Obituaries for March 21, 2014

By Baker City Herald March 21, 2014 10:10 am

Nathaniel Johnson

Formerly Baker City, 1977-2014

Nathaniel Lee Johnson, 36, a former Baker City resident, died March 12, 2014, in Bend.

His funeral was March 17 at Harvest Church in Baker City with Pastor Brad Phillips officiating, followed by interment at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Nathan, his family’s gift from God, was born Sept. 7, 1977, at Baker City to Gary L. and Anita L. Johnson. He joined a sister, Melodie Eve.

Nathan was a well-loved child by his parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Being the only boy, his sister and three closest girl cousins treated him like a toy. The girls would dress him up, fix his hair and especially Whitney would carry him around like a doll. Consequently, he and Whitney have a very special bond. He put up with their antics because he liked the attention.

Nathan accepted the Lord at an early age, and went to Sunday school and church throughout his growing up years. He and his sister were baptized as adults on Jan. 21, 2001.

Nathan went through school in Baker City and graduated in 1996. Although physically small, he still played the usual sports of T-ball, then later football, wresting and track. Once in a high school football game he was put in on the defensive line. The other team had no concern due to his size but when the play started they quickly changed their minds.  Nathan shot through the offensive line and sacked the quarterback two plays in a row. The audience went wild. 

After one year at Treasure Valley Community College, his career as a lineman started with a six-month course at Meridian, Idaho. He then spent a year in Safford, Ariz., working for Caribou Construction. Their promise of an apprenticeship never materialized, so he came home and applied to the J.A.T.C. Apprenticeship Program. After four years of training, work and traveling he got his electrical journeyman lineman license in 2005.  

His only full-time steady employment was with Oregon Trail Electric Co-op in John Day, where he purchased a home for himself and his pet dog, Timmy Taz.

Due to his dad being an outdoorsman, Nathan naturally followed in his footsteps. He loved to hunt, fish and float the John Day River. He liked doing the floats so much he bought a 16-foot pontoon boat. He was quite a fisherman! On his last trip to Owyhee Reservoir he caught the biggest largemouth bass of his life and nearly demonstrated how to walk on water as he tip-toed around the edge of the boat trying to land it. We have never seen him get more excited.

Our family took many trips together throughout the years. Trips were made to Disneyland, Disneyworld, Canada, Florida, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Alaska (a king salmon fishing trip).

Nathan’s hobbies were coin collecting, rock polishing, watching movies on his big-screen TV, snowmobiling, hunting, camping, barbecueing on his Traeger and family get-togethers. He was very proud of cooking the Christmas turkey for our family dinner in 2011.

Nathan was a member of the I.B.E.W. Local Union No. 659, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Grant County Shooting Sports Club, National Rifle Association and John Day Snowmobile Club.

He leaves behind his parents, Gary and Anita Johnson of Lakeview; his sister and brother-in-law, Melodie and Patrick McFadden, and his nephew and niece, Cole and Maya McFadden, all of Snohomish, Wash.; his grandmother, Phyllis Mulvany of Ontario; uncles and aunts: Gerald and Sharon Findley of Goodyear, Ariz., Joe and Wilma Johnson of Baker City, Ron and Rosalie Johnson of Vale, Sid and Jeff Mulvany of Cove, and Warren and Cathy Mulvany of Ontario; many cousins, friends and his loyal dog Timmy Taz, who faithfully remained with him.

Nathan was only 36 years old and has left us way too young. Yet another life cut short by the disease of alcoholism. Please take heed and never dabble with alcohol. It is much easier to start than to stop. Nothing good can come from alcohol.

Nathan has touched many lives, more than he would imagine, and will be grievously missed by us all.

Gifts in Nathan’s memory can be made to St. Charles Foundation or Partners In Care Hospice House through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Barbara Walker

Baker City, 1925-2014

Barbara Walker, 89, a longtime resident of Baker City and the Idaho communities of Weiser and New Meadows, died March 18, 2014, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. 

At Barbara’s request there will be no funeral. A memorial service will be scheduled later.

Barbara was born on Feb. 20, 1925, at Ontario. She attended Weiser High School and graduated from the University of Idaho at Moscow, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. 

She married her high school sweetheart, Don Walker, also of Weiser when he returned from Germany after the war. 

They were blessed with twins, Jack and Judy, who were born in 1948. Don and Barbara were married for 65 years.

For many years, Barbara worked as a district clerk for the U.S. Forest Service in Weiser. For the last 30 years Barbara and Don lived at New Meadows during the summer.

They were involved in the cattle business for the last 55 years. Summertime at the New Meadows ranch was a constant stream of relatives and friends. Barbara and Don also traveled around the country a lot. They both thoroughly enjoyed all of their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many friends.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Don; her sister, Ethel Spencer; brother, Donald Miller; and her mother and father, Lillie and Frank Miller.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Jack and Cora Walker of Weiser; her daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Vic Endicott; five grandchildren, Conley, Jill, Karla, Jennifer, and Holly; and six great-grandchildren, Emily, Abi, Skylar, Deegan, Chase, and Claire.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Seniors Inc. of Baker City through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR  97814.

Helen Tarango

Baker City, 1930-2014

Elena “Helen” Morales Tarango, 83, died in the arms of her daughter on March 17, 2014, at Meadowbrook Place in Baker City.

A memorial Mass for Helen will be Saturday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Francis deSales Cathedral.  Father Robert Greiner of St. Francis will celebrate the Mass.  A reception will follow the Mass in the Parish Hall.

Helen was born on Aug. 18, 1930, at Presidio, Texas, to Francisco and Estefana Morales. When Helen was 9 years old, her mother passed away, then her father moved them to a ranch between Carlsbad and Artesia, N.M. She never attended school after that due to the fact that her father needed someone to tend to the home. However, in 1981, Helen received her G.E.D. at the same time her daughter graduated from high school.

Helen married Manuel Tarango in 1951 in Florence, Ariz. They soon moved to Stanfield, Ariz., where they raised their four children. In 2002, they moved to Baker City to be near their daughter Ma’Lena.

Helen spent most of her married life working in her home, keeping it immaculate, preparing delicious meals, caring for other children besides her own, hosting the family gatherings, and taking in seasonal farm labor alongside her husband. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, quilting, singing and dancing (while cleaning house). Her home was a musical, lively home with an open door to all. As her children, we treasure the teachings of respect for ourselves and others that she instilled in us. We never could leave her presence without, “Dios Te Bendiga,” “God Bless You.”  So, our time away from her, either, for a little while or long, we were sent with her blessing.

Helen was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church.  In Arizona, she was very involved in the church and its ministries.

Mom will be remembered as the very hardworking, fun-loving, laughing, and very honest mama, wife, Tia, sister, Nina, Nana, and friend.

Helen is survived by her sons: Hector (Kanela) Tarango of Yakima, Wash., Carlos Tarango (Jaye) of Running Springs, Calif., and George (Bertha) Tarango of Queen Creek, Ariz.; her daughter, Ma’Lena (Karl) Wirth of Baker City; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and God-children.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Manuel Tarango; and her brothers, Manuel and Telesforo Morales.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Liver Foundation. This may be done through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.