Obituaries for March 14, 2012

By Baker City Herald March 14, 2012 10:28 am

John Jennings

John H. Jennings of Baker City, Oregon passed away March 3, 2012 after a very active life well lived.

There will be a memorial service for John at Anthony Lake July 4, 2012.

He, along with wife Shirley Jennings, helped found the National High School Rodeo Association and the Oregon High School Rodeo Association. He was a proud United States Marine serving during WWII, a pioneer in television broadcasting and a semi-professional baseball player. His community work in both hometowns of Ontario and Baker City through the Chamber of Commerce and arts and historic societies helped to make these two Oregon towns special places to grow up and live in and we are thankful for that.

His family is very proud to have called him father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

“He taught us all how to laugh and enjoy life,” family members said.

His dumping of the ducks for Miners Jubilee will be missed, friends said.

Survivors include his children, Lisa, her husband Joe, and their children, Bill and Holly; Lori, and her husband, David, and their children, John and Stephen; and Jeff, with fianceé, Nonda, and children, Ramona and Sean; and great-grandchildren, Mariah, Neve, and Nick. 


Joseph DeRoest

Joseph Marcel DeRoest, 84, of Orem, Utah, a former Baker City resident, died Feb. 12, 2012, surrounded by his family.

His funeral was Feb. 17 at the Walker Sanderson Funral Home in Orem. Interment with military honors was at the Orem City Cemetery. To send condolences, visit

He was born on Sept. 29, 1927, at Baker City. He was the eighth of nine children in his family.

The children all grew up to be successful individuals, having learned firsthand from their parents the work ethic and persistence required to attain success.

He met Marie Graves at Baker City and married his lifelong sweetheart on March 16, 1948. The were about to celebrate their 64th anniversary. Together they had four children: Elena, Marcel, JoDell and Joel.

After working several years for the Powder River Livestock Handling Equipment Co. in Oregon, he was selected to relocate and manage the company’s new plant at Provo, Utah. Joseph and his sons later began a very successful steel manufacturing company, Rocky Mountain Welding.

Joseph will always be remembered for his hard work, determination and devotion to his family. He was a self-taught man and a natural engineer, family members said. He found so much joy in working with his hands. One of the highlights of his life was hunting with his sons and grandsons at “The Muddy.”

His family expressed special thanks to all the physicians and medical staff who helped with his care.

Survivors include his wife and their four children, Elena (Ron Snow), Marcel (Edna), JoDell (Danny Olsen), and Joel; 19 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and his brother, Donny DeRoest of Baker City.

He was preceded in death by his grandson, Joey Renner; his great-granddaughter, McKenzie Cotant; his parents; three brothers; and three sisters.


Robert Clegg

Robert E. “Bob” Clegg, 89, a former Baker City resident who taught music at Enterprise High School for many years before his retirement, died March 10, 2012, due to complications of heart surgery.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Enterprise High School gymnasium. Refreshments will be served afterward. Interment will be at Enterprise Cemetery.

Bob was born on June 19, 1923, at La Grande, to Elmo and Aurelia Nibley Clegg. He attended Willow Grade School at La Grande through fifth grade when he moved to Baker City.

He was a 1941 graduate of Baker High School where he excelled in football, basketball and track. While in high school during the summers he rode his bicycle to deliver bread and pastries to grocery stores and cafes and to deliver prescriptions from the drug store.

In the fall of 1941, he started college at Eastern Oregon Normal School (now Eastern Oregon University). After a short time, he returned to Baker City to work at Eastern Oregon Lumber Co. He joined the Baker City Band where he met Oretta M. Hearing, a fellow trumpet player, who would become his future wife.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 where he was sent to Camp Callon, Calif., for basic training. Later at Camp Livingston, La., he signed up for Bugler School. As part of the 555th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, he was part of the 104th Infantry Division.

After extensive training in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, he was sent to New York to board the Queen Elizabeth headed for Glasgow, Scotland. He fought in France and Germany and was involved in the Battle of the Bulge.

After World War II, Bob returned to work at the mill in Baker. In 1946, he married his “trumpet-playing” sweetheart on Thanksgiving Day at Walla Walla, Wash. During the period of working at the mill for 10 years, his four children were born.

He was offered a job teaching music at Enterprise High School in 1955 and moved to Enterprise. 

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1973 from Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University). 

He directed bands at Enterprise High School from 1955 to 1977 when he retired.

After that he taught music at Joseph and Wallowa schools for a short period of time. He then worked as the greens superintendent at Alpine Meadows Golf Course for 17 years.

