Obituaries for June 27, 2012

By Baker City Herald June 27, 2012 09:53 am

Fred Widlund

Baker City, 1940-2012

Fred Allen Widlund, 72, of Baker City, died June 21, 2012, at his home. 

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the First Church of Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane. Pastor Jerry McConnell will officiate.

Fred was born on April 15, 1940, at Los Angeles to Joel and Flora Widlund. He moved to Mentone, Calif., at the age of 4 and lived there for 27 years. He was a 1958 Redlands Senior High School graduate. 

He had a very fulfilling career in law enforcement. He worked for 15 years on the Redlands Police Department, becoming a sergeant, and then for 20 years in a Special Fraud Investigations Unit for San Bernardino County.

 He was a member of the Yucaipa First Baptist Church for 44 years. While in Baker City, he attended the Nazarene Church and Calvary Baptist Church. 

He loved being out in nature and the forests, so from the time he first visited Baker City in 1968, he came back almost every year. He bought his home in 1988 and finally retired here in 1998. He died after a long battle with cancer.

 Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Nelda Widlund; three daughters, Sue McKinlay of Murrieta, Calif., Kathy Tucker of Baker City and Trish Betty of Yucaipa, Calif.; two brothers, George Widlund of Springfield, Mo., and Bob Widlund of Murrieta, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Divine Inheritance through Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Mike Coble

Halfway, 1940-2012

Mike Whittier Coble, 72, of Halfway, died June 22, 2012, at his home. 

There will be a private family gathering in his honor  Saturday.

Mike was born on May 9, 1940, at Webster City, Iowa.  He was raised in Montana, graduating from high school at Phillipsberg in 1958. 

Mike joined the U.S. Army and served in Special Forces from 1962 to 1964. He was a member of one of the first Green Beret units formed.

Mike was a hard-rock miner.  He loved mining and did so in most of the Western United States. Closer to home, he worked at both the Irondyke and in Cornucopia.

In 1989 he married Carolyn and they made their home at Halfway. Mike enjoyed hunting and fishing.  He was an artist, and enjoyed Western and Indian art.  Mike also enjoyed guns and was an avid reader.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Elizabeth “Beth.”

Survivors include his wife Carolyn; children, Robert and Sandra; brothers, Paul Coble of Phillipsburg, Mont., and Joe Coble of Choteau, Mont.; and Joe’s children, Zach and Annie.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway/Oxbow Ambulance Srvice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Kirby Ferris

Cove, 1949-2012

Kirby Ferris, 62, of Cove, died June 13, 2012, at Cove.

Kirby was born on June 18, 1949, at Ross, Calif., to Melton and Mary Jane Kirby Ferris.  

Kirby grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, graduating from high school and receiving an associate degree from the Community College of Santa Barbara.  

Kirby owned a Surf Shop at Stinson Beach, Calif. His large presence there resulted in people referring to him as the Mayor of Stinson Beach, family members said. The fire department at Stinson Beach flew the flag at half- staff when he died.

In the surf world he was known for a No Sharks Allowed Sticker.

His last position was as the public affairs director of JPFO, a pro Second Amendment organization. Defending the Second Amendment was a passion of his. He was a writer.

Kirby will be remembered as a deeply spiritual, eccentric, highly intelligent, humorous, inspirational, one-of-a-kind man, his family said. Among his friends, he was known as a storyteller and as “the mad scientist.”

Six years ago Kirby and Katherine moved to the community of Cove.

He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Survivors include his longtime companion, Katherine Treffinger; brother, Rudi Ferris; sister, Roxana Ferris; and many wonderful friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Home Health and Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Diane Smutz

La Grande, 1950-2012

Dianna Carole Smutz, 62, of La Grande, died June 22, 2012, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the First Christian Church in La Grande. There will be a memorial dinner at the fellowship hall after the service. Dessert and salad contributions would be appreciated.

Visitations will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Loveland Funeral Chapel in La Grande. 

Carole was born on May 11, 1950, at McAndrews, Ky., to James Catron and Florence Irene Honeycutt Catron. She grew up at Norwood, Ohio, where she graduated from high school. She married Irwin Smutz in 1969. They were married for 43 years.

 Carole lived in many places during her lifetime, including at Abington, Va.; and the Oregon communities of Creswell, Turner and La Grande. She was employed by the Union-Baker Education Service District as well as the La Grande Middle School and La Grande High School.

 Carole was an active member of the Oregon Trail Christian Fellowship. 

She was best known as an outstanding wife, outstanding teacher, and rescuer and encourager of hundreds of children and adults, family members said.

Survivors include her husband, Irwin, and son, Nathan I. Smutz, of La Grande; sister, Deborah Faye Poore of La Grande; and two aunts, Barbara Bostic of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Phyllis Holt of Bristol, Tenn.

 She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Irene; Evelyn Bostic, Virginia Brown, Tilman Honeycutt and Mary Wells.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Carole Smutz Memorial GED Assistance Fund, in care of Oregon Trail Christian Fellowship, P.O. Box 1253, La Grande OR 97850. 

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