Obituaries for May 30, 2012

By Baker City Herald May 30, 2012 10:02 am

Lenore Klugh

Velda Lenore Klugh, 84, a former Baker County resident, died May 22, 2012, at Atascadero, Calif.

She was born in 1928 at Tarzana, Calif. Lenore enjoyed life in the country with her husband, Dean, while living in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arizona, California and Oregon. She enjoyed being a part of the rural community participating in many activities including hosting a Bible study in her home and caring for ill neighbors. 


She became a postmaster at Durkee and continued her 12-year career at Huntington. Lenore joined her husband in retirement in 1995.

After Dean’s death in 1997, Lenore relocated to be closer to her children. She most recently lived at Country Livin’ Senior Home with Nick and Laura Williamson. 

She was wonderfully cared for and greatly loved, family members said. She spent much of her time there sharing her sense of humor and love of reading with her fellow residents and her caregivers. 

“Lenore was a sweet and patient mother who loved her family and made each of them feel loved. She was the epitome of a kind-hearted women. Her beautiful, genuine smile will not be forgotten,” family members said. 

Survivors  her children and their spouses, Cyndra White of Shandon, Calif., Rebecca Wilcox and Jim of Paso Robles, Calif., Barbra Coffey and Tom of North Bend, Wash., David Klugh and Tamra of Yamhill, and Katie Hoium and Mark of Shandon; eight grandsons and four granddaughters; and two great-grandsons.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in Lenore Klugh’s name to Hospice Partners of the Central Coast, 277 South St., Suite R, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 or to World Vision Ministries, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716.


Donald Purcell

Donald Frank Purcell, 73, of Baker City, died May 16, 2012, surrounded by his family.

There will be a celebration of Don’s life and memorial service at 11 a.m. Friday at the Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7. Friends are invited to join the family for the service and for a reception afterward at the church.

Interment will be held later at Beloit, Wis.

Donald was born on July 26, 1938, in Beloit to John and Helen (Sommer) Purcell. He was raised in Beloit and graduated from Beloit Memorial High School.  After graduation he moved to Janesville, Wis., to learn the bakery business from his uncle, Kenny Hansen. He learned well and enjoyed being a baker for well over 50 years of his life. While in Janesville he met his first wife, Patricia Bruggee, and they married on June 17, 1961.

Don and Pat had three children: Tammy, Timmy and Shelly.  The couple later divorced, but remained friends.

Don worked initially at The Rolling Pin in Janesville, then for many years at Market Square Pastry in Lake Forest, Ill.

In 1973 Don married Matina Gherondas. Matina had two children, Teddy and Gus, who Don raised as his own. Don and Matina divorced, but also remained friends and prayer partners by phone.

Don was an avid sailor on Lake Michigan. He loved reading and was a book collector. He enjoyed having knowledge at his fingertips. 

Don enjoyed gardening and camping. He loved the evening campfire with his family. He had been a ham radio operator since high school, proficient using the Morse code. In later years he took many videos and family pictures.

Don struggled with health issues for many years. Five years ago he moved to Baker City to be near his daughter, Shelly, and her family.

Survivors include his children, Tammy and her husband, Norm Boots, of Hoffman Estates, Ill., Tim Purcell of Milwaukee, Wis., Shelly and her husband, Brent Wilson, of Baker City, Teddy Phillips of Zion, Ill., and Gus Phillips and his wife, Jennifer, of Zion; grandchildren, Hannah Wilson, Chad Drake, Sarah Bernardy, Tyler Purcell, Lexi Phillips, Sebastian Phillips, Kyle Phillips and Johnathon Phillips; five great-grandchildren; his sister, Sharyn, and her husband, Tom Christensen, of Meridian, Idaho; several nieces and nephews and his beloved canine companions, Danny and Tara.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen Purcell; his sister, Deanna Purcell; and daughter-in-law, Michelle Phillips.

Memorial contributions may be made to Baker City Christian Church through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.


James Eccles

James Roland Eccles, 86, a former Baker City resident, died May 28, 2012, at Bountiful, Utah, after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease during his last years.

His life will be honored at 6 p.m. MDT July 2 at his daughter’s home at 1498 Maple Hills Drive in Bountiful, Utah. His graveside service will be at 10 a.m. July 6 at Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker City.

Jim was born on Dec. 27, 1925, at Boise to Lillian Wright and Roland Schow Eccles. Jim grew up at Long Beach, Calif., where he enjoyed swimming in the ocean. 

He was quarterback on the still famous Wilson High “Jinx busters” football team of 1945. Jim proudly served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He graduated with honors from Brigham Young University where he was the starting quarterback from 1947 to 1949. He was the oldest living quarterback to attend the recent BYU Quarterbacks Day.

At BYU Jim also met a beautiful redhead, Nanette Stapp, and married her on Aug. 22, 1950.

He received a master’s degree from the University of Washington and then continued serving his country as a civil servant in logistics at Hill Air Force Base. Jim and Nan raised their family in Sunset and Kaysville. They divorced in 1987 but remained actively involved together at family gatherings.

Jim’s intellectual life was vibrant and focused on human justice. He often participated in local politics and union activities for civil servants. Jim authored numerous articles and editorials for the Salt Lake Tribune, Baker City Herald, and the book “The Hatch Act and the American Bureaucracy.”

Jim had an active retirement in Baker City, where he explored the rich history of the Eccles family. He worked with Spencer Eccles and the Ellen Stoddard Eccles Family Trust to help restore the narrow- gauge track, passenger cars, and the original train depot of the Sumpter Valley Railroad, which was the logging train for the Eccles Lumber Mill near Baker City. 

He wrote a well-received musical play, based on the last stagecoach robbery in Oregon, called “Molly Burkett and the Bar O’ Gold.” Jim was supported by many in Baker City, including devoted friend, the late Carol Simmons.

Shortly before he died, Jim placed his faith in God’s only son, Jesus Christ, and realized his need for the saving forgiveness of sins, family members said.

They expressed appreciation to Legacy House of Bountiful for its compassionate care. 

Survivors his former wife, Nan Eccles; his four children, Leslie Eccles Manto, J. Vincent (Kathy), Matthew R. (Tawni), and Jennifer Eccles Murphy (Paul); 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild, with one on the way; and one sister, Laddie Eccles Macrate.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Sumpter Valley Railroad at