Obituaries for July 11, 2012

By Baker City Herald July 11, 2012 09:25 am

‘Marg’ Gover

Kennewick, Wash., 1918-2012

Helen Marguerite “Marg” Gover, 94, died July 8, 2012, at the Colonial House in Kennewick, Wash.


Viewing will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Hillcrest Bruce Lee Memorial, 2804 W. Lewis St., Pasco, Wash. Her service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Summerville Baptist Church at 507 Jefferson St., in Summerville. There will be a reception afterward. 

She was born on Feb. 12, 1918, to W.S. and Lizzy Saunders. She married Ron Gover on Dec. 27, 1932. Together they had five children: Helen, Roberta, Ronnie, Duane and Danny. 

She enjoyed traveling, going to Wyoming, Hawaii, Branson, Mo., Mexico, Reno and Alaska. She enjoyed country western music, fishing, and family get-togethers. Give her some sweet pickles (yum-yum) and she was happy, family members said.

She helped her husband and sons in the logging business and taking care of her family. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ron; parents, Walter “W.S.” and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Saunders; her five sisters, Clara, Mat, El, Libby and Ranny; her two brothers, Merritt and Buck; her son, Duane; son-in-law, Clayton; and two grandsons, Eddy Barnette and Rick E Gover. 

Survivors include her brother, Walter Saunders Jr.; four children, Helen (Ed) Barnette, Roberta Mann, Ronnie (Sherryl) Gover, and Danny (Wanda) Gover; 13 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 910 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 256, Spokane, WA 99204 or to The Lower Valley Hospice Care, 3920 Outlook Road, Sunnyside, WA 98944 or at To make condolences to the family, visit

‘Dick’ Eardley

Boise, 1928-2012

Richard “Dick” Eardley, 83, of Boise, a former Baker City resident, died June 30, 2012, in Boise.

There will be a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. MDT Thursday, July 12, at the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State University. Private interment will take place later at Dry Creek Cemetery.

Dad was born on Dec. 23, 1928, at Denver. 

Dad left what he titled a “potential” obituary he’d written himself. But we – his three sons – being the independent thinkers he taught us to be, opted to change it. He would have liked that.

His version listed the dreams he saw to fruition, his accomplishments, the things he did in his life. It was a long and impressive list and we are extremely proud of each and every one. But it was a list. It said nothing about the man that he was; the remarkable individual within that made all those things possible.

But what do you say about a man who spent his early childhood in the throes of poverty during the Depression; a man who found himself on his own in his early teenage years but never shied from dreaming big, finding his own path and pursuing those dreams?

What do you say about a man who rarely met anyone he didn’t like and who had a unique and endearing way of understanding and touching others’ lives along the way; a man who was physically short but had a heart as big as the universe and was a giant in giving to his family and community?

What do you say about a man who was as comfortable shaking the hand of presidents as driving a carload of teenage skiers to slopes across the Northwest; and as comfortable in front of audiences and media explaining tough city budgets as he was gliding across the dance floor with mom in his arms?

What do you say about a man who married the love of his life at an early age and maintained a childlike adoring love for her throughout their 57 years together and until his last breath nearly five years after losing her to cancer; and a man who tackled the kitchen at 78 years of age and finally (and thankfully) became a good cook in his own right?

What do you say about a man who raised his three sons to relish our individuality and pursue our own paths; a man who had an uncanny ability to angrily yell in colorful language at the utter stupidity of our occasional juvenile antics while at the same time never bringing into question his understanding and undying love for us?

What do you say about a man who, as a journalist, could roll up his sleeves and bang out a news story on a manual typewriter like a virtuoso at a piano while barking across the newsroom about deadlines and still be able to ask a son who stopped by after school about his day; all before multi-tasking was a word?

And what do you say about a man from humble beginnings in Baker City who had opportunities to move to bigger media markets, but chose instead to stay in Boise where he felt he could make the most difference in giving to the community and his family?

To be sure, his list of accomplishments is long: from awards for news and sports reporting and for a documentary on Idaho’s waterways to numerous achievements as a city councilman and mayor. His touch is all around us, in the parks, the greenbelt, North End preservation, the World Center for Birds of Prey, the Arts Commission, the Senior Citizens Center, Warm Springs Golf Course and many other city enhancements he championed and worked toward.

