Obituaries for March 21, 2012

By Baker City Herald March 22, 2012 08:11 am

‘Jean’ Burford

Geneva Marie “Jean” Burford, 73, of Union, died March 11, 2012, at a local care facility after a courageous battle with cancer.

There will be a celebration of life get-together for family and friends from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show Clubhouse, 760 E. Delta, in Union. Snacks will being furnished.

Jean was born on May 20, 1938, at Oolagah, Okla., to Meek Henry and Myrtle George Johnson. The family moved to Union when she was a teen and she was educated at Cove and Union, graduating with the Class of 1957 at Cove.

She married Larry Burford on Nov. 2, 1956, at the Cove Baptist Church. She worked as the deputy tax collector for the Union County Tax Assessor’s office until her retirement 10 years ago. 

Jean loved the outdoors and enjoyed steelhead fishing, hunting, sports and spending time at the family cabin in Troy. She liked to knit and loved to refinish antique furniture. She loved and supported her family and never missed one of her grandchildren’s events.

Survivors include her husband, Larry, of Union; daughter, Vicki Jean Brown of Baker City and Ricky Dean Burford of Union; siblings, Genevive Johnston of Gentry, Ark., Unalea Colville of Springdale, Ark., Floyd Johnson of Haines and Sonny Johnson of Cove; grandchildren, Tawni Lester, Jesse Brown and Allison Brown; great-grandchild, Braiden Carpenter; and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents;  and her sister, Berniece Johnston.

Memorial contributions may be made to the College Place Presbyterian-Wasser House, 325 N.E. Damson, College Place, WA 99324.

Those who wish may sign the online guest book at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of arrangements.


Kenneth Marsh

Kenneth L. Marsh, 96, a longtime Baker county rancher, died March 9, 2012, at Portland.

A celebration of his life will be scheduled later this summer at Baker City.

Ken was born on Dec. 5, 1915, at Doniphan, Neb., to Glenn and Edith Marsh. He was raised on the family farm with four brothers and one sister.

Several years after graduating from high school he and two friends headed West to find a better life and to escape the “blowing dust.”

Somewhere in Idaho his money ran out but he was able to find work on sheep and cattle ranches.

In 1935 he met Susie Harris at a country dance and in 1937 they were married.

In 1943 they set off to Portland to find work in the shipyards but a flat tire forced them to stop at Baker City. Hearing there was work at the Oregon Lumber Co., Ken decided to stay and work a few weeks. Those weeks turned in to 65 years.

Ken worked at the mill for more than 20 years, always holding down a second job.

He and Susie worked hard and saved money and over the next 40 years began acquiring small parcels of ranchland in Baker County. 

After retiring from the mill, he continued to ranch. In 2005, at the age of 90, he leased out his ranches and in 2007 he moved to Portland to be closer to his daughter.

Ken will be remembered for his love of the land, his strong work ethic, his smile, quick wit and sometimes feisty temperament, family members said.

Survivors include three children, Vincent and his wife, Judy, Terry and his wife, Irene, and Barbara Adler; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


Henry Lincoln

Henry Charles Lincoln died on March 14, 2012, just 22 hours after his birth at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise.

A private family gathering will be scheduled later. He was able to feel the love of his parents, to be held and comforted, and as he took his last breaths, opened his eyes. Henry will forever be cherished, missed and remembered. 

Survivors include his parents, Neal and Brandie Lincoln, and sister, Kyra, of Oxbow; grandparents, Bill and Michelle Wilson of Halfway and Jim and Marcia Lincoln of Richland; great-grandparents, Ray and Karen Wilson and Judy Parker of Halfway; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

 Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  


‘Kenny’ Dunleavy

Benjamin Kenton “Kenny’’ Dunleavy Jr., 60, a longtime Baker County resident, died peacefully at his home in Portland on March 1, 2012, in the presence of his wife.

There will be a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. Friday at Community Connection, 2810 Cedar St.

Ken was born on June 9, 1951, to Ben Dunleavy Sr. and Eugenia Louise Turner Dunleavy. His family lived at Galveston, Texas, until Ken was 8 years old, and then relocated to Huntington, where Ken and his brother, Paul, spent time helping on the family ranch. 

Ken was a 1970 graduate of Huntington High School, attended Treasure Valley Community College at Ontario and later sold cars for Dick Matthews Chevrolet in Ontario. 

