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Home arrow Obituaries arrow OBITUARIES FOR MARCH 22-27, 2004



Edna McDonald

La Grande


Edna McDonald, 86, of La Grande died Feb. 27 at a care center. A private memorial will be held.

Mrs. McDonald was born Jan. 30, 1918, to Albert and Katie Kauffmann. She was raised in Helvetia, a Swiss-immigrant community, and began school in Portland speaking Swiss-German. She won awards for dancing the jitterbug, for swimming and for diving.

She married Norman James McDonald, and after World War II, the couple started a business called L&M Woodworking. She was artistic and enjoyed painting, traveling, dancing, swimming, skiing.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Penny Sue McDonald of Lake Oswego, and Linda and Mike Matthews of Summerville; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A son, James Patrick McDonald, and her husband died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, in care of Gray's West & Company Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City 97814.

Charlotte Schroth

Formerly of La Grande and Island City


Charlotte Nell Schroth, 82, of Hermiston and formerly of La Grande and Island City died March 20 at her home. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. John's Episcopal Church. Burial will follow at the Hermiston Cemetery.

Mrs. Schroth was born July 28, 1921, to Richard G. and Ella Marie Muilenburg Burnett in Island City. She was graduated from La Grande High School and worked as a dental assistant before marrying Raymond R. "Whitey" Schroth on Sept. 6, 1947, in Lewiston. That same year the couple moved to Hermiston, where he worked for the Burbee Company, and started the Vend Music Company, which they ran until Mr. Schroth's death in 1988.

She was a member of the Episcopal church, the Altar Guild, the Elks Lodge and the hospital auxiliary, and was a campfire leader and a Sunday school teacher. She was involved in Girls State and the Meadowood Springs Speech and Hearing Camp, and was named to its Hall of Fame.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Janis and Steve Wood of Kennewick, Wash., Bob and Jan Schroth of Hermiston, and Doug Schroth of Seattle; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A brother, Robert Burnett, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Meadowood Springs Camp or to St. John's Episcopal Church in care of Burns Mortuary, 685 W. Hermiston Ave., Hermiston 97838.

John L. Chase

La Grande

John L. Chase, 43, of La Grande died Saturday at Grande Ronde Hospital from an extended illness.

Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Harold Sutton

La Grande and Formerly of Elgin


Harold L. Sutton, 91, of La Grande and formerly of Elgin, died March 22 at Grande Ronde Hospital. Viewing will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. The funeral will begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Elgin United Methodist Church with Pastor Kaye Garver officiating. Burial will follow at the Summerville Cemetery.

Mr. Sutton was born March 10, 1913, to Robert and Viola Hancock Sutton in Bethlehem, Iowa. After his father's death, he and his mother moved to Farewell Bend near Huntington. He attended school at Milton-Freewater. On Dec. 2, 1932, he married Kathleen Winn in College Place, Wash., and in 1935 began working at the Pondosa Pine Mill in Elgin. He worked his way up to millwright, and retired from Boise Cascade in 1978.

He was a member of the Elgin United Methodist Church and the Good Sam Club, and volunteered for the Elgin Fire Department and ambulance. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, traveling and camping.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; children and their spouses, Barbara Elmer Beickel of La Grande, and Cynthia Gibson of Portland; four foster children and their spouses, Shirley Taylor of Baker City, Linda and Leo Smith, and Dennis Swalberg, all of Lebanon, and Robert Swalberg of Elgin; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Two brothers, Vernon and Orville Sutton, died in the Bataan Death March of World War II.

Memorials may be made to the Elgin United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 7, Elgin 97827.

Iris Phinney

La Grande


Iris Josephine Janet Phinney, 90, of La Grande died March 20 at her home. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Phinney was born Sept. 10, 1913, in Rockville on the Owyhee River. On Sept. 5, 1933, she married Charles E. Phinney in Nester, Calif. The couple settled in San Diego County in California, and she worked at Southwest Junior High School and Chula Vista High School from the 1930s through the 1960s. She came to La Grande in 1975. She enjoyed family gatherings, cooking, gardening and needlework.

Survivors include daughters Scharel McCarty and Sylvia Mendez, both of La Grande; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; sister Violet Caldwell of El Cajon, Calif., and two brothers, Hugh Shaver of Camino, Calif., and Eugene Shaver of Clarkdale, Ariz. Her husband, two sisters, Evelyn Ash and Lois Swarm, and two brothers, Clyde and Elwood Shaver, all died earlier.

Lois Kirby



Lois J. Kirby, 82, of Cove, died March 20. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., with Sally Wiens officiating. Burial will follow at the Cove Cemetery.

