Obituaries for the Week of May 7 to May 11

May 11, 2001 12:00 am

Walter Larkins

Walter Vearl Larkins, 88, a longtime Eagle Valley resident died May 9, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Services.

His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland.

Visitations will be until 7 oclock tonight at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

Mr. Larkins was born April 20, 1913, at Garden City, Kan., to Marion and Sharlet Cox Larkins. While growing up, he accomplished many things.

As a boy, he enjoyed fishing and hunting. He also like playing baseball and he was a pitcher until he threw his arm out. He worked at many trades, including working on the railroad for 50 cents a day, in a flour mill, as a sharecropper, a carpenter, and as an operating engineer.

He quit school after the eighth grade to help his grandfather on the farm. His grandfather taught him Bible Truths as associated with the International Bible Students, now known as Jehovahs Witnesses. He moved to Richland in 1955.

Eagle Valley became the place he loved along with his wife, Verdie Larkins, and their children. Mr. Larkins was an excellent gardener. He could grow anything. His squash was exceptional, as were his red potatoes. He also was very fond of roses and grew different types.

He was a woodcraftsman and made many wooden toys and dolls for his children. He enjoyed hunting with his boys and fishing with his wife, Verdie. He was a very comical and humorous man as many at Richland as well as the nurses and nurses aids at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center have commented. He truly loved his God, Jehovah, and son Jesus Christ. Mr. Larkins was recognized by those who knew him as an honest man.

He loved his family very much.

The family offered a special thanks to caregivers, Valerie and Vern Madison, and to the entire staff at St. Elizabeth Health Care Services and Dr. Charles Hofmann and to Tom Carnagey, who was a dear friend to Mr. Larkins.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Verdie Larkins; son, Larry Joe Larkins; and daughter, Kathleen Larkins.

Survivors include his daughter, Verlene Drew of Chicago; son and daughter-in-law, Glen and Lorretta Larkins of Richland; daughter and son-in-law, Shirley and Gary Bowman of Baker City; sons and daughters-in-law, Roger and Lydia Larkins of Milton-Freewater and Jimmy and Leisa Larkins of Haines; and daughters and sons-in-law, Rose Mary and Don Sieckman and Barbara and Tom Turner, all of Baker City; 17 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of ones choice or Jehovahs Kingdom Hall at Halfway through the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Lee Haydock

Lee B. Haydock, 87, a longtime Baker City resident, died March 26, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Mr. Haydock was born on Dec. 15, 1913, at Pelzer, S.C., to James and Dora Haydock. At the age of 2 he moved to Nampa, Idaho, where he lived until 1936.

Mr. Haydock then moved to Stanwood, Wash. There he hauled peas for Vines pea factory. He met his wife, Pearl, while in Nampa, Idaho, where his mother was living at the time. He was between jobs and so he was tromping wool into bags and learning to sheer sheep.

He moved back to Stanwood, Wash., where he and Pearl were married on Sept. 2, 1936. They moved to Seattle where Mrs. Haydocks parents lived.

Mr. Haydock went to work at Bremerton, Wash., at a Navy yard in 1942 during World War II. There he learned to weld.

The couple lived at Unity until 1946. After leaving there, Mr. Haydock had his own welding shop at Lewiston, Idaho. He and his wife left there in a motor home and moved to Baker City in 1948. They had lived on 11th Street since then.

Mr. Haydock became a logger and this was his occupation until his retirement in 1978. Mrs. Haydock also retired from Basche-Sage Hardware and Levingers drug store after it closed.

The couple then traveled extensively for 10 to 12 years in all the Western states north to south, never crossing the Great Divide.

Mr. Haydocks last few years were spent doing odd jobs welding and building things around the house. He had a great sense of humor and a caring heart and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Dora Haydock; three older brothers, Overton, Gardner and Jack Haydock; and a sister, Barbara Haydock.

He is survived by his wife, Pearl Haydock; his daughter, Lorraine Swiger, and her husband, Burl Swiger; granddaughters, Garnette Rouse and Linette Dressel; daughter, Barbara Apple; grandson, Buck Poe; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society through Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Mabel Kimberling

Mabel P. Kimberling, 98, a former Baker City resident, died May 1, 2001, at Cheyenne, Wyo.

Her memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Ralph Holcomb will officiate. Interment will be in the Unity Cemetery.

Mrs. Kimberling was born on July 14, 1902, at Unity to George G. and Emma May Elms Nelson. She grew up in Unity. She attended grade school in Unity and high school at Baker City.

She also attended Baker Business School. She was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church and the Royal Neighbors of America.

Survivors include six grandchildren, Robert Gould Jr. and Joseph Gould, both of Wyoming, William Gould, Jeanna Marie Brink and Harold Gould of Colorado and Matthew Gould of Idaho; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Everett Kimberling; her second husband, Arthur Kimberling; two brothers, Fred Nelson and Ray Nelson; and a daughter, Carol Jean Gould.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Trail Regional Museum through the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Bud Riggs

Robert Bud Riggs, 71, a long-time Halfway resident, died May 8, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services after a long and valiant struggle with cancer.

