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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the day of August 5, 2011

Obituaries for the day of August 5, 2011

Murdoch, Laing, Laird, Pieper


Aug. 6 — Verne Pieper, graveside service, 2 p.m., Summerville Cemetery; reception, Zion Lutheran Church, La Grande

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

Barbara Ann Murdoch

North Powder

Barbara Ann Daugherty Murdoch, 88, longtime resident of North Powder, died July 28.

Graveside services will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 12 at the Haines Cemetery. A memorial lunch will immediately follow at the North Powder School cafeteria.

Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends of Baker.

Douglas A. Laing



Douglas A. Laing, 70, of Cove, died July 31 at a local care center. At his request, there will be no service. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Doug was born Sept. 10, 1940, in Dallas to Charles and Mabel Ardell (Tharp) Laing. He moved to La Grande in 1967.

He served in the U.S. Air Force. He worked 40-plus years in the press department for the Bend Bulletin and was later transferred to The Observer in La Grande.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, LaWanda (Woods) Laing of Cove; stepchildren, Rhonda Stewart of Oregon and John Woods of Oregon; a grandson; brothers, Gary and his wife, Anita Laing, of Oregon and Kenneth and his wife, Phyllis Laing, of Oregon; and sister, Bonnie Laing of Oregon.

Douglas was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.


Nancy J. Laird

Formerly of La Grande


Nancy J. Laird, 74, of Poulsbo, Wash., and formerly of La Grande, died July 28 at Harrison Memorial Hospital in Bremerton, Wash., with her daughter, Kristine, at her side. A memorial is not planned at this time.

Those who knew Nancy may visit http://www.tuellmckeebremerton.com to sign the online guestbook.

She was born Nov. 23, 1936, to John and Eleanor (Hawes) Hodge in La Grande. She graduated from La Grande High School in 1955 and attended Eastern Oregon College.

She married Norman Patrick “Pat” Laird, also of La Grande, on Nov. 10, 1961, in Carlisle, Pa. The couple moved to Washington, D.C., where he was an oceanographer for NOAA. He was lost at sea in 1978.

In 1963, they moved to Edmonds, Wash., where she spent 28 years before returning to La Grande.

She was an artist and loved painting beautiful pictures for her family. Those who knew her say she was a mother to everyone and is remembered for opening up her home and her heart to all of the children she knew.

While her daughter was young, Nancy devoted herself to her. She was actively involved in PTA and school activities including acting as coach for her daughter’s cheer team.

Nancy attended Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in La Grande and was a member of the Eagles and the Elks. She was a former member of the La Grande Country Club.

She enjoyed traveling, cooking, bingo, coffee, painting and being with family and friends. She was proud of her Irish heritage and loved animals. She enjoyed debating politics.

She said she loved spending the last several years of her life with her daughter, Kristine; son-in-law, Chris; and her granddaughter, Clara Grace “Gracie.”

Nancy is survived by her daughter, Kristine R. Abplanalp and son-in-law, Chris, of Poulsbo; a granddaughter; sister, Judie Coles of Prineville; and many nieces and nephews who live all over the world.

Nancy was preceded in death by her husband, Norman Patrick “Pat” Laird; parents; sister, Linda Smethurst; and best friend and sister-in-law, Margaret Jones.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society or local animal shelters.

Verne H. Pieper

Island City


Verne Henry Pieper, 86, of Island City, died Aug. 2 at his home. A graveside service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Summerville Cemetery. Following the service, there will be a reception at Zion Lutheran Church in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Verne was born June 14, 1925, to Henry and Bessie Mae (Ellsworth) Pieper in La Grande. He graduated from La Grande High School. On Aug. 1, 1948, he married Orpha Berry and they had three children: Jan, Debra and Gregg.

Verne worked at Hallmark Furniture Center and La Grande Paint and Glass. He was rewarded by the countless number of friends and customers who returned many times for his advice on decorating and color schemes.

Verne enjoyed camping, traveling, working on his yard and flowers, spending time with his family and friends and researching history and ancestry. He was a member of the Eagles and a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Orpha (Berry) Pieper of Island City; children and their spouses, Jan and Mel Pointer of La Grande, Debra and Don Rosenow of Sioux City, Iowa, and Gregg Pieper of La Grande; brother, Bill and Grace Pieper of La Grande; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

Verne was preceded in death by his parents.

The Observer publishes free obituaries as a community service. Obituaries are edited to fit news guidelines. Photos are encouraged. Paid space is available for families who would like to include more information. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center posts unedited obituaries at www.danielsknopp.com, and Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory posts obituaries at www.lovelandfuneralchapel.com.

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