Obituaries for Jan. 30, 2013

By Baker City Herald January 30, 2013 10:17 am

Laura Aveline

Mesquite, Nev., 1930-2013

Laura Joanna Aveline, 82, a former Baker City resident, died Jan. 14, 2013, after an extended illness and under hospice care at her son’s home in Mesquite, Nev.

The family will have a private memorial service.

Laura was born on July 22, 1930, at Drain to George B. and Armeda P. Parry Reed.

She had a twin sister, Lenora, who died in 2010. Laura and “Lynn” were extremely close.

While they were growing up, the family lived at Roseburg and Sutherlin before moving to Phoenix, Ariz.

When the twins were 12, the family moved to San Diego, then to North Bend, where the girls attended Marshfield High School. Laura met William Aveline while attending Marshfield.

She married William E. Aveline on Oct. 23, 1949, at North Bend. Laura was a homemaker during the early years of her marriage to William. She was a very loving and caring mother and wife to her husband and three children.

Laura worked as a deputy sheriff for the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office at The Dalles for 10 years. She worked as a court clerk for the Baker County Justice Court before retiring at Baker City in 2002.

She was active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Eagles Lodge at Baker City. In February 2002, Laura and William moved to Mesquite, Nev.

Survivors include her husband of 63 years, William, of Mesquite, Nev.; children, Randy (Donna) Aveline of Mesquite, David (Brenda) Aveline of Glade Hill, Va., and Diana Aveline (Mike Dockery) of Mesquite; grandchildren, Jennifer Aveline, Douglas Aveline, Heather McDonald (Robbie), Will Aveline and Tara Ellis; great-grandchildren, Gavin Reed, Sebastien Sofge, Toryahna Sofge and David Lee Aveline; a brother, Larry Reed (DeAnna); and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father and her twin sister.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Mesa View Hospice, 330 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Building 200 Suite A, Mesquite, NV 89027.

Virgin Valley Mortuary of Mesquite, Nev., is in charge of arrangements. The family invites friends to leave a message or memorial in the memorial guestbook at

Ray Knapp

Baker City, 1919-2013

Raymond Roger Knapp, 93, died Jan. 19, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City, attended lovingly by Dr. Hofmann, staff, close friends and family.

There will be a celebration of his life in the spring at Hermiston.

 Ray was the second of seven children born at Stanfield to Guy and Ida Mae Stewart Knapp, both of pioneer families in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties.

Ray’s early education was accomplished in Pendleton. He was a 1938 graduate of Hermiston High School where he excelled in sports and won four letters.

 Ray along with his father, Guy, and brother, George, ran a profitable milk route in Pendleton until the recession. Ray, brothers, George and Vern, their father, and brother-in-law, Charlie Brinkman, built and operated a large sawmill on the upper Umatilla River.

They cut ties for the railroad. Due to a “taking” by the bank they dismantled and sold the mill and 920 acres with a huge log cabin near Bingham Springs.

 Ray enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained at San Diego, Seattle and Daytona Beach, Fla. He was an aviation chief machinist mate in the New Hebrides for the duration. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 6, 1945, from Jacksonville, Fla., as a chief petty officer.

 Once back in Oregon, he worked as a mechanic for Ford Motor Co. and went to work as a carpenter in Izee for the Ellingsons to build the cookhouse and outbuildings. 

He met and married his wife, Saimie Amelia Pietila Swikola, at Izee. She was a good helpmate. Saimie died on Sept. 5, 1991.

 Ray did many things, such as hauling trailers to Elk Hart, Ind., ranching, mining, racing boats with Cliff Bond and Paul Curts, but his main career was as a carpenter for Witham Brothers for more than 30 years.

Harve Witham once said if you cut the top off Ray and Vern’s heads you would only find elk and fish manure.

 Ray and Vern hunted together, successfully, for more than 60 years, 40 years in the Elkhorns. Ray has requested that this brother, Vern, spread his ashes at their Elk Pasture and gold miner on Lightning Creek. Ray was also a life member of the NRA.

 He was an amazing artist with wood, whether large buildings like Vern’s Elk Creek Enterprises with his brother, Vern, or the plywood mill or smaller items such as clocks, frames, cabinets, and beautiful kitchens and furniture. His handiwork can be seen in every family member’s home.

 Ray and his brother, Vern, enjoyed many trips to Alaska to hunt moose and caribou. Several times Ray, his sister, Marj, and brother-in-law, Leon, fished at Diamond Lake near LaPine. Ray and his companion, Blanch Porter, enjoyed trips to Canada, Mexico, Washington and Oregon fishing. Blanch died in 2012 and left a lonesome hole in Ray’s life.

Ray rode his horses on every trail on the Snake River and in the Eagle Caps sightseeing with his camera. He was an avid fisherman.

 He kept on keeping on until he jumped up from his easy chair thinking he had overslept feeding his pets (300 or more quail), fell and broke his left leg. With fragile body but good mind, he slipped away from us quietly in the early morning of Jan. 19, family members said.

