Billie Smolich

Former Baker City resident, 1936-2018

Billie Diane Smolich, 81, of Bend, a former Baker City resident, died Jan. 8, 2018, surrounded by her family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, in the historic St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Lava Road in Bend. Burial will follow at Pilot Butte Cemetery.

Billie was born on June 16, 1936, at La Grande to Claude and Pearl Hauntz Holbrook. Billie grew up and attended school in Northeastern Oregon, graduating from Baker High School.

She married James Smolich on May 9, 1955, at Walla Walla, Washington. They lived in Pendleton and Portland before moving to Bend in 1968, opening Jim Smolich Motors.

Billie and Jim were world travelers and it was on many of those trips that she developed a love for cooking. Always the entertainer, she was always treating her family and friends to new recipes and some exciting exotic spices.

Whether a card game with friends, a family gathering or one of the famous neighborhood parties, she loved being with family and friends, preparing dinner and pouring a generous cocktail. She will be forever remembered for her beautiful laugh and her “arf-arf” when the gang would sing “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?” Billie loved golf, visiting the beach, travel and playing bridge.

The family expressed its appreciation to all of her doctors, nurses and caregivers.

“To the staffs at St. Charles, Bend Memorial Clinic, and the Bend Fire Department, thank you so much for all of your compassion,” they said. “To the amazing staff and many friends at Touchmark, you touched Billie’s heart so many times and meant so much to her and Karyn.”

Survivors include her daughter, Karyn Kotkins and her husband, Fred; sons,Mike Smolich and Don Smolich and his companion, Kyla; a brother, Larry Holbrook, and his wife, Suzi; eight grandchildren and their spouses, Andrew and Brittany Smolich, Katherine and Rudy Lobos, Luke Smolich, Megan and Marty Mendoza, James Kotkins, Jasper Kotkins, Dakin Macgowan and Raynee Macgowan; five great-grandchildren, Parker, Presley, Paxton, Teddy and Penn; as well as a host of other family and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cleft Palate Research, c/o OHSU Foundation, 1121 S.W. Salmon St., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97205-2020 or to

To visit the online registry for the family, go to

Dennis Mahoney

Former Baker City resident, 1935-2018

Dennis Joseph Mahoney, 82, of Elgin, died Jan. 8, 2018, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

There will not be a public memorial service.

Dennis was born on June 9, 1935, at Columbus, North Dakota, to Joseph and Rose Wenker Mahoney. Dennis was baby brother to four adoring older sisters. The family welcomed two more children following their move to Baker in 1945. Dennis graduated from St. Francis High School in Baker in 1953, received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon College in 1958 and his master’s degree from the University of Oregon in 1963.

Dennis spent most of his career as a juvenile parole counselor for the state of Oregon.

Dennis was most proud of his family — followed closely by his ten holes-in-one, and that high school basketball game against Huntington where he scored 27 points. Dennis was always ready with jokes, rhymes, songs and games, and neighborhood children would ask if “Pat and Mike’s dad could come out and play.” He wore clown wigs as instructed for his grandchildren’s games, sang every song his little girl requested, knew most answers on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and never refused an opportunity for a round of golf.

Dennis is survived by his loving wife, Mary; his sisters, Marjorie Kenny of Heppner and Mary Jo Mahoney of Baker City; his brother, Tim of Baker City; many children, grandchildren, extended family members and lifelon g friends.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the church of your choice. Online condolences may be made to the family at