Obituaries for March 20, 2013

By Baker City Herald March 20, 2013 10:09 am

‘Lee’ Chaffee

Baker City, 1922-2013

Lillian Ida “Lee” Chaffee, 91, died March 4, 2013, at Settler’s Park Assisted Living in Baker City.

During her last few days, Lee was attended to by her son, Brandon Chaffee, and his wife, Teresa.

There will be a family memorial service in Lee’s honor this summer in Tennessee.

Lee was born on Feb. 14, 1922, at Decaturville, Tenn., to John T. Smith Jr. and Lura Hughes Smith. After her father’s death in 1931, Lee and her mother, Lura, and her two younger brothers, John and Bill, moved to Texas for a short time and then moved back to Clifton, Tenn.

Lee was a 1940 Clifton High School graduate.  She attended Bowling Green Business University in Kentucky in 1941.

During World War II she wrote knot manuals for the U.S. Navy. After the war, Lee took the bus to Hollywood, Calif., where she worked for Eddie Foyer Jr. as his secretary. There she met her future husband, Lester F. Chaffee.

Lester and Lee were married on Feb. 27, 1947, at Las Vegas, Nev. They then moved to New Britain, Conn., where they had three children: Bruce, Brandon and Cathy.

Lee was an expert archer in the late 1950s and ’60s; she was the first woman on record to kill a deer with a bow in Vermont.

In 1965 they moved to San Jose, Calif. Lee worked for Boole & Babbage, a software company as a technical writer.

Lee’s husband, Lester, died on Feb. 18, 2000. In 2004, Lee moved to Richland to be closer to her son, Brandon, and his wife, Teresa. Lee lived on Valley Street. She loved the view from her front porch and said it had to be the best view in all of Eagle Valley.

She was an avid bridge player, and an accomplished artist. She enjoyed painting in oils and watercolors. One of her floral paintings can be viewed at Settlers Park Assisted Living in Baker City as a memorial to her.

Survivors include her son, Bruce Chaffee, and his wife Susan of Cul-de-sac, Idaho, and grandchildren Gregory Chaffee, Jeffrey Chaffee and Shevaun Chaffee of Lewiston, Idaho; her son, Brandon Chaffee, and his wife Teresa of Richland; and grandson Colton Clark-Chaffee of Nampa, Idaho; her daughter, Cathy Lursen-Powers and her husband, Ed, of Madera, Calif.; and granddaughter, Shannon Pham of Hollister, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Eagle Valley Ambulance or Eagle Valley Fire Department through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Andy Dickison

Walla Walla, Wash., 1954-2013

Andy Dickison, 58, of Walla Walla, Wash., died March 6, 2013. 

His memorial service was March 16 at the Calvary Chapel, in Walla Walla, Wash.

He was born on Dec. 6, 1954, at Bayside, N.Y., and grew up in Northern California where he found a love for performing arts and music. He developed great musical skill at an early age and joined the junior symphony where he became concert master.

He was recognized as the best violinist for his age group in all of Northern California. He loved composing music as well, and composed a full-length symphony.

Andy met the Lord in January 1972 at a youth camp in Sonora, Calif., family members said. He was very involved in several ministries in the 1970s. Andy’s faith in Jesus saw him through many trials during his adult years. 

“He may have lost some battles but Jesus won the war,” his family said.

Andy was a proud veteran, and served his country with the U.S. Air Force from July 1978 to March 1981.

Andy spent his last years living at Walla Walla, Wash., where the streets were often graced by the sound of his violin playing on summer days. He found a church family with Calvary Chapel Walla Walla, and blessed many there with his warm personality, friendship, and his musical talent in their worship services. 

Andy was a member of the Rising Sun Clubhouse and had many friends there whom he spoke of constantly and prayed for often. 

“Those who knew him well miss him deeply, but are blessed to know that heaven, the kingdom he spoke of so often, and the God who he longed to see face to face, have been found by him in resurrection,” family members said.

He was preceded in death his parents, Andrew and Betty Dickison. His body will be laid to rest close to theirs at Sumpter.

Survivors include his brothers, Rick Dickison (Sandy), of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Mark Dickison of Pinole, Calif., and Wesley Dickison (Shaun) of Baker City; sisters, Teri Dickison of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Robin Olds (Jim) of Mountain Home, Idaho; and step-mother, Josephine Dickison, of Baker City.

Wesley Kriege

Prineville, 1917-2013

Wesley George Kriege, 95, died March 15, 2013, at Prineville.

