Obituaries for June 17, 2013

By Baker City Herald June 17, 2013 09:19 am

Barbara Dennis

Halfway, 1937-2013

Barbara Belle Dennis, 76, of Halfway, died June 10, 2013, at her home, leaving many memories among family, friends, and all those who knew her.

A graveside service took place today at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway.

Barbara was born on Feb. 27, 1937, at New Bridge to Lorval and Belle Johnson. She spent most of her childhood growing up near Robinette, on the family’s Rocky Cove Fruit Ranch. The Johnsons had a reputation for quality fruits and vegetables, and people came from miles around to buy their produce. They also raised cattle, hay and horses. Among her many hobbies and talents as a child was tap dancing. But above all, she was born with a love for animals, which continued throughout her life.

“Bobbie,” as she was known to her family and close friends, attended grade school in Robinette, and Eagle Valley High School in Richland. She left school after her sophomore year to marry Vernon Dennis, and later acquired her high school diploma.

After Vernon returned from Tokyo, Japan, where he was stationed at the end of the Korean Conflict, they moved around to various jobs including the construction of Brownlee Dam, eventually settling in Pine Valley in 1960. They bought a place at the upper end of the valley, operating a successful dairy farm and beef cattle ranch. 

There, they raised their three children, Kirk, Blake and Nancy. In addition to working on the farm, she was a superb homemaker. She gardened, canned, sewed, and was a natural, creative cook.

Barbara’s passion for animals flourished during these years. In addition to chickens, pigs, bummer lambs and bucket calves, she also raised apricot poodles and horses. Her favorite mare, Snooks, produced numerous colts through the years which were her pride and joy. She passed this talent and caring for animals on to her kids.

Barbara loved watching the kids compete in athletics, attending endless events through the years including traveling around the state to playoff games and state tournaments. She continued this practice as “Grandma” for 30 years, by enjoying her grandkids’ activities, and most recently, loved going to rodeos to see her grandson, Kyle, ride saddle broncs.

Barbara and Vernon divorced in 1976, and a year later she went to work for Idaho Power as the receptionist in the local office in Halfway. She was well-known for the helpful and caring way in which she dealt with customers. Her supervisors tried to get her to move up in the company, but that would mean leaving Halfway, which she would never do. She retired in 1997 after 20 years in the Halfway office.

Barbara spent her retirement traveling and working around her home in Halfway. She continued her ambition as a gifted and avid gardener, evident by her beautiful plants and flowers around her house and yard.

Survivors include her mother, Belle Johnson of Halfway; her brother, Leland Johnson of Newport Beach, Calif.; her son, Blake, and his wife, Kellie, of Halfway; her daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Joe Denig, also of Halfway; her daughter-in-law, Ann Dennis of Baker City; 14 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and her dog, Shadow.

She was preceded in death by her father Lorval; an infant son, Tony, and son, Kirk. 

Memorial contributions may be made  to Pine-Eagle Athletics through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Francisco Molina

Formerly Pine Valley, 1953-2013

Francisco Molina, 59, a former Pine Valley resident, died May 29, 2013, at his home in Roseburg.

His graveside service, with military honors, will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Pine Valley Cemetery in Halfway. There will be a celebration of his life afterward for friends and family at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Halfway. Food and drink will be provided at the Hall, and there will be a slide show.

Frank was born on July 21, 1953, at New York City, the eldest son of Francisco Alonzo Molina and Carmen Tejera Molina. His parents, both preceding him in death, raised him in Brooklyn, N.Y., with his five stepsiblings and his brother, William Negron, now deceased; Edwin (Bing) Negron; Eddie Nelson Negron; Tony Negron of Missouri; Casilda Negron of Puerto Rico; and his youngest brother, Carlos (Albert) Molina of New York. 

His father worked for the Ideal Corp. and he often reminisced about the many toys and goodies his father brought for them from his work at the toy company.

After from graduating high school, Frank moved to Los Angeles to be with his oldest brothers, William and Eddie, where he decided to enlist in the U. S. Army. He servedas a military policeman for the 23rd Infantry Battalion in Germany.

