Gerald Colton

Keating, 1941-2017

Gerald (Jerry) James Colton, 76, of Keating, died Dec. 16, 2017, at his home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Recitation of the rosary will be Friday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets in Baker City. A funeral Mass will Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, followed by a luncheon in the church basement.

Gerald was born on July 2, 1941, at Baker City to John Joseph Jr. and Anna Hope Colton. He graduated from St. Francis Academy in 1959 and worked on the family ranch as a fourth-generation rancher.

Gerald married Bonnie Houck on Sept. 13, 1964. They have three children: Steven, Wayne and Patricia. Gerald continued to work on the family ranch with his wife and they took over full operations in January of 1988. He continued to work on the ranch he loved even while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Gerald loved God, his family, the ranch and his music. He played guitar and sang with the folk group at the Cathedral for 35 years and was the co-leader of the children’s choir for 13 years. Jerry sang to his wife, kids and grandkids, he sang for masses, funerals and weddings, and he sang to his cows and dogs. His voice and smile touched the lives of many.

Gerald was a life member of the Baker County Sheriff’s Posse Search and Rescue and also spent several years as a special deputy. He was a past Master and member of the Medical Springs Grange and was a member for many years of the Oregon and Baker County Cattlemen’s Associations. Gerald was active in the Baker County 4-H program as a leader and was the weigh master for the 4-H show for over 35 years.

Gerald is survived by his wife of 53 years, Bonnie Colton of Baker City; his sons, Steven Colton, and his wife, Lisa, of Bel Air, Maryland, and Wayne Colton of San Antonio; his daughter, Patricia Rasmussen and her fiance, Eric Shaw of Baker City; 11 grandchildren and future grandchildren: Justin Adams and Jessica Colton; Ian, Victoria and Niels Rasmussen; and Jon, Elisabeth, Rebekah, David, Rachel and Adeline Shaw; two great-grandchildren: Eve and Aris Bess; his sisters, Donaldine Huntington and her husband, Hal, and Loralee Ramsdell and her husband, Steve, her brother-in-law, Howard Houck, and his wife, Ranee; along with seven aunts and many nieces, nephews and hundreds of cousins.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, John and Hope Colton; and his granddaughter, Ashley Colton Bess.

For those who would like to make a donation in memory of Gerald, the family suggests The Knights of Columbus Scholarship Fund or a charity of their choice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. Online condolences may be made at

Madelyn Olsen

Baker City, 1941-2017

Madelyn Kay Olsen, 83, of Baker City, died Dec. 20, 2017, at her home.

A memorial service will take place Thursday, Dec. 28, at 10 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 1734 Third St., with Pastor Ian Wolfe officiating the service. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception following the service at the First Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.

Madelyn was born on March 31, 1934, at Sweet Home, Oregon, the third child of William and Dorothy Corner Parker. The family moved to Hermiston in 1941, then to Baker in 1949. She attended Baker High School for two years and in July of 1950 Madelyn married Donald Gordon Olsen.

Donald and Madelyn started their family in 1952 with the birth of their daughter, Leslie, followed by the birth of their son, Steven, in 1953. When Kristen was born in 1966 their family was complete.

Madelyn worked from the age of 16 at a variety of jobs. She did restaurant work at Clubb’s Lunch Counter and the Blue and White Cafe, clerical work at KBKR, the local radio station, registrations at Portland State University and she also worked as the city clerk in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho. She owned Robbs Ladies Shop for several years and worked for Wells Fargo Bank until her retirement.

In January of 2001 Madelyn was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer. She underwent major surgery and had a 36-pound tumor removed. She beat the odds and survived nearly 17 years. The last reoccurrence was inoperable and she died peacefully at home surrounded by her family.

Madelyn was very committed to her church. She joined the First Lutheran Church in 1949 and was an active member the rest of her life. She was involved in several circles and boards, but her true calling was the choir. Madelyn joined the choir in 1949 and she was a member for most of her life.

She is survived by her children: Leslie Steiger of Baker City, Steve and Sue Olsen of Baker City, and Kristen and Carl Poteete of Woodinville, Washington. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; her sister in-law, Verna Parker of Orem, Utah; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Madelyn was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Gordon; her parents; her sister, Pat Gentry; her brother, Don Parker; and two infant grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family would like to suggest donations be made to the First Lutheran Church Memorial Fund or Heart ’N Home Hospice through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR. 97814.

To light a candle in memory of Madelyn or to leave a condolence for the family, go to