‘Jo’ Vernholm

Formerly of Baker City, 1933-2019

Josephine F. “Jo” Vernholm, 85, formerly of Baker City, Enterprise and Elgin, died March 27, 2019, at an Emmett, Idaho, assisted living center.

At her request, there will be no service. The Potter Funeral Chapel of Emmett, Idaho, was in charge of arrangements.

Jo was born on April 30, 1933, at Holy Oak, Colorado. Her parents decided to move to New Plymouth, Idaho, shortly after her birth. So that is where she grew up. She attended all 12 years of school at Fruitland, Idaho.

She married Willard “Dale” Vernholm on July 2, 1951. They had three sons: Steven, Gary and Michael.

Through the years Jo worked as a nurse’s aide at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City and provided Meals on Wheels. Jo also loved her volunteer work. She was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Baker City.

She also enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing cards, bunco, crafts and gardening. Jo always had a beautiful home and garden.

Jo was also a member of the Good Sam’s Club and enjoyed the camping trips with her friends.

In July 2016 Jo’s health was failing, so she moved into an assisted living center at Emmett, Idaho, to be closer to her son, Steven, and his wife, Kathy.

Survivors include her sons and their spouses, Steven and Kathy Vernholm of Emmett Idaho, and Gary and Peggy Vernholm of Wilder, Idaho, and a very special person who she has always called a son, Paul Schon of Baker City; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Linda Robbins of Baker City; and brother-in-law, Ron Vernholm of Dillon, Montana.

She was preceded in death, by her husband, Dale; an infant daughter, Jody Lynn; son, Michael; her parents, Frank and Emma Detmer; and her five sisters and two brothers.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Lutheran Church, Community Connection or the Senior Center, all in Baker City.

The family expressed appreciation to Encompass Hospice for the care its employees provided Jo.

‘Bob’ Kirkwood

Baker City, 1935-2019

Robert C. “Bob” Kirkwood Jr., 83, died March 26, 2019, at his home at 3150 13th St. surrounded by his family.

There will be a celebration of his life for family and friends on Saturday, April 6, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 2935 H St. An interment of ash ceremony will be scheduled later.

Bob was born and raised at Baker and spent his life working and raising his family in Baker Valley. He was employed by several of the ranches in the valley (Butler Ranch and W. Weishaar and many more).

Bob also worked for Pine Cone Station, Haines Commercial Equipment Co., Morrison Knudsen Co., North Powder Pine and Baker Mill & Grain.

In the early 1960s, Bob was employed by Lew Bros. Tire Center in Baker and he continued working as a ranch hand and sharecropped with Charlie Simpson. He eventually bought his farm on Brown Lane. He and his sons went into the custom combining business for a few years.

In the mid-’60s he started contract thinning timber in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest where he found his calling. Once his sons were old enough, they worked in the woods with him and started their business as Kirkwood and Sons.

He thrived in the outdoors and loved to go out fighting wildfires. He retired his chain saw at the age of 75.

He was an avid hunter who enjoyed hunting elk and deer. He fished and enjoyed his time in “God’s Country.”

He was always willing to go out and be in the timber picking mushrooms and he loved to prospect for gold. He was really a man of his time.

Bob loved the outdoors and he loved being with his family while doing the things he loved such as hunting, fishing, bowling, rock collecting, gold panning, gardening, wildfire fighting, gambling and storytelling.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Wanda E. Kirkwood; his father, Robert C. Kirkwood; his mother, Luellen A. Withers Kirkwood; brothers, Cecil, Don and Keith; and sister, Myrna.