Frank served in Bad Kitzingen and was transferred to Kitzingen, Germany, where he met and fell in love with Jeanne Wilmarth Dennis, who was serving as a military policewoman for the 95th Battalion.

Upon Frank’s honorable discharge from the military in 1976 he and Jeanne returned to Los Angeles where Frank became an advocate and private investigator for the Spanish-speaking clientele of prominent Los Angeles attorneys. Their eldest son, Jason Molina, was born in 1977 and the couple decided to bring their family to Oxbow the next spring.

Frank worked for Silver King Mines at Cuprum, Idaho, before applying and receiving a position in Halfway at the Pine Ranger District. His youngest son, Damon Taylor Molina, was born in 1979 and Frank’s family was separated due to his battles with service-related PTSD and substance abuse issues. 

Frank got assistance and was able to play a role in his sons’ lives throughout their school years, culminating in a growing period at his eldest son’s graduation by Frank bringing his boys to live with him for a year.

Frank wore many hats during his Forest Service career, working on trails, cruising timber, overseeing tussock moth control, and eventually becoming a Hot Shot fire suppression crew leader. As his time with his sons wound down, he was offered a promotion and a new position at Roseburg, which he discussed with his family and eventually took. 

In addition to his work with the Pine Ranger District, Frank also served in the U.S. Army Reserve unit of Baker City for three years. Frank continued to meet with his support group, AA, in Roseburg, making many friends and counseling others regarding their addictions. 

After his retirement at Roseburg, he joined a deconstruction crew to supplement his income, but his advancing rheumatoid arthritis made his efforts too painful to continue. Frank sought help from the Veterans Administration in Roseburg, and was finally granted a disability pension, which aided him in purchasing and owning his home. He was very proud of this accomplishment.

Those who knew “Franco” will long remember his rousing rendition of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” as he accompanied the RV Jones Band of Halfway at Wild Bill’s. He was a very gentle spirit who never failed to come to the aid of his fellow man, family members said.

His children remember his many kindnesses to those who struggled, recalling vividly the odd characters who often passed through his home, were given food, advice and money to continue their journeys. Franco will also will be fondly remembered in flip-flops enjoying a great game of horseshoes. 

Survivors include his son, Jason, and his wife, Tana, and grandchildren, Bailey, Bobbi Jo, Lane and Karmen; his son, Damon, and granddaughter, Emma Jean; his brothers, sister, many nieces and nephews; and the numerous friends whose paths the gentle man crossed. Despite distance, Frank managed to keep in contact with his family and his many friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the VFW Wounded Warrior Project through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Maxine Raeburn

Milwaukie, 1921-2013

Maxine Raeburn, 91, of Milwaukie, a former Baker City resident, died June 11, 2013.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon Thursday at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Milwaukie. There will be a graveside service at 2 p.m. Friday at Deschutes Memorial Gardens in Bend.

 Maxine was born on July 5, 1921, in South Dakota to James and Bridgett Brown. She married Byron Scott Raeburn on Aug. 11, 1940. They lived at Baker City, Milwaukie and Bend. She returned to Milwaukie in 1998 to be closer to her family. She worked for United Grocers in Milwaukie.

 Maxine enjoyed needlework and crocheting afghans and made one for each of her grandchildren. She loved her rose garden and flowers of all kinds.

Late in life she began watercolor painting. Her paintings are cherished by her family. She was also an avid reader and a lifelong member of the Catholic Church.

 Survivors include her sons, Earl Raeburn, and his wife, Elaine, George Raeburn and wife, Susan, and Roger Raeburn and his wife, Sherri; grandchildren, Kimberly Davenport and her husband, Eric, Todd Raeburn and his wife, Jill, Christopher Raeburn and his wife, Kari, and Victoria Raeburn; great-grandchildren, Grant, Abigail, Bryant, Belle, Dylan and Chase. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Byron, who died in 2004.

 Stehn Family Chapels Milwaukie is in charge of arrangements. To leave a remembrance for the family, visit