A memorial service will be scheduled later.

Wes was born on Nov. 20, 1917, at White River, S.D., to August and Gladys Kriege.

After attending school in South Dakota, Wes was drafted into the U.S. Army on July 14, 1941, at Tacoma, Wash.

While in the Army, Wes was stationed in Papua New Guinea and Australia. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge Per Go 23 HQ 163rd Infantry 43, and Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star and Service Star Lapel Button.

After an honorable discharge on Aug. 25, 1945, Wes began working on the Grand Coulee Dam as a jackhammer operator. In 1947, he moved to Prineville where he began working for Alexander Stewart as a planer man. 

During this time, Wes met the love of his life, Geraldine Blevins. They were married on Dec. 24, 1947. The couple had three daughters, Leona, Linda and Georgia, and continued to live at Prineville until they moved to Seneca. 

While in Seneca, Wes worked as a planer man at Ellingson Lumber Co., and eventually was promoted to a millwright. In December of 1982, Wes retired and became a snowbird with his wife, Geraldine, traveling to Apache Junction, Ariz. 

In April 2011, the couple moved back to Prineville.

Wes greatly enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family and his No. 1 love, Geraldine.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Geraldine; daughters, Leona (Steve) Blasingame of Bend, Linda (Fred) Fell of Prineville and Georgia (Cecil) Morin of Prineville; grandchildren, Tami Steelman-Gonzales of San Leandro, Calif., Christina Olsen of Redmond, Fred Fell Jr. of Pendleton, Marnie Fell of Prineville and Wes Kriege of Prineville; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great- grandchild; sister, Donna Parker of Sisters; brother, Dick Kriege of Sisters; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, one brother and one infant great-grandson.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Charles Hospice-Prineville through Whispering Pines Funeral Home, 185 N.E. Fourth St., Prineville, OR 97754.

Edith Flower

Irrigon, 1925-2013

Edith Turner Gorham Flower, 87, of Irrigon, died March 18, 2013, at her home surrounded by her family.

Her graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the North Powder Cemetery.

Edith was born on Sept. 23, 1925, at Medical Springs to Oliver and Nina Haynes Turner. She and her twin sister, Alice, each fit in the palm of their father’s hand when born at the home of a relative on the way to the hospital. 

She was a Union High School graduate, training her senior year at the NYA (National Youth Administration) School in Pendleton to work at the Umatilla Army Depot during the war. 

A year later, she married her returning soldier, Gordon Gorham, and moved to the family farm at North Powder where five children were born. 

They were divorced 25 years later and Edith returned to school at Baker Business College, earning a degree in business while working at the Democrat- Herald in Baker. She then moved to Halfway and worked as a secretary at Pine Valley High School in 1967. 

Edith returned to work a year later at the Umatilla Army Depot in Hermiston. During her career, she also worked for the Army Corps of Engineers at Pomeroy, Wash., and Cascade Locks, as well as the City of Stanfield and the City of North Powder until her retirement at North Powder.

She married Charles Flower at Stanfield in 1970. Mr. Flower died in 2001 and Edith relocated to Irrigon to live near her daughter.

Edith was devoted to her family, enjoyed flowers, gardening, camping, fishing, and hunting. She had a great sense of humor and shared her home and love with many children throughout her life. 

It was well known that if you visited Edith you were always strongly encouraged to enjoy a meal, which she would prepare at a moment’s notice. She was a lifelong member of the Wolf Creek Grange at North Powder and had served as a Boy Scout leader and a 4-H leader.

She taught Sunday School at the North Powder Methodist Church, often served as classroom mother for her children and supported and enjoyed her son’s and grandchildren’s many athletic events throughout their school years.

She rarely missed an event, no matter how far she needed to travel to attend.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husbands; brothers, Clyde, and Alford “Bud” Marsh; twin sister, Alice Eft; sister, Rosemary Krause; infant daughter, Jacqueline; sons, Donald and Gordy Gorham; and grandson, Gordy Gorham Jr..

