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Home arrow Obituaries arrow OBITUARIES FOR THE WEEK ENDING JULY 21, 2007



Glenn M. Marx, 89, of La Grande, died July 13 at a local foster care center. Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Daniels Chapel. Burial will follow at the Grandview Cemetery.

Glen was born on Feb. 11, 1918, to James and Mary Marx in Moroni, Utah. His family moved several times before moving to Weiser, Idaho. He married Rose M. Ott on Oct. 28, 1929, in Weiser, Idaho. They were married for 68 years. Glen worked as purchasing manager for the Union Pacific Railroad for 37 years prior to his retirement.

He loved being with his family and spent many weekends fishing with his three sons. He also enjoyed the hunting trips he took with his family and friends. He liked to garden and was especially proud of his roses.

Glen is survived by his wife, Rose; sons and daughters-in-law, Bert and Phyllis Marx of La Grande, Ronald and Janelle Marx of Cove and Donald and Ruth Marx of La Grande; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; brother, Sherwood Marx of Morton, Wash.; sisters, Jewel McNair of Caldwell, Idaho, Joyce Haye of Pendleton, Joan De Long of Vale and Deanna Bates of Hines; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Marlin, Bert and Dwight, and sister, Maggie Hill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any charity of choice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


Lauretta Cross, 75, of Milton-Freewater and formerly of La Grande and Enterprise, died July 9 at Walla Walla General Hospital. Services were conducted by Pastor Jeff Siegel at the Enterprise Cemetery July 14.

Lauretta was born June 19, 1922, to James Everett and Etta Rebecca Rachau in La Grande. They lived on Pumpkin Ridge and later in Minam. In 1930, the family moved to Onalaska, Wash., where she graduated from the eighth grade. Her father didn't believe in higher education for women.

She married young and had three children then divorced and worked in restaurants and the shipyard in Portland during the war. After living in La Grande again, Lauretta moved to Everett, Wash., in 1956 where she met Jerry Cross at a telephone company picnic. They married Jan. 31, 1959, in Vancouver, Wash. The next year, the family moved to Enterprise. She was a homemaker and worked part-time.

Lauretta was a former president and lifetime member of VFW Auxiliary No. 4307. She was a seamstress and made a variety of crafts. She kept a beautiful yard and was admired for her home decorating and remodeling skills. She enjoyed canning and made Christmas candies that her family looked forward to every year.

Lauretta and her husband loved to dance. She loved camping, fishing, woodcutting and hunting. She taught her children outdoors skills and they now pass those skills on to their own children.

In 2001, Lauretta moved in with her daughter, Lee, and later to an assisted living facility. She was baptized in 2005 and was a member of Ingle Chapel Congregational Congregational Church in Milton-Freewater.

Survivors include sons, Don Cross of Eugene, Everett Cross of Tampa, Fla., and Dick and wife, Debbie Cross of Joseph; daughters, Lorna Nell of Eatonville, Wash., Carrie and husband Grover Scotton of Morton, Wash., and Lee and husband Lyle Davis of Milton-Freewater; 28 grandchildren; and many great- and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband, Jerry; son, Jerry; brothers, Elmer and Lloyd Rachau and two grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to any charity in care of Bollman's Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise 97828.


Zelpha Adelaide (Beach) Spencer, 105, of Morro Bay, Calif., and formerly of Union and Wallowa Counties, died June 6. Zelpha's ashes will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean in accordance with her wishes.

Zelpha was born on October 20, 1901, to William Joseph Beach and Delira Ruvilla Carpenter Beach on their ranch home in Paradise. She was the youngest of six children, and the only one to be born in Wallowa County. Her birthplace — the William J. Beach Century Farm — is still in the family after 116 years.

Zelpha grew up on the ranch in Paradise, and when her father retired from ranching in 1918 she moved with her family to Union where she graduated from high school in 1921. She attended Oregon Normal School in Monmouth and received her teaching degree. She taught school for one year in Cove and the next year in Joseph.

Zelpha married Gerald E. Spencer on June 29, 1924, and they moved to Wenatchee, Wash., where they owned a ladies shoe store, Spencer's Bootery, for 32 years. In 1968 the couple

retired to Daisy Hill Estates in Los Osos, Calif., and lived there the rest of their lives. They were married for 74 years when Gerald died on July 27, 1998.

Zelpha had many wonderful memories of growing up on the ranch in Northeast Oregon, and talked of it often. She was a member of Trinity Methodist Church in Los Osos.

Zelpha moved to L&M Southbay Maxicare assisted living in late 1998, and lived there until her death.

Zelpha is survived by one nephew, Norman (Sam) Beach of Enterprise and by numerous descendents of her siblings, extending to great-great-great nieces and great-great-nephews.


Helen Gekeler Stitzel, 91, of Ontario and formerly of La Grande, died July 13 at Holy Rosary Medical Center in Ontario. At her request, there will be no public services. The family will have a private service at a later date. Haren-Wood Mortuary in Ontario is in charge of arrangements.

Helen was born Jan. 26, 1916, to William R. and Tina A. Gekeler in Auburn, Wash. She was raised in La Grande.

