Obituaries for Oct. 3, 2012

By Baker City Herald October 03, 2012 10:11 am

Cliff Bond

Baker City, 1924-2012

Cliff Bond, 88, a lifetime Baker City resident, died Sept. 28, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City. 

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth Street. Pastor Katy Halliburton will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family afterward for a reception in the Presbyterian Church’s Rogers Fellowship Hall. There will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Cliff was born on Feb. 6, 1924, at Baker City to Herbert and Clara Bond. He was the younger of two siblings. 

Cliff was a very hands-on individual, building his first go-cart at age 12. He was a Baker High School graduate. 

After high school he joined the military and served in World War II. He was stationed in England where he spent four years at various bases and served as a top turret gunner in a B26 Marauder. 

While stationed in England he met his bride to be, Elizabeth “Betty” Ellis. They were married in Middlezoy, England, on Oct. 2, 1944.

After the war, Cliff and Betty returned to Baker where they raised their four children. Cliff was an electrician and a successful businessman. He owned and operated Baker Electric for more than 40 years. 

After returning to the States, Cliff’s hobbies included designing, building and racing hydroplane boats. Cliff did not settle for off-the-shelf and was very creative in his boat designs.

He invented a new design which he named the “cab over.” Cliff’s design was eventually adopted as the standard for the racing industry.

After 12 or 13 years, Cliff retired from boat racing and bought some property on the Brownlee Reservoir where he built a family cabin. Cliff wasn’t satisfied sunbathing on the dock, so he spent his time building an inboard ski boat, water ski jump, and a landing strip.

Around 1966, Cliff began building airplanes. His first airplane was a French Aerobatic Beryl. One of the challenges was converting the French plane construction plans to English. 

Once again, Cliff, not being happy with the plans, changed a 125 hp engine to a 200 hp, making a very high performance airplane. After going through a series of airplanes, he landed on the Super Ultra Decathlon. 

Pairing up with his flying buddy, Donn Mires, they launched “the Decathlons” and performed at various air shows across the West Coast. His love of flying never ceased. 

He and Betty built a house with a hanger on the lower floor and a runway 20 feet away. Cliff continued to fly until a few years before his death. 

Cliff also found time throughout his life to spend time with family. He built go-carts, tree houses, playhouses, peddle airplanes and many other unique things for his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed attending his children and grandchildren’s sporting events. 

He also enjoyed hikes to “buck knob,” deer hunting, fun times at elk camp, crappie fishing contests off the rock point, and his dogs and cats.  

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; daughter, Sandy Satterburg; and his sister, Irene Crane. 

Survivors include his three children, Carl Bond and his wife, Linda, of La Grande, Jean Fromwiller and her husband, Tim, of La Grande, and Ross Bond and his wife, Kay, of Baker City; his son-in-law, Dale Satterburg, of Portland; 12 grandchildren, Clayton Bond and his wife, Amy, Carrie Spencer and her husband, Craig, Travis Fromwiller and his wife, Loui, Glen Fromwiller and his wife, Venus, Amber Fromwiller and her husband, Emmitt, Cathy Giesa and her husband, Aaron, Jenny Satterburg, Stephen Satterburg, Jeff Bond and his wife, Kara, Kristi Christensen and her husband, Kris, Casey Bond and his wife, Sarah, and Bobby Bond and his wife, Christa; 17 great-grandchildren; and his special companion of the past five years, Jean Hall, and her daughter, Beth Pointdexter, and her husband, Dan. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or to a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814. 

Ernest Smith

Formerly Baker City, 1918-2012

Ernest Smith, 94, a former Baker City resident, died Sept. 30, 2012, in La Grande.

His funeral will be Saturday, Oct. 6, at 11:30 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane in Baker City. Bishop Richard Hindman of the LDS Church will officiate. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

 Ernie, as he was known by all who knew him, had been a resident of Wildflower Lodge Assisted Living Center for three months after a fall occurred from which he did not recover. He had lived independently until that time, being watched over by his son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Deby Smith. 

Ernest Emil Smith was born on Feb. 13, 1918, at Emmett, Idaho. He was the seventh of nine children born to Martin and Nancy (Webb) Smith of Emmett. Living in a rough-and-tumble home where his father, Martin, managed a boxing gym in their home basement, Ernie considered a career as a boxer but his mother refused to sign papers in which he would have become professional, as he was under age. He later said this really saved him from that world. After graduating from high school, and finding employment difficult to find, he followed his older brothers to Medical Springs where he found employment on a cattle ranch. His employer proved to be his future father-in-law, Robert Wanker. He married Hazel Ann Wanker in Emmett in 1940. World War II was just beginning and because of a health issue and a farm deferment, he worked on the farm and got a second job working in the Pondosa Mill making ammunition boxes at night. In 1944 he managed one of his father-in-law’s ranches and eventually bought the 6,000-acre parcel. The ranch became a destination for friends and family and many great times were had there. Their first son, Gary, was born in 1942 followed by Dallas three years later and Larry three years after that.

 Ernie was a very successful rancher, cowboy and farmer who loved his family and his job. Some said he looked like he was part of his horse by the way he rode and carried himself. He was always in good health and good spirits. He was trustworthy and expected the same from his fellow man, although it didn’t always happen. Hazel was in poor health much of her life and he stood by her side and cared for her through tough times. Even in their older age they would sit together holding hands.

 In 1972 the boys had moved on to other vocations rather than ranching and Ernie sold the ranch and bought a two-unit apartment in Baker City, where they lived and rented out the other apartment. He later purchased 20 acres just north of Baker that had an existing home, which he rebuilt into their dream home. This was the home that most of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren knew best and have the fondest of memories.

They lived there peacefully until Hazel had to be moved to a private care home. The large family home became too much for him to handle and with the death of Hazel, he sold it and moved to La Grande, closer to Larry and Deby Smith where they could care for him. His health deteriorated to the point he had to be cared for in an assisted living center.

Survivors include his sons and their wives, Gary and Judy, and Dallas and Peggy, all living in Utah, and Larry and Deby, living in La Grande. 

Ernie and Hazel have 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with two more great-grandchildren who are due very soon. Ernie was the last surviving member of his immediate family.  He had a giving personality and ready smile that will be missed by all who knew him.

Contributions in Ernie’s memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.