Obituaries for April 17, 2013

By Baker City Herald April 17, 2013 09:18 am

Eloise Colton

Baker City

Eloise H. Colton of Baker City, died April 9, 2013, at her home, surrounded by her loving daughters.

Her funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Burial will be at 1 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Eloise was born at Baker City to George and Petra Rasmussen Bieber. She attended Baker High School. 

Eloise was a homemaker, worked at Safeway and was an alterations seamstress for Neuberger and Heilner. 

She married Philip H. Colton on Feb. 1, 1937, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan. Philip died in October 1971.

Eloise enjoyed gardening, sewing, quilts, playing pinochle, games, cooking, traveling, crocheting doilies, and hosting many garage sales. She had a deep love of family and lifelong friends and spent many hours visiting folks in the hospital and nursing homes, giving perms and styling hair. 

She was enthusiastic about life and had a great love for learning. She was mischievous, loyal, giving, caring and extremely social. Eloise also had a unique ability to remember details from when she was a young girl.

Eloise was proud to be involved with many groups and organizations in her community. Her affiliations and accomplishments included Blue Mountain Extension, Garden Club, American Red Cross (30 years), Medical Springs Grange, Red Hat Society, Baker City Elks, Oregon Trail Interpretive Center volunteer, Baker Heritage Museum volunteer, and Baker County Posse. 

She received many awards at Baker County Fairs. She was also involved with sewing cheerleader uniforms, bridesmaid dresses, formals, and Bakerette uniforms.

Survivors include three daughters, Carol (Bud) Dotson of Walla Walla, Wash., Lana Emery of Port Angeles, Wash., and Beth (Bruce) Wood of Salem; nine grandchildren; and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband;  and her brother, Orman Bieber.

Memorial contributions may be made to The American Heart Association or Cancer Fund.

Donn Smithpeter

Formerly Baker City, 1933-2013

Donn Smithpeter, 79, a former Baker City resident, died April 4, 2013, at Lake Oswego after an extended illness.

At his request, no service is planned.

Donn was born on June 13, 1933, at Sacramento, Calif., to Donald Grant and Virginia Laughlin Smithpeter. They moved back to Baker City when Donn was several months old. He grew up in Baker City and was a 1951 Baker High School graduate.

He attended Oregon State University at Corvallis and graduated with a degree in civil engineering. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi.

He participated in the marching band and the pep band. Donn was a member of the varsity track team and was a lifelong supporter of the OSU Beavers.

He married Joann Vandette in 1965 and they recently celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. He worked for Shell Oil Co., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department and the Bonneville Power Administration. He was a member of the Lutheran Church.

Survivors include his wife, Joann; son, Todd, and daughter-in-law, Kathy, and grandchildren, Cole and Abby, of West Linn; daughter, Michelle, and son-in-law, Mathew Shaner, of Houston; a sister, Deni Smith, and brother-in-law, Byron Smith of West Hills, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker City Band Pavilion, Attention: Lynette Perry, 2545 College St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Barbara Anderson

Baker City, 1937-2013

Barbara Kay Webb Anderson, 75, died Jan. 29, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

Urn interment will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday at her father’s grave site at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of life gathering after the ceremony at the home of Gail VanSickel, 1950 Edgewater St.

Barbara was born on Aug. 20, 1937, to Lois Buske and Millard Wesley Webb. She graduated in 1955 from Crater High School at Central Point. She attended Abilene Christian College for three years and then moved to Seattle,Wash., where she worked at Boeing.

She married Eric B. Anderson on June 16, 1963, at Medford.

In the early 1970s, she and Eric left Boeing and attended Southern Oregon School of Education at Ashland, where they completed their degrees in education. They taught for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in New Mexico and South Dakota before being transferred to Alaska, first at Hooper Bay then Chevak and Fortuna Ledge (Marshall).

They retired in 1990 and moved to Anchorage. In the early 2000s they moved to Richland and later to a house on a mountain between Richland and Baker City.

Barbara was a devoted teacher, which included many out-of-class hours helping students learn skills that were outside the curriculum. She taught elementary students, but also taught various high school business courses.

She was a caring friend with a tender heart that propelled her into action on behalf of people in need, friend or not. She loved books and was an avid reader all of her life, which accounted for her extensive vocabulary which she used effectively to express her special and unique sense of humor. 

She struggled with two hip and knee replacements, so she was a regular at YMCA water exercise classes in Baker City.

Barbara had a passion for animals and always had at least two dogs. While living in Alaskan villages, she once rescued seven dogs, which she named The Chain Gang. 

She was often the recipient of animals needing extra TLC and rarely turned down the opportunity to love an animal back to health. Later, in Eastern Oregon, she adopted several feral cats that were living under a house she and Eric bought and faithfully fed her porch critters, chipmunks, squirrels, Stellar Jays, and hummingbirds.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Cletis Wayne Webb; and her husband, Eric B. Anderson. 

