Obituaries for Dec. 7, 2012

By Baker City Herald December 07, 2012 09:50 am

Filomena Crisman

Baker City, 1920-2012

Filomena Crisman, 92, of Baker City, died Dec. 3, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center.

There will be a service celebrating her life at Vale in late April. Her cremated remains will be placed in her daughter’s grave in the Vale family plot.

Filomena Veristain was born on Oct. 11, 1920, at Boise to Ventura Veristain and Rita Bengoechea Veristain in a family of five girls and one boy. She graduated from Vale High School in 1938. 

Filomena attended Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University at Ashland), earning a three-year teaching certificate in 1950. She continued on at Eastern Oregon College (now Eastern Oregon University at La Grande) graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961. She later attended the University of Oregon at Eugene, receiving a Master of Arts degree in 1972.

In 1942, Filomena married Fred Lee Crisman in Ontario, just before he was sent to the Pacific Theater as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Later that year, Filomena gave birth to a daughter, Rita Louise Crisman. In 1955, Filomena gave birth to a son, Fred Lee Crisman Jr. 

While living in Huntington, the couple divorced. Their daughter, Rita, was killed in automobile accident in 1964.

 Filomena moved to Baker in 1957 working as a nurse’s assistant until being hired by the Baker School District to teach PE and social studies at Baker Junior High. She was a dedicated teacher who loved working with students in their early teens.

 Based on the cards and personal comments of her ex-students over the years, she touched the hearts and minds of many. After 23 years of teaching, she retired in 1982.

 In retirement, Filomena traveled extensively from Asia and Northern Africa to the Middle East including India, Nepal, and Afghanistan. After seeing much of South America, she enrolled in the Peace Corps and served in Poland in 1988-89. 

Later, in the mid-1990s, she lived in Spain and attended the University of San Sebastian for a year. Between her trips, she was a reading volunteer at the elementary school level, worked as tour guide in the Baker County Museum and helped at the Senior Center.

Regardless of how far and how long she left, Filomena always returned to the blue skies and majestic mountains of the beautiful Baker Valley, her family members said. In her heart and spirit she was truly an Eastern Oregon gal!

 Survivors include a sister, Santa Jacinta Hill of La Grande; a son, Fred L. Crisman of Eugene; and a grandson, Alec F. Crisman of Eugene.

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

Doris Leggett

Haines, 1922-2012

Doris May Leggett, 90, of Haines, died Dec. 5, 2012, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. 

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. 

Doris was born on June 13, 1922, at La Grande to Lester H. Bond and Edith Audell Roberts Bond. She had no siblings. 

She moved to Haines and attended Muddy Creek School from 1928 to 1940. She received her teacher training at Eastern Oregon College (now Eastern Oregon University at La Grande).

 She married Billy Robert Leggett, the love of her life, on Dec. 22, 1945, at Baker City. They had planned on getting married four years earlier but their plans were interrupted with Billy’s being drafted into the U.S. Army. He served his country during World War II in the European Theater for four years. 

Both remained faithful to one another during the entire time and they were married shortly after his return. After graduating from college, Doris taught first grade at the Haines elementary school.

She was a member of the Muddy Creek Mutual Improvement Club, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary in Baker City, the Baker County Cattlemen and CattleWomen’s associations, leader of Camp Fire Girls, president of the Haines School PTA, secretary of the Upper Bulger Ditch Co., and she was a news reporter from the Haines area for The Record-Courier for many years. Her involvement in these organizations defined her core values and who she was, her pioneer spirit and her heritage, family members said. 

She was always an example to her family of core values of honesty, integrity, fulfilling civic responsibilities in her community, patriotic, pro education, and serving faithfully in the role of a homemaker, wife, mother and grandmother. She enjoyed sewing clothes for her daughter. 

As an educator, she recognized the value of learning to read and spent many hours reading to her children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren and listening to them read to her. 

She grew up helping her father farm and ranch in the era prior to electricity and telephones. All farming was done by horses as she spent many hours behind a team of horses mowing and raking hay.

She told many stories to her children and grandchildren recounting the long days at harvest time feeding the large threshing crews when all food preparation was done that day from killing the chickens at dawn through chopping the wood for the wood cook stove, preparing and serving the food to finishing the dishes before dark and cleaning cookware at the end of the day. 

A sizable herd of Jersey milk cows were milked by hand twice a day. Beef, pigs, chickens and turkeys were raised for meat. Significant time in the summer months was consumed raising the garden, canning and preserving food to get through the winter months. 

She lived in the era of self-sufficiency except for the staples. She witnessed the agricultural revolution and the progression to the age of electricity, the telephone, steam-powered tractors, the first gasoline and diesel tractors, Model A’s and Model T’s for transportation to present day large GPS-steered equipment with which one can do as much farming in a half-hour as what once took a long day with horses. 

She loved rural living here in Eastern Oregon and enjoyed the mountains, lakes, camping and hiking. One of her favorite pastimes was picking huckleberries and then preparing the delightsome desserts from those efforts. 

 In later days she enjoyed several trips across the United States with her husband. They attended many 820th engineer reunions of World War II vets with whom Billy served. 

A highlight was when they were able to host a reunion at the family ranch at Muddy Creek. They participated in local VFW and Auxiliary activities.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, Billy, who died on Sept. 11, 2007.

 Survivors include her son, Deryl Leggett, and his wife, Carolyn; daughter, Janine Wilson; and son, Billy L. Leggett, and his wife, Bonnie;  five grandchildren, Wayne Wilson and his wife, Tracy, Wendy Labrousse and her husband, Ken, Angela Kolilis and her husband, Dan, Anthony Leggett and his wife, Kara, and Andrew Leggett; 10 great-grandchildren, Rose and William Labrousse, McKenzie, Madysen, Brigham and Annastasia Leggett, Lucas and Ayla Kolilis and Conner and Bryce Wilson; her sister-in-law, Catharine Ott; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and their families.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Muddy Creek Mutual Improvement Club, Eastern Oregon Museum in Haines, or the Haines Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place Street, Baker City, OR 97814.