Obituaries for the week of May 21 to May 25

May 28, 2001 12:00 am

Thomas Clugston

Thomas Roland Clugston, 60, of Unity, died May 21, 2001, at his ranch.

His funeral will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Grays West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. in Baker City. Lynn Shumway and Mark Minor of Burnt River Community Church will officiate. There will be a reception after the funeral at the Senior Center, 2810 Cedar St.

Visitations will be today until 4 p.m. at the funeral home.

Disposition was by cremation at Grays West Pioneer Crematory.

Mr. Clugston was born in Bradford, Penn., to Sylvia and Wayne Clugston. The family moved to the West Coast while he was still in grade school. He met his future wife, Bonnie, in high school, and they were married shortly after. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years.

The Clugstons spent their first years together in the Willamette Valley. They had two children, and Tom was a millwright and carpenter during those years. Their dream was to live on a ranch, and in 1979 they purchased a ranch in Unity, where they have lived since.

Mr. Clugston loved his ranch and being outdoors, whether it was riding the range, building fence, driving in the forest or enjoying the weather. He loved animals and nature and was hardly ever seen without his dog, Charlie.

He enjoyed life and loved laughter and conversation with his friends and family. Wherever he went he would always find someone to talk with. He could always make people laugh, and no one was a stranger.

Mr. Clugston was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star of Sumpter. He loved to have his friends and neighbors stop by to visit. He enjoyed sitting on the porch drinking iced tea and visiting with his friends. He loved his family and was looking forward to retirement so he could spend more time with his sweetheart, his children and grandchildren.

Mr. Clugston is survived by his wife, Bonnie; his mother, Sylvia Jenkins; his daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Scott Weide; his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Jodi Clugston; grandchildren, Christopher, Danielle, Cody, Cooper and Travis; his brother, John Clugston; sisters, Linda Brocius, Bev Ciferri and Joan Humphries; his aunt, Donna Somers; and his uncle, Dick Kinsall.

Contributions in Mr. Clugstons memory may be made to the Burnt River High School Scholarship Fund in care of Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Kenneth Vannice

Harvey Kenneth Vannice, 94, of La Grande, died May 22, 2001, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

A celebration of his life will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the North Powder Methodist Church. Sally Wiens will officiate. His graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Alford Cemetery at Halsey-Harrisburg.

Mr. Vannice was born on Nov. 13, 1906, to James Harvey and Cassie Elizabeth Angel Vannice in Dayton, Wash. He earned his bachelors degree from Willamette University at Salem where he lettered in baseball. He earned his masters degree from Oregon State University at Corvallis. He was an educator and taught all grades and coached various sports before moving to administration. He retired after 45 years in education.

He married Nellie Delia Falk at Halfway on June 9, 1929. They moved to North Powder in 1968 and later to La Grande. He was a member of the North Powder Methodist Church and sang with other family members in the choir. He also was a member of the Grange, where he served on the state installation team and was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Lions Club.

Survivors include his wife, Nellie Vannice of La Grande; children, Kenneth and Holly Vannice of Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada, Vernon and Martha Vannice of Lacey, Wash., and Donald and Bonnie Vannice of Halfway; daughter-in-law, Marian VanNice of Corvallis; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by brothers, Merwin, Claude and Bill; sisters, Ellen Roberta and Edna; one grandchild; and one great-grandchild.

Memorial contributions may be made to the North Powder Community Methodist Church through Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, Ore. 97850.

Wayne Dennis

Wayne D. Dennis, 75, died May 23, 2001, at Settlers Park after a long illness.

At his request, there will be no funeral.

Mr. Dennis was born on March 10, 1926, at Baker City to Earle and Verlie Graven Dennis. He grew up in Baker City and attended Baker schools. He also attended Union High School, graduating in 1944.

