Richard S. Tylka

Baker City

Richard S. Tylka, 80, recently of Baker City, died on Oct. 24, 2018, of congestive heart failure at Bozeman, Montana.

Born and raised in Chicago, he met his wife, Rita, when they were freshmen in high school.

Married in 1958, Richard and Rita shared the joys — and sometimes sorrows — of life until Rita’s death in 2015.

Richard so enjoyed his career as an accountant that, after retiring and moving to Baker City in 2000, he spent years as a volunteer in the Baker County AARP tax program. Because of his accounting experience, he was also a Red Cross volunteer who helped in the post-Katrina recovery.

Richard’s interests included hunting, fishing, and watercolor painting. His passion, though, was geraniums. Once, spotting an unusual variety while on vacation in Maine, he took a surreptitious cutting of the plant and propagated that geranium for years.

Richard will be long remembered for his dry sense of humor and his deadpan delivery. He could also wiggle his scalp and loved to entertain children in church with his wiggling when their parents were looking away. (For you parents who wondered why your children were suddenly laughing during Mass, now you know.)

Richard is survived by his son, Russell, and daughter-in-law, Nancy Tylka; his daughter, Barbara Tylka; his grandsons, Stephen (Chantal) and Matthew Tylka; his step-grandchildren, David Rentauskas, Jr. and Tara (Rentauskas) Schoen and family (husband Michael Schoen and children Courtney and Nikolaus); and his “bonus” family, Katie and Chris Deardorff and their children, Gavin, Iylee, Garrett and Gus.

Allen McDaniel

Baker City, 1940-2018

Allen Wesley McDaniel, 78, of Baker City, died Sept. 11, 2018, at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande.

Interment was today at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, with a ceremony by the U.S. Army Honor Guard. Arrangements are being handled by Loveland Funeral Chapel of La Grande.

Allen was born on April 19, 1940, at Chico, California, to Joseph and Louise McDaniel (Sample). Allen was raised in Sterling City, California, where he graduated from the eighth grade. He graduated from Enterprise High School in Redding, California.

Allen joined the National Guard and later the U.S. Army, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam where he was affectionally known as “Sgt. Mac.” During his teen years he worked with his dad in family-owned almond orchards in the Chico area. After nearly 12 years in the military he worked at various jobs in Oregon, including the railroad, bus driving and a bag-producing factory.

As a youth Allen was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. He enjoyed karaoke singing, was active for a time at the Senior Center and delivered Meals on Wheels. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. Growing up in Stwerling City he enjoyed winter sledding, playing cards and table games with friends and family. His favorite trip was deep-sea fishing off Bodega Bay with his mother and stepfather. In the summer, swimming in the icy Feather River was a favorite pastime.

Allen was married to Barbara Trump (deceased) and is survived by three adult children: John, Jodie Hinsley (Rick) of Umatilla, and Glenda McDaniel of La Grande. He is also survived by his sisters, Anna Belle McDaniel German (Raymon), and Jean McDaniel.

Allen was preceded in deaty by his sister, Josephine McDaniel; his brothers, Ernest Leggett Jr. and Ricky Leggett; and his mother and father.

Shirley Keating

Fomerly of Halfway, 1939-2018

Shirley Ann Keating, 79, formerly of Halfway, died on Oct. 23, 2018, at her home in Elgin with her family at her side.

Shirley was born in the Midwest on March 2, 1939, as Shirley Ann Wymer. She married John Keating. Together they started a life together and had three children: daughter Linda followed by son William, and then son John. The family made their home in Northern California.

The family relocated to Halfway in the early 1970s to find a new life. Linda, William, and John grew up and started families of their own. Shirley and John received many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who love them.

Shirley and John started a group home in Richland for young men in the 1980s. Many young men came to them and were sheltered. Many of the young men’s lives were changed by the time they spent with Shirley. Two of the young men were with Shirley during her passing.

Shirley loved to fish. And oh, how could she fish. She outfished us all, her family said.

They are planning a celebration of life for Shirley on June 15, 2019, at Copperfield Park in Oxbow for the week. They’re going to drop their lines off of the bridge in honor of Shirley, so mark your calendar.

Mike Hammer

Baker City, 1937-2018

William “Mike” Hammer, 81, of Baker City, died on Oct. 23, 2018, at his home.

Services for Mike will take place in the spring of 2019.

Mike was born on Feb. 21, 1937, at Klamath Falls to William and Helenmarr (Grissom) Hammer. He attended Redmond High School and graduated in 1955. After high school, Mike joined the U.S. Navy and served four years. He went to Oregon State University after he got out of the Navy.

He worked as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration for 28 years until his retirement.

On March 10, 1992, he married Phyllis Bemrose in Reno, Nevada. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, blackpowder firearms, reading, hiking, camping and canoeing. He was a member of Kiwanis, Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Toastmasters, and Boy Scouts of America. His accomplishments include excelling in his career with the FAA and many years of service to his community in Kiwanis and Boy Scouts of America.

Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Hammer of Baker City; his daughters, Holly Shima of Lincoln, California, and Kristy Holcomb of Redmond; his son, Daniel Hammer of Redmond; his stepdaughter, Melony Baker of Bend; 7 grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Loren Dell Hammer; his mother, Helenmarr Wimp; his father, William H. Hammer Sr.; and his stepmother, Louise Hammer.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to McEwen Missionary Services through Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.

To light a candle in memory of Mike, or to leave a condolence for his family, go to