Obituaries for the day of August 1, 2011
LOCAL FUNERALS AND VISITATIONS
Aug. 13 — Theodore Hooey, celebration of life, 3 p.m., American Legion Post 43, La Grande
Aug. 13 — John J. Gregory, graveside, 11 a.m., Wallowa Cemetery
Formerly of North Powder
Close family and friends were present during the services with military honors at Riverside National Cemetery July 21, where his ashes reside in the Columbarium with his wife of 62 years.
Noel was born May 3, 1928, in North Powder. He lived with his dad, Stonewall Volney Jackson Gorham, and mom, Allie Mae (Gilkison), and three brothers and five sisters.
Noel retired from the U.S. Coast Guard on July 1, 1966, as a senior chief yeoman with 20 years of service. He previously served in the U.S. Navy from Dec. 15, 1947, to March 17, 1950. During his naval career, in 1948-49, he was assigned to assist with the great Berlin Airlift, stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, to provide the devastated German citizens with food and supplies. Noel fell in love with a beautiful young German fraulein, Martha Elisabeth “Elly” Sziegle, and they married in Germany on July 20, 1949, and remained happily married until Elly’s death on June 27, 2010.
Noel enjoyed the Gorham family reunions every year in La Grande for the opportunity to play music with his family. He played guitar, harmonica and accordion and also recorded many of the family music sessions. He was an artist and inventor, crafting tools, motors, wood boxes, bowls, cups, frames, furniture, cabinets and guitar stands. He was also a self-taught horticulturist with more than 500 varieties of exotic houseplants, shrubs, roses, succulents and cacti. He also took care of two California desert tortoises for more than 45 years. The tortoises bred three babies.
He was known for being organized and believed that everything had its place. Those who knew him say he was at peace with himself and was very proud and independent.
Noel is survived by his daughter, Renee and her husband, Mark Gerber, of Chewelah, Wash.; son, Jeffrey and his wife, Cynthia Gorham, of Bowie, Md.; two granddaughters; and one grandson.