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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the day of June 20, 2011


Obituaries for the day of June 20, 2011

Johnston, Klaus, Parks, Baxter, Lawry, Barton


June 24 — Sally Lawry, 11 a.m., Trinity Baptist Church, La Grande

June 24 — Edgar Barton, 2 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, La Grande

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

June 25 — Ruby Davis, memorial service, 2 p.m., Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness, La Grande

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

Henry Johnston

La Grande

A graveside service for Henry Johnston, who died June 12, will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Union Cemetery.

Henry, 74, lived in La Grande. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.

Wilma Klaus

Formerly of La Grande

Wilma Klaus, 104, formerly of La Grande, died June 18 at her home in Las Vegas. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of the arrangements.

Justine Parks

La Grande

Justine Parks, 92, of La Grande, died June 18 at a local care center. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.

Leona M. Baxter

La Grande


Leona Maude Baxter, 99, of La Grande, died peacefully 10 days before her 100th birthday. A celebration of life will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Union County Senior Center in La Grande. Private burial will be at the Enterprise Cemetery.

Leona was born June 26, 1911, in Joseph to Bud and Sadie Simms. Her early years were spent on a ranch in the Joseph area and later in Enterprise where she graduated from high school.

She married John Thomas “Bird” Frashier in 1930. They raised their son, Harry Bird “Bud” Frashier. In addition to being a wife and mother, she worked at various retailers in Enterprise. She also drove for Booth Funeral Home after Bud graduated high school.

In 1953, Bird became ill and they moved to a small ranch on the Burnt River in Durkee to be closer to good friend, Ceila Titus, where they worked her and their ranches.

Bird died in 1955. Leona and Maurice Baxter married in 1955 and continued to ranch in the valley. The couple drove students from Weatherby and all over Durkee Valley to Durkee School. Leona also became the janitor for the school where she was a strong supporter of the teachers and “mothered” many of the students at the two-room school. When school was consolidated with the Baker School District, Maurice and Leona continued to drive students to Baker City.

Leona enjoyed ranch life and loved sharing that time with her two grandchildren, Don and Tina.     

She was a member of the Durkee Grange and Baker County Cattlewomen and was a substitute USPS postmistress for many years.

Leona and Maurice were married for 42 years and after selling the Durkee ranch, they enjoyed retirement in Ontario and winters in Arizona. After his death in 1998, Leona moved to La Grande to be closer to her son.

At the senior center, she met and developed a special relationship with Veryl Smith. They were companions until Veryl died in 2004. Her family says Leona lived a healthy, independent life until the past year when a fall forced her to move to Wildflower Assisted Care.

She is survived by her son, Bud Frashier and his wife, Sue; two grandchildren; one great-grandson; sister, Lois Nuss of Klamath Falls; and nieces and nephews

She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Bird Frashier; husband, Maurice Baxter; companion, Veryl Smith; and nephew, Tony Staub.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Senior Center in care of Daniels-Knopp.

Sally Jean Lawry

Formerly of La Grande


Sally Jean Lawry, 64, former resident of La Grande, died June 11 in a hospital in Las Vegas. Her funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the Trinity Baptist Church in La Grande. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Sally was born March 2, 1947, in Oregon. Her parents are Samuel E. and Faye D. (Fincher) Nelson. She was married to Thomas G. Lawry Jr.

Sissy loved to travel with her husband around the country in their RV. She also loved helping others. Those who knew her say she was a warm, open-hearted God-fearing woman.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas of Las Vegas; daughter, Michlynn K. Ruddell of Jamestown, N.D.; son, Bo J. Rambo of Salem; brother, Carl Nelson and his wife, Jo Jean Nelson, of La Grande; sister, Joe Ann McMichael and her husband, Bert McMichael of Jordan Valley; and four grandchildren.

Her parents, two brothers and one son preceded her in death.

Edgar ‘Ed’ R. Barton

La Grande


Edgar “Ed” Richards Barton, 77, of La Grande, died June 11 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise of a sudden acute infection. Celebration of life services will begin at 2 p.m. June 24 at First Presbyterian Church in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Ed was born Dec. 30, 1933, in Seneca to Edgar H. and Dora M. Richards Barton. His father was a timber faller. When Ed was 2, his parents moved to Prairie City, then to Union in 1937.

He graduated from Union High School in 1952. He was active in FFA and class leadership. He attended Eastern Oregon College of Education for a year and then transferred to Oregon State College where he earned a bachelor of science degree in forest management. He worked for the U. S. Forest Service while attending college.

After graduation, he was employed by the Oregon State Tax Department in the yield tax division, working in the northwest corner of the state while living in Salem.

After marriage to Ellen Louise North in 1967, they moved to Auburn, Calif., where Ed was a partner in a forestry consulting and engineering supply company. He then worked as a logging supervisor in Yuba City before taking a job with Western Wood Products Association and moving his family to Missoula, Mont. A promotion in that firm moved the family to Portland. He was employed by Prairie City Timber Company as a timber procurement officer.

Finally, he had the opportunity to work for Boise Cascade in La Grande. He said he felt like he had come home. Following his retirement, Ed operated his own forestry consulting business until his final retirement in 2004.

His parents were beekeepers and Ed had his own hives and sold honey. He loved to read and had a life-long interest in photography, starting as a young boy with a darkroom in the basement. Cameras were also a hobby, both to use, collect and repair. He was an active member of the La Grande Camera Club and served as president for several years.

He liked cars both for the sport of driving and the love of maintaining them. During the time he lived in Salem, he was active in the Sports Car Club of America, competing in autocross competitions and working at the club races. He owned a motorcycle for the last 50 years. His love of riding took him and his family on many interesting and scenic trips. He was a member of the local Blue Mountain Two-Wheelers in the 1980s, later joining the BMW Riders of Oregon and serving as an active member holding many leadership positions in that organization.

 His favorite sport was handball which he played for many years until arthritis curtailed this activity.

Ed learned from his father that a good citizen was informed and involved. He served on and was chair of the Union County Planning Commission. Those who knew Ed say he cared about and enjoyed people, and this quality brought him many fine friendships.

Ed had chronic leukemia and lymphoma for which he was treated over the last several years. He always was positive in his treatments and looked forward to the time when his strength returned and he could continue his activities, especially riding motorcycles and visiting with friends and family.

Ed is survived by his wife, Ellen L. Barton; sons, Lucas Barton of La Grande and Matthew Barton of St. Ingbert, Germany; sisters, Virginia and Virgil Chandler of Salem, Jane and Dick Lang of Salem and Minnie and Elwynn Alexander of Missoula, Mont.; four granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Anna Marie; and brother, Robert Joseph.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or any other charity.

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.


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