Baker City, 1940-2020
George David Braughton,79, of Baker City, died Jan. 20, 2020, at his home with his wife, Sue, at his side.
A short military service will take place at 11 a.m. March 28 at the Eagles Lodge, 2935 H St. A potluck will follow. Salads and desserts are requested.
George was born on Nov. 4, 1940, at Roseburg to John Daniel Braughton and Opal Conner Braughton. The family lived at Joseph in a logging camp on Sheep Creek that his father ran and owned. In the winter he and his brother, John, and their mother would move into town so the boys could attend school.
Later in life, the family moved to La Grande where George attended Greenwood Elementary School and La Grande Junior High.
In 1958, George graduated from La Grande High School. He helped start and was a member of the “Ronde River Rodders Car Club.”
After graduation, he joined the Air Force and was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois where he was a crew chief jet engine mechanic on the B52s.
Next he was a log truck mechanic and later he drove log trucks for a short time. He also worked as a faller.
He broke his back when a tree flipped him backward on the tree stump. He required two back surgeries.
He also worked as a millwright at Ellingsons and for John Deere Tractor.
George attended Baker Business College and received an associate degree in accounting. He ran the H & R Block office in La Grande for several years.
At Business College, he met and married Susan Backlund in 1975. They just celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on Dec. 31, 2019. They had a wonderful life together for 47 years.
For 20 years, George was area representative for UMCI (United Motorcycle International). He enjoyed traveling on his “Goldwing motorcycle” throughout the Northwest and Canada, with Sue pulling a Bunkhouse trailer with a California sidecar.
He also enjoyed driving his race car, called the “6-S” (Six Success) on the oval dirt track, and demolition derby where he took first place in his heats.
George enjoyed deer hunting with is dad and brother, John, and his wife, Sue. He loved being outdoors, sitting around the campfire telling stories, fishing and cooking dinners in the hot coals.
George liked making things for the grandkids like rocking horses, doll beds and his favorite, Noah’s Ark with all the animals, that was his most-prized work.
Survivors include his wife, Susan “Sue,” his brother, John D. Braughton and his wife, Cari, of Elgin; son, James Kyle Braughton of Portland; stepdaughters, Kelly Gross of Oregon, and Kimberly Ross and her husband, Nathan, of Snohomish, Washington; a stepson, retired Special Forces Capt. Kevin E. Welborn and Karli Hunter of Snohomish, Washington; seven grandkids and three great-grandkids, who he enjoyed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Opal Braughton; and several nieces and nephews.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.