Obituaries for Dec. 23, 2011

Written by Baker City Herald December 23, 2011 04:25 pm

Jackson Potter
Jackson Potter, 75, died Dec. 18, 2011, at Baker City.
There will be a celebration of Jackson’s life at 2 p.m. Sunday at his daughter Kelly’s home in Portland.
He was born at Coweta, Okla., on Dec. 19, 1936, to Geneva and Joy Potter. His family came to the Northwest in the 1940s and he graduated in 1956 from Forks High School at Forks, Wash. He continued to study at Seattle Pacific College where he met and married Kathleen Flatland in 1960.
They moved to Portland and raised four children there. In 1983 he moved to Baker City. He married Helen Winters in 1985 and they lived at La Grande.
Growing up he spent most of his time in the woods. He loved hunting and fishing and worked as a logger in his early years. He spent most of his adult life working in sales and always had a story or joke for everyone he met.
He was most comfortable in the outdoors and had a passion for gold mining, gardening and was an accomplished chess player.
He moved back to Baker City in 2006 where he was a regular patron of the library and he loved to share his green thumb at the Senior Center garden.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joy Potter and Geneva Rice.
Jackson is survived by his four children, Kelly Potter Kemper and her husband, Dave, of Damascus, Tim Potter and his wife, Heidi, of Milwaukie, Patrick Potter and his wife, Laura of Sandy, and Sheryl Potter Langston and her husband, Jimmy Langston, of Tigard; 10 grandchildren; and a cousin, Winnie Mahan.
Memorial contributions may be made to Baker County Friends of the Library through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

‘Ray’ Riley
Harace Ray Riley, 93, a former Baker City resident, died Dec. 17, 2011, at his home in Oceanside, Calif., where he had lived with his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Sharon Riley.
“Ray,” as he preferred to be called, was born on Aug. 6, 1918, at Baker City. He was the first son of Herbert William Riley and Ethel Llewella Baldock. He was the great-grandson of William and Mary Baldock, for whom Baker Valley’s Baldock Slough is named.
He was raised at Baker City and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1936. In 1939, his duties as an Army surveyor took him to Oceanside, Calif., where he met and married his wife of 59 years, Margaret Eleanor Jackson, a 1938 graduate of Oceanside-Carlsbad High School.
Ray and Margaret raised their three sons, Gerald Ray, James Lee and Dennis Dale Riley at Carlsbad and Oceanside before moving to Vista, Calif., in 1960. Ray was the general manager of Masters Auto Supply for 15 years before opening Riley-Copher Auto Parts in 1960.
Ray and Margaret moved to New Plymouth, Idaho, in 1981, and lived there until Margaret’s death in 1999. Since that time, Ray had lived in Idaho, Utah, Arizona and California, sharing a home with his three sons and their wives.
He was happy to return to Oceanside this past summer and had enjoyed the memories of earlier years there with friends and family.
Ray and Margaret were among the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in the Oceanside/Carlsbad area. In 1954, Ray was called to serve as the first president of the newly formed Oceanside Branch.
In 1960, he was called to serve as the first bishop of the newly formed LDS Vista Ward. In his later years, Ray served as a temple worker at the Boise LDS Temple.
In addition to raising their own sons, Ray and Margaret became surrogate parents for many young LDS Marines and to a family of four brothers from Monterrey, Mexico. The brothers, Carlos, David, Mario and Raul Herrera lived in their home while attending local colleges. Close friendships with many continued until Ray’s death.
Ray was a master mechanic, repair man and gardener, among his many skills. He loved to fish in the ocean and in mountain streams and passed that love on to his sons and grandsons. He was a great friend and wise counselor, family members said.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret; a brother, Herbert William Riley Jr.; two sisters, Rachel and Lora; and a grandson, Matt.
Survivors include his three sons and their families, including a total of 105 grandchildren.
Charitable contributions are requested to be used to help needy members of your own families or needy friends. That would be Ray and Margaret’s first choice, family members said.

Alfred Powell
Alfred Powell, 87, of Baker City died Dec. 19, 2011, in his home.
His funeral was Thursday at Coles Funeral Home. Pastor Duane Smith officiated.
Alfred was born on Aug. 8, 1924, at Cloudy, Okla., to Bennie and Emma Gean (Nelson) Powell.
Alfred worked his entire career in the timber industry as a timber faller and mill worker. He retired from Fremont Sawmill in Lakeview, Ore., in 1989.
Alfred married Clara Hamilton in Paris, Texas, on July 27, 1946. The couple moved to Oregon in the early 1950s. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last July.
Alfred cherished his family and he never met a person that he did not consider a friend. He spent the last nine years of life in Baker City, so that he could be near his children and grandchildren. He could often be seen around the yard with his best friend, Toby.
Alfred was preceded in death by his parents; brothers: Winfred and Murry; and sisters: Nova, Elvie, Sylvia, Woodie and Kathleen.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Clara; children, Dennis Powell and his wife, Janice, of Baker City; Karen Smith and her husband, Duane, of Pasco, Wash.; brothers, Ed and Carl, both of Prineville; a sister, Barbara White of Fairfax, Va.; four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Harvest Church through Coles Tribute Center 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.