Obituaries for Dec. 18, 2013

By Baker City Herald December 18, 2013 09:45 am

Diana Wells

Tacoma, Wash., 1948-2013

Diana Lynne Wells, 65, of Tacoma, Wash., died Nov. 13, 2013.

Her life was celebrated Dec. 7 at the University Place Presbyterian Church at University Place, Wash.

Diana was born on May 5,1945, at Omaha and grew up at Kennewick, Wash. She was a graduate of Central Washington College at Ellensburg and taught kindergarten at Tacoma for many years. She retired in 2004.

Diana enjoyed line dancing, traveling, walking beaches and geocaching with  her husband, Larry. She was active in the University of Puget Sound Women’s League, serving as treasurer and assisting in coordination of the annual flea market.

For the last several years she coordinated sewing and stuffing of Christmas stockings for children of local food bank families. She was also a child care volunteer for the Mothers of Preschoolers program at University Place Presbyterian Church.

Her family members expressed their appreciation to hospice workers for their compassionate care of Diana.

Survivors include her husband of eight years, Larry Wells; daughter, Anna Cole, and her husband, Jack; stepdaughters, Rhonda, Brenda and Karen; stepgrandchildren, Sierra and Jesse; mother, Marcine; sisters, Rhonda, Holly, Melody and Natalie; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Peck; daughter, Marija; father, Lyle; and brother, Kyle.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Franciscan Hospice House, 2901 Bridgeport Way W., University Place, WA 98466.

Zona Clarke

Baker City, 1923-2013

Zona M. Clarke, 90, of Baker City, died Nov. 30, 2013, at Meadowbrook Place. 

A vigil service will be on Friday, Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. at Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., with a memorial service on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets.

Zona Marie Parker was born on May 6, 1923, at Baker City. As a child she spent time with her grandparents, William and Caroline Colton, while her mother, Nell R. Colton, pursued an education degree in Ashland and Eastern Normal School. She had many memories of her grandparents’ home on Spring Garden Avenue and the Colton family. Zona attended schools in Haines, North Powder and Baker City. During her high school years she lived in Wingville near the Elkhorn Mountains.

She graduated from Baker High School in 1941 and entered Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane. Upon graduation she joined the U.S. Army Nurses Corps and was stationed at the Army Hospital in Spokane then transferred to Fitzsimmon in Denver. As part of a chest surgery team she served in Kwan-Ju, Korea, at the 1st Station Hospital and later in Boop Young-Kwanj-Do, Korea, at the 382nd Station Hospital as a surgery nurse supervisor.

While in Korea she met Capt. F.B. Clarke from Benton, Ill., commanding officer of liaison pilots under General Hodge. They married a year later in 1947 and spent their honeymoon in Okinawa, Japan and Shanghai, China.

F.B. and Zona settled in Wingville. Life was busy and full, raising their six children, running a wheat ranch, harvest time, gardens and canning for the family, all the while working nights at St. Elizabeth Hospital. In the fall of 1961 the farmhouse in Wingville burned to the ground as the family traveled to a church picnic. Together they built a new home. She faced every challenge with a calm grace and determined spirit.

Continuing her nursing career she was director of nursing at both Cedar Manor Nursing Home and St. Elizabeth Hospital. In 1984 she received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University. Upon her retirement, Zona and F.B. joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Patan and Katmandu, Nepal.

Community service included the Oregon State Ethics Board, EOU Foundation Board, memberships in P.E.O and AAUW. She served on the Baker City Golf Board helping to develop the new course and was instrumental in establishing the nursing program at EOU.

The Chamber of Commerce honored her as Legacy Woman of the Year in 1996.

Survivors include her children: Vicki and Glen Herman, and Patti and Ray Stinnett, all of La Grande, Terri and Kevin Bell, Tabor and Dee Dee Clarke, Nelson and Amy Clarke, and Mike and Kim Clarke, all of Baker City; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Patty Hunter; nephew, John and Betty Ann Clarke; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, F.B. Clarke; her mother, Nell Grant; her stepfather, Nelson Sieg; and her sister, Jayne Christjansen.

Zona was a remarkable, kind and valiant woman, her family will miss her.

Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave, Baker City, OR 97814.