Obituaries for May 9, 2012

By Baker City Herald May 09, 2012 09:52 am

Darlene Wolf

Darlene Wolf, 65, a former Baker City resident, died April 19, 2012, at Salem.

Her funeral will be Saturday at Keizer Funeral Chapel in Keizer.

Darlene was born at Baker City on May 31, 1947,to Rut and Leslie Erwin.

She had lived at Baker City and Salem throughout her life. She enjoyed being with family and going on family outings such as picnics and barbecues. Family members said she always had a smile on her face and had so much love for her husband, children, grandchildren and family.

“She will be truly missed by all and we will never forget our wife, daughter, sister, mother and grandmother,” they said.

She was preceded in death by her son, Larry Rockenbrant; and her father, Leslie Erwin.

Survivors include her husband, Douglas Wolf of Salem; her mother, Ruth Erwin and sister, Barbara Williams, both of Baker City; children, Lisa Rockenbrant, Chris Rockenbrant and Misty Wolf, all of Salem, and Julie Riggi, of Salem; and grandchildren, Tyler Witherspoon of Albany and Ashley Rockenbrant and Stephanie Rockenbrant, both of Salem.


Normagene Shull

Normagene Howe Shull, 79, died April 25, 2012, at the Lutheran Retirement Community in Keizer with her family by her side.

Her graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Haines. There will be a potluck and time of sharing at 4 p.m. at the Haines United Methodist Church. There will be a celebration of her life at noon May 19 at the Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community in Keizer.

 Normagene was born on May 22, 1922, at Glen Elder, Kan., to George and Lottie Howe. In 1924, she moved to Woodburnwith her parents and older sister, Leota. They eventually settled at Salem where Normagene graduated from Salem High School in 1939.

 She attended beauty school at Salem, holding her first beautician position in Portland the next year. In November 1944, during World War II, Normagene joined the U.S. Navy to serve her country as a pharmacist’s mate third class at San Leandro, Calif. 

In April 1946, shortly after her discharge from the Navy, she married Vernon Emory Shull. They had two daughters Elizabeth “Beth” and Sara “Sally.” During the early years of their marriage, the couple had the opportunity to live in several Oregon cities through Vernon’s position as a State of Oregon highway engineer.

 Normagene was an enthusiastic volunteer so the city where she lived benefited from her willingness to volunteer. This came easily to her because of her wit, humor and spunky personality. Many lifelong friendships were made in each place she called home. In 1960 while living at The Dalles she was named Woman of the Year, a tribute to her volunteerism and community commitment.

 When Vernon retired, they settled at Haines to be close to Sally and their grandchildren. Normagene enjoyed being Mom and Grandma, spending as much time as possible with her family. She still managed time for bridge and swimming at the local hot springs pool.

 In 1991, life for Normagene changed forever. Her daughter Sally sustained fatal injuries in a vehicle crash. This was a very difficult time for Normagene and her family, however, the love for her grandchildren made it less difficult. She was able to move ahead with life by showering her two grandchildren with love and devotion. They meant the world to her.

 In 2006, Normagene’s husband of 60 years died. Normagene adjusted and stayed at Haines, continuing to enjoy life with her many friends and her many activities, including the Mutual Improvement Club, bridge club and swimming at the hot springs.

In 2009, she made the difficult decision to move to Willamette Lutheran Retirement Community at Keizer. She quickly made friends and settled into a routine of retirement community living, attending events, playing bingo, and going to exercise class. She was reunited with family and friends on this side of the mountain and attended school functions for her great-great nieces and nephews, barbecues, Christmas holidays, Thanksgiving, and other activities.

One of her most recent events was Palm Sunday where a large number of her families had gathered to celebrate the holiday with her.

The family expressed appreciation to Senior Helpers of Salem, for all they did for Normagene in her final hours.

 Survivors include her daughter, Beth Koljonen (Norman); grandson, Mathew Perkins and great-grandson Skylar; granddaughter, Kelli Perkins-Rust (Chris) and great-grandsons, Blake and Vladimir; nieces, Tari Glocar (Cliff Probasco) and Shannon Maisel (George); nephews, Michael Killinger, Jim Shull (Ginger) and Bill Shull (Paula); great-nieces Theresa Pietzold (Sam), Tamara Kendall (Randey), Genevieve Vorstag (Mick), Megan Baird (Sean), Erika Shull; great-great-nephews, Jeremy Rosenblad, Connor Rawls, Evan Kendall, and Dustin Pietzold (Jessica); and great-great-nieces, Katie Rosenblad, Caylah Rawls, Sheena Pietzold (Brian); and many other family and close friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Vernon Shull; daughter, Sara Perkins; and sister, Leota Killinger.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Association for Retarded Citizens of Oregon or Special Olympics through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Ray Steck

Ray Steck, 73, of Baker City, died April 2, 2012, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise.

A memorial may be scheduled later. She will be buried in California where she was raised and has family.

Ray managed the Elm Apartments for a number of years until her retirement when she moved to a residence with her surviving partner, David Fraijo.

She and David enjoyed traveling and fishing and dinners out. Ray was a happy, kind-hearted person. She was intelligent and generous and was always a lady, family members said. She was loved by all who knew her.

