Obituaries for Feb. 13, 2013

By Baker City Herald February 13, 2013 09:22 am

Muriel Gray

Portland, 1919-2013

Muriel D. Gray, 93, died Feb. 6, 2013, in Portland. 

Visitations will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Baker Seventh-day Adventist Church at 42171 Chico Road. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at the Seventh-day Adventist Church fellowship hall at the corner of Pocahontas Road and 17th Street.

Muriel was born on April 23, 1919, at La Harpe, Kan., to Alvis and Bessie (Colwell) Dick. She was raised all over the state of Montana and received schooling in Montana, Idaho, Washington, California, and Nebraska. 

She specialized as a nurse and received her registered nurse credentials at Paradise Valley, Calif., and her bachelor’s degree at Lincoln, Neb. She worked as a nurse in San Diego and at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. 

She moved to Baker City in 1949 and met Frank Gray. Muriel married Frank on June 8, 1950, at Baker City.

Muriel was a longtime member of the Baker Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her accomplishments include working as a registered nurse in several institutions over 40 years, volunteering for many church and community organizations, and raising two daughters and one son. She especially enjoyed teaching children’s classes for many years at the church.

Survivors include her daughters, Elizabeth Parker and Rosalyn Patton; son, Peter Gray; grandchildren, Thomas N. Turner, Matthew Parker and Donald and Daniel Gray; sister, Bonita Kraemer; and great-grandchildren, Erin, Matthew, Honor and Christian Parker; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, Frank.

Memorial contributions may be made to the SDA Thanksgiving Food Box program or the Baker City Pathfinder (youth club) Building Fund through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Howard Ego

Vale, 1924-2013

Howard Ego, 89, a former Baker City resident, died Feb. 9, 2013.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Vale Christian Church. Burial will be at Valley View Cemetery in Vale. 

Howard was born on Nov. 3, 1924, at Baker City to Charles Berton and Bessie Sadie Doolittle Ego. He was the seventh of eight children. He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Bill, Jim, Elmer, Gene and infant Cecil; and two sisters, Clydia (Van Horn) Smothers and Adealia (Barrentine) Veristain. 

Many of his early years were spent on the family ranch on Sutton Creek. Howard and his sister, Adealia, were the only ones to graduate from high school, in Baker. 

After high school he joined the U.S. Army and served in Europe (1944-1945) during World War II, receiving the Bronze Star Medal for heroism.

Howard married Carol Frances Evitts in 1945. They were divorced in 1974. They had two children, David and Susan .

On Valentine’s Day in 1981 he had his first date with his “better half,” Willie Jones, also known as “Mrs. Smith.”  They were together for 32 years. 

After coming home from military service he went to work for Walt Gildersleeve at the Standard Oil bulk plant in Baker City. He also farmed with his father during these years.

In 1957, he purchased the Standard Oil bulk plant at Vale. He later sold the plant and after one year at Peterson Furniture in Ontario, he became Vale city coordinator and municipal judge. He worked for the City of Vale for more than 47 years. Howard also served as Treasurer for the Valley View Cemetery District for more than 47 years. 

Howard had a servant’s heart for his adopted community of Vale. He served on the Vale City Council before going to work for the city. He was an active member for decades in the Jaycees, Lions, and the Masonic Lodge, for which he received the highest honor — The Hiram Award.

He also was a member of the Shriners, Eastern Star, Blue Lodge, Elks, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sports Inc. , Senior Citizens , Vale Chamber of Commerce and many other groups. 

He received the Distinguished Service Award in 1960. He rode a horse as grand marshal for the 2000 Vale Fourth of July celebration. 

He received lifetime achievement awards from the Shriners and the Vale Community. Howard could many times be found behind the cook stove or beside the barbecue pit helping prepare many community and family meals.

He also enjoyed hunting, camping, wood gathering, the cabin and family festivities. 

“He was loving, kind and compassionate as a companion, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa ... we couldn’t have asked for anyone better,” family members said. “He will be missed by all.”

Survivors include his companion, Willie Jones and family; his son, David, and his wife, Gloria Ego; and daughter, Susan, and her husband, Joe Yraguen; two grandsons, Jay (Michelle) Ego and Josh (Emily) Ego; and three granddaughters, Julie (Tom) Spoo, Kimi (Wade) Gipson, Kristi (Britton) Stuart; and seven great- grandchildren, Amand and Janci Spoo, Brylie and Chace Gipson, Amaia, Addison and Bodie Stuart; and many nieces and nephews. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners or Vale Senior Citizens.

Condolences to the family may be made at

Hilda McCumber

La Grande, 1913-2013

Hilda Dorothy Jones McCumber, 99, died Feb. 7, 2013, at Wildflower Lodge in La Grande.

Her graveside funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Family members said there will be a gathering to celebrate her remarkable life this spring.

Hilda was born on Oct. 31, 1913, at Baker City to Robert and Mary Gilkison Jones. She attended elementary school in one-room schoolhouses in Eastern Oregon towns including Sparta, New Bridge and Keating. She attended Baker High School for two years before being forced to quit because of her father’s death. 

Hilda was married to the love of her life, Frank Avery “Dick” McCumber, on June 19, 1933, at Baker City. During their early years, they lived on a ranch at Sparta and also lived at Milton-Freewater, Baker City and Union before moving to Mount Vernon in 1950.

Hilda was a devoted wife and mother, and was very active in her community. She was involved in the Mount Vernon Grange, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Grant County Women’s Bowling League, Mount Vernon PTA, and the Degree of Honor Protective Association. 