On May 11, 1940, she married Leonard Stitzel in La Grande. She lived most of her adult life in La Grande. She began teaching in one-room schools in Union County and continued teaching in Mount Vernon, Irrigon and Wallowa after the death of her husband.

Helen was a resident of Wellspring Assisted Living Center for several years.

Survivors include her daughter, Hazel Powell of Tucson, Ariz.; sons, Lawrence of Ontario, George and Bev of Brookings, Harold and Pam of Wallowa; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; and many other relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and sons, baby Stitzel, David Stitzel and Stanley Stitzel.


Larry Keith Roberts, 76, of Imbler, died July 5 at his home.

A funeral service was held July 8 at the La Grande Seventh-day Adventist Church. Private burial was at the Summerville Cemetery.

Larry was born Dec. 2, 1930, to Vern and Blanche Filis Roberts in Hammond, Ind. He was raised in Eastern Oregon and was educated in Vale. He worked with local farmers and ranchers and participated in rodeo events. He served his country in the Air Force and later with the Oregon National Guard. He also worked in the logging industry.

Larry married Annette Harvey on March 8, 1968, in Tacoma, Wash. They moved to Imbler in 1976.

Larry was a member of the Elgin Seventh-day Adventist Church. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He loved spending time with his family and enjoyed Raider


Survivors include his wife, Annette of Imbler; children, Beverly Sanders of La Grande, Nancy and Cole Fields of

La Grande, Laura and Al Fry of La Grande, Yolanda and Russ Conrad of Island City, John Bryan and Arless Conerd of Wisconsin and Larry and Tanya Roberts of Elgin; 18 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; four brothers, five sisters and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Elgin Seventh-day Adventist Church in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


Helen Isabelle "Issie" McNabb, 89, of La Grande, died July 18 at a local care center with family by her side. A memorial service will begin

at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Grande Ronde Retirement Residence Center.

Helen was born on April 26, 1918, the youngest of four children, to Lee and Helen (Holton) Black in Jacksonville. When she was 10 years old, her mother died of TB. Helen spent much time in the Grande Ronde Valley with her sisters.

She graduated from Medford High School in 1936 and married "Sandy" Edward Harold McNabb on March 10, 1941. They moved to Ashland and started a chicken ranch that they later sold to establish a dairy farm on Bear Creek outside of Ashland. The farm is now called Eagle Mills Farms, and is an organic community garden.

In 1962, she divorced and moved into town to work at Perrine's Department Store while she got her real estate license and became a broker. In 1984, she was Realtor of the year in a job that she always loved.

She was known for her work ethic, her love of the outdoors and for a smile she had for everyone, family members said.

Helen retired in 1988 and moved to La Grande to be near family for health reasons.

Survivors include her daughters, Patricia Forman of Seattle and Deanna and husband, Greg Hebard of La Grande; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; eight nieces and nephews, and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Lottie McDonald of Summerville, Olena Hill of La Grande and John Black of Jacksonville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the GRH Home Health Hospice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, 97850.


Hank Williams Jr., 66, of La Grande, died July 18 at his home. A graveside service will begin at 3 p.m. Monday at the Summerville Cemetery. A gathering for family and friends will follow.

Hank was born on April 26, 1941, to Henry Jackson and Verna Neona (Shaffer) Williams in La Grande. At the age of 3 he picked up his first guitar and over the years learned to play many instruments. At the age of 12 he was playing for dances at the Rockwall Grange.

He attended La Grande School and then enlisted in the Navy. After a medical discharge he returned to Oregon and was a musician most of his life.

He spent many years in the Hermiston and Stanfield area, where he was a charter member of the Moose Lodge. He later moved to Portland, where he continued with his music and was known as Oregon's own Hank Williams Jr. He completed training at a barber school in Portland and owned and operated his own barbershop.

He later moved to Carson, Wash., for a few months before returning to La Grande.

On Aug. 12, 2001, he married Deborah Thompson. He continued to play his music for local fairs and organizations over the years. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, cooking, knitting and crocheting. He loved to read, work on his computer and tie flies.

Survivors include his wife, Debbie Williams of La Grande; brother, Darrel and his wife, Phyllis Williams of Hermiston; sister, Shirley and her husband, Jonnie Gibbs of La Grande, and other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to Oregon Heart Association in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


Michael Duane Wright, 63, of La Grande and formerly of Union, died July 18 at his home. At his request there will be no public services.

Michael was born July 26, 1943, to Willis Pershing and Hazel Ruth (Arvidson) Wright in Walla Walla. After graduation from high school he served with the Navy from 1960 to 1964.

From 1987 until his death, he worked as a mechanic for Greyback and from 1996 to 2000 and various other times, he worked for Bowman trucking.

In the 1990s he purchased a ranch in Union and raised cattle and alfalfa in addition to his other jobs.

In December 2006 he sold his ranch and moved to La Grande. He enjoyed ranching, elk hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his sons, Willie Wright of Washington, Utah, and Glenn Wright of Cave Junction; stepdaughter, Lloyd Wright also lives in Cave Junction; Ray Swift of Cave Junction; brother, Larry Wright of Carson City, Nev.; two grandchildren and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; older brother, Frank and younger sister, Ruth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary's Cancer Center or the Oregon Cancer Society in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, 97850.


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