Mr. Dennis worked as a meteorologist in the 1950s in Oregon as well as years in Juneau, Nome and king Salmon, Alaska. Later, he returned to Baker City where he owned an operated the Baker Cab Co. for many years with his brother, LaVaughn.

Mr. Dennis loved music and could play any instrument. His favorites were the accordion and the violin. He also enjoyed playing chess. While living in Alaska, Mr. Dennis liked fishing from his boat.

Survivors include his brother, Kelsey Dennis; an uncle, Elmer Graven.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, LaVaughn and Lynn Dennis.

Merel Dennis

Merel Dennis, 34, of Oxbow, died as a result of an automobile accident May 21, 2001.

There will be a celebration of life service Friday at 2 p.m. PDT at the Oxbow School Community Building.

At his request, disposition was by cremation.

Pictures and memorabilia from Mr. Dennis life are displayed in the Memorial Window at Tamis Pine Valley Funeral Home in Halfway.

Mr. Dennis was born Sept. 5, 1966, at Albany to Jerald Dwane and Sharon Elaine Irwin Dennis. He was raised in Eagle Valley by Sharon and Jerry, former owners of the Shorthorn Restaurant and Lounge.

He fished, farmed and hunted during these years, becoming the caretaker of the Eagle Valley Cemetery while still in high school. He attended Pine-Eagle High School. He was a member of the Pine-Eagle football squad and graduated in the spring of 1984. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was a torpedoman aboard a Navy destroyer based out of Italy. He completed two years of service for the Navy.

After his discharge, he returned home to Eagle Valley where he met Karen Huston. They had two children, a son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Jessica, who died at the age of two months because of a heart condition. The family lived in Halfway for the duration of their time together.

Mr. Dennis then went to Washington where he became a skilled woodworker. He worked for three years at the Randall Allen Designs manufacturing firm in Tacoma, Wash.

He found that he missed his friends and family too much and decided to move back to the valley in 1997. He lived for a time with Jim and Dana Young.

After eight months, he and long-time friend Jeanne Wilmarth decided to marry. They were married in the home of friends, Max and Dottie DeMoss of Brownlee, on Feb. 25, 1998. He and Jeanne made their home north of Oxbow on Homestead Road, where he enjoyed woodworking, gardening, fishing and hunting. In the spring of 2000 Mr. Dennis joined the Forest Service in battling the tussock moth infestation of our forests. He received awards for his hard work and awareness of safety.

Mr. Dennis was referred to as mountain man by those close to him, because of his love of the outdoors, both on the river and in the woods. In his love of gardening and the outdoors, he created a beautiful pond at his home, as well as a woven willow fence line around his and Jeannes rose garden. His woodworking skills are still evident in the homes of many who have his homemade trelliswork and gardening stations throughout the Hells Canyon area.

Mr. Dennis leaves behind many friends in the Panhandle area, many of whom will miss their chess partner, fellow musician and woodcutting partner. His diverse interests and quiet way of living made him many good long friendships that will outlast his time on earth.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Dennis; his mother, Sharon Baylock; his father, Jerry Dennis; his sister, Rose Bolyard; his son, Benjamin; stepsons, Jason and Damon Molina; stepmother, Grace Dennis; and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pine-Eagle High School Football Fund through Tamis Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Dan Elkins

Dan Garrison Elkins, 84, a former longtime Haines resident, died of a stroke on May 10, 2001, at Yakima, Wash., where he had moved to be near his family.

Inurnment will be at 2 p.m. June 16 at the Haines Cemetery. There will be a family gathering at Pilcher Creek Reservoir, his favorite fishing hole, afterward.

Mr. Elkins was born on April 27, 1917, at Plainview, Texas, to Arthur Thomas and Ethel Bowman Elkins. He spent his younger years moving between Texas, California and Arizona where he developed a love for the desert and a taste for jackrabbit stew.