Mrs. Kirby was born June 11, 1921, to Roy J. and Amy Ruth Barker Baker in Cove. She graduated from Cove High School and from Eastern Oregon Normal School. On June 5, 1941, she married John Wesley Kirby in Walla Walla. The couple lived in Pendleton for a short time while he served in the Marine Corps, and later moved back to Union County. She taught at Riveria and Central schools, and retired in 1975.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church, the Oregon Education Association and the National Education Association. She enjoyed reading, fishing, camping, the ocean, traveling to Jackpot, Nev., and visiting with her children and grandchildren.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Weslie Obert and Ernie Stalford of Portland, Janet and Fred Evensen of Hillsboro, Douglas and Sue Kirby of Tigard, and Bert and Kathy Kirby of Union; 11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law, Alberta and Harmon Wolfe of La Grande, and Elouise Baker of Cove, and other relatives. Her husband and two brothers, Claude and Orien Baker, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church endowment fund in care of Daniels Chapel.

Wilma Fruitts

La Grande


Wilma Fruitts, 75, of La Grande, died March 20 at a local care center. Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday and again from 9 a.m. Saturday until the service at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. A celebration of life will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with Pastor Fred Laeger of the Harvesters' Nazarene Church in Elgin officiating. Burial will be at the Elgin Cemetery.

Mrs. Fruitts was born Feb. 26, 1929, to Willie and Bertha Elliott Nall in Douglas County, Mo. The family lived in Elgin, La Grande and Union. She married Raymond Aubrey Fruitts on Aug. 20, 1944, in Elgin.

She was a homemaker and enjoyed gardening, canning, yard work, ceramics, going to yard sales and spending time with her grandchildren, nieces, nephews and all children.

Survivors include two brothers and their wives, Butch and Carolyn Arbogast and Donny and Claudia Arbogast, all of Elgin, a sister and her husband Bonnie and George Chandler of Elgin; five grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren. Her husband, two children, Jamie A. Fruitts and Audrey Gilliam, and three grandchildren all died earlier.

‘Sonny' Conrade

Formerly of La Grande


Burton Ned "Sonny" Conrade Jr., 58, of Tucson, Ariz., and formerly of La Grande died recently of natural causes.

Mr. Conrade was born Aug. 1, 1945, in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1964 and served in the Air Force as an air policeman at Warren AFB in Wyoming. He married Phyllis Ike on March 17, 1968, in Denver. The couple moved to Chicago, where he worked for Ozark Airlines. Later the family lived in Waterloo, Iowa; Springfield, Mo.; Wichita Falls, Texas and Denver. When the airline went out of business the couple opened a Golden Corral Restaurant in Clute, Texas, and later opened others in San Angelo, Angleton and Mexia, Texas. In 1992 they moved to Tucson where he worked at the American Airlines Reservation Center.

Survivors include his wife of Tucson; children, Lana Berno of Tucson, and Ted Conrade of Snowflake, Ariz.; two grandchildren; a sister, Patricia Silver of Placentia, Calif.; a step-brother, Richard Hunter of Bozeman, Mont., and other relatives.

Donations may be made to the family for funeral costs at 7203 W. Kiwi Lane, Tucson, Ariz. 85743.

Jack Schultz

La Grande


Jack William Schultz, 88, of La Grande died March 24 at a local care center.

Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

A celebration of life will begin at 1 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel with Pastor Roger Cochran of Trinity Baptist Church officiating. A private burial will be at Grandview Cemetery.

Mr. Schultz was born Jan. 2, 1916, to Joe and Edith Mylin Schultz in Baker City. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and served in the Marine Corps during World War II. He married Frances Sinclair and after her death in 1984, he married Olive Bird in 1986 in Reno, Nev. He was a member of the Eagles Lodge, the American Legion and the Elks Lodge. He was named Elk of the Year in 1968-9.

Survivors include his wife, Olive; step-children and their spouses, Margaret Alvarado of Simi Valley, Calif., Edward Bird of El Paso, Texas, and Walter and Dixie Bird of Dixie, Wash.; a daughter-in-law, Mary Wakeman of Cedarville, Calif.; 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Two sisters died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Trinity Baptist youth fund in care of Daniels Chapel.

Donna Teeter

La Grande


Donna W. Teeter, 85, of La Grande died March 24 at a local care center. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Summerville Cemetery Chapel. Interment will follow.

Mrs. Teeter was born March 16, 1919, to Henry A. and Minnie Watson in La Grande. She graduated from Imbler High School in 1936 and in 1940 married Thurman S. Teeter Jr. The couple settled on a farm on Woodell Lane where she remained for 60 years.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Marilyn Sotelo of Denver; Vicki and David Fessler, Bill and Sherril Teeter and Bob and Terrie Teeter, all of Imbler; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and other relatives.

Her husband, a daughter, Kay, and a sister, Leitha Hoover, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Summerville Chapel restoration fund or to Home Health Hospice in care of Daniels Chapel.


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