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Home arrow Obituaries arrow OBITUARIES FOR MARCH 1-6, 2004



Kenneth Eugene Huizenga

Formerly of La Grande and Palmer, Alaska


Kenneth Eugene Huizenga, 33, died Feb. 19 of natural causes at Valley Hospital in Palmer, Alaska.

Mr. Huizenga was born Oct. 1, 1970, in La Grande and became an Alaska resident April 1980. He lived in Anchorage until moving to Palmer in the summer of 2003 .

He graduated from Diamond High School in 1988 and then became University of Alaska Anchorage's hockey equipment manager for three years. He also earned an airline dispatch degree in 2003, graduating with honors.

Kenneth was employed with Veco for several years, Anchorage Aces 1995-1998 as equipment manager and trainer, A-1 Fence 1998-2000 and was currently employed by Alaska Airlines.

He was affiliated with the Little People of America and volunteered his time being a youth hockey coach and "Jingles" the Elf at Santa C Productions.

Huizenga stood only only 4-foot-4, but he had the "heart of a giant,'' according to a story in the Anchorage Daily News.

His funeral on Feb. 25 in Anchorage was attended by more than 600 people.

He and his wife, Christina, were the subject of a Canadian film documentary "In Our Image,'' which is expected to air on American television this year.

His hobbies were hockey, fishing, golf, wrestling and baseball.

His family states that "Kenny was a special part of the community who touched numerous lives. His friendly, outgoing personality and smile would light up a room. He was a wonderful son, husband, father and friend.''

He is survived by his wife; daughter, Mekenna; son, Rich; parents, Buck and Jeannie Huizenga; brother, Adriel; grandmother, Maxine Huizenga, and other relatives.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Huizenga Family Memorial at Alaska Airlines Employees Federal Credit Union on International Airport Road in care of Witzleben Family Funeral Home, P.O. Box 140975, Anchorage, Alaska 99514-0975.

Leon ‘Tiny' Lincicum



Leon "Tiny" Lincicum, 69, died Feb. 27 at his home in Union. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the United Methodist Church in Union with Pastor Jerry Peters officiating. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Leon "Tiny" Lincicum was born Aug. 22, 1934, the son of Edmund and Ruth Ott Lincicum in Clear Lake, Iowa. He attended schools in Clear Lake, graduating with the Class of 1952.

He served in the Air Force.

On April 18, 1954, he married Ellen Wharam in Clear Lake.

He later attended Iowa State University, where he received a degree in industrial arts.

In 1964 he left Clear Lake. His travels took him to Chicago and Florida, where he worked for Delta Airlines before moving to the West to work for GTE. He later settled in Union.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church. He also belonged to the Grande Ronde Valley Masonic Lodge, Royal Arch Masons, VFW, Elks and Eagles lodges.

Tiny was active with the Union Senior Meals program as well as playing Santa Claus for the Ladies Club for many years. He was also the owner of Tiny's Sport and Tackle Shop and enjoyed fishing, hunting, skiing and the outdoors as well as being an inventor.

Survivors include his son, Kevin Lincicum of Buffalo, Minn.; brothers and sisters-in-law, Clayton and Judy Lincicum of Clear Lake, Kenneth Edmund and Blanche Lincicum of Clear Lake; 19 nieces and nephews and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the Union Senior Meals in

care of Daniels Chapel,

1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

Artis Parker-Casavant


Artis Parker-Casavant, 71, Summerville, died Tuesday at her home.

Arrangements are pending and a full obituary will be published later.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Debra J. Stout



Debra "Debbie'' J. Stout, 53, of Union, died Feb. 29 in a Walla Walla Hospital of natural causes.

Memorial services will be conducted Monday at 2 p.m. in the Union United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Jerry Peters


Mrs. Stout was born Aug. 21, 1950, in Eugene, the daughter of Leonard and Mildred Morrow Graham. She was raised and educated in Malin, graduating from high school with the Class of 1968.

After high school she was married and was a homemaker raising her children. She had lived in St. George, Utah; Florida and Alabama before she married David Stout on Dec. 22, 1994, in Georgia.

