Louise Sly

Longtime Halfway resident, 1917-2017

Louise White Sly, 99, died on Nov. 29, 2017, at Baker City.

Her memorial service took place Dec. 8 at Pine Valley Presbyterian Church in Halfway. Interment was at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway.

Louise was born on Dec. 17, 1917, at Velva, North Dakota, to W.M. White and Martha Phoebe White. The White family moved to Nada, Utah, in April of 1918. Louise and her four siblings lived at Nada and she graduated from Milford High School in Milford, Utah.

Louise married Earl Sly on Nov. 16, 1936, and they moved to Halfway in 1947 with their three children: Marie, Richard and Jay. Louise was 41 in January of 1958 when she lost her husband, Earl, in an accident. She continued to operate their ranch, milking cows and driving school bus for Pine-Eagle School District for 25 years. She was the secretary of the Foothill and Posey Ditch companies for 45 years. She owned Fairview Polled Herefords LLC in Halfway for more than 40 years. In the past 20 years she turned over much of the day-to-day operation of the ranch to Jay Sly.

Louise loved painting and was a completely self-taught artist. Her paintings graced her home and the homes of children and grandchildren. She was an outstanding taxidermist with her work in the homes of clients from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Every one of her grandchildren and many of her great-grandchildren have her taxidermy which she did with her grandson, Victor Savage.

Louise was an avid reader and involved in her community and was proudly named Grand Marshal of the Baker County Fair in 2001. Her cattle and the ranch were the love of her life — the horses, dogs, and all creatures of the ranch she cared for. Louise could often be seen in the valley moving cows or spraying weeds on her four-wheeler, which gave her so much independence in later life. The embodiment of her character is that she owned, operated and grew her ranch for 63 years. At the heart of her life were her family and the ranch. Her ranch boasted the 2008 and 2009 East/West Shrine Steers — the 2008 steer was shown by her great-granddaughter, Nicole Markgraf Merchant, and the 2009 steer was shown by her great-grandson, Blain Jay “BJ” Savage.

Louise is survived by a brother, Joe White of Ontario; daughter, Marie, and her husband, Robert, of Baker City; sons, Richard Sly, and Jay Sly and his wife, Zella, of Halfway; four beloved grandchildren: Kerry Savage and his wife, Ginger, Victor Savage, Calesta Markgraf and her husband, Bill Markgraf, of Baker City, and Cindy Sitz and her husband, Don, of Drewsey. She took great pride in her great-grandchildren: Matt Sitz of Drewsey, Mark Sitz of Boise, Eugene Markgraf of Klamath Falls, Nicole Markgraf Merchant of Baker City, Blain “BJ” Savage of Bloomfield, Colorado, and Lee Robert Savage of Baker City, Randi Coon and Sam and Lena Akers. She took delight in her great-great-grandchildren, and she had numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends who will miss her deeply, including Mr. and Mrs. Dickie Martinez and Mrs. Mayen McCoy.

Louise was preceded in death by her husband, Earl; her parents; a baby brother and two older brothers, John Barrett White and William Eugene White; and a sister, Elizabeth Whitehurst.

Louise lived the last year and a half of her life at Ashley Manor Care Home and the family wishes to thank her care providers who took such good care of her.

For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Louise, the family suggests the Pine Valley Fair Exhibit Hall (make checks to UCP-Exhibit Hall) through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

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