Obituaries for April 6, 2012

By Baker City Herald April 06, 2012 09:44 am


An obituary for Mark Hentze in Wednesday’s Baker City Herald incorrectly stated the title of one of the organizations to which contributions may be made in his memory.

In addition to the Wildland Firefighter Association and a charity of one’s choice, memorial contributions may be made to World Vision through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


‘Mel’ Cox

Melvin J. “Mel” Cox, 60, of Baker City, died March 29, 2012, after a swift battle with cancer.

There will be a celebration of life get-together for family and friends at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club, 2005 Valley Ave.

Mel was born on Nov. 15, 1951, at Eugene to Leslie and Jean Cox. He grew up at Eugene.

Mel served in the U.S. Navy from 1971 to 1974 on submarine USS Patrick Henry. Mel worked for Tektronix at Beaverton for 17 years as an electronics technician. He settled at Forest Grove with his wife, Pam, and son, Ryan. The family moved to Baker City in 1992. Mel was employed by Miller’s Lumber.

 Throughout his life Mel had many and varied interests. A favorite childhood pastime was to go camping with his dad and brothers. Later hobbies included photography, scuba diving, skiing, and riding his motorcycle. Mel always enjoyed going on road trips with his many friends.

Mel’s son, Ryan, was his biggest source of pride. Ryan followed his dad’s example, and is currently serving his country, also in the U.S. Navy.

Survivors include his son, Ryan Cox; and his brothers, Richard, Gordon, Donald and Ronald Cox.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Medical Center,  500 W. Fort St., Boise, ID 83702.


Juanita Fitzpatrick

Juanita Lee Fitzpatrick, 70, of Elgin, died March 31, 2012, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

There will be a celebration of her life at 2 p.m. April 14 at the Elgin Stampede Hall. Those attending are asked to come in casual dress. There will be a reception afterward. 

Nita was born on July 17, 1941, at Chickasha, Okla., to Arthur L. Jones and Hazel D. Freeman Jones. She was raised in South Dakota where she graduated from Blunt High School. She attended Muskogee Business College and eventually came to Oregon. 

Nita married Bud Newby of Baker City and Marshal Nelson of Baker City. She had a loving marriage for more than 20 years to Mike Fitzpatrick.

 Nita was founder, owner and operator of the “Mini Paper” in Baker City. She also was employed as a dispatcher for the Baker Police Department and at one time was a self-employed long-haul truck driver. She worked for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and retired after 15 years.

 Nita loved hunting, fishing and the outdoors. She enjoyed bowling and playing pool as well as traveling. She was a member of the Elks Lodge and the Elgin Stampeders. 

Nita was proud to have been a cancer survivor. Her family will always remember her as a loving mother, wife and grandmother.

Survivors include her husband, Mike Fitzpatrick of Elgin; three children, Melody Newby Payne of Elgin, Brad D. Newby of Orlando, Fla., and Michael Newby of Salem; five stepchildren; 17 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Knight Cancer Institute in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.


Ustious Cummings

Ustious G. Cummings Jr., 69, of La Grande, died March 28, 2012, at his home.

His memorial service was Thursday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel in Baker City. Pastor Bruce Smith of New Beginnings Fellowship Church in Baker City officiated. Interment was in the Veterans Section of Mount Hope Cemetery. There was a reception afterward at the New Beginnings Fellowship Church.

Ustious was born on Sept. 22, 1942, at Lamesa, Texas, to Ustious Sr. and Lola Pearl Cummings. 

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1961, and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Base at Fallon, Nev. At the end of his enlistment in 1966, he received an honorable discharge.

Ustious worked at Crown Zellerbach at Antioch, Calif., for 15 years and then retired from General Chemical Corp., of West Pittsburg, Calif., in 2003. Upon retirement, he relocated to Oregon to be closer to family at Baker City. 

Ustious enjoyed gardening, refurbishing old furniture and watching sci-fi movies.