He was proud of the people who worked for him at City Hall, particularly the department heads who he always credited with carrying the load.

Yet in spite of all his accomplishments, he remained a humble, loving individual who enjoyed the simple pleasure of golf as much as anything; and he never lost touch with his roots, his early life in Baker City, and he cherished his friends, old and new, throughout his life.

So what do you say about this man? Words seem so inadequate. Perhaps we are left with merely saying “Thank you dad; for being in our lives, for loving mom, for always thinking of others, for all you taught us in word and by example and for supporting us in whatever path we chose no matter how far-flung or outrageous. Thank you for being the man you were and always will be in our eyes and hearts. We love you.”

Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Pat; two brothers, Jim and Bill; and many friends. He is survived by his sons: Rick (Kim) of McCall, Idaho, and Randy and Ron of Boise; six grandchildren: Emily (Javier) of Canon City, Colo., Katie and Francesca of Lake Charles, La.; Dan, Mathew and Morgan currently in Boise; and two great-grandsons, Caius and Owen.

 If so desired, please make a donation in Dick Eardley’s name to your favorite charity.

To share memories with the family please visit Dick’s memorial website at

Martha Nemec


Martha Marie Nemec, 95, of Baker City died July 7, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Baker Care Center. 

A private family gathering in her honor will be scheduled later.

Martha was born on Sept. 28, 1915, at Dwight, Neb. She was raised and educated at Dwight. She married Leonard Nemec and they made their first home at Dwight. 

They later moved to David City, Neb., and later to North Bend. They always lived on farms or ranches. And for a time, they were bar owners at David City with Martha’s sister and her husband.

 Then because of Leonard’s ill health, they moved to Baker County, where they bought a small ranch on Auburn Road. Leonard worked at the Burnt River Mill from which he retired.

Martha was very good with the animals: her cows, pigs, horses, chickens and rabbits.  The work on the ranch became too much for Martha who was in poor health at the time and they moved to Baker City. 

It was very hard for Martha to leave the country life, but Martha being Martha, she made the best of it all, family members said.

“Martha was a very good and loving mother, wife, and friend. Everyone who met Martha immediately fell in love with her,” they said.

Her ability to spot a four leaf clover was unbelievable. She loved children and took care of many in her home. Martha loved to bake and would bake for days only to give much of it away to family members, friends and neighbors.

Martha will be missed by many.

“Thank you Martha for being such a wonderful mother, wife, neighbor and friend,” her family said.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leonard; a brother; and five grandchildren.

Survivors include her children, Delores and her husband, Carl Swinyer, of Sumpter, Dona Brackin of Baker City, Mary Ann and her husband, Rick Hindman, of Redmond, Leonard and his wife, Norma Nemec, of Baker City and Dan and his wife, Margaret Nemec, of Happy Valley; sister, Aggie Svoboda; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834. 

Norma Crawford


Norma Jean Crawford, 80, of Huntington, died July 7, 2012, at her son’s home in San Diego.

There will be a celebration of her life at 5 p.m. PDT Saturday at the Huntington Veterans of Foreign Wars hall.

A sunset graveside ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Huntington Cemetery.

 Norma Jean Unruh was born on April 3, 1932, at Montezuma, Kan., to Tobias and Viola Nightengale Unruh. She graduated from high school and served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1951 when she received an honorable discharge.

Norma was one of the first women hired as a weigh master by the Oregon Department of Transportation. She was the first woman to receive truck inspection certification (CVA certification) and was the first woman to be promoted to the position of senior weigh master. She retired from that job in 1994.

Norma moved to Huntington in 1979 and had lived there since. During her tenure at Huntington, Norma worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation at the Farewell Bend Port of Entry. She also owned and managed Grady’s tavern for a number of years as well as participated in the Huntington City Council and other civic activities.

Norma had many hobbies, including stamp and coin collecting, sewing, cooking, and gardening, to name a few.  Norma took joy in lending a helping hand to those in need and often shared her home and hospitality to others.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Lois Crawford of San Diego, and her son, Russ Crawford of Creswell; and seven grandchildren, Spencer, Holly, and Ethan of Eugene, Roxanne and Cody of San Diego and Andrew and Amariah of Brevard, Fla.

She was preceded in death by her son, Rob Crawford. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker City through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

LaNora Potter


LaNora Rae Potter, 72, of Baker City died July 8, 2012, at Meadowbrook Place. 

