Obituaries from the week of Sept. 25 to Sept. 29

October 03, 2001 12:00 am

Cam Vermillion

Lynn C. Cam Vermillion, 87, of Spokane, Wash., a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 19, 2001, at his home.

There will be a graveside service Monday at 9:30 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery. His remains will be interred next to the grave site of his wife, Jackie. There was an open house memorial service at his home in Spokane on Sept. 23.

Mr. Vermillion was born and raised in Baker City. He was the son of Lynn V. and Grace Vermillion. His father was a former Baker stationmaster for Union Pacific Railroad.

During the 1930s, Mr. Vermillion was a lifeguard at the Baker Natatorium and at Radium Hot Springs near Haines. He played drums in a popular dance band called The Four As, and even engaged in professional wrestling.

He married Jackie Head (also of Baker City) in July 1942. Mr. Vermillion had a 23-year career in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Florida, Germany, California, England, Louisiana, Arkansas and retiring at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington as a lieutenant colonel.

He worked mostly as a military police officer. After his military career, Mr. Vermillion worked as a special services manager at the Crescent Department Store in Spokane.

Mr. Vermillion was an avid skier, tennis player, drummer for jazz bands, and hunter. He loved to shoot squirrels on the farms and ranches in the Baker City area. He was well liked for his ready humor and wit.

Survivors include his brother, Bill, of Espanola, N.M.; a daughter, Susan, and her two children, Michelle and Matthew McCracken; and a son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Mickey, and their five children, Michael, Christopher, Rachel, Jonathan and Emily.

Bonnie Skidgel

Bonnie LaVone Skidgel, 58, of Granite, died Sept. 25, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services after a valiant 15-month battle with cancer.

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the McEwen Bible Fellowship Church. Pastor Bill Cox of the church will officiate. There will be a reception afterward at the Skidgel home on Clear Creek.

Mrs. Skidgel was born on Sept. 13, 1943, at San Diego to Alva and Wilma Burgess.

She attended high school at Salem. She also attended Central Oregon Community College at Bend and took a geology course in La Grande.

She met her future husband, Steve, one morning at 3 oclock at a restaurant in La Pine where she worked as a waitress. He was a logger who came in for a cup of coffee on his way to work. They were married on July 1, 1962.

In 1966 they moved to John Day where they lived until 1980, when they moved to Granite.

Mrs. Skidgel loved to paint. She painted the sign on the Depot Inn at Sumpter and a picture of a train inside the inn. She took lessons from some notable artists and gave art lessons herself while living in John Day. Some of her students are still painting.

She was very interested in mining history and geology. She enjoyed digging into the history of the area and did research on the Sumpter Valley Railroad. She also dabbled in politics.

While living in Granite, she and her husband owned the Granite Store in 1991 and 1992. It became know for the best hamburgers around and as a great place to go just to have coffee and visit.

She was a good mother and an excellent wife.

Survivors include her husband, Steve Skidgel; her daughter, Kelly Skidgel Elliot; her parents, Alva and Wilma Burgess; her brother, Larry Dell; four grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.

Naomi Terry

Naomi Jeanne Terry, 73, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 25, 2001, at her home in Elgin.

There was a private family service at her home.

Mrs. Terry was born on Nov 6, 1927, at Baker City to Richard Wyatt and Blanch Combs Lane. She married Wallace Terry on Sept. 6, 1962, at Jerome, Idaho.

She was a member of the Pythian sisters of Elgin. She also belonged to art clubs at Chino and Prescott Valley, Phoenix, Ariz. One of her loves was oil painting and she won several awards for her artwork. Her other joys were sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.

Survivors include a son and his wife, Rick and Teresa Taylor of Polson, Mont.; a daughter and her husband, Frankie and Dale Thamert of Elgin; stepsons, Gerald and Cookie Bacon of Asotin, Wash., Douglas and Carol Terry of Enterprise, Glen and Glenda Terry of Spokane, Wash., and Stan and Vickie Terry of La Grande; sisters, Alma Comstock of Pendleton and Betty Trump of Elgin; a brother, Maurice Lane of Portland; 15 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Loveland Funeral Chapel of La Grande was in charge of arrangements.

Nan Hix

Nan LaRee Hix, 78, of Newberg, a Hereford native, died Sept. 25, 2001, at a Portland hospital.

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Newberg Christian Church. Pastor David Case will officiate. There will be a private committal at the Unity Cemetery.

Mrs. Hix was born on Dec. 27, 1922, at Hereford to William Asa and Rebecca Ruth Van Cleave Koontz. She grew up and received her early education at Hereford and was a Hereford High School graduate.

