high school in Richland, then the last two in Halfway, graduating from Halfway High School in 1966.

After high school he lived for 18 years at Tri-Cities, Wash., where he spent the majority of his time farming.

In April 1984, Mr. Moody and his son, Shain, moved back to Halfway. Fred became manager of the Summers Ranch, which was the life he loved best of all. He loved all aspects of the ranching operation, especially taking care of the cattle.

He was a great horseman, loved competition roping and spent many hours at team roping events over the years. He loved the outdoors and spent his spare time snowmobiling, riding in the mountains, elk hunting, boating, waterskiing, and fishing.

On May 10, 1986, he married Mary Harris, whom he loved unconditionally. At that time, he proudly assumed the role of father to Marys daughter, Cortni, who was 8 years old. Whenever asked How many children do you have? it immediately changed from three to four with no hesitation.

He would say, We have four children. The Moodys enjoyed life together, which included many trips to places like Jackpot, Nev., and National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas annually. Some of the better times together were simple camping trips at Hells Canyon, fishing and just relaxing with friends.

Survivors include his wife, Mary; son, Shain Moody, and wife, Mari, and grandchildren, Emma and Jake, of Boise; daughter, Teri Moody and grandchildren, Tyler and Lindsey, of Tri-Cities, Wash.; son, Charlie Moody of Tri-Cities, Wash; daughter, Cortni Harris of Halfway; his father, Bill Moody, and stepmother, Venna, of Halfway; brother, Dan Moody of Enterprise; sister, Nancy, and husband, Steve Stover of Boise; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Belva Moody .

Memorial contributions may be made to the Panhandle Snowmobile Club or the Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo Association through Coles Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Daniel Phillips

Daniel S. Phillips, 50, a longtime Baker City resident, died April 23, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

At his request, there will be no funeral.

Mr. Phillips was born on July 21, 1950, at Baker City to Donald H. Phillips and Helen Berg. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1972, with a bachelors degree in business. At Oregon State University, he met his best friend and true love, Janet Anderson. They were married on June 27, 1971, at Tillamook before moving back to Baker City to start their lives together.

He was an integral part of Phillips-Long Ford Sales for 25 years until becoming dealer principal for Heritage Chevrolet. He worked in the automotive industry for a lifetime, but found happiness this last month farming the family land with his wife.

His life revolved around his wife, children, family and many cherished friends. He celebrated life with his family in the mountains, hiking, hunting, fishing and reveling in the splendors of the Elkhorns and the Eagles he loved so much. He took great pride and found peace while working on his farm and yard.

He loved children. He and his wife, Jan, were permanent fixtures at all the football, basketball, track and baseball games. He took pleasure in watching, encouraging and supporting, not only his own children, but also his many nieces and nephews.

Survivors include his wife, Janet of Baker City; his children, Geoff Phillips of Baker City and Adrienne Phillips of Bozeman, Mont.; his parents, Donald H. Phillips of Baker City, and Helen Berg of La Grande; his grandmother, Julia Phillips of Baker City; sisters, Terri Axness of Haines, Debbi Day of Grandbury, Texas, Minda Vaughan of Haines and Tami Maciejko of Gunnison, Colo.; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Baker Sports Complex through Grays West & Co.

Gary Wayne Shankle

Gary Wayne Shankle, 58, a longtime Baker City resident, died April 25, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services after a long illness.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Jehovahs Witnesses will officiate. Visitations will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Grays West & Co.

Mr. Shankle was born on Sept. 24, 1942, at Elizabethton, Tenn., to Frank Chad Shankle and Martha Magdaline Peters. He enjoyed his younger years there with uncles and cousins, swimming, exploring caves and playing in the woods behind his grandfathers house.

He spoke often of Stoney Creek and his times there in Tennessee, especially in the last days of his illness. He often wished he had returned for more visits.

He and his family moved to Baker City in 1954. He later left and moved to California. However, because he wanted to raise his children in Baker City, he returned shortly thereafter.

He was the owner of Carters Natural Foods for many years and also a dedicated member of the Jehovahs Witnesses congregation. He also moved briefly to Fairbanks, Alaska, working there for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. He again returned to Baker City and spent his remaining years here close to family and friends.

At a young age he taught himself to play the guitar, a passion that stayed with him throughout his life. He often was found practicing and his guitar was readily found by his side until his death.

One of this favorite times of the year was when the family would get together for a reunion and hed be able to play with his brother, Phil, and sing with his family.

He also was an avid book reader with an amazing range of interests; this made him a wonderful person to converse with. Many family, friends and former customers have commented on the fact that they truly enjoyed their conversations with him and it will be one of his many attributes that will be truly missed.

In his lifetime, Mr. Shankle found happiness by spending time with his family and loved ones. He was a man of honesty and compassion who took to heart the significance of a close family. He was loved by many and he will be missed immensely. Those he leaves are left with countless memories of love, laughter and wisdom that will never be forgotten.

He was preceded in death by his father, Frank Chad Shankle; grandparents, Elbert and Ethel Rains Shankle, Robert and Maggie Lipps Peters; a niece, Katrina Kay Blair; and a nephew, Rodney Lynn Shankle.

Survivors include his wife, Niki, of Baker City; his mother, Martha Whitt, and stepfather, Ivan Jim Whitt, of Benton, City, Wash.; a son, Wesley Shankle of Frankfort, Ky.; three daughters, Desi Bloom, Tonya Stiefvater and her husband, Paul, and Michelle Shankle of Baker City; two stepsons, Peter Papadopoulos of California and George Papadopoulos of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; three brothers, Jerry Shankle, and his wife, Ila, of Fruitland, Idaho, Phillip Shankle, and his wife, Marilyn, of Lacey, Wash., and Norman Shankle, and his wife, Mary, of Weiser, Idaho; four sisters, Brenda Rohner and Theresa Shankle of Prosser, Wash., Doris Faye Shankle of Hermiston and Kathy Baker of West Richland, Wash.; grandchildren, Sasha Bloom, Andrea Tucker, Dakota Birch and Ethan Miller of Baker City and Jordan Shankle of Frankfort, Ky; former wives and mothers of his children, Carolyn Logsdon and Charlotte Thomason of Baker City; and many aunts and uncles in Tennessee and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nephews and great-nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kingdom Hall through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, Ore. 97814.

Izora Hall

Izora Gregory Hall, 96, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 19, 2000, at Santa Barbara, Calif.

A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday a the Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., in La Grande. George Fleshman will officiate.

Mrs. Hall was born on Oct. 3, 1904, near Elgin. She was the first child of J. Frank and Tennessee Allen Gregory. She grew up on Smith Mountain near Wallowa.

After graduating from Wallowa High School, she taught for three years in rural Wallowa County schools. She then attended Oregon Normal School at Monmouth (now Western Oregon University) and received a normal school degree.

She taught junior high English in coastal Oregon towns. During these years she completed her college requirements by attending summer schools.

In 1949, she married Wade B. Hall of Wallowa. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service. They lived at Enterprise from 1950 to 1954 and Mrs. Hall taught high school English there. They moved to Baker City in 1954 and in 1992 they moved to La Grande.

Mr. Hall died in 1993. In 1997, Mrs. Hall moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., to be near family.

Survivors include her stepdaughter, Diane Hall Jackson of Santa Barbara; nieces, Beverly Johnson Kane of Boise and Donnajean Carla Gregory of Milwaukie; and the family of her deceased nephew, Greg Johnson, and other relatives and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Library Foundation, the Wallowa County Health Care Foundation or a charity of ones choice through the Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, Ore. 97850.