A visitation is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Her graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Garth Johnson of the Agape Christian Center will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at Harvest Church, 3720 Birch St.

LaNora was born on Jan. 31, 1940, at Beaver, Okla., to Burl and Vivian Gregory.  She was raised at Beaver and graduated from Beaver High School.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Phillips University, her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1973, and her Doctorate of Education  from Oklahoma State University in 1979.  She was the Director of Guidance and Counseling at Phillips University, she taught grade school, high school and university classes and she was a counselor in her private practice. She officially retired in 1989 when she moved to Baker City, but she returned to work for the Baker School District  as a grade school and high school counselor for a while.

 LaNora married Kenneth Potter in 1988 at Estes Park, Colo., and moved to Baker City in 1989. 

 She had a true passion for writing and wrote many short stories.  She was the creator of The LaDar Chronicles, an annual holiday letter which was edited by ET the Cat and Cuddles, the Christmas Bear, and was well-known to family and friends.  She also enjoyed reading, collecting, and decorating for the holidays. LaNora was a member of the Harvest Church.

 She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Cherrie Starr. 

Survivors include her husband Kenneth Darwin Potter of Baker City; daughter, LaDawn Bloom of Tigard; granddaughter, Autumn Morin of Tigard; stepchildren, Kenneth Dee Potter and his wife, Margie, of Nampa, Idaho, Mark Potter and his wife, Molly, of Incline Village, Nev., Val Potter of Walla Walla, Wash.; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

 Memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics of Oregon or Kids Wish Foundation through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR   97814.

Cheryl Hilderbrand


Cheryl L.Hilderbrand, 68, of Haines, died July 4, 2012, at her home. 

Her memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Haines Baptist Church.

 Cheryl was born on Aug. 14, 1943, at Iola, Wis., to Anton and Margaret Melgaard Swenson. She was raised at Garden Grove, Calif., and was a 1961 graduate of Corona High School. 

She moved to Oregon in 1969 and married Charlie Hilderbrand on Aug. 30, 1990, at Haines where they lived until his death in 2010. 

 Cheryl was a Baker 5-J School bus driver from 1987 until retiring in 2001. She also worked for Montgomery Wards, Baker Union Tractor, and waited tables at the Inland Café and The Oregon Trail Restaurant.

 Her hobbies included gardening, collecting cookie jars, yard sales, reading, working word search puzzles and playing Bunco and Scrabble. She loved animals and will be missed by her beloved cat, Sassy.

Cheryl was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charlie Hilderbrand; and her niece, Kathy Smietana.

Survivors include her sister, Beverly Schaer, and her husband, Duane, of Baker City, OR; her daughter, Tammy Combes and her husband, Stan, of North Powder; sons, Dan Keister of Wichita, Kan., and James Keister of Haines; stepchildren, Charles Hilderbrand of New Mexico, Marci Austin of Tacoma, Wash., and Mickey Hilderbrand of Tacoma, Wash.; granddaughters, Debra Allen of Spring Creek, Nev., Sarah Lemon of Springfield, and Danielle Keister of Boise, ID; grandsons, Kenny Keister of Baker City, and Anthony Keister and Sam Keister, both of Glenmills, Pa.; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines Elementary reading program through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Beverly Jones


Beverly Jean Jones, 74, of Haines, died July 10, 2012, at her home. 

There will be a visitation from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Her graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday. Pastor Jack Hatfield of Haines Baptist Church will officiate.

 Beverly was born on Sept. 1, 1937, at Eau Claire, Wis., to Douglas and Jean-Marie Thames. She was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She had seven children, 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. 

 Beverly loved camping, hunting and fishing.  Throughout her lifetime she worked at many occupations. She was owner of the Circle H Lounge and Restaurant in Haines, OR.

 She married James D. Jones on May 1, 1987. 

 She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Charles; and a son, Jason C. Pound.

 Survivors include her husband, James, and step-daughter, Carla, of Haines; brother, Donald Thames, and sister, Bonnie Jones, both of Pendleton; children, Connie Lewis and her husband, Kurt, Brian Pound, John “JT” Pound, and Roberta Stehle and her husband, Bill, all of Haines, Cathy Boyd of Baker City and Crystal Smith and her husband, Rick, of Umatilla. 

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