Obituaries for Aug. 12, 2013

By Baker City Herald August 12, 2013 09:58 am

Lawrence Johnson

Baker City, 1930-2013

Lawrence Homer Johnson, 83, of Baker City, died Aug. 4, 2013, at his home with his longtime friends, Mike and Linda Cowen, who cared for him for the past 20-plus years.

In lieu of a memorial service, the family will have a private gathering with close friends at a later date.

Lawrence was born on March 16, 1930, at Versailles, Ill., to Arthur and Iva B. (Surratt) Johnson.

He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1947 and was stationed in Oklahoma near the town of Aline, where he met and marred Juanita Zudora Shippy, who lived in Aline. They traveled the U.S. and Europe and finally settled in Haines in 1967.

A short time after moving to Haines, Lawrence started his career working for Oregon Department of Transportation where he worked for a few years until he started logging.

After becoming disabled, in 1981 they moved to Baker City. After battling many years of health issues, he moved to an assisted living home on Schoolhouse Road, in Haines where he spent the remaining years of his life with close friends and caregivers, Mick and Linda Cowen.

He loved hunting and going to the mountains with his sons in the Elkhorn Mountains, especially Muddy Creek and the North Fork of the Powder River.

He is survived by three daughters: Sue Olsen and her husband, Steve, of Baker City; Pam Donicht and her husband, Mike, of Baker City, and Brenda Chandler and her husband, Daren, of La Grande: four sons: Larry Johnson and his wife, Barbara, of Baker City, Ron Johnson of Tigard, Mitchel Johnson and his wife, Lisa, of Baker City, and Scott Johnson and his wife, Veronica, of Baker City; 15 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Lawrence was preceded in death by his mother, Iva B. Rigger (Surratt); his father, Arthur Johnson; his stepfather, Truman A. Rigor; his wife, Juanita Johnson (Shippy); and his oldest son, Truman Johnson.

Memorial contributions may be made to The American Heart Association through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

Billie Williams

Richland, 1927-2013

Billie Allen Williams, 86, of Richland, died Aug. 6, 2013, as a result of four-wheeler accident at his home.

It can truly be said that he died with his boots on doing what he loved.

A funeral service with military honors was today at the Richland Christian Church. Interment was at Eagle Valley Cemetery.  

Billie was born on July 23, 1927, at Baker City to Henry and Hope (Stone) Williams. He was raised in Eagle Valley, attending grade school in New Bridge and Eagle Valley High School until his senior year.  He joined the Navy in March 1946 with an honorable discharge in 1948. He served on the USS Tawara.

He spent the rest of his life on the Williams Brothers Ranch with his father, Henry, brother, Vernon and Vernon’s family which included his wife, Elma and their two daughters. Billie never married, but was “Uncle Bill” to three generations of friends and family. He was devoted to farming, livestock and his ever-present dog. He enjoyed hunting, and horsebacking in the wilderness during his younger years. He was frequently seen driving his 1953 Willys Jeep about the valley.  He always had time to stop and talk and at the very least gave everyone a big wave. He loved a good party and never missed a meal.

He is survived by his sister-in-law, Elma; his nieces Sherry (Jim) Tunteri and Penny (Bill) Wright.; great-nieces, Melissa, Josy and Emily,  great-nephews, Scott and Isaac, and their respective spouses and children; he is also survived by nieces Patricia Rapoport and Debra Williams, and a nephew, Leonard Williams.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Hope; his father, Henry; his brothers, Vernon and Paul; and two great-nieces.

For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Billie, the family suggests either the Eagle Valley Ambulance or the Eagle Valley EMT Training fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Joy Foltz

Baker City,1928-2013

Joy Foltz, 85, of Baker City, died Aug. 3, 2013, with her sons, Gary and Fred, at her side. She had recently partied it up on her 85th birthday on July 11 with her family and friends.

The following summary of my life is now being relayed to you by the stories I’ve told to my sons.

