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Home arrow Obituaries arrow OBITUARIES FOR THE WEEK ENDING FEB. 10, 2007



Margaret Elizabeth Young McCoy, 88, of La Grande died Feb. 2 at a local care center. A celebration of life will begin at

2 p.m. Wednesday at Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Mrs. McCoy was born June 19, 1918, to Fred and Sarah (Monroe) Young in Crane. She moved to La Grande in 1921 with her family and grew up with her three sisters. The family operated the Young's Ice House and Delivery, harvesting ice near Riverside Park.

On April 3, 1935, she married Ralph McCoy. They farmed in the Mount Glenn area and, after purchasing Devine's Grocery, moved to

La Grande where Margaret operated the Y Avenue store, changing the name to Riverside Grocery.

Their next move was to M Avenue, where she helped manage their small acreage. She and Ralph eventually retired with a move to a residence in town, where she was able to fully indulge in hobbies.

Mrs. McCoy enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, camping, fishing, farming and gardening. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, canning, quilting, reading, bowling, family and local history, reminiscing and collecting of all kinds.

She traveled for 21 years with women's bowling teams and was instrumental in starting the Women's 600 Bowling Club. She was willing to share and teach her hobbies to anyone interested.

Mrs. McCoy's sense of humor and contagious laugh will be remembered. She welcomed all visitors and could spontaneously provide a meal for 10, start up a game or magically serve up Popsicles and root beer floats.

Survivors include her husband of 72 years, Ralph; children, Darlene of Boise, and Gary and wife Charlotte of Wallowa Lake; sister, Lillian Herrmann of La Grande; 17 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren; and many other relatives. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Helene and Mildred.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grande Ronde Hospital Home Care and Hospice.


William Vernon Carpenter, 78, of Island City died Feb. 4 at his home. A graveside service is planned for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Island City Cemetery.

Mr. Carpenter, known as Vern, was born July 18, 1928, to Thomas and Zoe (Safford) Carpenter in La Grande. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1946 and received an associate degree from what was then known as Eastern Oregon College. He served with the Army during the Korean War.

On Nov. 20, 1955, he marri ed Laurel "Grace" Miller in Boardman.

He managed Van Petten Lumber Company and later Hoff Lumber Company until his retirement.

Mr. Carpenter was a member of the Elks Lodge and enjoyed hunting and trap shooting. He was a handyman who enjoyed building things.

Survivors include his wife, Grace, of Island City; children and their spouses, Tom and Edna Carpenter of La Grande and Russell and Alayna Carpenter of Myrtle Point; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and other


Memorials may be made to Grande Ronde Hospital Home Care and Hospice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande 97850.


Doris Gake Buckley, 75, of Phoenix, Ariz., and formerly of La Grande and Wallowa County, died Jan. 25 at a care home in Phoenix. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Bollman Funeral Home in Enterprise.

Mrs. Buckley was born in La Grande Sept. 18, 1931, to Albert and Anna Gake. She lived in La Grande for a few years until the family moved to Enterprise and then to Joseph, where she attended school.

During World War II, the family moved to Huntington, where her father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. She graduated from Huntington High School.

In 1949 she married Glen Buckley, a disabled World War II veteran who was born in 1912.

They worked on ranches in Wallowa County for a number of years, then moved to California.

In the early 1960s they moved to Black Canyon, Ariz., because of Glen's health. After her husband's death in 1987, Mrs. Buckley continued to live in Black Canyon until her health forced her to move to a care center.

Doris and Glen loved the mountains and enjoyed hunting and fishing. As long as their health allowed, they made many trips to Wallowa County to visit family.

Survivors include a sister, Virginia Lampkins of La Grande, and a niece and a nephew.


Mary Ann Talbott, 92, of La Grande died Feb.2 at a local care center. A funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Burial will follow at the Hillcrest East Cemetery.

Mrs. Talbott was born Sept. 27, 1914, to Matthew and Matilda (Matijevich) Svetich in Bingham Canyon, Utah.

Her father had come from Yugoslavia to Utah in 1910 and two years later was joined by her mother and eldest sister.

After her father died as a result of working in the copper mines, her mother met and married Joseph Thomas, who had eight children of his own. The combined family moved to Oregon in 1930, and Mrs. Talbott finished her schooling in La Grande.

On Sept. 1, 1935, she married William Edward Talbott in La Grande. The couple had one daughter, Virginia, born in 1937, who died of cancer at the age of 18. The Talbotts lived in the same area of town their entire married life.

Mrs. Talbott worked as a housekeeper for the Bohnen-kamp family for many years. She was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. She and her husband loved the mountains and camping. Her family and fishing were her passions.

Survivors include her brother, Matt Svetich of Walla Walla; stepsisters, Kate Talbott and Mary Sanford, both of La Grande; and numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, two months ago; two sisters, three brothers and six stepsiblings.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande 97850.


