Obituaries for March 4, 2013

By Baker City Herald March 04, 2013 09:32 am

‘Jim’ Gibson

Baker City, 1924-2013

Newsom James “Jim” Gibson, 88, of Baker City, died Feb. 17, 2013,  at his home. 

Those who knew him and valued his friendship are invited by family members to join them in a Celebration of Life Reception from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

He was born to Newsom James and Frances Gibson on May 14, 1924, at St. Louis, Mo. Shortly after his high school graduation in Benson, Ariz., World War II broke out. Immediately, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in both the Aleutians and the Pacific Theater, most notably on Okinawa. He later graduated from The University of Southern California where he met his wife, Harriet, and they began 62-plus wonderful years together.

He began a career in law enforcement that spanned 35 years, taking him from a patrolman in Palo Alto, Calif., to the chief of police of Arcata, Calif., and later chief of police of Auburn, Wash. 

During his career, he was chosen to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., where he achieved all-time top honors, receiving the J. Edgar Hoover Medal for Excellence in the Study of Law Enforcement. 

He also was selected to serve on the Police Task Force of the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, representing smaller police departments nationwide. In their personal travels, he and Harriet fell in love with the Blue Mountains and the elk that reside there, leading them to Baker City in 1990 to retire.

You may have known him through the Rotary Club of Baker City, the Powder River Sportsmen’s Club, the Powder River Rural Fire Protection District, or simply chatted with him wearing his signature brown hat at one of the many local businesses where he would shop with his wife, Harriet. 

Maybe he served buffalo burgers to you or your family at the Miners Jubilee or waved to you while setting out or picking up the American flags distributed each holiday by him and his fellow Rotarians. He was very proud of his perfect attendance for more than 40 years in Rotary. 

As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, you might have met him at one of the gun shows he so much enjoyed. However you knew him, he will be sorely missed, family members said.

Survivors include his wife, Harriet; four children, Jim Gibson of Boulder, Colo., Cliff Gibson of McKinleyville, Calif., Frances Cloyd of Medford and Clay Gibson of Littleton, Colo.; and seven grandchildren. 

Memorial contributions may be made to The Rotary Foundation or the National Rifle Association through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

LeRoy DeWitt

Haines, 1938-2013

LeRoy DeWitt, 75, of Haines, died March 1, 2013, at his home.

LeRoy requested that there be no services.

LeRoy Elton was born on Feb. 3, 1938, at Sheridan, Wyo., to Kenneth and Gloria (Gaskin) DeWitt. He graduated in 1956 from Twin City High School in Stanwood, Wash.

 On April 4, 1958, he married Kathleen Lee at Freeborn, Wash. They had two children, Lisa and Daniel.  During his life he worked at many occupations, including farmer, truck driver, equipment operator, logger, anything to make a living for his family.  He went to work for Cascade Natural Gas and retired after 36 years. 

He served with the Army National Guard in Washington for six years, two of the years in the Army Reserve.

LeRoy had many hobbies. He raced motorcycles for about 15 years and rode in rodeos in his younger days.  He enjoyed raising horses at home. The hobbies that he said he most enjoyed were hunting and fishing with his family and friends. According to LeRoy, every event began at dark thirty and according to family and friends, he had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed playing pranks whenever and wherever he could. 

LeRoy is survived by his wife, Kathleen; his daughter, Lisa Renee Locke, and her husband Rick of Sedro Woolly, Wash.; her son, Daniel Lee DeWitt, and his wife Utanna of Klamath Falls; his mother, Gloria Schwalbe of Wyoming; his sister, Dolores Ann Donner of Upton, Wyo.; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. 

 He was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Stanley DeWitt.

Those who would like to make a contribution in memory of LeRoy may do so to Heart ’n Home Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Bessie Darrow

Formerly Baker City, 1923-2013

Bessie Gustava Wyant Darrow, 89, a former Baker City resident, died Feb. 28, 2013, at Ashley Manor Manzanita 2 in Hermiston.

There will be a viewing for friends and family on Wednesday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. in Baker City.

Following the viewing there will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery. Kathryn Nicole of the First Presbyterian Church will officiate. Immediately following the service there will be a gathering for friends and family at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth St. in Baker City.

Bessie was born on Aug. 6, 1923, at Arcadia, Kan., to William Perry Wyant and Malone Emiline Cooper Wyant. She grew up in Kansas City, Mo.

She married John Haskell Darrow on Oct. 6, 1942, at Lebanon, Mo. From there they moved to Oregon. They lived in Eugene and on the Oregon Coast before settling in Baker City. The couple had six children together.

After the passing of her husband and surviving colon cancer, she decided to move in with her son, Ronald Darrow, and his family, in Boardman.

Bessie is survived by five children and their spouses: Evelyn and Hal Mallory of Roy, Wash., Donald and Victoria Darrow of Baker City, Sue and Tommy Lee Bradford of Boise, Ronald and Carla Darrow of Boardman, and Milli and Brent Joseph of Baker City; 12 grandchildren: Albert Rivers Jr., William Rivers, John Rivers, Kerry Rivers, James Darrow, Mike Darrow, Donnie Edmondson, Debra Devin, Curtis Darrow, Kayla Joseph, Rebecca Joseph and Tyler Joseph; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Bessie was preceded in death by her mother and father; two sisters; three brothers; her husband; her son, Johnny Darrow; and her granddaughter, Katherine Darrow.

Donations in Bessie’s memory can be made to MayDay Inc. at 1834 Main St., Baker City, OR 97814, or to Ashley Manor Manzanita 2, 1355 S.W. Manzanita Place, Hermiston, OR 97838.