She married Thomas G. Hilger in 1941 and they moved to a lumber camp at Bates. Mr. Hilger died in 1962.

She moved to Newberg in 1963 and had lived there since. She married John Wesley Hix at Newberg on Sept. 5, 1971. She was employed as an assembly worker for Adec, retiring after 22 years with the company. A homemaker, her hobbies included crocheting, reading and traveling.

Survivors include her husband, John Hix of Newberg; two sons, Shaylor Hilger and Norven Hilger, both of Newberg; four daughters, Ardith Burnett, Fonda Schmidt, Tanya Dehart and Rebecca Bertagna, all of Newberg; two stepdaughters, Laura Reed of Newberg and Cheryl Henderson of Elkins, Ark.; two brothers, Henry Koontz of Kennewick, Wash., and Chester Koontz of Hereford; three sisters, Edith Derrick of Unity, Wilma Loeks of Dundee and Maxine Brouillette of Brookings; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and those who had come to know and appreciate her where she had lived and worked.

She was preceded in death by a stepdaughter, Bandon Gene Hilger; and a sister, Donna Bradford.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society through Attrells Newberg Chapel, 207 Villa Road, Newberg, OR 97132.

Wallace Shephard

Wallace D. Shephard, 82, of Ontario, a former longtime Baker City resident and well-known chef, died Sept. 22, 2001, at an Ontario hospital of natural causes.

His memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Ontarios Lienkaemper Chapel. There will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. PDT at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Mr. Shephard was born Nov. 13, 1918, at Baker City to Delbert W. and Cordelia Yeager Shephard. He married La Neva E. Scott on June 20, 1937, at Klamath Falls.

The couple returned to Baker City soon after their marriage and remained here until 1964. Mr. Shephard became a well-known chef, including successful working stints at both the Hotel Baker and Geiser Grand.

During World War II, he served as a ships cook 3rd Class in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged in 1945 as a disabled American veteran.

Returning to Baker City, he continued his restaurant business in which his most memorable functions were as an originator of the Durkee Steak Feed and the chef for Sen. John F. Kennedys campaign luncheon.

In 1964, he and his wife moved to Weiser, Idaho, where they operated the restaurant in the Washington Hotel. They moved to Ontario in 1970. They operated the La Paloma Restaurant for five years and then retired after 10 successful years at the Charlois where Mr. Shephard was executive chef.

He was a valued charter member of the Chefs De Cuisine of Idaho, past commander of the Disabled American Veterans of Baker City and a member of the Weiser Elks Lodge and the American Legion.

He was a great man, a dedicated husband and an excellent father and grandfather. Our memories of him will be forever cherished and the love he gave to his family and friends shall never be forgotten, his family said.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, La Neva; children, Sharron Ewing and her husband, Duane, Wallace Shephard and his wife, Sherrie, Carolyn Medlin and her husband, Jerry, Delbert Shephard, and Christina Bonadiman and her husband, Brent; 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, three sisters and a great-granddaughter.

Joe Zamora

Jose D. Joe Zamora 72, of Baker City died Sept. 23, 2001, at the Veterans Nursing Home in Boise.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Coles-Strommer Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Pastor Monte Loyd of Baker Valley Christian Assembly will officiate. Vault interment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery with military rites accorded by Baker City Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3048. Visitations will be until 7 oclock tonight at the funeral home.

Mr. Zamora was born Dec. 24, 1928, at Morrell, Neb., a son of Horacio and Fidela Moya Zamora. He was first married to Nora Griego in 1950. They had five children, four daughters and a son.

He was drafted in 1951 into the U.S. Marine Corps where he served two years active duty in Korea and four years in the reserves. He was widowed in March of 1987.

Mr. Zamora had worked for the City of Los Angeles as a street maintenance worker for many years and then retired. In August 1987, he married Susan Jaramillo, who also was widowed. They were married for 14 years.

After their marriage in California, they moved to Utah for five years and then to Baker City in 1993.

Mr. Zamoras first enjoyment was gardening. He also enjoyed fishing, woodworking, and spending time with his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Susan Zamora of Baker City; daughters and sons-in-law, JoAnn and Alex Quiles, Barbara and Ernest Cruz and Shirley and Ernie Romero, all of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Jeannette and Raymond Swinger of Talent; son, Michael Zamora of Valley Village, Calif.; stepchildren, Senida and Roger Fimbres of Hesperia, Calif., Joe and Karen Jaramillo, Victor and Sue Jaramillo and Fred Jaramillo, all of Grants Pass, and Carmen and Bob Erskine of Baker City; 27 grandchildren, 25 great- grandchildren and two great-great- grandchildren; four sisters; three brothers; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, two brothers and a sister.