Survivors include her partner and fiance, David Fraijo, and his son, Mike Fraijo, of Baker City; her five children, Johnny Kirk, Kimberly Frost, Richard Kirk, Tiffany More and Kelly Bruck, all of California; and numerous grandchildren.


‘Maxine’ Thoreson

Pearl “Maxine” Thoreson, 90, died May 2, 2012.

She was born on May 4, 1921, in the Portland area to Fred and Leila Boese. She enjoyed reading, gardening, crocheting and going to yard sales.

She tried to make a difference for children by being a foster parent. Throughout her time as a foster parent, she provided a home to more than 100 children and teens.

Survivors include her son, David Cannon of Clatskanie; her three adopted children, Sam Snyder of Seattle, John Thoreson of Halfway and Sonja Lawrence of Baker City; two stepsons, Kenny and Jimmy Snyder of Tacoma, Wash.; and 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one grreat-great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother; a sister; her grandson, “Little David;” and her loving husband, Russell Thoreson.

Memorial contributions may be made to Boy Scout Troop 438 at the Baker City branch of US Bank.


Lilian Blissenbach

Lilian Virginia Blissenbach, 95, died May 3, 2012, at a local hospital.

The rosary will be said at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 23. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated afterward at St. Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn. Private Interment will be at Willamette National Cemetery.

Lilian was born on Aug. 28, 1916, at Cleveland, Ohio, to Andrew and Elizabeth Fitzgerald Heinz. She grew up at The Dalles, graduating from The Dalles High School and St. Mary’s Academy. She persued a career as a beauty operator for 10 years at The Dalles.

She married Joseph Blissenbach at The Dalles on May 11, 1944.

They lived at The Dalles until 1962, moved on to Baker City until 1967, then on to Tacoma, Wash., for seven years. They spent 10 years at Elko, Nev., finally settling at Woodburn in 1981.

Lilian had many passions such as knitting, playing bridge and especially cooking.

 Survivors include her son, Tim Blissenbach of Eugene; three grandchildren; two nephews; one niece; and daughter-in-law, Cheryl Ann Blissenbach of Chandler, Ariz. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph; son, Jerome; and sisters, Betty and Dorothy. 

Arrangements by Cornwell Colonial Chapel.


Scott Ferguson

Scott Alan Ferguson, 51, of Baker City, died May 6, 2012, at home surrounded by family members and friends.

There will be a celebration of Scott’s life at 2 p.m. Friday at the Baker City Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck reception at the New Life building adjacent to the Nazarene Church. 

 Scott Alan Ferguson was born on Sept. 20, 1960, at Enterprise to Jack and Dixie Ferguson. The family left Enterprise, moving to La Grande. Scott attended first grade at La Grande.

In 1968, the family moved to Baker City. Scott was raised in the country just outside of Baker City. He was a 1979 Baker High School graduate. 

After high school, Scott joined the U.S. Marine Corps. When he returned home he went to work for his father at Ferguson RV in Baker City. 

Scott married Traci Robinson in 1986. They had one son, Tyler. Scott went to work for the Baker County Sheriff’s Department in 1987, training at the Police Academy. During his time on the force, he worked with the entry team (drug busts) and enjoyed the work. 

He left the Department in 1996. He then went to Portland and worked various jobs, returning to Baker City in 2002. In 2002 Scott took a dispatch position in the 911 center. Scott knew firsthand how it was to be on the other side of the mic; the seriousness of a baby not breathing, a heart stopping, CPR starting, paging responders, and yet remained calm, providing comfort, and adding the gift of prayer. Scott retired from Dispatch in September 2011. (911)

Scott loved the outdoors, four-wheeling, hunting, fishing and camping. He participated in trap shoots in his youth and was very good, winning various awards. Scott enjoyed woodworking and reloading.

He was a “man of faith,” and lived it. He was sure to let you know how important you were in his life, he was a friend you could depend on, family members said.

Scott had a great sense of humor. He was a prankster and enjoyed every prank pulled. Scott in his pranking on a quiet night, could lead his fellow officers to a vacant lot or dusty road, totally serious.

Or put lotion on the door knobs at the office, and not only laugh the first time he did it, but the second, third and ... He thought he was a good cook, the hotter the better. He loved teaching his son, Ty, about everything that he loved, and was even more thrilled that Ty took such an interest in those things as well. 

Family and friends made this tribute:

“They say that tears are words from the heart that can’t be spoken, we his family and friends know that firsthand. We shall forever remember our “Scotty” “Scotty the Body” “Scooteroon.”

Scott felt he could not say enough to thank all who helped to raise monies with yard sales and the walk/run, gave him rides, mowed his lawn, phoned, brought food, and more, they said. He never missed an opportunity to say “thank you” or that “you are so special in my life”. He loved, cared and prayed for everyone before himself. Scott fought a mighty battle with cancer, he relied on prayer over complaint. 

“Thank you Scotty for loving us as much as we loved you,” family and friends said. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Dixie Ferguson.

Survivors include his son, Tyler; brother, Wade Ferguson of Oregon City; aunt and uncle, Bill and Connie Ferguson of Joseph; aunt and uncle, Audrey and Keith Best of Baker City; aunt, Joy Foltz of Baker City; uncle, Buck Hayden of La Grande; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and his beloved canine companion, Abby Jane. 

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Search and Rescue (they searched and found him once and he was thankful ... or hungry) through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.