Survivors include his mother, Lola Pearl Cummings; brother, Johnny, and his wife, Donna, of Baker City; two sisters, Geraldine, and her husband, Tom Krigbaum, of Pioneer, Calif., and Shirlene and her husband, Ken Taylor, of Caldwell, Idaho; five daughters, Julie Feliciano of Antioch, Calif., Vickie and her husband, Tony Thomas, of Milpitas, Calif., Jennifer Shaver of Occidental, Calif., Kristie Feack of La Grande and Kathy and her husband, Rob Moss, of Missoula, Mont.; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his son and his father.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice or New Beginnings Fellowship Church, through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814. 


Charley Blanchard Jr.

Charley Lee Blanchard Jr., 84, of Baker City, died April 2, 2012, at his home.

His funeral was Thursday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel in Baker City. There was a reception afterward at the Sunridge Inn.

 Charley Lee Blanchard Jr. was born on Aug. 17, 1927, at Golden City, Mo., to Charley Lee Sr. and Theo Bonnie Browne Blanchard. Charley, who always went by Chuck, moved to Portland at the age of 14 to worked in the Willamette Shipyards. 

 He had a love for cars. In the 1950s he started building and racing dragsters and became one of the pioneers of the NHRA. He was also a custom auto upholsterer and later developed his own manufacturing company, Industrial Seating Inc., which provided seats for heavy equipment that sold all over the world.

 After retiring from his industrial seating business, he became a member of the City of Troutdale Budget Committee, the Police Task Force, and became the planning and zoning director.

After serving in those positions, Chuck served two terms as a commissioner for the City of Troutdale from 1979 to 1982. He was a member of the Troutdale and Baker City Lions Clubs.

Chuck was a loving father, grandfather and friend, family members said. He lived with strong moral values that he instilled upon his children.

“Chuck was loved by many wonderful friends and family, and he will be deeply missed,” they said.

Survivors include his sons, Harlin Jay Blanchard, Melvin Lee Blanchard and Brent Allen Blanchard; his daughter, Holly Ann Valdefiera; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.




 Nightwind Weaselhead, formerly Beverly Alana Hussey, 68, a longtime Sumpter Valley resident, died Sept.18, 2011, at Southwest Idaho Advanced Care Hospital in Boise in the presence of her loving husband, Frank Weaselhead.

There will be a celebration of life and memorial service at 1 p.m. May 5 at the McEwen Bible Fellowship Church on the Sumpter Stage Highway. Family and friends will gather for a potluck after the service for conversation and to share memories. For more information, call Sherry Jurd at 541-519-6342.

Nightwind was born on Sept. 8, 1943, to George Robert Hussey and Lana Ostrander Hussey at Jamestown, N.Y. The family moved to California, where she graduated from Camden High School at San Jose. She attended two years of college at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, N.Y.

She worked as a bank teller and then traveled the United States, meeting her husband-to-be, Frank, at Reno, Nev.

The couple settled at Santa Barbara, Calif., for a couple of years and then moved to Granite. They were married on Feb. 4, 1973, at Jamestown, N.Y., and then moved to their present home in the Sumpter Valley.

Nightwind loved working in the woods and was a forest worker for a number of years before working seasonally at the Black Market in Sumpter. Her hobbies included jewelry making and she was an avid reader.

Nightwind was known as a kind and friendly person with many friends and acquaintances, family members said. She will be greatly missed by her devoted husband and friends.

Survivors include her beloved husband of 40 years, Frank; her brother, Robert “Bob” Hussey, and sister-in-law, Nancy Hussey; and nephews, Robert and Mark.

She was preceded in death by her father, George Hussey, and her mother, Lana Hussey, of Frewsburg, N.Y.


Bill Shipman

 Bill Shipman, 80, died April 3, 2012, at his home after a long battle with cancer. 

He and his wife, Donna, were longtime residents of Pine Creek. There will be no memorial service at this time. 

Bill loved trapshooting and fishing in the area. He was loved by all and will be greatly missed, family members said.

Survivors include his wife, Donna; four sons, Lloyd, Roger, Steven, and Herb; one daughter, Teresa; and adopted daughter, Kathy.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family to donate to various organizations through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.,