My mother, Ruby Jane Puttroff and father, Charles William Reynolds, were hitched at high noon, New Year’s Day on the home farm in Hatfield, Mo. I was born in Goodland, Kan., on July 11, 1928, delivered by a midwife at home during a loud thunderstorm while the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled.

I had three siblings: two brothers, Don and Leroy Reynolds, and a younger sister, Dixie Ferguson (also a longtime resident of Baker). My family moved from Kansas to Colorado and then on to Sweet Home, Ore., where I graduated high school.

It was in Western Oregon where I met my soon to be husband, Richard Foltz. We were married June 15, 1962, in Fresno, Calif.  Due to his Forest Service transfer, we moved to Baker in 1963 and have been here ever since. I spent the next 15 years or so raising our boys. I then worked at Neuberger-Heilner Clothing Store until it closed. Then I worked at Grace’s Day Care.

My husband died suddenly on June 19, 1990. So it was my duty and privilege to make sure my sons were taken care of and to get a good start on life before I left this world.

I have outlived most of my family and friends. Thankfully, my sons Gary and Fred, and their spouses Tami and Tanya, along with my grandkids, Jennie, Melissa, Colt and Jack are still playing the game of life.

Thoughts from her sons:

Mom was a very devoted mother, who loved us and our families unconditionally, and she will be greatly missed.

Mom’s health was failing and most of her family and friends were already gone. She was at peace and ready to depart this world and anxious to be reunited with all the ones that went before her into the great beyond.

Respecting her wishes, there will not be any funeral services. She wanted to be cremated and have her ashes spread around to her favorite campsites, and it will be our honor to fulfill this wish for our mother. This may take a while because she had favorite camping spots all over Eastern Oregon.

Contributions may be made to your own pockets; times are hard and they are not getting any better.

Joy and her family were served by Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home.

George Dyke


George Dyke, 84, a longtime Halfway resident, died on Aug. 7, 2013, in Springfield.

His funeral will be Friday, Aug. 16 at 11 a.m. at the Pine Baptist Church in Halfway. Vault interment will be at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception and luncheon afterward at the Pine Baptist Church.

George was born on Oct. 29, 1928, at Baker City to Harry and Bertha (Starmer) Dyke.

 George and Shirley were married on Jan. 7, 1946, at Santa Ana, Calif., and they had five children. For most of his life, George worked as a forestry technician for the U.S. Forest Service. He retired after 30 years in 1997. In 1971 he started with the ambulance service as a driver, then gained his EMT certificate in 1972. George truly loved what he was able to do for the community in this volunteer capacity, and those who worked with him loved his calm patient care that he provided to all he was called to serve.

 During his life, he also enjoyed hunting and fishing, most especially just being outdoors.

 He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; and two sons, George Philip Dyke and Philip Eugene Dyke.

Survivors include three daughters: Charlotte Poe and her husband, Jack, of Clarkston, Wash., T.J. Harrington of Junction City, and Donna Tucker of Springfield; seven grandchildren: Lori, Jason, Tammy, Mattias, Julie, Amber and Samantha; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Halfway/Oxbow Ambulance Service through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Dorothea Haynes

Formerly Baker City,1921-2013

Dorothea LaVelle Haynes, 92, of Ontario, a former longtime Baker City resident, died Aug. 6, 2013, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

At her request, no service was held and her ashes were scattered in Pleasant Valley where she had fond memories of growing up. Condolences to the family may be sent to

She was born on May 24, 1921, at Baker City to Dolly and Harry Hunt. LaVelle lived in Bates and Pleasant Valley before graduating high school in Baker City.

While working at the Umatilla Army Depot, she met and later married Wallace “Rocky” Longacre in 1945. They had two children in Hermiston and one in Spokane before settling in La Grande in 1956. In 1972 LaVelle married Louis J. Haynes and they later moved to Baker City where they loved to spend their time hunting and fishing. LaVelle began working for the Department of Motor Vehicles in 1959 in La Grande and later transferred to the Baker City office where she drove the mobile DMV van to outlying communities until her retirement in the early 80s.