She and her husband came to Union in 1997. She worked at Terry Trailer before moving on to Wal-Mart, where she worked for six years. At the time of her death, she was an assistant manager in the jewelry department.

A member of the Union United Methodist Church, she enjoyed the outdoors including camping and hiking. She also enjoyed flowers, quilting, sewing, and working and making improvements around her home.

She is survived by her husband; her parents, Leonard and Mildred Graham of Union; four children, Angie Sorrells and Leonard Alldredge, both of Albertsville, Ala., Janel Ward of Saucier, Miss., and Nathan Alldredge of Cove; one brother, Stanley Graham of Kennewick, Wash.; four sisters, Susan Mackey of Lakeport, Calif., Judy Dretzka of Dixon, Calif., Teena Mercer of Monroe and Vicki Smith of Lebanon; and six grandchildren.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Union United Methodist Church.

Verda Rose

Allen Howell

Formerly of La Grande

and Gridley, Calif.


Verda Rose Allen Howell, 99, died in Gridley, Calif., Feb. 28.

Graveside services will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Hillcrest Cemetery in La Grande.

Mrs. Howell was born June 3, 1904, to Hyrum and Rose Allen in Beazer, Alberta, Canada.

When she was a baby, her family moved to Eastern Oregon, and she lived there with her family until about 1995 when she moved to Klamath Falls and then Gridley, Calif., to be near her daughter and son. She married Merritt Nicholas about 1924. They had also lived in Prineville, Roseburg and Klamath Falls.

Verda loved her family, music and picnics. She was always nurturing anyone who needed her loving care, family members said. She was a lifelong member of the LDS Church, her grandparents being pioneers who traveled across the plains to Utah.

She is survived by a sister, Lillie Marr of La Grande; a daughter, Lila McDaniel of Klamath Falls; eight grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

Her husband, a daughter, Helen; a son, Delmer; and six siblings died earlier.

R. Douglas Reinecke

Formerly of La Grande, Wallowa


R. Douglas Reinecke, 75, died Feb. 28 at his home in Baker City after a lengthy illness.

A memorial mass to honor Doug's life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Frances de Sales Cathedral, 2235 First St., Baker City, followed by a graveside inurnment at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Friends are invited to join the family after the services in the parish hall for a luncheon.

Join the family in the praying of the Rosary at 7 tonight at the cathedral. Father Rob Irwin will officiate.

Mr. Reinecke was born in Seneca, S.D., Sept. 8, 1928, to Roy and Darlene Reinecke. His early years and grade schooling were spent around Seneca, Highmore and Lead, S.D. He graduated from high school in Wallace, Idaho.

Mr. Reinecke earned his bachelor's degree in 1952 and master's of science degree in 1955 from Eastern Oregon College. He had also completed 36 hours toward his doctorate in education.

On Aug. 26, 1950, Doug married Theresa Brown at St. Frances de Sales Cathedral in Baker.

Doug served in the Marine Corps at the El Toro base in California.

In Wallowa he taught grade school and was principal, and in La Grande he taught at Central Elementary and the junior high.

In 1959, Mr. Reinecke and his family moved to San Jose. While in California he worked for the Los Altos School District and the Moreland School District. He was vice principal of Rogers Junior High in San Jose, principal of many of the district's grade schools, superintendent of summer school, wrote remedial math programs for Moreland School District and taught remedial math, and he also was a junior high coach. They lived in San Jose until Doug retired in 1986, when they returned to Baker City.

He took early retirement from education, after 33 years, to return to Baker City and spend time with his father, Roy Reinecke Sr., but his father's Alzheimer's disease made that impossible.

Doug enjoyed children, teaching, fishing, hunting, sports and being with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife Theresa, and their children: Sherri Enz and her husband Ron of Granite Bay, Calif.; Damon and his wife Pat of San Jose; Shawn Morse and her husband Mike of Aptos, Calif.; Synthia Reinecke; and Suzanne Schooler and her husband David; and six grandchildren.

