Obituaries for Sept. 3, 2012

By Baker City Herald September 03, 2012 01:44 pm

Wayne Foster

Baker City, 1919-2012

Wayne Libby Foster, 92, a longtime Baker County rancher, died Aug. 21, 2012, at home with his family present.

A memorial service in honor of Wayne will be Sunday, Sept. 9, at 3 p.m. at the United Methodist Church 1919 Second St. in Baker City. Friends are invited to join the family for a dinner being served immediately following the service at the church.

Wayne was born on Sept. 9, 1919, in Stockton, Calif., to Arthur Albert (Bert) Foster and Mary Rebecca Libby Foster. He grew up on a small farm near Santa Rosa, Calif., attending school there through the first year of junior college. He graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1938.

Wayne had a short childhood as his father suffered a debilitating illness when Wayne was 6 years old. Being “the man of the house” came with many responsibilities that required a strong work ethic that he kept his entire life. In spite of many chores before and after school, he managed to find time to excel in several hobbies.

He raised and raced homing pigeons at a young age that culminated in winning a race from Salt Lake City to home base in Santa Rosa in one day. His winning bird carried a message from the governor of Utah to the governor of California, which Wayne personally delivered.

Throughout high school Wayne was very active in FFA. At first his focus was on hogs, which won him many awards including top showmanship at the 1936 California State Fair. He then shifted his attention to sheep, which led to the beginning of many years in the sheep business. The last of the sheep were sold in 2006.

Wayne and his friend Dick Gray both received the FFA American Farmer Degree award in 1938. Wayne had the honor of addressing the FFA convention in Kansas City, Mo., by NBC radio on a national feed. Dick was his best man at his wedding.

Wayne became the “consummate stockman” and expert judge of sheep, hogs, beef and dairy cattle, horses, and even turkeys.

Maxine Myra Smith, three years his junior, caught his eye in high school. Four years later, on Oct. 4, 1942, they were married. Their first home was on a leased ranch northeast of Santa Rosa.

Wayne was drafted into service for World War II but while in line at the induction center in San Francisco, officials pulled him from the line and sent him home to serve the war effort raising lambs and wool.

By the end of 1943 Wayne and Maxine moved their growing operation to the Demming Ranch southeast of Cloverdale, Calif. They remained there for 20 years, raising their family.

Kathleen Diana (Kit) arrived on Aug. 16, 1944, followed by Calvin James (Cal) on April 22, 1947, and then Donovan Wayne (Don) on Nov. 15, 1954.

In 1962 Wayne acquired the lease for the historic McNab Ranch in Mendocino County, south of Ukiah, Calif. By this time he had three ranches leased raising over 2,500 ewes and a few cows.   

In 1966 things came together enough to allow the purchase of a ranch near Roseburg. Wayne moved the family there that summer.  This was a very productive ranch that conservatively ran 1,200 ewes and 250 cows.

This property allowed him to trade up in 1976 into the present ranch south of Baker City. After 33 years of ranching in Baker County, Wayne and Maxine retired and split the ranch between Don and Cal.

Wayne had a very full and active life. He passed only 19 days short of his 93rd birthday, and he and Maxine would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Oct. 4.

Wayne loved many hobbies, from running hounds on bobcat, bear, and cougars, calf roping, reining (bridal) horse competition; to perhaps his best in stock dog training and competition in trials. His prowess with dogs was known throughout the west. He was co-founder of the Redwood Empire Sheep Dog Association.

Wayne was also an avid hunter and fisherman, taking many pack trips into the Eagle Cap Wilderness for deer and elk.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his older sister, Edwina Elway and her husband, John; and his younger sister, Blanche Raglan.

Survivors include his wife, Maxine of Baker City; his brother-in-law, Charles Raglan of Penryn, Calif; his sister-in-law, Jeanie Smith of Santa Rosa; his daughter, Kit, and her husband, Glen, of Spokane Valley, Wash.; son Cal and his wife, Vickie Lou, and son Don and his wife, Vickie Gayle, all of Baker City; nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Those who wish to make a donation in memory of Wayne may do so to either the Wayne Foster Memorial Fund of the Oregon FFA Foundation, or the Baker Livestock Association Ranching Heritage Fund, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR, 97834.

Mabry Anders

Baker City, 1991-2012

Spc. Mabry James Anders, 21, of Baker City, was killed in action by enemy fire on Aug. 27, 2012, in Kalagush, Afghanistan.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel in Baker City. The funeral will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Francis De Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets in Baker City. Graveside services will be conducted at the Haines Cemetery immediately following the funeral. A reception at the Baker City Armory on Campbell Street will follow.

 Mabry was assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

He was born on July 22, 1991, in Yuma, Ariz. He attended Baker High School and graduated in 2009. Mabry enlisted in the Army in late 2009. Mabry is our third generation to provide military service to our country.

Mabry was a fun-loving young man who lived life to the fullest. Mabry loved the outdoors and enjoyed riding dirt bikes, off-roading in his Jeep, riding horses, hunting, fishing and flying. He had a fearless spirit and a tremendous sense of humor. He touched many lives with his strong sense of friendship, encouragement and compassion. He always had a huge smile on his face that spread like wildfire to anyone around him. Mabry was very dedicated to his family, friends and to his brothers in arms. He loved serving his country and all of those he served with. 

 Mab always gave everything his all and in the end he gave all that he had. Mabry was recently quoted by a friend who said in a time of need Mab said: “If you want to learn something, learn how to live!” And boy did he know how to live.

Mabry is survived by his parents, Troy and Gen Woydziak of Baker City, and Dan and Gretchen Anders of Shell, Wyo. He also leaves his maternal grandmother, Donna Loecker of Basin, Wyo., and his paternal grandfather, Gary Anders of Greybull, Wyo. Additional grandparents include Greg and Ellie Woydziak of Baker City and Richard and Diana Saam of Shell. He also leaves behind several additional aunts, uncles and cousins.

Donations can be made in Mabry’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project. Checks can be mailed to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, or donate online at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.