She was a pioneer in seeking equal rights for women in the workplace and throughout the 1960s and ’70s she belonged to the Business and Professional Womens Association. She was one of the first women driver’s license examiners in the state.

LaVelle loved to bowl and belonged to several leagues a week during her active years. She traveled to tournaments all over the United States and had numerous trophies and awards to showcase her achievements.

LaVelle was an active member of the Baker City Christian Church, Rebekah’s Lodge, and a devoted volunteer at the Senior Center until her illness forced her to step down. She was a resident of Settler’s Park in Baker City until November 2011 when she moved to Ashley Manor in Ontario to be closer to her family. 

LaVelle is survived by two brothers, Harry Hunt Jr. of Prescott, Ariz., and Guy Hunt of Boise; two daughters, Judith Sherwood of Ontario and Marion Smith of Aloha; and a son, George Longacre of Yakima, Wash.; as well as seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Mark Dunbar Sr.

Baker City,1928-2013

Mark Roger Dunbar Sr., 82, of Baker City, died Aug. 7, 2013, at St. Alphonsus Care Center.

Graveside services will be today at 1 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery. The U.S. Navy Funeral Honors Squad will provide military honors. Following the graveside service a gathering will be at the V.F.W. Hall at 2005 Valley Ave. in Baker City.

Mark was born on April 6, 1931, at Martin, S.D., the son of Robert and Alice (Short) Dunba. At the age of 9 his family moved to Fruitland, Idaho. On July 13, 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served his country in the Korean War aboard the ships USS Catamount, USS Sharps and the USS Toucan. He received an honorable discharge on July 8, 1955, with the rank of DC3. He worked at various jobs during his working career including as a cowboy in Drewsey and Frenchglen in Harney County. He Worked at Hines Lumber Company and  in 1967 he moved to Baker where he owned and operated the Silver Dollar bar, restaurant and hotel on the corner of 10th and Broadway for several years. He also owned with his son Dunbar Logging. He drove logging truck and belly dumps until his retirement in 2006.

He loved being a cowboy and at an early age he broke horses and mules for the U.S. Army. He was an accomplished horseman and enjoyed team roping and wrangling wild horses. He also will be remembered as a wonderful dancer, especially Western Swing. He was an active member of the Baker V.F.W. Post No. 3048 and the Baker Eagles Lodge.

Survivors include his sons: Mark Dunbar Jr. and his wife. Nita. of Revere, Mo., Randy Dunbar and his wife, Michelle, of Whitney; a daughter, Debbie Gregg, and her husband, Wright, of Unity; his companion of many years, Marge Hall of Baker City; his brothers, Willis of Seattle, Red of Frenchglen, and Howard of Gilbert, Ariz.; his sisters, Norma Meltzer of Coco Beach, Fla., Juanita Coatney of Nampa, Idaho, Lola Mae Creach  and Betty Dunbar, both of Boise, and Judy Dunbar of Nampa; six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Wayne.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Gray’s West and Company. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to a charity of your choice in care of Gray’s West and Company, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

‘Pat’ Dickerson

Formerly Baker City,1952-2013

James Patrick “Pat” Dickerson, 60, of Jacksonville, a former Baker City resident, died July 15, 2013, at his home.

A celebration of life will be with family in Baker City on Aug. 31.

Pat was born on Oct. 12, 1952, at Baker City, welcomed by his parents, James and Eva. He enjoyed playing baseball and passing the time with his nine siblings: Nancy, MaryJo, Mike, Dick, Kay, Donnie, Percy, Bill and Judy.

He was the chief surveyor for Jackson County Roads and Parks but his true passion was playing golf. Pat enjoyed camping and music, loved a challenging crossword puzzle, and was always quick to make others laugh and smile.

He is survived by his wife, Jill, the love of his life for 38 years; his son, Justin, daughter-in-law, Kim, and grandson, Miles.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.