Obituaries for May 5, 2012

By Baker City Herald May 04, 2012 09:11 am

Larry Smith

Larry LeRoy Smith, 76, a former Baker County resident, died April 29, 2012.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Spirit of Life Lutheran Church, 3901 Mullenix Road, Port Orchard, Wash. Inurnment will be at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 S. E. Mount Scott Boulevard, in Portland. Directions to Willamette National Cemetery can be found at

Larry was born on Aug. 26, 1935, at Bottineau, N.D., to Roy and Jessie Fitch Smith. Larry moved with his family to Brownsville, Wash., in 1942, and was a 1953 graduate of Central Kitsap High School.

He graduated from San Jose State College in 1957. After college, Larry joined the U.S. Navy where he served during the Vietnam War. He captained tugs and destroyers and was later sent to the Pentagon. He retired as a commander in 1979.

He next moved to Baker County where he worked as a juvenile officer and later was elected to public office. After serving his term as county judge, he went on to ranch on the Burnt River. After nearly 15 years of ranching, he got a call from a dear friend, Stan Svenson, and the two went off to Golf College in Temecula, Calif.

After graduation, Larry became the teaching pro and manager of Alpine Meadows Golf Course in Enterprise. He finally retired for good in 2004.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ann Murdock; second wife, Jackie Aycock; and daughter, Stacy Edney.

Survivors include his wife, JoAnn Housen Smith; sisters, Kay (Abe) Young and Karen Woolard; son, Miles (Rebecca) Smith; stepsons, Lee (Melanie) Clark, Hal (Lynn) Clark and Jeff (Cindy) Scott; stepdaughters, Connie (Bob) Haas and Debra Scott; 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.


‘Al’ Clarke

Alvin Lee “Al” Clarke, 73, died March 19, 2012, at St.Alphonsus Medical center-Baker City, after a long-fought battle with lung cancer.

There will be a “Celebration of Life” in his honor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 19 at the family home in Sumpter. There will be hotdogs on the fire pit (his favorite thing to do), with potluck side dishes. Readings and a light service will begin at 12:30 p.m. for family and friends with time to share fun and laughter with your memories of Al.

He was born on May 19, 1938, at Sandpoint, Idaho, to Jackson W. Clarke, and Theda VanCleve Clarke. Mr. Clarke spent his early childhood in the scenic and beautiful area of northwestern Montana.

He never lost his love of nature, his enjoyment in always going the extra mile to find his “next best favorite spot,” which he shared with his wife of 54 years, Myrna J. Clarke, who survives him at the family home he built just for her in Sumpter.

Mr. Clarke is remembered for the many beautiful custom residential and commercial buildings he built in and around the Eugene area, before moving to Lincoln City and Shalishan on the Central Oregon Coast, family members said.  On the coast, he continued to build and received many awards for his artistic construction skills.

Moving his family to a drier climate in the Central Oregon area, he continued to build on his own for many years. He loved to tinker and was a regular “MacGyver,” kind of person; no job was too small or too big. He could make a piano out of an apple crate.

His children and their friends learned from his knee. He was a master crafter who loved to share his knowledge and teach others. As much as he loved and lived to work 24/7, his family always told him he would die with his work boots on.

He was proud of his affiliation with Arland Keeton, owner of KeetonKing Construction and the many projects he worked on as supervisor for them. They included Black Butte Ranch, Eagle Crest, Mount Bachelor Village, The Old Mill, Pilot Butte Medical Center, Regal Cinemas, City of Bend Water Reservoir on the side of Pilot Butte and hundreds of other residential and commercial buildings throughout Central Oregon. He built HUD homes (the blue roofs you see) in Dayville, Mount Vernon and Canyon City. He also worked on the Pendleton Armory.

He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, berry picking, traveling back roads, ATV’s, praising mother nature, and just last year discovered mushroom picking. This love of the outdoors he shared with his family year round. 

He was president and moving force of the Moon Country Snowmobile Club for a number of years, Boy Scout leader, foster parent, and community leader. At death, he was planning a four- to six-month cross-country trip in the family motor home for him and Myrna.

Moving to the Sumpter Valley was one of the many highlights of his life. There he could just walk or ride out the door on the many trails that led him deep into and onto the forest floor. He loved the serenity, peace, and most of all, the people. He loved helping the community and volunteered freely his time, labor and professional advice whenever asked. 

At his death, he was a member of the City of Sumpter Fire Department, had served on the Planning Department and was President of the Sumpter Valley Blue Mountain Snowmobile Club.

His smile was contagious. He was a strong leader of men and protector of women, children and animals. He lived by the motto: “Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for your actions.” He will be greatly missed by everyone he touched, family members said.

Survivors also include his sons, Cary R. Clarke, and his wife, Michaelle, of Bend/Sumpter, and Kurt M. Clarke of Bend/Sumpter; daughter, Lisa L. (Clarke) and her husband, Edward Landers, of Bend; grandchildren, Michael Landers of Crystal River, Fla., Marissa Clarke of Portland, Chase, Ian and Rebecca Clarke, Ethan and Ellis Landers of Bend and Natasha Clarke of Bend/Sumpter; and one great- granddaughter, Madison Landers of Crystal River, Fla.; brothers, Richard Clarke of Oakland, Calif., David Clarke, of Cartersville, Ga., Gary Clarke and his wife, Robin of Pullyallup, Wash., and Roger Clarke and his wife, Brandi, of Riverside, Calif.; sisters, Patricia, and her husband, John Bolstad, Elizabeth and her husband, Terry Bolstad, Susan Kirkpatrick of Bayview, Idaho, and Debi Clarke and her husband, Steve Swenning, of Richland, Wash. In addition, surviving at the family home are his beloved pet toy poodles, Cali McKenzie and Panda Miranda Clarke.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents; and 14-year-old brother, Larry Clarke.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the new City of Sumpter City Park play area.


Gregory Winans

Gregory James Winans, of Baker City, died May 1, 2012, on his 47th birthday while surrounded by his loving family at his home.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Harvest Church, 3720 Church St. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Greg was born on May 1, 1965, to Gary and Gloria Winans at Lynwood, Calif. He had one older sister.

Greg married Tracy Ann Powell, the love of his life, on Oct. 9, 1999, at Baker City. They both had children from previous marriages and then had two more children together.

Greg was extremely dedicated to his wife and family. He wanted them all to know that he loved them. He also wanted them to know that family is the true treasure in this life. Money and possessions will never bring the happiness that having a dedication to your family will bring.

Greg received a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, graduating cum laude, in winter term 2005. He immediately went to work for Tri-County Cooperative Weed Management Area. He thoroughly loved his job and the people he worked with. He often commented about how nice it was to work with such a great bunch of people.

Greg enjoyed hunting, camping, skiing, kayaking and playing his guitar. In the two months preceding his death, he enjoyed Jesus most of all, family members said. Greg commented often in those months that he was on a mission from God.

Greg touched many people. He was the kind of person you could enjoy talking to and he could befriend anyone. His smile was infectious. He was an inspiration to many people and will be greatly missed.

Survivors include his wife of 12 years, Tracy; sons, Ben, Xander, Alexander and Joey; daughters, Rheann and Sierra; mother, Gloria; sister, Michelle; mom, Janice Powell and dad, Dennis Powell.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gary Winans.

Memorial contributions may be made to Greg Winans Cancer Expenses Fund at Sterling Savings Bank, 1990 Washington Ave., Baker City, OR 97814 or through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.