Baker City, 1952-2017
Robert William “Rob” Ebeling, 65, of Baker City, died Oct. 21, 2017, at his home after a 17-month battle against brain cancer.
His memorial service will be Friday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St. in Baker City, with Jim Watt officiating. Inurnment will follow the memorial service at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Rob was born on Jan. 10, 1952, at Cheung Chau Island in Hong Kong to William and Beatrice Ebeling, Christian missionaries serving in China. Shortly after his birth they returned home to Michigan.
In early 1953 the Ebelings left Michigan for California.
Rob spent most of his growing years in California. In high school he enjoyed singing in the Madrigals group, wrestling on the high school team, and working on cars. He has always had a love of NASCAR and was able to attend a few races. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1970. He went to a trade school where he learned to be a heavy machinery mechanic.
In 1974, when Rob was 22, he was driving his 1957 Ford Ranchero when he met the future love of his life, 19-year-old Anna Plaeth. The two dated for several years and were married in 1978 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The following year they had a daughter, Nichole. In 1982 they welcomed a son, Kyle. The following year the Ebelings moved to Baker City.
Rob worked for several years at Humbles Gas Station and Car Wash. He later worked for Phegley Logging for over 20 years. Rob was a hard, modest worker no matter where he was. He desired to do a good job, no matter the task, and he never sought praise. Before he became ill he drove school buses and the Community Connection transport. He loved getting to see all the kids and chat with the adults he transported.
The best work Rob ever did was in his home. He was a wonderful husband to Anna and fantastic father to Nichole and Kyle. Rob worked hard in order to make sure his family always had what they needed.
Nichole and Kyle were always active in sports, school activities, and church. Rob and Anna were unceasingly supportive of their children. They were at every game, and performance. Weekends were often spent travelling around the state for competitions.
Later in life Rob and Anna were blessed with four wonderful grandchildren. Kaizik, Naomi, Ethan, and Agnes brought unending joy to Rob. His life very much revolved around what was going on with the grandbabies. He enjoyed going to all of their sporting events and cheering for them on the sidelines.
His favorite times were spent snuggling babies, singing them to sleep, wrestling around, reading books, going for walks, celebrating holidays, spoiling all the kids, and just being in the presence of those he loved.
Rob is survived by his wife of 39 years and love of his life, Anna; his daughter, Nichole Young, her husband, Torey, and their children, Kaizik, Naomi, and Ethan; his son. Kyle Ebeling, his wife, Phylicia, and their daughter, Agnes; his brother, John Ebeling, and his wife Nancy; his sisters, Lura Morrow and her husband, John, Ruth Ebeling and Florence Ebeling; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Mike and Tammy Skidmore, Brett and Eveie Matthews, and Glenda Plaeth. He loved all of his nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Rob was preceded in death by his parents, William and Beatrice Ebeling, and his father-in-law, Herman Plaeth.
His family said they would like to thank all of our close family, friends, and the exemplary medical staff that have helped and guided us through Rob’s illness. There is no way to tell you how much you have helped and blessed us.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cole’s Tribute Center in Baker City, Oregon to offset funeral expenses. Friends may offer contributions to his family through the Coles Tribute Center website at www.colestributecenter.com; by mail to Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814, or by delivering them in person.
His family would also encourage you to do as Rob always had, perform a random act of kindness for someone in need without desiring any acknowledgement of the deed done.
To light a candle for Rob or to leave a condolence for the family, go to www.colestributecenter.com
Formerly of Baker City, 1991-2017
Brandi Lee Jones, 26, of La Grande, Oregon, died peacefully on Oct. 20, 2017, at La Grande with her mother and stepfather at her side.
A traditional funeral service will take place Saturday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 Hughes Lane in Baker City. A dedication of the grave will be at Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland at 11:45 a.m. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception to be held following the interment at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Baker City.
Brandi was born on Jan. 11, 1991, at Portland to Ricky Jones and Stephanie Jones (now Hensley). Brandi later moved to Baker with her family. She attended Baker schools. Brandi began losing her eyesight at about age 8. She refused to let that slow her down (literally), often to the dismay of family members. The blindness progressed and a few years later she was completely blind.
She still was not ready to slow down. She had several great summer experiences at the School for the Blind in Salem. She participated in a summer hiking trip and campout, swimming, a talent show and fencing. (We were pretty sure the weapons were not real, her family said.) Brandi was able to go to Space Camp (for the visually impaired) and had a great time. With her mother and siblings, the Make-a-Wish Foundation sent her on a Disney Cruise.