Recitation of the rosary will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Private family Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Therese Catholic Church in Halfway. There will be a public graveside service at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin will officiate. Visitations will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Mr. Riggs was born Sept. 28, 1929, at Portland to Ruby and Thurman Riggs. He was raised in the Portland area and was a Franklin High School graduate. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force and after his discharge he continued his military involvement in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He retired in 1990 after 30 years of service.

He worked as an installer for Western Electric and retired in 1985 after a 30-year career. After his retirement, he was employed by Community Connection as the Pine Eagle Senior Citizen bus driver, which he did for nine years until his health prevented him from doing it any longer.

He married Yvonne Henault on June 17, 1988. He was a member of St. Therese Catholic Church in Halfway.

He is survived by his wife Yvonne of Halfway; his children, Margy Riggs of Brownsville, Paul Riggs of Portland, Linda Johnson of Hillsboro, David Riggs of Las Vegas, Nev., Kathleen Hofer of Albany, and Doreen Riggs of Baker City; his brother, Thurman Sonny Riggs of Portland; and eight grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Therese Catholic Church through Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Carl Byron

Carl Edward Byron, 82, of Baker City, died of natural causes May 3, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center with his wife and daughter by his side.

His graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Monte Loyd of Baker Valley Christian Assembly will officiate. Visitations will be until 7oclock tonight at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.

Mr. Byron was born on April 24, 1919, at Akron, Colo., to Clyde and Margaret Moyer Byron. His family lived in Brush, Colo., until moving to La Grande in 1936. He enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 and worked in the forests of Eastern Oregon until 1940. On February 3, 1940, he married Mildred Murchison in La Grande.

Mr. Byron was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1944, fighting in battles and campaigns at Ardennes, Rhineland, and central Europe that included General Pattons 3rd Army and at the Battle of the Bulge. He was honorably discharged in December 1945 and was awarded the infantry badge, a Victory Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

He drove truck for Pacific Fruit on the branch to Joseph for 20 years, interrupted only by his military service. In 1954, Mr. Byron and his family moved to Baker City. In 1962, he began driving truck for the Meadow Gold Dairies where he worked until his retirement in 1984.

Mr. Byron enjoyed hunting and camping trips with his family. Often they went to evening picnics in the mountains between Baker and La Grande. He was a 40-year member of the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a talented musician and loved country music. He could play any string instrument as well as the harmonica and accordion.

He loved his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren very much. They lovingly called him Gramps.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Millie; his children, Norval and Margaret Byron of La Grande, Nancy Simrell and Al Polvi of Walla Walla, Wash., Larry and Pat Byron of Nampa, Idaho, and Caron and Lewie Williamson of Baker City; 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; his sister and brother-in-law, Willadean Billie and Ed Sloan of Boise; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Roy Byron of La Grande.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society through Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, Ore. 97814.

Jay McKee

Jay Stanley McKee, 50, of Denver, Colo., and a former Baker City resident, died May 2, 2001, at Denver.

His funeral will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel in Boise. Burial will be at the Morris Hill Cemetery. For Mr. McKees many relatives and friends in Denver, there will be a memorial service at the new Invesco Field-Bronco Stadium May 20 at 4 p.m.

Mr. McKee was born April 12, 1951, at Lewiston, Idaho, to O.D. Jay and Phyllis McKee. He grew up in Baker City, where he was active in the Boy Scouts and achieved the level of Eagle Scout. He was a master counselor in the Baker chapter of DeMolay and was a state officer.

After graduating from Baker High School in 1969, he attended Eastern Oregon College before graduating from the University of Oregon. He then took post-graduate classes in accounting at Portland State University. His summers were spent working in Alaska as a firefighter for the BLM and Forest Service.

Mr. McKee joined his father in the management of Levingers Drug Store until its sale. He then moved to Denver, where he worked as a lobbyist. He worked on the initiative to build the new Denver Broncos football stadium Invesco Field and was employed by SAFE Colorado, a group working to change gun control legislation.

Mr. McKee loved living in Denver, where he could ski, golf, fish and watch Bronco football games and hockey games. He was very fond of children and had a special relationship with his only niece.

He is survived by his parents, Jay and Phyllis McKee; a sister, Mary Ann Rode, her husband, Bob, and their daughter, Kelsey, all of Boise; uncles and aunts, Jim and Jacki Jansen of Yakima, Wash., and Dick and Helen Jansen of Olympia, Wash.; cousins and many wonderful friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Save the Zumwalt Prairie, Oregon in care of The Nature Conservancy, Box HP, Portland, Ore. 97214, or to the pediatric department of Mountain States Tumor Institute, 190 E. Bannock St., Boise, Idaho 83712.