Survivors include his sister, Shirley J. Kirk of Nampa, Idaho; brother, Darrell W. Kirkwood, and his wife, Susan, of Detroit, Michigan; sons, Robert “Bob” Kirkwood Jr., and his wife, Susan, of La Chine, Michigan, Rex Kirkwood, and his wife, Karen, of Baker City and Roger Kirkwood of Baker City; his daughter, Vena Callow, and her husband, Patrick, of Baker City; grandchildren, Christopher, Tara, Brittney, Tyler, Travis, Melissa, Roger Jr., Rylan, Justin, Adam and Taylor; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Jonathon, Taryn, Hudson, Rex, Triniti, Josalyn, Gabrielle, Grayson, McKane, Trace, Walker and Harley.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Larry Speelman

Richland, 1942-2019

Larry Speelman, 76, died peacefully from natural causes on March 22, 2019, at his Richland home.

Those who knew and loved Larry are invited to attend a funeral service at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Richland Christian Church. Interment with military honors will take place at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland.

Friends are invited to join the family for a potluck dinner immediately afterward at the New Bridge Grange Hall.

Larry was born on April 14, 1942, at Baker City to Jack and Leona Speelman. Larry was raised on a farm in Eagle Valley (Baker County). After graduating from Eagle Valley High in 1960, Larry enlisted in the Army and served his country for three years, much of that time in Korea.

Following honorable discharge in 1964, Larry married Sharon Barber in 1965. In 1969, Larry and Sharon moved to St. Helens where they lived for 33 years, raising a family while Larry worked for Multnomah Plywood and Armstrong World Industries.

Upon retirement in 2002, Larry and Sharon moved back to Richland in the heart of Eagle Valley.

Larry was a faithful follower of Christ, serving as an elder at both St. Helens First Christian Church and Richland Christian Church. He was also an active member of the VFW and the New Bridge Grange.

When not working, Larry could often be found fishing on the Columbia and Snake rivers or hunting in the mountains. Larry was also an avid cook, often grilling or smoking his latest catch. Well-liked within the community, Larry also enjoyed visiting with friends in the local coffee shop, recounting stories about “the one that got away!”

Larry will be missed, but not forgotten, family members said.

“Our love for him will live on in our memories forever.”

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon; his children, Carl (Tammy) Speelman of Renton Washington, and Jennifer Blake of Eugene; brother Terry (Lorri) Speelman of Baker City; sister Janice (Michael) McCann of Juneau, Alaska; grandchildren Jack and Audra Speelman, Samuel and Abigail Blake, and Daniel and Deborah Nguyen; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Eagle Valley Defibrillator Fund through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. Online condolences may be made at www.tamispinevalleyfuneral

Richard Perkins Jr.

Richland, 1947-2019

Richard Ray Perkins Jr., 71, died March 26, 2019, at his home in Richland.

Per his request, there will be no funeral.

Ray was born on July 8, 1947, at Silverton. He attended schools in the area, graduating from Lebanon High School in 1965. During high school, Ray excelled in baseball and brought home numerous trophies.

Ray entered the Army in December of 1965. The first five years he was an enlisted man up to the rank of staff sergeant E-6 and served in Korea from 1966 to 1967; the second five years he was a commissioned officer by way of Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He flew in Vietnam with the rank of first lieutenant. He received an honorable discharge in 1975.

Ray was very proud of his military career and said “not bad for just a high school education.”

Ray married Karen Miley on March 16, 1968, at Stayton. They had two sons, Raymond and James.

Ray’s working career was driving truck. He frequently moved during his employment until he moved to Bend where he lived for 20 years. Just a couple of years ago, Ray came to Richland to go fishing with a friend. It was on that fishing trip that he decided Richland was where he was going to make his new home and he did.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and hanging out with his grandson, Sammy. Western movies were a favorite pastime, even if he had seen the same movie 15 times. He also enjoyed sports and playing the saxophone.

He was preceded in death by his father Richard Perkins Sr.; his mother, Betty Wyatt; and son, James Perkins in 2001.

Survivors include his son, Raymond Perkins; grandson, Sammy; sister, Karol Shaw; brothers, Larry and Wilber Perkins; sister, Donna Ray; daughter-in-law, Evelyn Barber; stepchildren, Christie and Tim Lovins; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Creating Memories (an opportunity for those with special needs to enjoy the outdoors fishing, hunting or in other activities) through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834. Online condolences can be shared at www.tamispine