Obituaries for March 28, 2012

By Baker City Herald March 28, 2012 10:11 am

Alberta Ainsworth

Alberta M. Ainsworth, 94, of Baker City, died March 22, 2012, at Meadowbrook Place. 

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 42171 Chico Road.

Alberta was born on Nov. 1, 1917, at Tuckahoe, N.Y., to Albert and Olive Blumenstock Munkelt. She was a graduate of Pearl River High School.

She married Walter Ainsworth at Pearl River, N.Y., in 1938. She also worked as a nurse’s aide for New York State.

Alberta’s biggest accomplishment was raising four children after her husband’s death in 1966. Service and friendships through her church and community were other proud accomplishments for Alberta, family members said. 

Her hobbies included letter writing, reading, sewing, entertaining family and friends and volunteering at her church. She was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Survivors include her son, Bruce Ainsworth, and his wife, Sharon, of Euless, Texas; daughter, Marcy Ainsworth of Nampa, Idaho; and son, Guy Ainsworth of Whitehouse, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Ainsworth; son, Roger Ainsworth; and daughter, Judy-Lee Vis.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Seventh-day Adventist School through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Doris Stephens

Doris Jean Smelcer Stephens, 80, a longtime Baker City resident, died March 18, 2012, at Sun City, Ariz.

 Recitation of the rosary will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, also at the Cathedral, by the Rev. Julian Cassar. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Visitations will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St.

The Cathedral, where she was baptized, received her first communion, confirmation, and was married, was beloved to her and she was exceedingly happy when it was recently restored to its original beauty. Jean, as she preferred to be called, always considered Baker City her hometown, her family said, and it will be her final resting place at Mount Hope Cemetery.

 Jean was born on Sept. 21, 1931, at Baker City to Clifford and Catherine Smelcer. She attended St. Francis Academy and graduated in 1948 after 11 years of schooling. She married William G. Stephens on Dec. 31, 1950, at St Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City.

 She moved to Montana with her husband, Bill, in 1951 and raised her family there. They lived at Hardin, Sidney, and Miles City. In 1992, they established a residence at Sun City, Ariz., and divided their time between Montana, Oregon, and Arizona until 1998. After that they traveled between Baker City and Sun City until her death.

 Jean was active in many women’s organizations, including the Montana Home Demonstrations Club at Hardin. She was a life member of the Miles City Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, and served as president of the Montana Chapter for the Federation of the Christian Women. She also was involved, for many years, with Artex Craft Paints and enjoyed painting with and selling those products.

 In retirement, she enjoyed traveling around the country with the Arizona Telephone Family Campers and had many friends in that group.

 Most important to her was her family. Jean was always thinking of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was her way to always be on the watch for that special item that would be a perfect little gift for any of them, no matter what time of year it was, family members said.

 Survivors include her husband, William G. Stephens; her brother-in-law, Donald Stephens; brother, Clifford Smelcer; sister, Lillian Smelcer Ellingson; son, W. Kraig Stephens; daughter, Karen Stephens; seven grandchildren, Jennifer, Sunny, Tiffany, Tonya, Michael, Zachary, and Stephani; and 15 great-grandchildren.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Francis SOC Fund through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.


Edna Peck

Edna Peck, 96, the mother of Marjorie Baker of Halfway, died March 25, 2012. 

Edna had lived with David and Marjorie Baker for the past 16 years.

No memorial service is planned at this time. The family was served by Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home.


Robert Ott

Robert Vernon Ott, 91, of Baker City, died March 24, 2012, at Settler’s Park.

There will be a celebration of his life at 11 a.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St. Pastor Juanita Bergacker will officiate. 

Bob was born on Sept. 11, 1920, at Walla Walla, Wash. His family moved to Baker City in 1935 and he graduated from Baker High School in 1938. 