He went on to marry his first wife, Carla Sharp. They had two children, Bryce and Kate. They eventually moved to Baker City where Ken started his law enforcement career. 

The couple divorced and Ken was reunited with his high school sweetheart, Kathy Needham, of Vale. The two married on May 2, 1989, and remained loyal companions until Ken’s death.

They could often be found enjoying their favorite hobbies together — camping, fishing, skiing, kayaking, trap shooting, and later, enjoying their new life in Portland. Ken served as the undersheriff for Baker County until his retirement in 2001. 

He didn’t wait long to jump into a new career and in May 2001 became a private investigator for criminal defense, working for some of the best attorneys in Oregon, including Ralph Smith, Duane McCabe, Dennis Hackler, Laurie Bender, Kathleen Bergland, Randy Vogt, Ken Bardizian, Dan Cronin, Ann Morrison, Eve Oldenkamp and many others. Kathy also became a private investigator and the two worked side by side for seven years.

Ken worked until just a week before his death, determined to see through a 24-year old cold case. He was dedicated to his work and colleagues until the very end.

“Kenny was loved by many and will be greatly missed,” family members said.

Survivors include his beloved wife of 23 years, Kathy Dunleavy; sons, Bryce Dunleavy, Mike Van Lith (Lisa), John Van Lith and Chance Dunleavy; his daughters, Kate Sandoval, Angela Stowell (Ethan) and Jennifer Dunleavy (Joe Medico); his dad, Ben Dunleavy (Lola) of Huntington; cousin, Wade Dunleavy; sisters-in-law, Dianna Bancke and Patty Barfield (Patrick); brothers-in-law, Richard Thode and Tom Needham (Debbie); eight grandchildren, Brendon Dunleavy, Randy Turner (Matt), Tiffany Landers, Ty Van Lith, Braden, Trent and Alex Van Lith, and Elise Sandoval; and four great-grandchildren, Teryn, Emma,Trevor and McKenzie. And it could not go without mentioning Kenny’s two dearly beloved dogs, Missy and Coda.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Eugenia Dunleavy; his brother, Paul Dunleavy; grandparents, Ben and Mabel Dunleavy and Earl and Louise Turner; twin grandsons, Nathanael and Gabriel Stowell; mother-in-law, Marge Needham; and grandmother-in-law, Doris Needham.

ln lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fetal Hope Foundation, 9786 South Holland St., Littleton, CO 80127. Cards and letters can be sent to Ken Dunleavy Family, 731 S.W. King Ave., No. 16, Portland, OR 97205.


Della King

Della F. King, 87, of Baker City, died March 16, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. 

The family will gather for a celebration of her life this summer at Pismo Beach, Calif., her favorite vacation spot. 

Della was born on June 23, 1924, at Mansfield, Mo., to Calvin and Rettie Ryan. She was the youngest of six children. Her three sisters were 18 to 22 years older than she and she used to say it was like being raised by four mothers. 

When she was 13 or so a new family moved to Mansfield (the Kings). She set her sights on the oldest son (Sterling), but he was four years older and had no time for the young Ryan girl.

Della was not to be discouraged and announced that he was the one she was going to marry. World WarII interrupted her plans. Sterling was captured by the Japanese and did not return home until October of 1945.

Della wrote the young Marine and it was one of the few letters he received as a prisoner of war. It was then that he realized that the skinny kid in Missouri had grown up. 

They were married on March 24, 1946, at Exeter, Calif. For the next several years, Della was a wife, homemaker, and mother and worked alongside her husband in two businesses, Mom and Pops Market and the Pop Stop.

She was very involved in the Free Will Baptist Church at Exeter, and served as the church treasurer for more than 30 years. 

Della was a prayer warrior, and her family fondly remembers seeing her reading her Bible and praying each morning. She was able to read through the Bible many times and was the spiritual foundation for her family.

After her husband’s death in 2004, Della moved to Baker City to be close to her son and his wife. She resided at Settler’s Park the last three years and enjoyed her many new friends and activities. Della especially loved to play cards, and was known by the nickname “Miss Kitty.” 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Sterling, after 58 years of marriage; her parents; and siblings.

Survivors include her son Alan “Al” King and his wife, Sheri, of Baker City; daughter, Anita Joyce Barlow of Fresno, Calif.; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the youth mission trip at Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.