Obituaries for May 23, 2012

By Baker City Herald May 30, 2012 10:00 am

‘Dude’ Douglas

Marion Muncey “Dude” Douglas, 97, died April 6, 2012, at his home in Pine Valley. 

He was born on April 28, 1915, in Pine Valley to Edwin and Vina Douglas. 

Known as Dude to his friends, he attended Clear Creek Elementary School in the upper end of Pine Valley.

Dude married Helen Greener on July 1, 1939, at Payette, Idaho.

His life was spent doing what he loved: farming in Pine Valley. He drove freight wagons from Cornucopia to Robinette and back, and drove cattle trucks for The Mehlhorn Ranch. He also worked for Ellingson Lumber Co. at the local sawmill and in the woods and for Roy Smelcer for many years. 

Dude also worked on Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon Dams and numerous Oregon road projects all while continuing to farm. Dude enjoyed his milk cows. Each cow had a name, knew which stall to go to for milking and in what order he wanted them milked. Dude even played them music while he milked.

His hobbies were hunting, fishing, camping, taking the family on picnics in the summer time, playing cards, dancing and going to the Pine Valley Fair and Rodeo. He especially loved going to rodeos, family members said.

His love of rodeo took him to the Calgary Stampede twice, the Cheyenne, Wyo., Rodeo, the Mesquite Rodeo in Texas, the Pendleton Round-Up and to the Snake River Stampede many times.

Dude was a hard worker who loved his family. He also liked to have fun, family members said. Dude loved telling jokes, teasing people and visiting with friends.

He was a great dancer, and dancing with his wife, Helen, to his favorite song, “The Tennessee Waltz,” was always a sight to see. Other favorite songs included “Cattle Call” by Eddy Arnold and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” by Gene Autry. His favorite color was blue. Every Christmas he bought his wife, Helen, a new blue dress and most days you would see him in his blue work shirt.

Some additional highlights of Dude’s life were being honored as co-grand marshal with Roy Smelcer in the Fair Parade one year, getting to ride on the back of a Harley Motorcycle in his later years and traveling to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia.

He spent the last couple of winters in Washington and got to see many sights. He was especially interested in seeing the Pacific Ocean, learning about the ports along Puget Sound and seeing the farming and dairy areas. He looked forward to going to Sunday dinners in Halfway with his friend, Park Coker. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Vina; his wife, Helen; three brothers, Lester, Elmer and Don; daughter, Debbie; one granddaughter, Tausha Kirk; and one grandson, Bob Carey. 

 Survivors include his eight living children, Barbara Carey of Lake Arthur, N.M., Sharon Hubbart of Sutter Creek, Calif., Dan Douglas of Halfway, Donna Coyle of Cambridge, Idaho, Phyllis Gubser and her husband, Bob, of Sunnyvale, Calif., Beverly Chadwick of Baker City, Bessie Iverson and her husband, Arthur, of Cunningham, Tenn., and Allen Douglas of Halfway; 20 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great-grandchildren; survived sister-in-law, Betty Jo Thompson of San Angelo, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Pine Valley Fair Association, Pine Haven Cemetery Beautification Fund, Halfway Ambulance, Pine Eagle Clinic, Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice or the charity of one’s choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


‘Dale’ Richards

Walter “Dale” Richards, 72, a retired U.S. Navy chief warrant officer and former Baker City businessman, died May 9, 2012.

His memorial service will be at 8:40 a.m. Friday at the Southern Nevada Veterans memorial Cemetery, 1900 Buchanan Blvd., in Boulder City, Nev.

Dale was born on Dec. 1, 1939, in Baker City and had been a resident of Nevada since 1996. He was a successful co-business owner of Wilson’s Warehouse, doing business as D&J Foods with Jan Plumtree.

Survivors include his son, Michael Richards; his daughter, Melissa Marie Hiatt; his granddaughters, Crystal Brooke and Tara Richards; his sister, Donna Marie Cahill and her husband, David, and several grandchildren; his favorite cousins, John (Toni) Richards and Kay (Jerry) Hanni; his niece, LaDawn Marsters; his nephew, Gary Muntjewerff; and many friends.

He was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife, Sharon, of 45 years; and his parents, Edwin and Eleanor Richards.


John Carey

John Michael “Big John” Carey, 65, a former Baker City resident, died May 16, 2012, at Palm Coast, Fla., in the arms of his wife, Renata.

He fought a courageous battle with cirrhosis of the liver, but due to additional health issues, a transplant was not an option for him.

John was born on Sept. 18, 1946, in Panama City, Panama, where his father was working on the Panama Canal. He spent most of his childhood growing up in Los Angeles. He loved to play basketball, snow ski and have fun. Later in life, he was an avid fisherman and golfer and he loved the Northwest outdoors.

John and his wife, Renata, lived in Baker City for about 10 years while he worked as a social service professional at Baker House and Powder River Correctional Facility through New Directions Northwest. He also was employed by Mountain Valley Mental Health and had a private counseling practice.