 Survivors include his sisters, Irene Ellen Brinkman of Clackamas and Verla Loree Frost of Hermiston; brother, Vernon, and his wife, Alice Knapp; special cousin,Lila Emmons; many, many nieces and nephews; and good friends, Roy and Pat Valentine and Duane Schaer.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sai; companion, Blanch; both parents; brother, George Knapp, and his wife Mary; sister, Margorie Mae Shockman, and her husband, Leon; and sister, Velma Lenore Kuust, and her husband, Nels.

 Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Birdie’ Horn

Elgin, 1935-2013 

Barbara Janet “Birdie”  Horn, 77, of Elgin, died Jan. 25, 2013, at her home.

A memorial service will be Saturday, Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. in La Grande. There will be a Celebration of Life at the Elgin Community Center Saturday at 11 a.m.

Barbara was born on Feb. 8, 1935, at La Grande to Emmett and Eva Rollins Thompson. She lived in Elgin, Baker City, Umatilla and Dallas, Ore. She attended school in Elgin at the Pleasant Grove School House. She married Stanley Bruce Horn on July 22, 1950, and was a dedicated housewife and a loving mother. During the mid-1970s she enjoyed selling Sarah Coventry jewelry and even won a trip to the Sarah Coventry national convention in Milwaukee, Wis., as a “top seller.” Birdie enjoyed doing needlework, baking and spending time with her family.

Survivors include her children, Connie and James Tucker of Elgin, Lonnie and Melissa Horn of Elgin, Larry and Peggy Horn of Erda, Utah, Lillie and Curtis Hurst of Elgin, Troy “Emmett” and Becky Horn of Dallas, and Chris and Chelsea Horn of Elgin; her siblings, Larry Thompson and his wife, Betty, of Elgin, Dixie Stanton of Redmond and Toby Williams and her husband, Chuck, of Elgin; 16 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren and one on the way; one great-great grandchild; seven nieces; and eight nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Emmett and Eva Rollins Thompson; her husband, Stanley Horn; and her sister, Peggy Kennedy.

Online condolences to the family may be made at

Marion Knapp

Baker City, 1928-2013

Marion Earl “Giddy-up-go” Knapp, 84, of La Grande, died Jan. 25, 2013, at a Baker City care center. 

There will be a celebration of his life at 3 p.m. Saturday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., in La Grande.

He was born on Aug. 5, 1928, at La Grande to Lowell W. and Bessie May Batchelor Knapp. Marion was raised and educated at La Grande. He married Dorothy Mae Fairfull on Nov. 10, 1950. He worked for Paul Dougherty Logging for several years. He later bought his own truck and worked for B & E Logging, Gunnels Brothers Logging and several other companies.

He earned several trophies from his Army Jeep at car shows and also restored a 1950s Chevy. He enjoyed riding four-wheelers, hunting, snowmobiling, woodcutting, and spending time at his cabin on Glass Hill that he, his father and brother, Lloyd, built. He was very proud to represent vets while driving his Jeep in parades. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a very kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was proud of his service with the Navy where he was an outstanding cook on Johnston Island and Hawaii.

Survivors include his daughter, Darlene Kramer (David) of La Grande; brothers, Lloyd Knapp (Betty) of Elgin and Pat Knapp of Paradise City, Calif.; four grandchildren, Erin (Sheri) Folsom of Cove, Lt. Col. Danielle Folsom, U.S. Air Force, of Florida, Paul (Tracy) Kramer of Irrigon, and David Earl Kramer of La Grande; five great-grandchildren: Dalynne Folsom, Adalane Folsom and Sarah Folsom of Cove, Joshua Kramer of Pasco, Wash., and Amber Kramer of Eugene

 He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and his brother, Charles Ray Knapp.

 Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Animal Shelter through Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.

 Online condolences to the family may be made at

Marvin Cropp

La Grande, 1916-2013 

Marvin D. Cropp, 96, of La Grande and North Powder, died Jan. 28, 2013, at a La Grande care center.

Family and friends will gather Thursday for remembrance and viewing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., in La Grande. His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the North Powder Cemetery.

Marvin was born on March 31, 1916, at Richland, the fifth child of James S. and Anna J. (Simonis) Cropp. He attended schools at Richland, Dixie, Auburn and Baker.

During his younger years he lived throughout Baker County and then settled outside of North Powder. After the death of his wife, Mary, he lived in the Willamette Valley, including several years with his son, Charles.

Marvin was married to Mary Louise Gover at Weiser, Idaho, on March 3, 1937.

Together they ranched and farmed in Baker County and raised five children. Other than family and ranching, his interests included fishing, hunting and telling stories of the old days.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Pearl and Robert Bull of La Grande; daughter, Gloria Cropp of La Grande; daughter-in-law, Barbara Cropp of Baker City; grand-children, Dale (Maggie) Cropp of North Pole, Alaska, Gary (Darlene) Cropp of Wells, Nev., Mary Kay (Scott) Gunnell of Wasilla, Alaska, Cathy (Travis) Tisdall of Lewiston, Idaho, Tanya (Nathan) Williamson of La Grande, and Jon Cropp of Portland; his brother-in-law, Merle Osborne; and several great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; his companion, Rosanna Strenke; his sons, David, Wilbur “Bill” and Charles Cropp; his daughters-in-law, Mae and Nina Cropp; his parents, James and Anna Cropp; his sisters, Agnes Willett, Norna Sullivan, Mary Stacey, Marguret Osborne and Adelene Hansen; and his brother, Wilbur Cropp.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Gordon Rowan

Sumpter, 1954-2013

Gordon Lee Rowan, 58, of Sumpter, died earlier this month in Algeria.

