Obituaries for July 27, 2011

By Baker City Herald July 27, 2011 09:58 pm

Estella Summers
Estella Belle Robertson Summers, 100, of Lone Fir Road in Halfway, and more recently of Settler’s Park in Baker City, died July 20, 2011, at Baker City.
Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 6, 2011, at the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward in the Presbyterian Fellowship Hall.

Estella was born on March 18, 1911, on the old Robertson farm in the upper end of Pine Valley about five miles from Halfway. Her parents were Harry Duncan Robertson and Annie Belle Makinson Robertson, who came to Pine Valley in the 1880s.

Cal Makinson, one of the earliest residents of Pine Valley, was her grandfather. She was the youngest of nine children: five boys and four girls. All of her siblings died earlier. She had many living nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends throughout her life.

Estella attended public schools in Pine Valley and was a 1929 Pine Valley Union High School graduate. She married Orson William Summers on Oct. 30, 1929.

Her dowry consisted of $20 and a cow. The couple had two sons, Robert Samuel Summers, born on Sept. 19, 1933. He is the McRoberts Professor of Law at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a well-known author of books on commercial law, contracts, jurisprudence and related subjects. Dr. Gordon William Summers, born on July 31, 1937, now lives in Pine Valley and operates cattle ranches in Pine and Eagle valleys. Gordon was for many years a Portland physician where he specialized in head and neck cancer surgery and facial plastic surgery.

Estella was a devoted community servant, and participated in various local organizations. She, along with Orson, was a longtime member and tireless supporter of the Pine Valley Presbyterian Church. She was also a longtime member of the Carson Club, which had been founded by her mother and her mother’s friends to send packages to World War I soldiers, and which continued for many decades thereafter.

Estella was a longtime member of the local Order of the Eastern Star, served as its leader, and once served as delegate to the state convention of that organization. She was also mother advisor to the Rainbow Girls of the Eastern Star, many of whom today remember her well. She was also past noble grand of the Pine Valley Rebekah Lodge.

Estella was a longtime member of the Pine Valley Grange and held various offices in the Grange. She served several times as president of the Presbyterian Ladies Aid, which raised money for church needs by embroidering and selling pillowcases and by providing meals in connection with funerals and other events.

She served as a deacon and as an elder in the church. She was also active in the local Parent-Teacher Association. At the Baker County Fairs in Halfway, she regularly worked in the booth for embroidery, sewing, and knitting displays. She also won countless blue ribbons over the years for her cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, garden produce, and flowers.

Estella was known as an unofficial historian of important aspects of Pine Valley origins and development, and of various pioneer families. She was often consulted by writers of newspapers and other stories on such local history, and was often sought out by people seeking information about their ancestors, her family said.

Though she loved to play cards, go fishing, participate in local club activities, and visit relatives and friends, in the course of her life, Estella also did a lot of physical labor. She regularly helped with various forms of work on the family farm near Halfway (the old “Tom Leep” place).

When her husband, Orson, was called out on Idaho Power Co. service calls during lightning storms, she often joined her sons in doing the cow milking, hog feeding, and other farm chores. She also regularly raised a flower garden, a vegetable garden, and kept a large raspberry patch. Her berries were much in demand.

She loved to go to the mountains to pick huckleberries. Estella loved living in Pine Valley. She enjoyed fishing in Pine Creek, in Clear Creek and at Fish Lake. It was a special treat for her children and for her grandchildren alike when she would pack the picnic basket and fishing poles, and all would head off in the family pickup to fish. She especially enjoyed picnicking at Cornucopia.

Estella had a number of favorite songs that she loved to hear or to sing: “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Somewhere My Love,” and “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.” She especially enjoyed hearing her husband, Orson, sing “The Old Rugged Cross” on Sundays at church, and at funerals of old friends. He had a lovely tenor voice and an expressive singing style.

Estella took strong interest in, and was always highly supportive of, the work and other activities of her husband, Orson Summers, who was for many years not only a farmer, but also local manager of the Pine Valley and Eagle Valley offices of Idaho Power Co. Orson was also a prominent community citizen. He died in 1975.

Estella loved her family, grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. As she put it, in her own specific words that she left behind, she “found her God in her family — in the love of her children and grandchildren, in their smiles, and in the devotion of her husband, Orson.”

In addition to her two sons, survivors include seven grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions  may be made to the Pine Haven Cemetery Memorial Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Juanita Carnell

Juanita Jeanne Carnell, 71, a former Baker City resident, died July 23, 2011, at her home in Gresham, with her daughters by her side.

Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Father Julian Cassar will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at the St. Francis Parish Hall.

Juanita was born on Sept. 6, 1939, at Meadow Grove, Neb., to Kenneth E. “Bud” and Jessie L. Caskey Carnell. In 1942, the family moved to Baker City, where Juanita was raised.

She was a 1958 Baker High School graduate. She married Ronald R. Nelson in 1959 and had three children: Renee, Monty and Shelly.

After their divorce, Juanita moved to the outer Portland/Gresham area where she spent the rest of her life.

Juanita held many jobs throughout her life, but ended her work career with the State of Oregon in the field of quality control. She was a very social and compassionate person who always saw the best in everyone, her family said.

She believed strongly in God and life after death. She loved being with family and friends whenever she could.

Survivors include her two daughters, Renee Kress and Shelly Horn; granddaughters, Megan and Kaylan Nelson; sister, Carmen Harrison; brother, Tom Wellington; aunt, Sylvia Hansen; and numerous cousins.

She was preceded in death by her son, Monty Nelson; and brother, Roy Carnell.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Alliance for the Mentally Ill through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Dennis Braswell

Dennis Albert Braswell, 67, a former Baker County resident, died July 2, 2011, at Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash.

His memorial service was July 9 at a friend’s home in Renton, Wash.

Dennis was born on april 11, 1944, at Baker City to Allen and Katheryn Braswell. He was a 1962 graduate of Eagle Valley High School at Richland and a 1966 gr aduate of Oregon State University at Corvallis where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, where he was sixth in his department.

He married Y. Celeste Florence in 1967. The couple moved to Iowa City, where Dennis attended he University of Iowa. He earned a master’s degree in statistics in 1968. He accepted a position with Boeing in 1968 and worked as a computer programmer.

He spent his entire career with Boeing in the Puget Sound, Wash., region. He held several different positions with Boeing, which served as a primary Department of Defense contractor.

Dennis’ project work was accomplished at the highest level of security.He enjoyed a long and distinguished career with Boeing becoming a project leader.

He was well-known for his creativity and problem-solving. At one point Dennis was assigned the task of leading a team to design and equip a particular site for research and development.

At the time of his retirement from Boeing, the staff named the research and development facility “The Braswell lab.” His family was very proud of his success and achievement, while Dennis remained humble, his family said.

Dennis enjoyed reading, discussing current issues, watching horse races and playing both poker and cribbage. He enjoyed the company of his family and friends and a priority of his life was looking out for them and assuring the were well cared for.

“He was a loving husband, son, brother, father, grandfather, friend — and a not-so-loving card player,” family members said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Survivors include his wife, Celeste; sons, John Pedley-Braswell, and his wife, Carla, of Tacoma, Wash., and David Braswell and his wife, Sieko, of Renton, Wash.; daughter, Amy Braswell, of Chicago; grandson, Matthew Pedley-Braswell of Tacoma, Wash.; brother, Patrick Braswell, and his wife, Bobbie, of Baker City; sister-in-law, Mrs. Mike (Marge) Braswell of Baker City; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Allen and Katheryn Braswell; brothers, Timothy Braswell of Sparta and Michael Braswell of Baker City.