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

Lillian Hadden

Lillian L. Hadden, 95, of La Grande, a former North Powder resident, died Sept. 22, 2001, at an adult care center.

Her graveside funeral will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Island City Cemetery. Pastor Sally Wiens will officiate. Visitations will be Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

Mrs. Hadden was born on Dec. 25, 1905, at North Powder to Andrew and Breta Christina Person Dahlstrom. She was a North Powder High School graduate.

She married Jay Hadden at North Powder on May 5, 1927. During World War II, she worked as a calligrapher for Union Pacific Railroad. She also worked for Ann Johnsons, Genevieves, J.P. Stephens and Dr. Gregory for many years. She worked part time at the corner store at Fourth and C in La Grande.

Mrs. Hadden was a lifetime member of the Eagles Auxiliary and a member of the Grande Ronde Hospital Auxiliary and the Order of Eastern Star. She enjoyed handicrafts and worked in the Arts and Crafts Division of the Union County Fair for many years.

She played the piano for dances during World War II and for the Senior Center for many years. She enjoyed spending time with her family. She and her husband spent much time driving the roads of Eastern Oregon. The community and her friends will remember her wearing her white gloves while driving her red Volkswagen around town.

Survivors include her children, Mildred Chenault of Union and Boyd and Kay Hadden of La Grande; six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren; and other friends and relatives.

She was preceded in death by a son, Dick Hadden; a great-grandson; brothers, Axel, John and Paul Dahlstrom; and sisters, Marie Johnson and Ruby Dahlstrom.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Auxiliary or the Senior Center through the Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Thelma Schuessler

Thelma Maureen Schuessler, 91, of Baker City, died Sept. 20, 2001, of lung cancer at Ash Court Adult Foster Home.

Her graveside funeral was Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Gene Saunders of the Blue Mountain Foursquare Church officiated.

Mrs. Schuessler was born on July 25, 1910, at Stephenville, Texas. As a young girl she lived at Morgan Mill, Texas. She graduated from high school at Stephenville, Texas.

While in her 20s, she moved with her family to Orenco where she met and married Charles William Bower in 1936. They had two daughters, Collette and Charlene.

The couple returned to Morgan Mill in 1968. Mr. Bower died in 1978.

In 1986, at the age of 76, she met and married Norman Schuessler. He died in 1991 and she returned to Oregon. She moved to Baker City to be near her daughter and son-in-law, Charlene and Rick Whitmore.

Throughout her life, she loved her family and especially family picnics and dinners. At these times she was well-known and greatly appreciated for her fried chicken. It was the best fried chicken ever and huge meals, according to her family.

In 1967, tragedy struck the family with the death of her oldest daughter, Collette. It was especially at this time that she found comfort in what became known as her favorite Scripture, the 23rd Psalm.

Mrs. Schuessler worked off and on for Montgomery Ward. She was a skilled seamstress and used her ability to make clothes for her daughters and her granddaughters.

She enjoyed hunting rattlesnakes and saving their buttons (the end of the snakes tail). She also took pleasure in visiting with her sisters, crocheting and making jelly, jams and preserves for her neighbors.

She and her husband, Charles, also toured in their camp trailer. In later years, she volunteered to work at the nursing home to help the old folks (as she was fond of saying), many of whom were younger than she was.

She was known for her compassion, her love of children, her strength and, at times, her orneriness.

By her pastor she was known for her dignity and her golden smile. She also enjoyed dispensing pearls of wisdom. She memorized little phrases to lighten a burden, to get a person thinking or to bring a smile.

Her commitment at church was vast and interdenominational. She spent more than 30 years at the Presbyterian Church, about 12 years in the Baptist Church, four years in the Lutheran Church, and another four years in the Christian Church where she was baptized in 1997. Finally, the last three years while her health allowed, she attended the Blue Mountain Foursquare Church.

Survivors include her sister, Tura May Lewis of Modesto, Calif.; her daughter and son-in-law, Charlene and Rick Whitmore of Baker City; two grandchildren, Sharmine and her husband, Tom Phelps, of Dublin, Texas, and Shanin and her husband, Frank Zednik, of Gresham; three great-grandchildren, Jeremy, Michael and Robyn Phelps; a niece, Ethel Goiburn; and nephews, Jess Davis Jr., and Jimmy and Jerry Gibbs.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Foursquare Church through Grays West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.