He loved traveling and had many interesting jobs along the way, including working in the lettuce sheds, loading railroad cars with gravel bound for Grand Coulee Dam, roofing buildings for the 1939 Treasure Island Worlds Fair in San Francisco, mining for gold and building a water reservoir in Arizona while in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

While serving in the Army Signal Corps during World War II from 1942 to 1945. His tour of duty took him to Australia, New Guinea, Japan and the Philippines. He was a former member of the Carpenters Union and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He enjoyed fishing anytime, anywhere and hunting. As his sight failed, his books on tape gave him many hours of enjoyment.

He met his future wife, Diane Hazelbaker Weeks, when he hired her and her boys to harvest a hay crop. They were married on Dec. 29, 1966, at Reno, Nev., and made their home at Haines where he became Dad to the first of 42 foster children. To touch so many lives takes a special man and he is deeply missed, his family said.

Survivors include his wife, Diane, of Yakima, Wash.; sons, Steven Weeks of Kooskia, Idaho, and Larry Weeks and his wife, Dee, of Lewiston, Idaho; daughters, Dawna and her husband, Jerry Glenn, of Yakima, Wash., and Barbie Heilman of Baker City; his first wife, Mabel Clarkson, and their daughter, Donna Davis of Medford; sisters, Jimmie Ruth McCrae and his special twin sister, Beth Sample, both of California; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his siblings, T.B., Charlie, Stella and Edith.

Darlene Carter

Darlene Carter, 75, a longtime Huntington resident, died May 20, 2001, at her home.

Her funeral will be Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. in Baker City. Pastor Monte Loyd of Baker Valley Christian Assembly will officiate. Private interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Visitations will be today until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Mrs. Carter was born Oct. 29, 1925, at Laverne, Okla., to Albert and Ruba Phoebe Bates Wright. She was raised and educated in Laverne and Blackwell, Okla. She married Raymond Carter on Dec. 31, 1948, in Missouri. They moved to Oregon and settled in Huntington, where she worked as a cook and waitress for many years before retiring.

Mrs. Carter enjoyed crocheting, embroidering, ceramics, and working in her yard. She was also very active with the senior citizens in Huntington.

She is survived by her husband, Raymond Carter of Huntington; a daughter, Loanna Carter of Vale, daughters and sons-in-law, Winona and Dean Linscott of Baker City, and Karol Rae and Michael LaMott of Boise; three grandsons, Raymond and Randy Abel, and Russell Kroush; granddaughters, LaDawn Linscott and Celinda Peck; three great-granddaughters; two great-grandsons; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sisters.

Contributions in Mrs. Carters memory may be made to the Senior Center of Huntington, in care of the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Marcel Spriet

Marcel H. Spriet, 85, a lifelong Baker Valley resident, died May 22, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

At his request, there will be no funeral. His body was cremated.

Mr. Spriet was born Nov. 5, 1915, at Baker City to Ivo and Alida Verhagey Spriet. He married Naomi Hall in Walla Walla, Wash., on March 17, 1936. He was a longtime employee of Burnt River Lumber Co. Mr. Spriet loved his children and grandchildren and hunting and riding his four-wheeler.

Survivors include his wife, Naomi Spriet of Baker City; son and daughter-in-law, Frank and Ginger Spriet of Winnemucca, Nev.; daughter and son-in-law, Eilene and Larry Schmit of Eugene; daughter-in-law, Loretta Spriet Hewitt of Baker City; brother and sister-in-law, Deal and Arlene Spriet of Baker City; sister, Julia Phillips of Baker City; grandchildren, Frank Spriet Jr., Robin Chesterman, Randy Schmit, Kathy Brown and Shlon Spriet, all of Baker City, Karen Wilson of San Jose, Calif., Tammy Geddes of Ketchum, Idaho, and Richard, Tyler and Nicky Spriet of Winnemucca, Nev.; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Mark; his daughter, Lois; grandson, Presley Wayne; and nephews, Harley Spriet and Dan Phillips.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Presley Wayne Scholarship Fund through the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St.