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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the day of June 15, 2011


Obituaries for the day of June 15, 2011

Portillo, Davis, Norvell, Sage, Shaffer


June 15 — Trevor Page, Mass of Christian burial, 3 p.m., Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church; graveside service, Hillcrest Cemetery; reception, church

June 18 — Ruby Davis, memorial service, 2 p.m., Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness, La Grande

June 18 — Wesley Shaffer, memorial service, 2 p.m., Summerville Cemetery chapel

June 25 — Edward Wheaton, memorial service, 3 p.m., La Grande Country Club

July 9 — Alice Eft, celebration of life, 4 p.m., lower Catherine Creek State Park, Union

Virginia Portillo

Baker City

Virginia Portillo, 64, of Baker City, died June 13 at St. Alphonsus Care Center. Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel in Baker City is in charge of arrangements.

Ruby I. Davis



Ruby Inez Davis, 93, of Union, died June 5 at a care center in La Grande. Her memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness, 1511 26th St. in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Ruby was born Nov. 27, 1917, near Clarksville, Texas, in Red River County. Her parents were George Washington Ewing and Karen Bird Rush Ewing. She married Harvey Dudley Davis in July 1935. He preceded her in death.

Ruby was a cook in a care center for 25 years. She got her license to be a dietitian at Coos County Community College. After retirement, she moved to Union to be near family members. She was a dedicated member of the La Grande Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harvey; her parents, George and Karen; her grandmother, Maggie Rush; her sister and brother, Elareen Dodson and G.W. (Dick) Ewing; and two granddaughters, Kay Lynn Todd and Rhonda Renee Russell.

Survivors include two daughters, Patsy Ann Miller of Beaverton and Trudy Sandra Chase of Union; two sisters, Peggy Phipps and Elbenia Rainey, both of the Texarkana Texas, area; and one brother, Gilbert Ewing of the Texarkana area; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and many more family members.

John L. Norvell

Island City


John L. Norvell, 80, of Island City, died June 9 at his home with his wife, Janie Green Norvell, by his side. At the request of the family, there will be no services. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.

John was born Sept. 24, 1930, in Pendleton to Letcher P. and Opal (Rice) Norvell. He was raised in Helix, and graduated from Griswold Union High School in 1948. John attended Willamette University in Salem for 1 1/2 years. He received his associate degree from Blue Mountain Community College and from the Institute of Applied Science. He graduated from the Seattle Police Academy and was a member of the Seattle Police Department.

For seven years, he worked as a surveyor for the state of Oregon and the state of Washington in forest service. He was also assistant traffic manager for an eight-department-store chain in Springfield, Mass. In his early years, he said he was a security guard for Frank Sinatra’s nightclub at Lake Tahoe.

In 1974, John and his wife, Janie, became managers and administrators for retirement apartments and assisted living facilities. They did the work for the next 30 years. He retired in 2004.

John loved fishing with his brother-in-law, Bill Rodda. In John’s younger years, those who knew him say he was an excellent skeet shooter.

John was the happiest in his later years when he raised his and Janie’s son, Tyler, and when he was reunited with his three older children. More than anything, he enjoyed corresponding with his children. He loved writing letters and sending birthday and Christmas cards to them.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Letcher and Opal; and his brother, Baby Norvell.

His is survived by his wife, Janie; daughter, Linda Lee Norvell King and her spouse, Bill, of Tacoma; three sons and their spouses, Michael and Rachael Norvell of Pendleton, John and Valerie Norvell of St. Helens and Tyler and Chelsea Norvell of Federal Way, Wash.; his sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Bob Larson of Portland; a cousin; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Letters of condolence and cards for Janie may be sent to Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.

Eileen J. Sage



Eileen Jewel Sage, 92, of Union, died June 7 at her home. Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Eileen called Union home for nearly 40 years.

Eileen was born April 27, 1919, to John and Isabelle (Ellison) Alkire in Firestone, Colo. She was raised on farms in Frederick, Colo. From the age of 8, she was raised by her father and she helped raise her siblings. At 15, she worked on a dairy, then became a nanny and had the opportunity to travel to foreign countries with the families she cared for.

Eileen attended school in Evans, Colo., and was a runner on the track team. She met and married the love of her life, Wesley Eugene Sage, on April 9, 1938, in the Methodist church at Leadville. He was a miner in Climax, Colo. They moved to Union to escape mining for her husband’s health. He died in an accident in 1980. In later years, she worked as a school cook and loved to bake.

Eileen was known as a “busy lady” who kept herself young. She attributed her long life to running and dancing.

She was a long-time member of the Umbrella Ladies, The Southern Dixie Belles and The Can-Can Girls, groups of women in their 60s to 80s that performed high-kicking dance routines. She enjoyed square dancing, and was the last surviving member of a singing group called The Three M’s.

Eileen was a speed walker and enjoyed that sport into her 80s. She was an avid reader. She was a member of and volunteered at the Union Methodist Church and Union County Museum. Eileen was also an endowment contributor to the Union Medical Clinic. She was a member of the Optimists, PTA and any organization that involved her sons.

She was an avid gardener and was well known for the fruit she grew and sold in Union. She loved sports, from football to basketball to golfing. Eileen was determined to stay in her home and did so with the help of her longtime friend and caregiver, Geneva Williams.

Eileen is survived by her two sons, Norman Sage of Denver and Douglas Sage of Richland, Wash.; one sister, Colleen, and her spouse, Kenneth Gebbie of Dexter, Iowa; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Wes; her parents; siblings, John Alkire, Eloise Ellis and Vivian Zeimer; granddaughter, Deborah Kay Sage; and great-grandson, Jason Sage.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Union United Methodist Church in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Wesley C. Shaffer



Wesley Clarence Shaffer, 83, of Summerville, died June 9 at a local care center in La Grande. His memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Summerville Cemetery chapel. Burial will be at Summerville Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Wesley was born May 12, 1928, in Flagler, Colo., to Dudley and Hester (Anderson) Shaffer. He attended school in Summerville. Wesley was married to Betty Willey from 1948 to 1972. On March 21, 1973, he married Leona Smith Trudeau.

Wesley enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. His favorite activities were braiding rope, building bird houses, spending time with animals, needle-working, gardening, going for drives and getting firewood. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles for 30 years, and served in the U.S. Army from 1950 until 1953.

Surviving are his wife, Leona; his children and their spouses, Sherman Shaffer of La Grande, Paula and Tim Scott of Silverdale, Wash., Clyde and Cathy Shaffer of Sitka, Alaska, Patsy Hoadley of La Grande, Doug and Janie Trudeau of Redmond, Nick and Dawn Trudeau of Soldotna, Alaska, Jim Trudeau and Eilene Brail of Kenai, Alaska, Danette and Steve Austin of North Platte, Neb., Lynette Trudeau and Pat Agee of Roseburg, Trudy Lovins and Tom Fine of La Grande and Janette and Duane Weible of Charlo, Mont.; sisters, Marjorie Searles of Hermiston and Lavern Isaac of Ava, Mo.; 23 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Wesley was preceded in death by his parents, Dudley and Hester; step-mother, Ada Shaffer; and siblings, Walter Shaffer, Harry Shaffer, Rosebud Shaffer, Beulah Williams, Sherman Shaffer, Verna Williams, Mable Searles, Clyde Shaffer, Wynona Fitzgerald and Josephine Shaffer.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel.

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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