He was born Dec. 2, 1954, at Council, Idaho, to Durwood “Jim” and MaRee Rowan.

He was taken from us too soon, his family said.

His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave.

Gordon grew up in Ontario and was a 1973 graduate of Ontario High School. After high school he joined the Army, where he met “the love of his life,” Myong.

After exiting the military, he went to college and graduated in 1981 from Oklahoma State with a chemical engineering degree. This took him all over the world with a home base in Arizona.

Gordon enjoyed his family, travel, and meeting new friends. He was a prankster and a joker. He loved to laugh.

Survivors include his son, Dan, with his wife, Stephanie, and granddaughter Leah, and his son, Richard, all of California; his brothers, John and his wife, Judy, and family, of Redmond, and Jerry and his family of Sumpter.

“He will forever be in our hearts!” his family said.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Mike’ Romine

Formerly Baker County, 1946-2013

Michel Ivan “Mike” Romine, 66, a former longtime Baker County resident, died Jan. 19, 2013, at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles.

Mike, whom friends described as “our dear friend and ‘gentle giant,’ ” was born on April 18, 1946, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City, the first spring after the close of World War II, to Robert and Josie (Foster) Romine of Halfway. He grew up in Halfway, attending the Jimtown school until the age of 14.  Mike’s dad died years before, and his mother found stable work in La Grande where they lived for a few years. Mike attended the first years of high school at La Grande. When his mother remarried, they then moved to Hood River where he finished his final year of high school and graduated in 1965. He was drafted and entered the Army, serving two years active duty in Vietnam, returning to Oregon in 1970.  

Mike spent the rest of his life working and living throughout Eastern Oregon, from Hood River to Hermiston, La Grande, North Powder, Haines, Richland, Oxbow, and his favorite places — Halfway and Cornucopia. He also loved visiting locations and events throughout Union and Baker counties. He rarely missed an opportunity to drive the countryside, camp, hike, hunt mushrooms, pick huckleberries, pan for gold, attend flea markets and estate sales, and go on packing trips. Through all these years and all his residences, Mike’s family kept the family ranch at Halfway, where he tried to live as much as possible, and where he loved to garden and tend many plants and trees originally started by his parents. 

As his principal vocation, he cooked in a variety of restaurants. He loved being with people in the context of serving food, even on pack trips into the wilderness where he always tried to cook extravagant meals in locations of breathtaking scenery.  Most of us met him through his work of making our meals, and it was always a delight to have him as our cook, and we usually followed him to his various restaurants of work. He would remember our favorite foods, and often make them for us.  What a gift.  And while we ate, he was always one who loved to share stories.  

One of his favorite pastimes was collecting antiques, particularly Hull Drip pottery and Guardian cookware. Many times with friends he opened small antique businesses selling collectibles, and he often participated in antique consignment arrangements.  With his catalogs of antiques, he was able to precisely date and pick out many true valuables. A Saturday drive to an estate sale was always a pleasure. Attendance at the Sumpter flea market was always required.  

Another of his passions was local history. Mike had an incredible memory for all things Halfway. He knew local family lineages better than most, listened to stories of friends and acquaintances his entire life, and read any bit of local historical material he would come across. When asked he could give precise details to any historical item, or he would quietly go look for the information and return with the answer.   

He was a voracious reader of fiction. After a hard day of work, or a good day of picking berries, or a long drive around the country, he’d sit and read until late into the night or, often, early into the morning. He loved western writers like Louis L’Amour and Larry McMurtry, often re-reading their series multiple times. Wherever and whenever he traveled, he stopped into second-hand book stores to exchange books, particularly in Baker City and La Grande. He rarely left a garage sale without a few “new” paperbacks in tow.  

Many of us might remember Mike as one of our EMT volunteers for Oxbow/Halfway/Richland ambulance service. We might also remember him from the Cornucopia pack station, where he worked for Marge and Eldon Deardorff, and later for the current owners, cooking and doing a variety of chores.  Or we might remember when he worked at the Old Church in Halfway years and years ago for the company that assembled dried flower arrangements for mail delivery around the states.  

Survivors include his sister, Thayle Best of Hood River; his niece and her husband, Robin and Mark Smith of Cornelius; his great-niece, Rachel Smith, also of Cornelius; and of course, he is survived by us, his many friends in Eastern Oregon.  

Mike, always our good-natured friend, can finally return to his beloved Halfway and his beloved Cornucopia.   When fair weather returns, Mike’s ashes will be returned home and there will be a remembrance get-together for friends and family.