Her hobbies included bowling, gardening, camping and reading. 

Throughout her career, she was employed by various facilities as a cook, including J Bar L Guest Ranch, Blue Mountain Hospital and U.S. Forest Service summer camps. 

A large portion of her career was spent working for the U.S. Forest Service, out in the open air of beautiful Grant County, where she retired multiple times before actually leaving her job.

Hilda was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Frank Avery “Dick” McCumber; her oldest son, Neil A. McCumber; and two great-grandchildren lost in infancy.

Survivors include her daughter, Millie I. McCumber Hickerson Butler (Bob); sons, Roger A. McCumber (Janet), Lyle A. McCumber (Linda) and Robert B. McCumber (Charlotte); 14 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; and several great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wildflower Lodge through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Roberta Graves

Baker City, 1933-2013

Roberta LaVell Graves, 79, died Feb. 9, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center- Baker City. 

Her graveside service will be at noon on Friday at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Roberta was born on Nov. 9, 1933, at Baker City to Roy and Ora Burris Calloway. She attended school there until at the age of 14 when illness prevented from her returning.

She began working at St. Elizabeth Hospital as a nurse’s aide at the age of 14. The money she earned helped her parents purchase their place on Pine Creek. 

 She continued working at the hospital, working in Central Supply sterilizing the surgical instruments, and then working as an assistant during surgical procedures.

She lived at Baker City most of her life, but for a brief time she lived at Smith River, Calif. In her 20s she married Larry Graves and they had two children. 

When Roberta retired from the hospital, she went to work as a motel maid at Oregon Trail Motel. She worked there for several years and also did in-home care for the disabled and elderly. 

Roberta enjoyed anything having to do with being outside: she gardened, picnicked, camped in the mountains, and, most especially, she loved horses. She had fun memories of sledding on tubes and floating down creeks, family members said.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Larry; brothers, Ralph Calloway and Ronald Calloway; and sisters, Dorothy Phillips and Fern Wheeler.

Survivors include her son, Norman Daniel Graves of Baker City; daughter, Lorraine Graves of Baker City; brother, Robert Calloway, and his wife, Brenda, of Irrigon; sister, Shirley Guilliams of Baker City; grandchildren, Chris Graves and Johanna Cole; two great-grandchildren, Kailyn McQuisten and Andrew Davis; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contribtions may be made to CASA or the Rachel Center through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Marvin McKinney

Baker City, 1937-2013

Marvin Glenn McKinney, 75, of Culver, died Jan. 25, 2013, at Redmond.

 There will be a remembrance of Marvin’s life at 11 a.m. MST Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Vale Christian Church at 450 A St. West in Vale.

Marvin was born on May 3, 1937, at Ontario to Merrill “Red” and Ruth Maupin McKinney. He grew up on a small cattle ranch outside of Vale. Shortly after graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Army, serving time in Alaska. After returning home, he met and married Linda Joanne Woodward, his partner in life for the past 54 years.

He worked for the Vale road department and the Oakridge sawmill for a number of years before returning to ranching, a vocation he pursued with his wife, Linda, at his side, for the remainder of his life. He ran a large cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon for 33 years. 

He and Linda then “retired” to a small cattle ranch in Culver where they lived happily for the past 12 years. His greatest joy and personal measure of success, was raising cattle from birth, and adding them to the herd that he and Linda worked together to build.

Marvin was a much loved husband, father, and grandfather.

He enjoyed rodeo, hunting, four-wheelers, horses, reading the news, candy, but most especially, family.

Survivors include his wife, Linda McKinney of Culver; sons, Steve McKinney of West Richland, Wash., and David McKinney and his wife, Tami, of Redmond; daughter, Sheila Hite and her husband, Brad, of Corvallis; his grandson, Bryan; and five granddaughters, Janet, Shalene, Danielle, Madyson and Hannah.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Milton and John McKinney; and daughter-in-law, Susan.

Autumn Funerals Redmond is in charge of arrangements.

Millie Butler

Baker City, 1936-2013

Millie Ilene Butler, 76, of Baker City, died Feb. 11, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center. 

Her memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery. Mr. Wally Muzzy and Mr. Jerry Sheets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in John Day will officiate. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St.

Millie was born on May 4, 1936, at Baker City to Frank Avery “Dick” and Hilda Dorothy Jones McCumber. She attended high school at Mount Vernon and married Floyd Lee Hickerson on Oct. 25, 1953, at Winnemucca, Nev. 

She then married Robert Lee Butler on July 1, 2004, at Hillsboro. She was a great homemaker and also worked for a time at Beaver State Dental and Terry Trailer, retiring on Sept. 1, 2004.

She enjoyed horseback riding, riding her bicycle, going to the mountains mushrooming, huckleberry picking, and loving on her dog, Jake. She loved her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and her husband. 

She was a member of the LDS Church and a breast cancer survivor.

Survivors include her husband, Bob Butler of Baker City; two sons, Fain Hickerson, and his wife, Darla, of Coos Bay and Neil Hickerson and Kathy Keller of Gresham; one daughter, Theresa German, and her husband, Brent, of La Grande; three brothers, Roger McCumber, and his wife, Jan, of Hillsboro, Lyle McCumber and his wife, Linda, of Mount Vernon, and Rob McCumber and his wife, Char, of Mount Vernon; four stepdaughters and one stepson and their spouses; seven grandchildren plus several stepgrandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

 She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Lee Hickerson; a brother, Neil McCumber; and a grandson, Sean Christopher.

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