The Church of Jesus Christ in Baker City provided teachers who loved her and helped to teach her the Gospel. The girls in church her age also gave her great support, especially when she attended Girls Camp during the summer. Brandi always wanted to do what the girls her age were doing.
Some of her teen years were in Cornelius, Oregon, where she attended special classes and lived in a group home. At age 18 she had to leave there and then came to La Grande. The family knew little of the home Brandi was going to in La Grande. It didn’t take long to find out that there were angels in human form who worked there. Those that cared for her there were greatly appreciated and the family wishes the richest of blessings for them.
Brandi’s last few years did slow her down. She first used a wheelchair occasionally, then had to use it all of the time. Because of the effects of her disease, she lost much of the ability to communicate with speech, but nothing was going to stop her giggles. She always had a sense of humor and the memory of an elephant of things that had at some time made her laugh. Her physical condition continued to deteriorate but her spirit stayed strong as well as her “girlie girl” attitude, pretty hair and pretty nails.
Brandi is survived by her mother and stepfather, Stephanie and Brian Hensley of Haines; her father and stepmother, Rick and Vicki Jones of Orofino, Idaho; her brother, David Chesterman of La Grande; her sisters, Rebecca Payton (Shawn), and Jessica Kohler, both of Lewiston, Idaho; her grandparents, Linda and Dennis Miller of Baker City, Frank and Roseanne Riggs of Richland; her great-grandfather, Fred Riggs of Richland; and several nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, James and Delores (Dodie) Jones.
Brandi had an especially great love for her family and her Heavenly Father, her family said. Her sweet spirit will be missed.
Formerly of Baker City, 1912-2017
Leta T. Hessler, 105, a former Baker City resident, died Oct. 21, 2017, at her home in San Carlos, California. She passed away peacefully, in her sleep.
Leta played bridge with her friends twice during this week, enjoyed lunch downtown with another friend, and enjoyed the previous weekend with her son, Jim, and his wife, Suzette, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, close to Yosemite.
A private funeral and internment will take place Friday, Oct. 27 at Skylawn, and a Celebration of Life gathering for friends is planned for January 2018.
Leta was born on Aug. 21, 1912, at Baker City, the daughter of James and Lulu Smith and sister of Chet Smith, who lived his whole life in Baker City. Chet died in February 2014 at age 102.
Leta attended schools in Baker City through high school, participating in sports and social clubs, gaining secretarial skills in typing, short hand, and office management. She also learned to play the piano.
After holding office jobs in Baker City and John Day, she returned to Baker City, took a job with Eastern Oregon Light and Power and there met a young man brought up in a farming family of Dayton in Western Oregon.
He was recently graduated from Oregon State College with a degree in marketing. Fred Hessler was immediately taken with Leta’s spirited mind and good looks. Fred and Leta were married in Baker City in 1936. In 1939, their first son, Thomas was born. Three years later James was born in the same St. Elizabeth Hospital where Leta herself was born.
Fred volunteered for military service during World War II, shortly after James was born, and the family moved to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Leta cared for the boys while Fred served in the Navy. In 1945 the family returned to Baker City. Within three years Eastern Oregon Light and Power was bought by California-Pacific Utilities Company, headquartered in San Francisco. With Fred’s transfer to the headquarters, the family moved to San Carlos.
Leta exercised her home skills with canning, clothes making, cooking, child rearing, arts and crafts. Leta and Fred became avid bridge players, Leta with strong convention discipline and Fred with innovative bidding and careful card counting.
Once Jim was in school, Leta went back to work as a legal secretary. The firm name changed as partners came and left, but Leta remained, eventually supporting Mike Aaronson of Aaronson, Cohn, Dickerson and Lanzone.
Every year for at least 10 years, when the grandchildren were young, Fred and Leta hosted Thanksgiving at a large log home in Blue Lake Springs, California. While the children (Tom’s Judy, Zachary and Jeanne, and Jim’s Nathan) skied at Bear Valley with their fathers, the wives enjoyed adult beverages and prepared a sumptuous feast.
Husband Fred passed away in 1988. Leta grieved, but carried on, never forgetting her husband of 42 years. They had enjoyed traveling the world, playing bridge and entertaining grandchildren. Then Leta met Trudi, and they were traveling companions until Trudi’s death from breast cancer.
Leta worked as a legal secretary until her boss, Mike Aaronson, retired. By that time Leta was 84. Leta still played bridge, and kept up on all the homemaking skills.
