Obituaries for the day of July 19, 2011
Sage, Thornton, Johnson, Putnam
LOCAL FUNERALS AND VISITATIONS
July 22 — James Putnam, memorial service, 6 p.m., Riverside Memorial Park
July 23 — Harlan Johnson, memorial service with military honors, 2 p.m., Union Cemetery
July 24 — Reta Cupper, celebration of life, 1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church Friendship Center, La Grande
July 28 — Eileen Sage, memorial service, 11 a.m., Union United Methodist Church
Eileen was 92 and lived in Union. An obituary was printed June 15 in The Observer. Loveland Funeral Chapel was in charge of the arrangements.
Harlan was born Sept. 22, 1940, in Bozeman, Mont., to Clifford and Ruth (Shepard) Johnson. He graduated from Bozeman High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army to continue his education and serve his country. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army National Guard.
On Aug. 4, 1961, he married Esther Ruth Birkeland. They lived in Union where Harlan was employed with Boise Cascade for 27 years.
Harlan enjoyed fishing, hunting, carpentry and snowmobiling. He was an active member of the American Legion VFW.
He is survived by his wife, Esther; his children and their spouses, Wanda and Steve Langley of Burns Flat, Okla., Keith and Jenifer Johnson of Marcus, Wash., Daniel and Susan Johnson of Elgin and Nanette and Kenny Gregory of Union; his brother and sister and their spouses, Elton and Lila Johnson of Montana and Cleo and Rodger Anderson of Montana; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and 15 nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Clifford and Ruth; two brothers, Bud and Buck Johnson; and his sister, Arvilla Metcalf.
Jim was born Nov. 3, 1961, in Encino, Calif., to Loren Eugene Putnam and Susannah Lee Rust Putnam. He attended elementary school in Encino and graduated from Union High School. After graduation, he enrolled at J.M. Perry Technical Institute in Yakima, where he graduated and earned his sheet metal fabrication certification.
Jim worked in the logging industry in Oregon and Washington until 1994. He was employed in heating and air conditioning service and repair for 15 years. Jim was married twice, first to Nicole Bassell and then to Ellen Wyatt.
Jim enjoyed camping and fishing with friends and family, especially with his children. He was an avid American Indian artifact collector. Jim would say that his greatest achievement in life was his children.
Surviving are his children, David Putnam, 20, Shayna Putnam, 17 and Miranda Putnam, 14, all of La Grande; his stepson, Michael Bassell, 23, of Vancouver, Wash.; his son, Jimmy Putnam, 29; his mother, Sue Putnam, of Naches, Wash.; and his siblings, Michael Putnam of Kennewick, Robert Putnam of Arizona, Syndy Distain and her husband, Eric, of Kennewick, Rachael Sanchez and J.P. Putnam; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Loren Eugene Putnam.