Karee J. Kendall, 98, of La Grande died Feb. 3 at a local care home. No immediate public services are planned. Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Mrs. Kendall was born June 14, 1908, to Caleb and Rachael Valentine (Lee) Jones in Wolf Island, Ill. She married Leo Fugit, and they moved to Baker City in the early 1940s. In 1945 they moved to La Grande, and he preceded her in death in 1956.

In 1970 she married Marion Kendall, and he preceded her in death in 1990.

Mrs. Kendall was a member of the Christian Science Church, was involved with Toastmasters at one time and was a member of the Red Hat Society at the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence.

She loved music and could play anything with keys or strings by ear. She enjoyed writing stories and poetry and sewing. She would always help others in need.

Survivors include her children, Anna Marie Damon of Eagle Point, David Leo Fugit of Auburn, Wash., Judith J. Shepherd of Prosser, Wash., and Melonnie Karee Martin of Portland; eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. Dying earlier were her first and second husbands and 11 siblings.

Memorials may be made to Shelter From the Storm in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


Weldon Jack Vedder, 72, of Torrance, Calif., and formerly of La Grande, died Sept. 26, 2006, of complications after vascular surgery.

Mr. Vedder, known as Jack, was born Dec. 5, 1933, in La Grande.

He served in the Air Force then returned to La Grande and earned an undergraduate and a master's degree from what is now known as Eastern Oregon University. He later received a graduate degree in mathematics education from U.C. Santa Barbara.

Mr. Vedder moved to Manhattan Beach, Calif., in 1964. He taught at Lennox High School in Lawndale for 12 years and at El Camino College for 30 years.

He loved playing tennis and watching beach volleyball. He was a devoted and kind husband and father.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Carol; children, Rex, Debby and Kurt; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Karl, in 2006.


Todd B. Steel, 44, of Clarkston, Wash., and formerly of Wallowa County, died unexpectedly Feb. 4 of a heart attack. Visitation will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. today at Merchant Funeral Home, 1000 Seventh St., in Clarkston. A funeral is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday at the New Bridges Community Church on Eighth Street in Lewiston, Idaho, with Pastor Brad Bramlet officiating. Burial will follow at Vineland Cemetery, Clarkston.

Mr. Steel was born May 13, 1962, in Moscow. He graduated from Southgate High School in Campbell River, B.C., in 1981.

He met his future wife, Lisa, while working for Joseph Forest Products in Joseph. They were married May 28, 1983, in Enterprise and enjoyed 23 years of marriage and had two sons.

Mr. Steel worked as a tow truck driver and lube/detail specialist for Courtney Motors in Enterprise. He loved aiding others while on wrecker calls with his father-in-law, brother-in-law and friend, Chris Gomes. Most recently he commuted from Clarkston to Spokane as a salesman for Titan Truck of Spokane, helping others accessorize their trucks throughout the Northwest.

Mr. Steele loved Wallowa County and enjoyed spending time with his family, salmon fishing in Alaska, rock music, hockey, running and weight-lifting. He especially loved cars and vintage automobile signs. Proud of his 1966 Dodge Charger, 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1971 Dodge Dart and 1971 Cuda, he attended car shows throughout the area and helped with the Oregon Mountain Cruise in Joseph from 1985 to 2006.

Mr. Steele's friendly, talkative nature, kind heart and warm smile will be missed.

Survivors include his wife, Lisa, and son, Troy, of Clarkston; son and daughter-in-law, Trevor and Tashina of Enterprise; one granddaughter, Lakotah; in-laws, Mick and Sharon Courtney of Enterprise, Jeff and Kelly Courtney of

La Grande and Jim and Trina Dudgeon of Lewiston; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Remembrances to the family may be sent to Potlach Federal Credit Union in Lewiston in care of Lisa Steel for Trevor and Troy Steel. Friends and family may go to www.merchantfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence online.


Wilson Jack Stone, 93, of Clarkston, Wash., and formerly of La Grande, died Feb. 1. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Mr. Stone was born Nov. 24, 1913, to Benjamin and Byrdie Stone in Paris, Texas. He was one of 10 children and had a twin brother, Nolan, who preceded him in death. He spent his childhood traveling with his family picking crops throughout the states.

Mr. Stone married Esther Collie, and they had three sons before divorcing. In the early 1940s he moved to La Grande, where he worked at the Mt. Emily Lumber Co., now Boise Cascade.

On January 29, 1949, Wilson married Lola Williamson. Between them, they had six children.

He and Lola lived in the Anderson/Redding area of California from 1951 to 2001. He worked as a millworker for Ralph L. Smith Lumber Co., which was later taken over by Kimberly Clark Corp.

Mr. Stone loved the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating and four-wheeling. He was still fishing and four-wheeling into his nineties. He loved gardening and produced a vegetable garden every year until he was 91. He always had a story or a joke to tell.

Survivors include his wife, Lola of Clarkston; children, Dean Stone and Jim Stone, both of La Grande, Donna Satran of Redding, Calif., and Betty Davis of Clarkston; and 15 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two sons, Bobby Alton Stone and Robert Medrud.


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