Douglas Murphy

Formerly of Baker City, 1950-2018

On Aug. 18, 2019, friends and family of Douglas James Murphy will raise their glasses in a “farewell toast” to honor his memory. The event will take place at the Feckin Brewery & Smokehouse, 415 S. McLoughlin Blvd. in Oregon City.

Douglas, 67, a former Baker City resident, died on July 14, 2018, at his home in Independence.

Douglas was born on Oct. 21, 1950, at Baker City to Marion and Lawrence Murphy. He was raised by his mother and his stepfather, Marcel Delepierre, and was the youngest of their six children. His family referred to him as “Dougie,” until he put a stop to it in junior high.

Doug attended Haines Grade School (then referred to as Haines Tech) and St. Francis Academy as a child, and was a student at Baker High School. He served in the Navy from 1968-1970, during which time he met his first wife, Theresa Curtis. They were married in 1971 and later had two children, Nathan Murphy, who lives in San Diego, California, and Jennifer Murphy of Baker City.

Doug boasted that his children were his proudest accomplishments, which later carried forward with the love he had for his grandchildren. His grandchildren referred to him as “Papa,” and he cherished every snuggle he could steal from them.

In 1985 he met and married his second wife, Lydia Varela. Their marriage lasted nearly two decades, and their friendship continued years afterward.

Doug lived in coastal California and Western Oregon throughout his adult life. His various occupations included being a delivery and salesman (receiving top salesman three times in one year!) with Sparkletts; an inventory receiving manager with Consolidated Supply for over a decade; a quality control manager with St. Thomas Creations for the Mexico and China territory; and a quality control manager with JL Industries, rewarding him the opportunity to travel to such places as Spain, Germany, London and Italy.

Although he had a less than average lifespan, Doug didn’t live an average life. He laughed inappropriately at every opportunity that presented itself, he learned what he wanted to learn, fixed what he wanted to or could fix. He was renowned for his sense of humor and his ability to tell a joke. He was his nieces’ and nephews’ favorite uncle because he was fun, funny and loved kids.

In his younger years, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. As years progressed, he played golf, cultivated beautiful roses and loved going on walks with his corgi, Kazi. Doug was an avid book reader, especially mysteries, and read the Sunday Oregonian every week. He loved Cheerios since childhood, hamburgers, milkshakes, beer and vodka, his recliner, pumpkin pie, TV, Thanksgiving dinners with family, classic rock, baseball, spicy foods and #adventure bites.

He had zero tolerance for bad table manners, “mush mouth” talkers, Christmas lights on houses after Christmas, an unkempt house, and unfinished yard work. Until the day he died, he was adamant that the movies “Shane” and “Unforgiven” were the best films ever made.

Doug is survived by his beloved dog; his children; his six grandchildren and two (and another on the way) great-grandchildren; his sister and best friend, Carolyn Nordstrom; and a gaggle of nieces and nephews who intend to keep his jokes alive.

Betty Murasky

Formerly of Baker City, 1933-2019

Betty Jean Murasky, 85, of La Grande, and a former Baker City resident, died July 26, 2019, at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Her memorial service will take place Friday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.

Betty was born on Oct. 27, 1933, at Baker City to Vitangelo and Luna (Hall) Colonna. She lived in Baker City, Portland, Bend, San Diego, California and La Grande. She graduated from Baker High School in 1951. She later attended Providence Hospital Nursing School in 1954. She married Dale Lund in 1959 and they divorced in 1969. She then married Francis F. Murasky in 1970.

Betty was employed with St. Charles Hospital in Bend, from 1954-1959, Mercy Hospital in San Diego from 1959-1963, Smith Hanna Medical Group from 1968-1989 and St. Augustine High School in San Diego from 1989-2004. Betty enjoyed spending time with her family and reading. She also was a longtime season ticket holder for the San Diego Chargers.

Betty is survived by her son, Larry Murasky (Lynnette) of La Grande; her stepdaughter, Virginia (Murasky) Goodson of El Cajon, California; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Vitangelo and Lund; and her husband, Francis F. Murasky.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Fern Milano Negri

Baker City, 1923-2019

Fern S. Milano Negri, 96, of Baker City died July 30, 2019, at Memory Lane in Baker City.

A memorial gathering is scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel. There will be a reception after the service, at the LDS Church Outdoor Pavilion at 2625 Hughes Lane. Interment will take place on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Lake City Cemetery in Lake City, California.

Fern S. Milano Nergi was the daughter of Bide Steward and Winnie Toney Steward. She was born at the Robinson ranch house near the town of Adele in Warner Valley. Her young parents were managing the Robinson ranch at that time.

At the age of 5, Fern moved with her family to their newly acquired ranch in Surprise Valley, the place where both of her parents’ families resided. Fern attend grade school at Goose Creek, a one-room, rock schoolhouse just a few miles down the road from their home.

Fern often told of reading every book in the school and of her and her cousin, Vivian, then reading the dictionary. It was here that she advanced two years in one year.

Her high school years started at Surprise Valley High in Cedarville, then for her senior year she transferred to Canyonville Bible Academy where she graduated at the age of 16.

After graduation, Fern traveled to Sacramento, California, to attend Heald’s Business College and worked as a private secretary to the manager of El Rancho Hotel. It was at this time she met Maurice Wescott. They were married on June 7, 1942.

She, like so many young girls of this era, sent her husband off to war.

During World War II, Fern lived with the Wescott family in Sacramento. When Maurice returned home, they left Sacramento and returned to Surprise Valley and ranched with her parents for about 20 years. They divorced in 1968.

In 1964, Fern started a 40-year successful career in real estate in the Sacramento area. She was consistently one of the top 10 sales people and won many awards for her work. Fern also was involved as a consultant for the Miss California pageant for several years.

At this time she met and married Henry R. Milano. Fern and Henry were married for 26 years before his death in 1998. During these years, she and Henry were able to travel extensively. She loved talking about her time in Greece and the Holy Land.

Fern and Henry enjoyed playing golf and played it competitively. They even played with Bob Hope and Clint Eastwood.

She also enjoyed cooking, especially Italian foods.

In 2002, Fern married David Negri, also of Sacramento. Soon after their marriage they moved to Weiser, Idaho, to be closer to her family. They resided there until David’s death in 2011.

Fern, then lived with her son, Mark, and his wife, Linda, for a time, then with her daughter, Maure, and Larry Albert until her health conditions made it necessary for her to live in the Beehive House.

Survivors include her son, Mark Wescott, and his wife, Linda, and their children; and her daughter, Maure Albert, and her husband, Larry Albert, and their children.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society through Coles Tribute Center, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814. To light a candle in Fern’s memory or to offer online condolences to her family, go to