Obituaries for June 18, 2012

By Baker City Herald June 18, 2012 10:24 am

‘Dee' Lefever

Baker City, 1918-2012

Delores “Dee” Johnston-Lefever, 93, of Boise, died June 13, 2012, at Meadows Lake Assisted Living Center in Meridian, Idaho, surrounded by her family.

Her service will be Friday, June 22, at 10 a.m. PDT at Thomason Funeral Home in Weiser, Idaho. Visitations will be Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., and burial will follow the services at Fairview Cemetery.

Dee was born on Nov. 1, 1918, at Payette, Idaho.

Dee was an amazing woman who lived a loving, joyful life and she will be greatly missed, family members said.

Survivors include her daughters, Jody Presley of La Grande and Sherri (Ron) Bubb of Cascade, Idaho; her son, Dan (Leanne) Johnston of Ontario; her sisters, Betty Medlin and Jackie Beveridge of Boise; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Dee was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mamie Hutchinson; her sister, Dorothy Hale; her first husband, Albin Johnston; her second husband, Ray Lefever; and her son-in-law, Don Presley.

The family would like to thank the Meadow Lake staff and Heart and Home Hospice for their loving care and support. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Whitney Baptist Church, Boise, or Heart and Home Hospice, Meridian, in care of Thomason Funeral Home, 221 E. Court St., Weiser, ID 83672. Condolences can be sent to the family at

Riki Anderson

Baker City, 1969-2012

Riki Richelle Gerry Anderson, 42, of North Powder died June 12, 2012, after her courageous battle with cancer came to an end. 

Her memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the North Powder High School Gym. Graveside committal will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Hillcrest Cemetery in La Grande. 

Riki was born on Sept. 8, 1969, at La Grande to Rick and Sharon Gerry. She was the second of three children. 

After living a short while at North Powder, Riki and her family moved to Prairie City where she attended Grades K-12. She was a 1987 Prairie City High School graduate. 

After high school, Riki found adventure in the summers fighting fire for the U.S. Forest Service while attending Eastern Oregon State College in La Grande where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education. 

During her 20 years as an educator, Riki worked for the Burnt River School District at Unity for 12 years and the North Powder School District for eight years, serving at times as a special education teacher, elementary teacher, athletic director and coach.

Riki’s passion for learning, helping, and working with others was seen and felt by those she came in contact with.

She married Cody Anderson, the love of her life, on Dec. 31, 2004. Together they welcomingly shared the joy of raising three beautiful daughters. Riki had a passion for horses, the outdoors, spending time with her family, and watching her daughter participate in athletics. “Those who were touched by her understood that the quality of existence far exceeds the quantity of time which one lives,” family members said.

Survivors include her husband, Cody Anderson; her daughters, Ali, Jacey, and Avrie; her parents, Rick and Sharon Gerry; her sister, Kim Kimball, and her husband, Brian; her brother, Ryan Gerry and his wife, Samantha; three nieces and two nephews; and her aunt, Susie Gerry. 

She was preceded in death by her grandparents; Jim and June Gerry; and Mick and Verna Elder.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Billie Ruth Bootsma Foundation, 3325 Pocahontas Road, Baker City, OR 97814.

William Walter

Baker City, 1926-2012

William Robert “Bill” Walter, 85, of Baker City, died June 9, 2012, surrounded by his family.

His memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Calvary Baptist Church, 2130 Fourth St.

He was born on Nov. 5, 1926, in South Dakota to Verne Oliver and Florence Walter. Bill was the third of seven children.

The Walters moved to Baker in 1934. Bill was a 1944 Baker High School graduate.

After a year with the Shockley Lumber Co., Bill joined the U.S. Navy where he received electronics and radio training. After receiving an honorable discharge, Bill enrolled at Westmont College where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Greek.  It was there Bill met and married a girl from the University of California at Santa Barbara named Joyce Allen.

From early childhood, Bill, knew the uncertainty of life.  His father often told stories of Bill’s many near-death experiences and of God’s interventions to keep his son alive, his family said.

 In 1953, driven by a desire to respond to life’s most challenging questions, Bill attended Western Baptist Seminary in Portland to study the Scriptures, and began the first few of his eventual 15 years of service in the ministry with the Mulino Community Church. 

Bill then worked for 15 years in the aerospace industry, primarily with General Dynamics Electronics before returning to the ministry in Southern California.

Bill enjoyed being part of the development of guidance systems for the F100 series of fighter jets in the early 60s, as well as designing training programs and writing operating system manuals for early computer systems. 

As a life-long inventor, both for pre-microchip computing and for personal projects, with multiple patents to his credit, Bill’s specialty was to invent and develop the machinery and tooling required to fabricate prototypes for his ideas.

 Bill returned to Baker City and his ranching roots for the 15 years preceding his retirement. He continued to pursue environmentally sustainable practices on the family ranch for the rest of his life. 

The Baker City Herald once referred to Bill as the “Carrot King” due to the notice his innovative feasibility project for a mechanized carrot seeder received in the local community.

 Bill and Joyce were married for 62 years, finding much happiness in raising a family, serving their communities and churches, and nurturing their careers together.

 He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, John; and his sister, Marjorie.

 Survivors include his wife, Joyce Walter of Baker City; sister, Helen Holecek of Long Prairie, Minn.; sister, Pearl McMullin, and her husband, Frank, of Twin Falls, Idaho; sister, Mary Lou Johnson of Baker City; and sister, Ruby Carroll, and her husband, Mike, of Columbia City; daughter and her husband, Joy and Bill Kendall of Santa Rosa, Calif.; daughter and her husband, Gaylene and Tom Golden of Rose Lodge; son and his wife, Thomas and Roberta Walter of Woodside, Calif.; 10 grandchildren and their spouses; four great-grandchildren; and many more nieces and nephews and their extended families.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church in Baker City or the Gideon’s International Bible Society through Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Baker City, OR 97814.