Obituaries for Aug. 5, 2013

By Baker City Herald August 05, 2013 10:30 am

‘Woody’ Woodcock

Baker City, 1939-2013

William Charles “Woody” Woodcock, 73, of Baker City, died July 24, 2013, at his home after a brief battle with cancer. 

His memorial service and a celebration of Woody’s Life will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, at the Baker Elks Lodge, 1896 Second St. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward at the Elks Lodge.

Woody was born on Nov. 27, 1939, at Baker City to Sam and Ruth Metsker Woodcock. He was a 1958 Baker High School graduate. He excelled at football and was honored to play in the Oregon Shrine All-Star Football Game in Portland. 


He continued on to Boise Junior College (now Boise State) where he played football on the 1959 National Championship Team. He was also a member of the first Baker Elks Drum and Bugle Corps.

On June 20, 1961, Woody married LaVelle Pierce. They happily spent the next 52 years together. They raised three sons: Stanley, Scott and Steven. Woody was actively involved in their activities throughout their school-age years.

Prior to retiring at the age of 68, Woody worked for Ellingson’s Timber Co. until the closure of the plywood plant. In response, he opened his own business, Woody’s Place Restaurant. He ended his career as a barber in Baker City. 

Throughout his adult life he enjoyed golf and other outdoor activities. Perhaps his greatest enjoyment was the social opportunities his community provided where he made many lifelong friends.

Woody will be greatly missed, family members said.

Survivors include his wife, LaVelle; children, Stanley and his wife, Wendy, of Prescott Ariz.; Scott, of Baker City; and Steven and his wife, Janel, of Salem; his grandchildren, Clayton, Nathan, Daniel, Tyler and Jenna; his sisters, Marjorie Anderson and Alpha Silver; his brother, Robert Woodcock; many nieces and nephews; and a host of other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and infant brother, Alford Woodcock.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Woody for a golfing memorial at the Quail Ridge Golf Course through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Donald Brinton

Eugene, 1921-2013

Dr. Donald Mackay Brinton, 92, a former Baker City resident, died July 3, 2013.

His funeral will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Eugene. Refreshments will be served afterward.

Don was born in Fessenden, N.D., in 1921 to Charles MacKay Brinton and Elizabeth Rose Mueller Brinton. He grew up in Baker. He was the seventh of nine children. 

Don married Joan Philippa Walker on Memorial Day 1942 and they celebrated their 71st anniversary this year. 

Don earned a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene. After serving in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant, he and three others formed Anesthesia Associates in Eugene. 

He practiced at Sacred Heart Hospital from 1948 until his retirement in 1984. Don helped found and was the first president of the Lane Memorial Blood Bank. 

He belonged to the Eugene Yacht Club and U of O Alumni Association. He was active in the Lane County and state medical societies. 

Most recently he raised funds for the Fern Ridge Library Building Fund. He was an avid skier into his 79th year. 

The family expressed its appreciation to employees of Sheldon Park RCF (residential care facility) in Eugene and Sherwood Pines RCF in Veneta and Hospice for their loving care.

Survivors include his wife, Joan; daughters, Mary Brinton (Floyd Lord) and Laura McCallum (John); two grandsons, Andrew McCallum (Melissa Hornstein) and Robert McCallum (DD Bixby); two great-grandsons, Blake McCallum and Peter McCallum; and his sister, Elizabeth DeShetler of Eugene.

He was preceded in death by his son, Robert Mackay Brinton, who died in 1976. 

In lieu of flowers, a Science Book Fund has been created in Dr. Donald Brinton’s name at the Fern Ridge Library in Veneta.

Merle Aaron Nelson

Baker City, 1916-2013

Merle Aaron Nelson, 96, of Baker City, died July 26, 2013, of natural causes.

His graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. MDT Saturday, Aug. 10, at Valley View Cemetery in Vale.

Merle, the sixth of eight children, was born at Star, Idaho, to Romanta Iryl (Ira) and Jessie May George Nelson on Sept. 23, 1916.  He spent his childhood and youth in the Star area, graduating from Emmett High School in 1934. 

After graduation, and with on-the-job training, Merle began working as a carpenter. His early career took him to Alaska and California. 

Merle was drafted into the U.S. Army, stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. He was part of the 49th Army Corps of Engineers, receiving the rank of corporal T-5.

After the service, Merle returned to Idaho. He then purchased a ranch near Malheur City in Eastern Oregon. During this time he met and married the love of his life, Wanda Nichols. They married at the home of Orville and Nina Nichols (Wanda’s parents) in Ironside on Oct. 17, 1948. 

Merle sold his ranch, then he and Wanda began their married life at New Plymouth, Idaho. Within a year they had moved to Cambridge, Idaho, and Vale. Merle moved his family to Ironside in 1950 to help Orville work his ranch and so Wanda could help care for her ailing mother.

Merle was a longtime resident of the Oregon Willamette Valley, having lived there for 54 years. In 1955, the family moved to Lacomb where Merle returned to carpentry and construction work. They continued to ranch as well; but after 10 years Merle sold the ranch and moved to Marion. He continued construction until the mid 1970s. 

After their four boys graduated from high school, the couple moved to Salem where they lived for 38 years, (minus a two-year stint, just before retirement, at Keams Canyon, Ariz., where Merle worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs).

Merle and Wanda moved to Baker City in the fall of 2009 to be with their son, Lloyd, and his family. 

He enjoyed watching the birds and deer that wandered the yard, walking the Leo Adler Walkway each day and watching his great-grandchildren play.

Throughout his life, Merle enjoyed customizing his homes, working in his workshop, spending time with family far and near, traveling and playing pinochle. RVing, a passion that he and Wanda shared, took them to every state, except Hawaii, and every province in Canada.

Merle and Wanda were members of Jolly Wheelers in Salem. Merle was a life member of the American Legion, Good Sam Club and the Masonic Lodge.

Survivors include his wife of more than 64 years, Wanda; four sons, Ross of St. Petersburg, Fla., Grant (Michelle) of Gulf Port, Fla., Lloyd (Janice) of Baker City, and Larry (Cathy) of Albany; sister-in-law, Donna Nichols Duncan, and her husband, Verne; 10 grandchildren, Maria (Mitch) Baroni, Joseph (Carrie) and Bradley (Angie) Nelson, Shauna (Sean) Dahlin, Benjamin, Cory (Shannon) and Scott (Megan) Nelson, Luke Nelson, Lydia Grindel, and Grant Michael Nelson; and six great-grandchildren, Aaron, Jason, Ruben, Ezra, Brenton and Maia.

  He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Walter, George, Ethel Burkes, James Edward “Ed,” Ernest, Ross and Clarence. He was the last of this family unit (by two years). He also was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Deanna Nichols.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to

Peggy Robbs

Port Orchard,Wash., 1928-2013

Peggy J. Robbs, 85, of Port Orchard, Wash., a former Baker City resident, died June 25, 2013.

Her final resting place will be in Baker City, beside her beloved son, Scott.

Peggy was a devoted Navy wife. Her husband, Buck, retired in 1968. She moved to Washington after his death and lived there for 21 years. 

She enjoyed cooking, crossword puzzles and playing games on her iPad. 

She was preceded in death by husband, Buck, and her son, Scott. 

Survivors include her daughter, Debbie (Bill) Cook; son, Steve (Cathy) Robbs of Boise; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.