He was always trying to “give back” and help people like himself who were fighting addictions. He was a big man (6 feet 10 inches tall), with a big heart and he always left a big impression on anyone he met, friends and family said.

Survivors include his wife, Renata; and stepson, Jason.

There will be no service. His family asks that friends remember him as they knew him: big.

Condolence cards may be sent to: Renata Carey, 83 Blain Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137.

‘Nikki’ Rankin

Annette Nicole “Nikki” Rankin, 61, of Baker City, died May 17, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise. 

 Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. Father Julian Cassar will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at St. Francis Parish Hall after the committal service.

 Nikki was born on June 2, 1950, at Baker City to Joe and Lena Frericks. She was the first of three girls. Nikki was raised at Baker City and she was a 1968 graduate of St. Francis Academy.

She married William “Bill” Hylton, of Baker City, in 1973. He died in 1988. She married Russell “Russ” Rankin, also of Baker City, in 1992.

 After high school she moved to Portland to attend Phagan’s Beauty School, the largest beauty school in Oregon at the time. She returned home and worked at Pete’s Beauty Shop where she met her first husband, Bill, through his sister/co-worker, Glenda.

She worked at Pete’s until she had her first child. Nikki then spent the next 14 years as a stay-at-home mom raising their four children. After her husband’s death, she enrolled in local college courses through Blue Mountain Community College and earned an associates degree in business. In 1991 she was introduced to Russ Rankin through a mutual friend. They were married on June 6, 1992. Nikki worked for the Flower Box as a bookkeeper until her retirement in 2011.

 Nikki was very passionate about swimming. She would swim two miles four days a week. She was working toward a goal of 200 miles, which she nearly met.

Her favorite hobbies were sewing, knitting and crocheting. She made numerous quilts, table runners, afghans, and dishrags and other items. 

Nikki was also a talented artist. She created some beautiful paintings and ceramic works. She loved the ocean and vacationing at the coast. She loved the beauty of nature and taking scenic drives with her husband.

Nikki’s greatest love was her family. She was a dedicated mother and grandmother to her five kids and three grandkids. She not only derived her strength from family but most notably from God, family members said. She was a devout Catholic and later became a member of the Altar Society. 

 Nikki’s granddaughter, Jordyn, wanted it to be known that, “She used to play with us. She would take us on walks, and to go eat ice cream, and to go swimming. She was also teaching Joaquin and me how to swim. I am going to miss her so much and I love her so much, too.”

Joaquin had this to say: “I miss her so much. I loved playing with her. She played the Memory Game with me and the light- up game. I loved staying the night with her. She would read me books.”

Nikki was so loved by all her family. She will forever be missed but never forgotten, family members said.

“We are not saying goodbye, but rather, until we meet again,” they said.

 Survivors include her husband, Russ Rankin of Baker City; her sons, Ryan Hylton of Baker City and Jake Rankin of Denver; her daughters, Tracy Hylton of Baker City, Mindi Hallett and her husband, Peter Hallett, of Baker City, and Erica Hylton of Baker City; her grandchildren, Jordyn Hallett, Joaquin Hallett, and Jaxon Hallett, all of Baker City; two sisters, Karen Cloudt, and her husband, Steve, of Baker City, and Mary Jo Carpenter and her husband, Stuart, of Baker City; a nephew, David Cloudt, and his wife, Sarahann, of Medford; nieces, Christy Cloudt of Atlanta, Ga., Andrea Patacini and her husband, Robert, of Richland, Wash., and Amy Cloudt and her son, Skylar of LaGrande; mothers-in-law, Shirley Rankin of Hermiston and Dorothy Hylton of Baker City; brother-in-law, Rick Rankin, and his wife, Donna, of Salem; sister-in-law, Glenda Hylton of Baker City; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

 She was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Lena Frericks; her first husband, Bill Hylton; paternal and maternal grandparents and numerous aunts, and uncles; and fathers-in-law, James Rankin and Glen Hylton.   

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR  97814.

Walter Jensen

Walter Raymond Jensen, 82, of Baker City died May 21, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

There will be a memorial gathering at 2 p.m. Saturday at Community Connection, 2810 Cedar St.

Walter Raymond Jensen was born on Jan. 26, 1930, at Winnett, Mont., to Andrew and Nellie P. Christiansen Jensen.  He was raised and educated at Elmira, Idaho. Walter served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1956, then spent many years self-employed as a log truck driver.

 He married Netia Carter-Watson on May 9, 1964, at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He enjoyed fishing, video games, and spending time with family and co-workers. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3048, of Baker City..

 He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Nellie Jensen; a brother, Jimmy Jensen; and a sister and brother-in-law, Mabel and Bob Hernvall. 

Survivors include his wife, Netia Jensen of Baker City; son, James Jensen of Baker City; daughters, Kathy Owings and Cindy McArthur of Lewiston Idaho, and Tina Fraser of Baker City; 19 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. 

 Memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR   97814.