Obituaries for April 13, 2012

By Baker City Herald April 13, 2012 09:59 am

Truscott Irby

Walter Truscott Irby, 87, a lifetime Baker City resident, died April 7, 2012, at Settler’s Park.

His funeral was at 1 p.m. Thursday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Ritualistic Rights were performed by the Baker City Elks Lodge, No. 338. Vault interment was at Mount Hope Cemetery with military honors.

Walter Truscott Irby was born on Sept. 4, 1924, to John Walter and Nellie Truscott Irby at the family home on Sunnyslope Road. Truscott was a 1943 Baker High School graduate. He joined the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in World War II in the Pacific at Okinawa. 

Truscott married Grace Winifred Anderson at the Wingville Grange Hall on Oct. 10, 1946. Truscott worked on the family dairy, Meadow Brook, milking, bottling, and delivering milk in the Haines and Baker areas.

In the early 1950s they closed the dairy and Truscott and his brother, Kenneth, started raising grain and alfalfa hay. Truscott’s son, Rod, farmed with his dad for 25 years. In 1985, Truscott and Kenneth sold the farm at Wingville and retired.

Truscott was a very patriotic man and served his country, state, and community. He instilled this patriotism in his family and grandchildren. His oldest granddaughter, Lisa Becker, was a private in the U.S. Army and served 18 months in the war in Afghanistan.

President John F. Kennedy appointed Truscott to the Agriculture Committee for the state of Oregon and he served under Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman. He also served as president of the Oregon Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and was a member of the Oregon Wheat League Commission,

Truscott was a 7th degree member of the National Grange, 6th degree member of the Oregon State Grange and 5th degree member of Baker County Pomona Grange.

He served as the past master of the Wingville Grange, No. 650, and past master of the Pomona Grange, No. 24. He was an active member of the Wingville Grange for 63 years. Truscott then joined the Elkhorn Grange and the Missouri Flat Grange.

Truscott was past exalted ruler of the Baker City Elks Lodge, No. 338, and past president of the Oregon State Elks Association 1987-88. Truscott also served as past commanders of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign War. Truscott served as a Baker County commissioner and also as president of the chamber of commerce.

Survivors include his four children: his daughter, Lenora, and her husband, Richard Way, their children Lisa and her husband, Mark Becker, and their children Kimberly, Kassandra, and Kaela, and great-grandson, Dominique, John Way and friend, Angie, and John’s daughters, Ashlea and Taylor, and Angie’s children, Christopher, Mason, and Hannah; his son, Rod Irby, and his wife, Susan, and their children, Krystal, and Heather and her husband, Trevor Anderson; daughter, Zona, and her husband, Mick Hiatt; daughter, Carolyn Irby, and husband, Stu Davis; niece, Glenabell Lewis; and brother-in-law, Elwin “Andy” Anderson and his wife, Beverly.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace, of 54 years of marriage; his parents, John and Nellie Truscott Irby; his brother, Charles Kenneth; and sister, Edith Morin.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Elks Children’s Clinic through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.


Neil McKechnie

Neil A. McKechnie, 73, died March 31, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. 

A family memorial service will be May 12, 2012, at Sunnyville, Calif.

Neil was born on Sept. 2, 1938, at Langdon, N.D., to Donald M. and Mary J. Duncan McKechnie. After graduating high school, he joined the Army National Guard for two years.

Neil worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for Lockheed who contracted for NASA. He later worked for UPS in a northern California technology services group (information technology) position, retiring in 2009. He was married to Mary-Margaret Beardsley, who died in 2011.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church Choir and the One Season Community Choir. He enjoyed music, working on computers and reading science-fiction books.

Survivors include his youngest son, David A. McKechnie of Baker City. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary-Margaret; and his eldest son, Donald M. McKechnie.

Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel is handling arrangements with the family.


Dorothy Clyburn

Dorothy Louise “Doty” Clyburn, 80, a former Baker City resident, died April 6, 2012, at Salem.

At her request there will be no funeral or memorial service.

Dorothy was born on April 14, 1922, at Baker City to Harvey and Maude Gardner. She grew up on the Gardner homestead on Washington Gulch, raising cattle and bucking hay with her sister, Christine, and aunts, uncles and cousins. 

After high school, she worked for the telephone company at Pendleton and then ventured to St. Louis, Mo., to attend nurses training. Her nursing career started in Okinawa and then moved to St. Lukes Hospital in Boise.

The family moved to Salem, and she worked at Salem General Hospital, then Fairview Training Center and retired from Hillcrest School. 

 It was after her retirement that she was bitten severely by the “golf bug.” She joined and played Battle Creek Golf Course religiously as often as possible. When Battle Creek closed, she moved to Meadow Lawn Golf Course and continued playing. Between golf, gardening and playing cards, she enjoyed traveling and spending time with her friends and family. She had a truly blessed life, family members said. 

“We are going to miss you Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Sister, Auntie and friend,” they said.

 She was preceded in death by her 2- year-old son, Harold Glen “Glenny” Clyburn Jr.  

