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Home arrow Obituaries arrow OBITUARIES FOR THE WEEK ENDING DEC. 23, 2006



Longtime La Grande service station owner George Chris Kalmbach, 83, of La Grande died Dec. 15 at his home.

Viewing will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. A graveside service will be held at the Island City Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and a memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in La Grande.

Mr. Kalmbach was at Palmer Junction July 5, 1923, the son of Jesse and Edith (Miles) Kalmbach in Palmer Junction. After high school he joined the U.S. Navy Seabees. After his honorable discharge he returned to Union County.

He owned and operated a service station at Second and Adams for 53 years, first as a Shell station and later as George's Texaco.

He was an active member of the First Baptist Church and was one of the members of the committee that founded Camp Elkanah. He was also a member of the VFW and NRA.

His family was his biggest hobby. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and reloading shells.

Survivors include his wife, Hulda, of La Grande; children, George "Wesley" Kalmbach of La Grande, Rodney Kalmbach of Sutherlin and Donna Kalmbach Phillips of Salem; seven grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; brothers, Robert Kalmbach of Caldwell, Idaho, and John Kalmbach of Banks; sister, Rosalie Gobel of Packwood, Wash.; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by brothers, Nick, Jim and Richard.

Those who wish may make contributions in memory of Mr. Kalmbach to the Camp Elkanah Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 150, La Grande 97850.


Carrie C. Wilson, 98, of La Grande died Dec. 15, at a local care center.

She was born April 26, 1908, to George and Lavinia (Mann) Fleming of Pipestone, Minn. She was raised and educated in Pipestone.

She moved to La Grande in 1965 to be near her daughter. She worked as the manager of the Woodshed Restaurant and also worked for Payne Family Mortuary, which is now Loveland Funeral Chapel, in La Grande. She and her husband, Leslie, had one daughter.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Lou (Bob) Sherburn of La Grande; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Burial will be in Portland. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.


Kenneth L. Fordice, 71, formerly of North Powder and Cove, died in his sleep Dec. 16, in Winston. A graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the North Powder Cemetery. Viewing will be from 3 until 6 p.m. Wednesday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande.

He was born Aug. 28, 1935, in Enterprise to Willard and Lela (Gray) Fordice. He grew up on a ranch near Flora on the breaks of the Grande Ronde River and later moved with his family to North Powder where he attended school.

He married Donna Cox of Haines in 1956 but was later divorced. He then married his loving wife of 20 years, Elsie.

Mr. Fordice honorably served in the armed forces, worked on a ranch, which is what he loved most, and then worked as an engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation for 30 years before retiring.

He and Elsie then moved to Cove to be close to his mother and help his daughter and her husband on their ranch. Recently he and Elsie moved back to Winston.

Survivors include his wife Elsie of Winston; mother, Lela Fordice of Baker City; son, Tony Fordice of Burns, daughter Teena and husband Chuck Ballard of Union; stepdaughter Lois and husband Dave Foster of Seattle; brother Keith and wife Judy Fordice of Hermiston; sister Myrna and husband Ivan Hale of Montana, and sister Sandy and husband Ron Sanderson of Arizona; five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his father and sister, Donna.

Memorials may be make to the charity of choice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


Ronald K. Thompson, 46, of Enterprise, died Dec. 17 at his home after a long battle with cancer. A celebration of his life will begin at 4 p.m. Jan. 6. at the Cloverleaf Hall in Enterprise

Mr. Thompson was born Oct. 19, 1960, in Moses Lake, Wash. He moved to Wallowa County as a young boy and lived most of his life in Enterprise. He graduated from Enterprise High School in 1979.

He married Marty Ricker Aug. 14, 1982, and they had a daughter and a son.

Mr. Thompson worked in the grain industry until 1989 when he went to work for Rahn's Sanitary. More recently, until his illness, he worked for Henderson Fuel.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Thompson enjoyed hunting and fishing, as well as his Thursday card games. He loved all sports and coached pee-wee and Little League baseball.

A member of the Elks, the Jaycees and the Crossing, he was always ready with a helping hand for anyone in need.

Surviors include his wife, Marty of Enterprise; his daughter, Shayla and her husband Christopher Stein; his son, Jakeb; a grandson of Enterprise; his father and stepmother, Walter and Nadine Thompson of Austin, Ind.; sister, Wallene, and her husband, Mike Daggett, and a nephew, all of Hermiston; and other relatives. A nephew died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to accounts at Community Bank or First Bank to aid with medical expenses.

Loveland's Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth st., La Grande, is handling arrangements.


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