One of his greatest joys was forming and directing the Wallowa County Band in the early 1980s for more than 20 years. Bob enjoyed sharing music with others, hunting, fishing, gardening, his grandchildren and great-granddaughter. He loved family get-togethers and playing is trumpet.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Oretta; his parents; and his brother, William.

Survivors include his sons, Jim Clegg and his wife, Rose, Ron Clegg and David Clegg, all of Enterprise; daughter, Debbie Kellermann and her husband, Ron, of Joseph; grandchildren, Deron Clegg and his wife, Athena, with great-granddaughter, Kadyn, of Salem, and Amber Clegg and her husband, Chris Munson, of Bend; and nephew, Jerry Clegg of Elgin.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Enterprise Education Foundation for the Entrprise School Music Program through Bollman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 547, Enterprise, OR 97828.


‘Bob’ Ringer

Robert A. “Bob” Ringer, 68, of The Dalles, a former Baker City resident, died March 9, 2012, at his home.

Private cremation was by Win-Quatt Crematory at The Dalles with Spencer, Libby and Powell Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

There will be a private family service at 11 a.m. Friday at Zion Lutheran Church. Inurnment will be at the International Order of Odd Fellows Mausoleum.

He was born on Oct. 15, 1943, at Baker City to Frederick and Barbara Strong Ringer. He was raised and educated at Baker, graduating from Baker High School. After high school, he attended Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University at La Grande) and Blue Mountain Community College.

Bob married Marilyn “Kay” Town on June 23, 1962, at Baker City. He worked with First National Bank, coming to The Dalles in 1975. He owned and operated Ringer’s Texaco from 1977 until his retirement in 2003.

He was a former member of Jaycees, coached Little League, was president of The Dalles Little League and served on the board of Wasco County Parks and Recreation. He enjoyed reading, gardening, hunting, fishing and huckleberry picking.

Survivors include his sons, Jeffrey and his wife, Roxanne Ringer, Jai and his wife, Kristen Ringer, all of The Dalles; his father, Frederick Ringer of McMinnville; two brothers, Frederick Ringer Jr. and Ron Ringer; grandchildren, Kayla, Jacob, Avery, Clayton and Autumn; great-grandchildren, Walker Lee Snyder and Savanna Grace Ringer; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn Kay, in 2002.


John Dobbel

John W. Dobbel, 81, died March 6, 2012, at his home on West Fork Sutton Creek near Baker City. He died peacefully from congestive heart failure while his wife and family were with him.

There will be a private family gathering at this time. In keeping with his wishes, there will be a barbecue at the Dobbel Ranch later this summer. This will be a “Celebration of Life” in keeping with his and Kay’s tradition. 

 John was born on Feb. 22, 1931, at Salinas, Calif. He was a 1949 graduate of Salinas High School and attended Hartnell College where he also participated in football and track.

He met the “love of his life,” Kathleen Kay Scoles, and married her on Aug. 31, 1951, in the town of Sucal near Santa Cruz, Calif.

 John went to work for Pacific Northwest Bell in 1952 at Salinas, Calif. He hired on as a janitor and retired as a technician. He was still with Pacific Northwest Bell when he transferred to Baker City in 1970. 

He continued to work with the “phone company” until his retirement in 1982. He was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America and maintained many lifelong friendships with that organization for the rest of his life.

 John and Kay bought a ranch on West Fork Sutton Creek in 1970. Since the beginning their place has always been called the “Dobbel Ranch,” and its brand is the “Rocking JK.”

 John and Kay always celebrated their wedding anniversary by hosting a community barbecue at their home. It was called the “Dobbel Ranch Barbecue.” John really liked people and the barbecue was his way of showing his gratitude. He would invite complete strangers sometimes.

He was a generous man and his wife, Kay, often said, “He would give the shirt off his back if it was the last thing he owned.”

John will most be remembered as a great family man. He loved his family dearly and looked after them. John’s compassion, warm smile, and ever present humor will be remembered forever by his loving family.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Kathleen Kay, and his six children,  Johnnett (Scott Toll), Jodie (Keith Radabaugh), Janeece Hitz, Jarma (Fred Myers), Jonathan Dobbel (Robin) and Jay Dobbel (Rhonda) He had 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Helen Dobbel; an infant daughter, Jewelleen Cheryl; and a teenage grandson, Brian David Sorensen.

 In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family suggests memorial contributios tothe Ronald McDonald House or Relay for Life in memory of his beloved grandson, Brian David Sorenson, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.