Survivors include her son, James Joseph “Jimmy Joe,” daughter-in-law, Judy, and granddaughter, Jamie, and her husband, Chris French; her daughter, Chris “Mar Chris,” her son-in-law, Doug Anderson, granddaughter, Leah, her husband and hero, Todd Raska, and great-grandson, Nicholas Glen; her sister, Christine Bush, of Boise; two nephews and their wives and great-niece, all from Idaho; and  many friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to a favorite charity or to one of hers, including Mid Valley Women’s Crisis Service, Doctors Without Borders, Union Gospel Mission and Marion-Polk Food Share. 

Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral of Salem.


Claude Kincaid

Claude Clarence Kincaid, 97, a former Baker City resident, died April 7, 2012, at Vancouver, Wash.

His graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver.

Claude was born on Oct. 3, 1914, at Yakima, Wash., to Fred and Clara Kincaid and resided in eastern Washington until coming to Vancouver in 1936. 

He married Annetta Miller on May 28, 1938, and they spent many happy years together until her death in 1982. He married Elizabeth Galt in 1988 and they enjoyed traveling together, spending the winter months in Arizona with friends, before settling down at their Vancouver home.

He served in the European Theatre during World War II and joined the U.S. Forest Service on the Malheur Forest at John Day in 1947. 

He transferred to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest at Baker City in 1961, and to the Gifford Pinchot Forest in 1969, before retiring in 1974.

Claude enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and fishing when time allowed. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, American Legion, and was commodore of the Vancouver Yacht Club in 1973.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth; son, Jerrel Kincaid, and his wife, Mary, of Baker City; daughter, Lynnette Halverson, and her husband, Dean, of Bend; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; three stepchildren; four stepgrandchildren; one stepgreat-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Ray Kincaid.


George Roach Jr.

George Ben Roach Jr., 79, director of Anthony Lakes Ski Resort Learning Center, died April 6, 2012, surrounded by his immediate family.

There will be a potluck and celebration of his life at 2 p.m. May 12 at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort.

 George was born on March 31, 1933, at Scarbro, W.Va., to George and Mary Roach.

After graduating from high school in West Virginia in 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed at London, England, until 1956. During his service, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal as well as the Good Conduct Medal. After his honorable discharge, he began his career with the Central Intelligence Agency and pursued studies in engineering at the University of Maryland and the Capital Institute of Technology.

He met his wife, Janice, while they were both working in Washington, D.C. They were married on Feb. 18, 1961. They lived at Arlington, Va., where they began their family in 1963.

Throughout his career, George traveled extensively. From 1966 to 1979, he was stationed at Cyprus, Thailand and Okinawa. His dedicated years of service were recognized by an award of merit for superior performance of duty. In 1979, George and his family returned to the United States and resided in Manassas, Va.

George loved fishing, camping, boating and photography, but his passion was skiing. He was a member of the ski patrol, however his greatest reward was teaching others to ski.

He accomplished this as a professional ski instructor and was also an assistant director of teen winter sports.

After retirement, George and Janice moved to Baker City. Together they continued to enjoy their love for the outdoors. His passion for skiing flourished at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort. There he developed and nurtured others to become professional instructors and to continue his legacy.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Janice; daughters, Shelby Roach and Terry Mullins; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Laura Roach; daughter and son-in-law, Tina and Derek Pearcy; eight grandchildren; one great-grandson; sisters and brothers-in-law, Kitty and John Brenemen and Peggy and Gary Jacobs. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary Roach; and his sister, Betty Boso.

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been established in his honor to provide the opportunity for students who would otherwise not be able to participate in their schools’ ski programs. 

To share your memories, visit 

Memorial contributions may be made to the George Roach Scholarship Fund through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814. 

Mabel Shaw

Mabel Edna Gertrude Shaw, 103, died April 9, 2012, at  Baker City. 

 At her request, there will be no formal service at this time.

 Mabel Engstrom Shaw was born on Jan. 1, 1909, at Weatherby to Uno and Meta Foersterling Engstrom. She lived her early years on Sisley Creek near Durkee. She attended grade school at Weatherby and was a 1927 Baker High School graduate.

Mabel went on to attend nursing school at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Her nursing career started at Hot Lake near La Grande.

Mabel married Fred Alfred Shaw of Durkee in 1937. They lived and worked at Boise and Portland before moving to Alaska to make their home.

Fred was killed in an airplane accident in 1962. Mabel remained in Alaska, working in hospitals and mental institutions as a nurse until her retirement well after the age of 65.

In 1994, she returned to Baker City to help care for her sister and brother-in-law, Eunice and Wilbur Smith. Her life was centered around caregiving. Having no children, nursing and caring for others became her life’s passion.

Mabel loved to garden and to be outside tending her flowers. She was often seen sampling her wares while pulling weeds.

Buttercups in early spring were a favorite. She had a small bouquet of them several weeks ago that she thoroughly enjoyed, family members said.

They expressed special thanks to “the wonderful caregivers who were so faithful to Mabel” — Lola Sevey, Andrea Gallager, Connie Williams and Mary Titus.

Survivors include her niece, Jean Bunch of Durkee; her nephew, Gary Ball of Baker City; and numerous great-nieces, nephews and cousins. 

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