Bridge playing became more frequent, eventually becoming a focus of Leta’s active social life. Groups of friendly card players gave themselves names like “The First Wednesday Group,” the “Fourth Thursday Group,” “The Second Sunday Group,” and the “Third Monday Group.” There may have been others.
Eventually, Leta was the oldest member in each of the groups. She might have been the oldest active bridge player anywhere, and she was still good. One of her bridge playing partners bragged, “My favorite bridge partner is 105 years old.” No one believed her.
At age 103, Leta’s driver’s license was renewed for five years. She lived in the same house in San Carlos for 69 years. Her bedroom was on the second floor. She climbed the stairs multiple times each day until her last, when she was found sitting in her comfortable chair upstairs with the TV playing and the world still spinning.
Leta is survived by her children, Jim and his wife, Suzette; grandchildren, Nathan and his wife, Kelly, Judy, Zachary and Jean; great-grandchildren, Jessica, Jasmine and Hailey; great-great-grandchildren, Jaydan, Jordyn and Wayne, children of Jessica, and Aiden, son of Jasmine and Hennis.
Baker City, 1931-2017
Mary Ellen Morin, 86, died Oct. 19, 2017, in her beautiful blue room at Settler’s Park with her daughter and son-in-law at her side. Her battle with cancer is finally over and she has been reunited in heaven with her loving husband, Ray, her family said.
A celebration of Mary’s life will be Saturday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., followed by a potluck supper at Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St.
Mary was born on July 13, 1931, at Boise to Elbert (Stub) and Ruth Howard. The family later welcomed four boys — Elbert, Gerald, Robert and Kenneth. Young Mary couldn’t say “brother” so Elbert and Gerald became Buzz and Bubba and those nicknames stayed with them for life.
The family moved from Boise to Sumpter when Mary was four years old. Her father worked on the dredge until it shut down.
She met and married Dean Cavin and they welcomed a son, Kenny Dean. in May of 1951. That marriage ended in divorce.
Mary became a rancher’s wife when she met and married Norman Hansen, a longtime Sumpter boy. They had a daughter, Debbie, in 1955.
Living on the ranch in Sumpter Valley was a full-time job. Mary fed and housed many a hay hand and was known for her wonderful cooking. She kept an immaculate home even though at times there was a half frozen calf lying in front of the heat vent.
She was a wonderful mother and taught her children the value of hard work. Kenny tended to stay in the house when he wasn’t playing sports but to Mary’s dismay, Debbie preferred being outside with the animals.
Mary was very active in Eastern Star and the Baker County CowBelles. She loved card parties, potlucks, knitting, crocheting, needlework, and dances. Mary’s leg was amputated due to cancer which she was fortunate to survive, but the way she could dance most people never even noticed that.
When her marriage to Norm ended she married Ray Morin and gained two stepsons, Greg and Bruce.
Mary worked at the Credit Bureau in Baker until she and Ray bought their own logging company. Mary was always busy running for parts, flagging and doing the books. They moved to several locations until finally settling in Ukiah. Ray retired and Mary worked in the restaurant there. They were very active in many community organizations and the Baptist Church.
They moved to Baker City to help Debbie run her restaurant. Ray’s health was failing and they wanted to be closer to family and doctors. Ray passed away in 2006 and Mary moved back to Ukiah for a short time. When her health declined she moved home to Baker City to live with Jim and Debbie.
She put up a good fight and even though cancer won the battle, she won the war. She was proud to be a Christian and she is now dancing in heaven — happy, healthy and with two legs!
Mary is survived by her brothers, Buzz Howard and his wife, Dorothy, and Bubba Howard and his wife, Viola; her daughter, Debbie, and son-in-law, Jim; her stepsons, Greg and Bruce; her grandchildren, Charley and his wife, Jessica, Seth, Tabitha and Katie Klassen, Desi Stout, Ashley Thomas and Ross and Katy DeMastus; her beloved great-grandchildren who brought so much joy to her life, and her childhood friend, Delores Roperk with whom she shared a birthday. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, great friends and extended Morin family. And of course, her beloved dog Cookie, who was her faithful companion to the end.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Stub and Ruth; her two youngest brother, Robert and Kenny; and her beloved son, Kenny Dean.
Contributions may be made in Mary’s memory to the Veterans Memorial Club- Post No. 3048 through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, OR 97814.
The family would also like to thank Settler’s Park Assisted Living and Heart ’N Home Hospice for the loving care they provided for Mary. She was a spitfire and will never be forgotten!
To light a candle in memory of Mary or to leave a condolence for the family, go to www.grayswestco.com