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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the day of June 4, 2008


Obituaries for the day of June 4, 2008

Fleser, Hooker




Charles “Chuck’’ Wayne Fleser, 56, of Minam died May 22. A potluck celebration of life for Chuck will begin at 3 p.m. June 28 at the schoolhouse in Minam. Information about the celebration can also be found at http://thetamaracktree.editme.com .

Chuck was born March 14, 1952, in Enterprise. As an infant he moved with his family to Medford, where his parents had met and married. Chuck grew up in Medford and graduated from Medford Senior High in 1970, where he was a member of the state football championship team. After high school, Chuck moved to Minam and purchased an old school house on the hill above the Wallowa River. He resided there for several years and temporarily moved to Portland and Medford, only to return to his home in Minam where he loved to be.

He was an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist. He worked for Oregon Parks and Recreation as park ranger aide in Wallowa County. One of his great joys was hunting and fishing with his grandfather, father and later, his sons and partner.

In 2004, he purchased the Minam Motel and started his newest adventure. He had aspirations for the motel and saw many of them come true. He was awarded the 2007 Gene Leo Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions and efforts in tourism, specifically for organizing the annual Wallowa County Steelhead Fishing Train. He readily shared the history of Minam and was always ready to tell a good story.

He is survived by his mother and father, Wilma and Lowell Fleser; sons, Gabriel and his wife, Leah, and Will and his wife, Jessica; daughter, Hanna Rose; four grandchildren; three sisters, Laurie Evans, Karen Tokuda and Cynthia Gregg; nine nieces and nephews; and his companion of eight years, Dawn Smith.

Frances Harriet Hooker, 92, of La Grande and formerly of Union, died April 4 at a local care home in La Grande. A life tribute and celebration will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at the Union Cemetery in Union. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Through the last 92 years, those who knew Frances say she touched many lives and helped many people as a volunteer at senior meals and the local food bank at the United Methodist Church in Union. She was usually the first one at church on Sundays and would turn up the heat, start the coffee and help where she could.

Frances was born Jan. 21, 1916, the third of seven children to Frank John and Edith Anna Haltby Cole Wilsey in Flora. She spent much of her childhood in Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Wash. She is the descendant of an early pioneer family, her grandparents, George Warren and Mary Ann Skelton Cole.

On March 23, 1932, Frances married William Guy Hooker in Goldendale, Wash. Frances and Bill lived in Lewiston for a year before moving to Pondosa, where Bill worked for the mill for 21 years. Frances and her family then moved to Union in 1958, where she led an active life and remained in her own home until a stroke forced her to move to

La Grande. When her hands permitted, Frances would hand tie quilts and donate them to the veterans in Walla Walla.

Frances was a long-time type II diabetic and controlled it with medication, diet and exercise and would test her blood every day. Diabetes ran in her family and she lost several siblings to the disease. Frances was a very talented cook and would prepare amazing meals for her family, and learned to be careful to read food labels and prepare nutritious meals without sugar.

Even after the death of her husband in 2002, she continued staying busy and enjoyed crocheting, sewing and baking sugar-free cookies and candies. When Frances and Bill celebrated 72 years of marriage, she said, “After being married for 72 years, then finding yourself living all alone, you’ve got to do something!” (an excerpt from a story in The Observer for her 90th birthday, “Still Going Strong at 90” published Jan. 24, 2006.)

Frances was preceded in death by her husband, William Hooker; sisters, Mary Ethel and her husband, Leonard Goble, Nellie Marie and her husband George Parker, June Mae and her husband, Vernon St. Marie, Eleanor Florence and her husband, Charles Stephens, Donna Jean and her husband George Scriver; brother, Melvin Lyle and his wife, Frances Wilsey; and son-in-law, Aaron Ringer.

She is survived by a daughter, Norma Ringer of La Grande; son William C. Hooker and his wife Carol of Union; five grandchildren and their spouses; eight great-grandchildren; several great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union United Methodist Church in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.


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