He met the love of his life, Catharine Leggett, while still in high school. They were married at Weiser, Idaho, in 1939 with her sister, Shirley Guyer, and his brother, Donald Ott, as witnesses. They celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on Dec. 2, 2011. 

Bob worked as a saw filer for several of the lumber mills in Baker City and retired from Ellingson Lumber Co. Bob did not have the opportunity to serve in the military, but was proud of his service with the Civil Air Patrol.

Bob was extremely proud to be a member of the only Baker High School State Championship Basketball Team in 1938. Bob and Catharine rarely missed an athletic event at Baker High School with the hopes of seeing another state championship in his lifetime. In 2007, the Baker High School basketball team won the state championship with his great-grandson playing on the team. It was a dream come true for Bob and Catharine, family members said. 

Bob and Catharine could be found camping in their trailers with many family friends and relatives in the Eagle Mountains or during the traditional opening of fishing season at Unity Reservoir in April. This family tradition has continued for more than 60 years. 

Bob pulled his trailer all over the Northwest and across the United States with family and friends and continued to camp in the Eagles until he could no longer drive. Bob loved to play cards. You could find him playing pinochle at church parties, house-to-house card games and at home with Catharine or Lew Robbins. 

Everyone knew not to interfere with Bob and Catharine’s Tuesday lunch plans as they were regulars with other church friends for lunch at McDonald’s and then a trip to Bi-Mart to check their numbers. They were then off for a game of pinochle with Lew for the afternoon.

Bob Ott was a very special person who appeared to be quiet and easy going unless he had a topic that he was passionate about and then he let everyone know how he felt. Bob was the Toastmaster for the Baker Knife and Fork Club where he conducted business and gave speeches.

He was a 60-year member of the United Methodist Church of Baker where he was actively involved in every aspect of the church organization. Bob was a special man who was recognized for his many fine qualities and the most important were being a friend and helper to everyone in need. Bob touched many lives and it was most gratifying to hear people comment on what a “wonderful person” he was, his family said.

Survivors include his wife, Catharine Leggett Ott; sons, Dr. Robert Ott of Damascus and Billy Ott and his wife, Carmen, of Baker City; two grandchildren and their spouses, Steven Ott and his wife, Jennifer, of Clackamas and Colleen Grigg and her husband, Mark, of Moses Lake, Wash.; and two great-grandchildren, Justin Grigg of Boise and Kayla Grigg of Moses Lake, Wash.

 He was preceded in death by his mother, his father, two brothers and one sister. Bob was the youngest. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker United Methodist Church through Gray’s West and Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Dorothy Graham

Dorothy Ann Graham, 76, of Baker City, died March 25, 2012, at her home.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the First Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. Pastor Lennie Spooner will officiate. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Dorothy was born on Aug. 30, 1935, to Burton and Olga Bohn Graham in Napa Valley, Calif. 

She worked for Step Forward from 1994 to January 2012. She was forced to quit work because of her heart slowing her down. She loved to go to work. She was an extremely hard worker and everybody loved her, family members said. She was never married.

She loved to collect recipes, books on her Scottish family history, buffalo things, and the Looney Tunes cartoon character, the Tasmanian Devil. She loved the church and all of her prayer meetings. She loved it so much that she would go to TLC at least three times a week and to church on Sundays.

Her accomplishments were not so much as to the physical or monetary things but her joyful, happy, cheerful self. She always had a smile and never complained about anything, her family said. 

Survivors include her niece, Cheryl Guzman of Baker City; niece, Dawna Cara of The Dalles; great-nephews, Grover White of San Diego and Miguel Guzman of Bingen, Wash.; great-nieces, Christi Postema and Shara LaBarge, both of The Dalles; and eight great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews; and a brother-in-law, Chuck Rohner of Baker City.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Burton and Olga Graham; her brothers, Robert and Ronald Graham; a sister, Roberta Graham; a niece, Debra Rohner; and a nephew, Dugan Graham.

Memorial contributions may be made to Step Forward through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.