Doug was a member of St. Frances de Sales Cathedral, the California Teachers Association, Moreland Retired Teachers Association and the Baker Elks Club.

Memorials may be made to St. Frances de Sales Cathedral or the American Heart Association in care of Gray's West & Co, P.O. Box 726, Baker City 97814.

Wanda Gray

La Grande

Wanda "Winnie" Gray of La Grande died Friday in the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence. Funeral services are pending, and a full obituary will follow. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Miriam Holfeltz



Miriam Holfeltz, 70, died March 3 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Leavitt's Aultorest Memorial Park, Ogden, Utah.

Born April 23, 1933, in Boston, she was the daughter of Samuel and Ann Orth. She was a Sterling Scholar and valedictorian of her class at Winchester High School. She attended Regis College and later became a registered radiology technician.

After working in the medical field, she was enticed by the adventure of a career as a flight attendant for United Airlines. On one of her flights, she served the famous musician Louis Armstrong.

Reared as a Catholic, she later joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For many years, she did genealogical work for the church.

She is survived by her husband, Glade Holfeltz, Joseph; children and their spouses, Debbie Martin of Salt Lake City, Kelley (Gregg) Buxton of Roy, Utah, Lisa (Kenny) Walton, Euless, Texas, Terri (Aldo) Woodhouse, West Jordan, Utah; Becky (Tim) Bauman, Ogden, Utah, Robert (Michele) Rose and David (Chris) Rose, both of Salt Lake City, and Curt (Shondell) Holfeltz of Ogden.

Thirty-one grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren survive.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Samuel Orth.

Local arrangements are being handled by Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Mary Jane Lathrop

La Grande


Mary Jane Lathrop, 76, of La Grande, died March 3 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. Monday in the Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.. Officiating will be the Rev. Mark Schlessman of the First Christian Church.

Friends may call for viewing from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday at Loveland.

Interment and concluding services will be Friday at 2 p.m. in the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Palmdale, Calif.

Mrs. Lathrop was born March 28, 1927, in Los Angeles, the daughter of Howard and Dorothy Barrett Williams. She was raised and educated in Los Angeles. She married Kirk Lathrop in 1953 in Burbank, Calif.

During World War II, she and her brother entertained the troops where she danced for the United Service Organization (USO).

Mrs. Lathrop moved to the area about 12 years ago to be near her daughter.

She enjoyed being active with her children and their activities, especially Little League. She loved reading, crocheting and car races and was an Elvis and Wayne Newton fan. She had been a member of the VFW.

She is survived by four children and their spouses, Patricia and Ron Guentzler of Los Angeles, Allen and June Lathrop of Auburn, N.Y., Tom and Kim Lathrop of Lake Elizabeth, Calif., and Lola Lathrop and Joe Bell of La Grande; one brother and his wife, Cliff and Bev Williams of Florida; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her husband and one grandchild died earlier.

Memorials may be directed to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Frederick A. Thornton

La Grande


Frederick "Fred" A. Thornton, Sr., 88, of La Grande died March 3 in a local care center.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Church of the Nazarene, 109 18th St. The Rev. Brent Clapp will officiate. Interment will follow in Grandview Cemetery. Veterans' rites and honors will be accorded at the cemetery.

Mr. Thornton was born Dec. 10, 1915, in Weiser, Idaho, the son of William and Mary Mayfield Thornton. He was raised and educated in Weiser and Joseph. He attended automotive school in Portland after his discharge from the Army, having served in France in World War II. He was active in his military service at Fort Stevens at Warrenton when a Japanese submarine fired upon the mainland.

He married Florence Wikoff in 1947. The family lived in Portland for a time and moved to Burns in 1962, where they lived for 33 years. He and his wife came to La Grande in 1994.

He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He enjoyed fishing and the outdoors.

He is survived by his wife; a daughter, Cheryl Thornton of Lake Oswego; a son and his spouse, Fred and Pamela Thornton Jr. of La Grande, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Nine brothers and sisters died earlier.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be directed to either the American Legion or the VFW in care of the Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850


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