Survivors include her son, Robert (Suzanne) Gorham of Forest Grove and daughter, Kathy (Elias)  Mendoza of Irrigon; brothers, Forrest (Nellie) Turner of Union and Jim (Joyce) Turner of Elgin; brother-in-law, George Eft of Hermiston; sisters-in-law, Linda (Don) Silva and Marsha (Gordy) Bruner; grandchildren, Lynne (Tim) McCormick of Culver, Jacque (Troy) Walker of Salem, Krista (Troy) Donahue of Keizer, Angela (Craig) Nelson of La Grande, Ben (Lisa) Gorham of Vernonia, Chris Pulse of Forest Grove, Rebecca Davison-Stitzel (Rebecca Morehead) of Spokane, Wash., Jennifer Davison of Adams, and Frank Jauregui of Irrigon; 15 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved as her own.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vange John Memorial Hospice, 645 W. Orchard Ave., Suite 300, Hermiston, OR 97838; Stokes Landing Senior Center, 195 N.W. Opal Place, Irrigon, OR 97844; or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Attention: Memorial/Honor Program FH, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905.

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Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements. 

Ronda Dillman

Halfway, 1946-2013

Ronda A. Dillman, 66, a lifelong Halfway resident, died March 17, 2013 at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

There was a Celebration of Life service for Ronda today at the Halfway Lions Club. Pastor Shawn Thatcher of the Pine Baptist Church officiated.

Ronda Ann Dillman, proud to be a true native of Halfway, was born on Aug. 14, 1946, at Halfway to Everett and Virgene Hulse Payton. She attended all 12 years of school at Halfway and was a 1964 Pine Valley Union High School graduate. She married Walt, the love of her life, on Feb. 27. 1965.

Her first job was with Morrison-Knutson at Brownlee Dam.  She had wonderful stories to tell about her commute to and from work. Her one working experience away from Halfway was a job with Boeing in Seattle. She had a good experience, but was happy to return home.

She then worked as a secretary at Pine-Eagle High School, where she mentored many young women. Staying home with her children, Ronda became the editor for the Hells Canyon Journal. She worked from her home and produced a weekly issue of the Journal.

After she sold that business, she then went to work for the Forest Service. Her favorite time there was going on a fire. 

She enjoyed the excitement, long hours, and adrenaline rush. No matter what job Ronda had, she gave it her all. She loved to work and took a lot of pride in doing her job -— any job — well.  

She and Walt purchased the Halfway Garage, where she worked in the family business. She didn’t even mind pumping gas, as she liked to visit with everyone who came in, family members said.

Yes, Ronda did like to visit. She rarely met a stranger.  After her mother’s retirement, Ronda became a Farmer’s Insurance agent.

If you were lucky enough to have her for your agent, you know she always went the extra mile for “her people,” as she called them. She particularly worried about some of her older clients, and took special care of them. 

After her retirement from Farmer’s, she continued to serve her many customers in various insurance policies.

Ronda loved life, family, laughter and friends. She told stories that would keep her audience howling with laughter. She was a prolific letter writer, challenging whatever injustice she perceived.

She loved to cook and was always trying new recipes. She loved to camp with friends and family, and she particularly liked to hunt. 

One year she went all out and bought some camo shorts to go antelope hunting. She called herself Jane Wayne, along with her hunting partner, John Wayne.  She also enjoyed playing “Old Clyde” with her mom and Glenna, or anyone, for that matter, family members said.

Taking after her dad, she developed a passion for hummingbirds. She must have had the nectar touch, because she fed up to a 100 birds a day. She and her guests enjoyed watching them. Her favorite vacation was to the Oregon Coast.  Placing second was camping and Jackpot.

She was known as “Aunt Ronda” to numerous kids in the valley. She loved a challenge and was always ready to try new things. She and Walt participated in many lip syncs, including “Doggie in the Window” and “Rocking Chair.”

She welcomed everybody who dropped by and really enjoyed having people around. She had open house always. She loved all of her family, doting on her children and her grandchildren. She had a lot of love to give and she gave it freely. 

The family especially wants to thank Kate Grace for all of her love, support and help. She was a very dear friend to Ronda.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Walt Dillman of Halfway; her children, Josi Mack and her husband, Larry, of Baker City, and Corey Dillman and his wife, Cathy, of Washington state; her brother and sister-in-law, Doug and Beth Payton of Halfway; sister and brother-in-law, Dawn and Roger Coles of Baker City; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Lonnie and Marie Dillman of Baker City, and Dock and Cynthia Dillman of Crooked River Ranch;  seven grandchildren; her aunt, Corene Hulse of Pasco, Wash.; special friends, Bob Hamby and Marvin Lee, “The Milwaukie Hunting Group,” Sandy and Dennis Sargent and Donna Barnes and her late husband, Jim;  and numerous nieces and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her grandparent; aunts and uncles;  and several cousins.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway Ambulance Fund through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.