Obituaries for Jan. 25, 2013

By Baker City Herald January 25, 2013 09:45 am

Bessie Ragsdale

Baker City, 1924-2013

Bessie Katharine Herzog Ragsdale, 88, of Baker City, died Jan. 20, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise.

Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. There will be a reception afterward at Community Connection, 2810 Cedar St. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.

She was born near Washougal, Wash., in 1924, the second daughter of Katharine and Walter Herzog. She was a 1942 graduate of Washougal High School and worked in the Vancouver Shipyards during World War II. 

Her family owned the Herzog Dairy Farm until Bessie’s early 20s when she and her parents purchased and moved to a cattle ranch in Bridgeport.

As a young woman, she moved into Baker City where she met her husband, Orville Ragsdale, a Baker native. They were married on March 20, 1949. They were happily married for 60 years.

Bessie worked for the Democrat-Herald newspaper in her 20s but is most remembered as the Baker Junior High/Middle School secretary for 28 years. She retired in 1991. 

Bessie is best remembered as a dedicated aunt and exceptional caregiver. When her sister, Hazel Racey, died in 1972, she helped to raise her niece and nephew, Priscilla and Rand Racey, who lived with her during their school years. 

She cared for her mother until her death in 1975, and then for her husband before his death in 2009. She became a grandmother figure to six grandnieces and grandnephews, never forgetting a birthday or special occasion.

Aunty Bessie died after surgical complications on Sunday, family members said.

Survivors include her nephew, Rand Racey, and his family of Boerne, Texas; and niece, Priscilla Ing, and her family of Eugene. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

‘Judy’ Bingham

Baker City, 1941-2013 

Julia Ann “Judy” Bingham, 71, died Jan. 21, 2013, at Baker City.

 Judy was born on March 1, 1941, at Klamath Falls to William and Alpha Watson.  She married ElRoy Max Bingham and they had one daughter, Kimberley Ann Bingham. 

Judy worked at Safeway for 30 years and enjoyed working with people.

 A fond memory that all family members can attest to is the right of passage in playing Yahtzee with Judy.  She took the game to an Olympic level of competitiveness that she challenged us all to strive for. She also loved to barbecue and garden, and she loved her two dogs, Lucy and Buddy.

Survivors include her sister, Laura M. Watson of Medford; sister, Cindy Shukle, and her husband, Gary, of Baker City; sister, Victoria Lynn Worsham of Baker City; nieces and nephews, including John Beatty, Colleen Klassen, Todd Brandy, Coby, Dwight, and Christopher Beatty, Ashleigh Bradshaw, Will, Justin, Krissy, Casey, and Enola Watson and Holly, Josh, Gabriel, and Tessa Banister; Rick Watson and his wife, Tina, of Baker City; Michelle Watson of Eddyville; Rhonda Yanez and her husband, Raul, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and by many great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, ElRoy; her brothers, William “Skip,” Jerry Lee and Rodger Watson; and her daughter, Kimberly Ann.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Harvest Church Missionettes and Royal Rangers through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Donald Parker

Orem, Utah

Donald Devan “Don” Parker died Jan. 23, 2013, at his home in Orem, Utah.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. MST Monday, Jan. 28, at the Orchard First Ward LDS Chapel, 670 East 800 North, Orem, Utah. Visitations will be Sunday, Jan. 27, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Monday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street in Orem.

Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery with military honors.

Don was born at Sweet Home to William and Dorothy Parker. He was married on April 28, 1952, in Baker City to his sweetheart, Verna Jeffords. They lived at Olympia, Wash.; Baker City; Provo, Utah; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Orem, Utah.

Don served in the U.S. Army in the Korean conflict. He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife Verna served two LDS missions in Brazil and then in Portugal. He held many leadership positions in the LDS church.

He started his career driving a truck, worked as a general manager and then owner of a cattle-handling company. He finished his career in real estate as an owner/broker.

Don found joy in serving others; his wife, his family, and his fellow man. He lived life to the fullest and wanted to help others feel the same love of life, family members said.

He loved everything in the outdoors. He felt at home in his boat on Lake Powell, on his motorcycle in Yellowstone, in his motor home cruising the country, or on a sunny day in the mountains with his family or friends.

No one was a stranger to Don. He made everyone he met feel like a friend. He is a legendary fix-it man. No project was too difficult to tackle, he would stay with it until it was right. He approached every trial with a smile and extreme positive mental attitude. No matter the circumstance, he was always, “feeling pretty good today.” He lived every day of his life trying to help others along the way.

Survivors include his wife, Verna Parker; his children, Debbie (Chas) Hardin, Ken (Patrice), Rod (Connie), Don (Lisa), Denette Parker and Jolynn (Al) Taylor; 19 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; his sister, Madelyn Olsen; and loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Ancil Parker and Dorothy Corner; and his sister, Patricia Gentry.

The family expressed special thanks to Dr. Brian Tudor and the Central Utah Cancer Clinic, Dr. Margaret Rasmussen, and the caring staff of Encompass Hospice. “Our sweet nurse Carrie and our aide Ginsilvi made this easier,” they said.