Survivors include Eric’s sister, Virginia King; and Clete’s widow, Dorothy; her beloved pets; and many devoted friends scattered around the world.


Thelma Myers

Baker City, 1932-2013

Thelma Jean Myers, 81, died April 10, 2013, at Baker City surrounded by family.

Family and friends are welcome to attend an urn interment at her father’s grave site at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, at Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of life gathering afterward at the home of Gail VanSickel, 1950 Edgewater St.

She was born in 1932 at Lake City, Ark., to William Floyd and Myrtle Olivia Clegg Thornton.  Thelma moved to Baker City at the age of 4 and attended Baker City schools. She married Glenn “Dutch” Myers in 1947 and together they raised nine children: Dennis, Glenda, Steven, Ronda, Timothy, Tina, Teresa, Shane and a grandson, Ely Myers.

Thelma was a hard worker and began working at the age of 13, holding various jobs primarily in retail sales until retiring from Safeway in 1997. She loved working at Safeway; she had great rapport with co-workers and customers and made many friends. She always missed working after her retirement. 

She loved traveling, the beach, rock collecting, picking mushrooms, watching her favorite television programs and movies, yard sales, good Mexican and Chinese food, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Thelma was greatly loved and will be remembered for her sense of humor, strong commitment to fairness, unconditional love, generosity and kindness to others, family members said. She will be missed by all those who knew her.

Survivors include her husband, Glenn “Dutch” Myers and all of her children; 22 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; her sister, Lenora; numerous nephews and nieces; and her little dog, Barney.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother; and her brothers, James and Floyd Thornton. 

Memorial contributions may be made to a local food bank through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. 


Gordon Henderson

Formerly Baker City, 1927-2013

Gordon Henderson, 85, of Sherwood, and a former Baker City resident, died April 10, 2013, surrounded by family, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

His graveside service will be at noon Saturday  at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Jon Privett of the First Church of the Nazarene will officiate. Friends and family are invited to a reception from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sunridge Inn.

Gordon was born on Nov. 1, 1927, at Baker City to James and Mabel Henderson. His father emigrated from Scotland in the early 1900s. After graduating from Baker High School, Gordon attended Oregon State University at Corvallis.

After OSU, he entered the U.S. Air Force in 1952, married Diane Radabaugh of Baker City and spent three years in Valdosta, Ga.

Gordon and Diane returned to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon where he earned a master’s degree in accounting. After graduate school, Gordon worked for Price Waterhouse from 1957 to 1966. He was recruited by the Boise Cascade Corporation in Boise in 1966.

While living in Boise, Gordon and his family enjoyed skiing at Bogus Basin and Sun Valley. The Hendersons traveled on golf trips to Scotland and Australia with close friends from the Hillcrest Country Club. Gordon was also active in the El Korah Temple Shriners organization in Boise.

Gordon retired in 1986 and in 1992 he and Diane moved back to Oregon to be closer to their daughters. Gordon was very close to his grandsons, an active grandpa and present at three of the four births.

He was a lifelong lover of golf and the OSU Beavers. Throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s he never lost his sense of humor. He was loved by all who knew him and he will be missed enormously, family members said.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Diane; his daughters, Jane and Linda, sons-in-law, Mike and David; and four grandsons, Matthew of Boise and Jacob, Scott and Tate of Sherwood.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Dorothea Balderston

Baker City, 1923-2013

Dorothea E. “Dode” Balderston, 89, of Baker City, died April 13, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Care Center in Baker City.

Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. There will be a reception afterward at the First Lutheran Fellowship Hall.

Dode was born on Dec. 7, 1923, at Ladysmith, Wis., the youngest of four children of Robert Parcher Ellingson Sr. and Myrtle Thea Nora Peterson. When she was 5 years old the family moved to Klamath Falls where she attended elementary and high schools.

Dode attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., the University of California at Berkley, and the University of Colorado in Boulder. She was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. It was at Boulder that she met her husband of 62 years, Robert W. “Bob” Balderston. They were married in Klamath Falls in 1950.

Dode and Bob moved to Unity soon after they were married, and were involved with the Ellingson Lumber Co. sawmill operations. Dode’s years in Unity were some of the happiest of her life and she so enjoyed her many friends in the logging and ranching families of that area. Any mention of the Hereford/Unity communities brought a smile to her face and twinkle to her eye. 

They moved into Baker in 1955 where she also had many friends. Northeastern Oregon was always an important part of her life.

Dode and Bob moved to Englewood, Colo., in 1958. There she was very active in her sorority as well as in Republican politics, and she spent much of her time on various fundraising activities. In later years she helped care for her mother and father during their retirement in Arizona as well as Baker City.

Although they had no children, Dode was a favorite aunt of her many nieces and nephews. Her home in Englewood was always a welcome stop for visits. She and Bob were also avid boosters of the Denver University hockey team, the Pioneers, and provided part-time employment and support for many of the players.

Survivors include her many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, mother, father and three brothers.