Obituaries for Dec. 14, 2011

By Baker City Herald December 19, 2011 06:24 pm

George Gubler
George Ernest Gubler, 72, of Hurricane, Utah, died Dec. 8, 2011, at St. George, Utah, from complications of minor surgery.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Hurricane LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 7th Ward, 155 E. 1050 N., Hurricane, Utah. There will be a viewing from 6 o’clock to 8 o’clock tonight and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. prior to the service, both at the chapel. Interment will take place in the Hurricane City Cemetery.
George was born on June 24, 1939, at Ely, Nev., to George Kenneth and Marguerite Felt Gubler. He grew up on a cattle ranch at Lund, Nev., where he learned to drive a tractor at the age of 7 and to fix most anything using baling wire and pine pitch.
He attended Dixie College and later worked at Salt Lake City as an auto mechanic. It was there that the cowboy met his ballerina, Virginia Willis, his family said.
They were married on May 6, 1960, at the Salt Lake Temple.  Later they settled on a ranch at Baker City where he raised cattle, worked as a mechanic and liked to participate in old-west-style shootouts.
Then in 1976, tragedy struck when his family was in a serious car accident, and Virginia was left a paraplegic. George valiantly cared for her and their children.
In 1982, they decided to move to southern Utah because the warmer weather would be better for Virginia’s health. George worked at Hurricane as a mechanic for Winder Automotive and was a machinist for Chums.
He was a volunteer with the Washington County Search and Rescue, Eastern Division. He loved being in the mountains — traveling in his Jeep, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, hunting, gunsmithing, shooting guns and spending time at the cabin.
Most of all he loved his family. George met Maxine Quinn and they were married on July 5, 2011, and enjoyed their five great months together, family members said.
George was active in the LDS Church and served in the bishopric, as high priest group leader and most recently as the Sunday School president.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Virginia, who died in 2010; his grandson, Michael Lee Gubler in 2003; infant grandson, Kamron Lake; and his parents, George Kenneth and Marguerite Gubler.
Survivors include his wife, Maxine J. Gubler; and his children, Annette Lake of Hurricane, Michael George Gubler (Tanna) of LaVerkin, Dawnette Negrette (John) of Riverton, Kristi  Graves of Draper, and Lawna Webb (Jed) of Boise; his brother, John Paul (Jack) Gubler of Hurricane; sister, Charmayne Warnock of Alpine, Utah; grandchildren, Melissa, Josh, Ashley, David, George (Danny), Jake, Brooke, Krystle, Makena, Christian, Braxton, Gracie, Emalee, Abrielle and Alaina; and great-grandchildren, Annabel and Trey. 
Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah, is in charge of arrangements.
Friends and family are invited to sign George Gubler’s guest book at

Leah Van Pelt

Leah May Van Pelt, 91, of Forest Grove, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 5, 2011, at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro.
Her funeral was Monday. Burial was at Forest View Cemetery.
She was born on May 8, 1920, at La Grande to Sidney Louis McNeill and Arvilla Christenson McNeill. She was raised and educated at La Grande. After high school, she received her nurses training at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City.
After graduating from nursing school, she worked for Dr. Gregory as his office nurse in her hometown of La Grande. Dr. Gregory and his family became her good friends and they remained in contact until his death.
Leah and her then-husband, Jack, moved to Enterprise where she worked in the local hospital. They next moved to Portland where she went to work for Emanuel Hospital. In 1963, they moved to Forest Grove where she became the surgical supervisor a the new Forest Grove Hospital.
Later she went into private duty nursing. She was very proud of the accomplishments that were made during her time as president of the Oregon Nurses Association.
She married Rollo Winslow “Van” Van Pelt Sr. on Jan. 2, 1988, at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral at Portland. After their marriage they lived at Forest Grove.
She was a member of the Red Hat Society, a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Forest Chapter No. 42 at Forest Grove, and a member of the Oregon Nurses Association, having served as past-president.
Among her special interests were traveling, gardening and caring for her flowers. She also was an avid pinochle player.
She was preceded in death by her parents Sidney and Arvilla McNeill.
Survivors include her four stepsons and daughters-in-law, Dr. Rollo “Winslow” and Holly Van Pelt of Fairbanks, Alaska, Charles M. and Linda Van Pelt of Monroe, Wash., Edward B. and Karen Van Pelt of Kona-Kailua, Hawaii, and Richard W. and Sue Van Pelt of Bellevue, Wash.; her brother, Sid McNeill of Walla Walla, Wash.; her nieces and nephews, Marilyn Springer of Auburn, Wash., James Haydock of Caldwell, Idaho, Sandra Shannon and her husband, John, of La Grande, Sally  Giles and her husband, Don, of Riverside, Calif., Marianne Bolin and her husband, Ralph, of La Grande, John McNeill of Walla Walla, Wash., Kristina Brown of Walla Walla, Wash., and Susan Wood of Grants Pass; her caring friends and neighbors for 47 years, Ray and Sharon Giansante and family of Forest Grove; special friends, Don Klingebiel of Forest Grove, and Fred and Darlene Stallard and their daughters, Laura and Lindsay, of Forest Grove; and her special caregiver, Linda Gassaway of Beaverton.