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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the day of October 19, 2011


Obituaries for the day of October 19, 2011

Thiessen, Watson


Oct. 21 — Mike Hansell, service, 11 a.m., First Baptist Church, La Grande

Oct. 22 — Jim Rhyne, memorial service, 11 a.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gekeler


Keithel Thiessen

La Grande


Keithel Smith Thiessen, 95, of La Grande, died Oct. 14 at her residence. At her request, there will be no services. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Keithel was born Dec. 28, 1915, in Jefferson to Paul G. and Viola Keithel (Englet) Smith. She grew up in Jefferson, attending schools there and graduating from Jefferson High School in 1934.

Keithel was first married to Guy C. Hart in 1934. They later divorced. She then married Henry A. Thiessen in 1943. He died in 1981. Keithel and Henry owned and operated Sunset Springs Ranch in Jefferson where they raised registered Hereford cattle.

Keithel was employed by the U.S. Postal Service for several years. She also served as secretary in the child support division of Marion County for 15 years where she retired.

Keithel was past president of the Jefferson Women’s Club and a charter member of the Oregon Cattlewomen’s Association. She was a charter member of the Anna Maria Pitman Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Kaiser. She loved doing family genealogy and helping others get started on their family history. Keithel enjoyed gardening. She loved raising her flowers.

Keithel is survived by her daughters, Ruth H. Leitch of La Grande and Jill E. Thiessen of Salem; a sister, Paula M. Brawn; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Keithel; and her husband, Henry.


Daniel S. Watson

Formerly of La Grande


Daniel S. “Dan” Watson, 48, of Lafayette, Ind., and formerly of La Grande died Oct. 13 on his birthday at I.U. Health Arnett Hospital following a two-month battle with cancer. A service was held Tuesday at Hippensteel Chapel with Mike LaManna officiating. Share memories and condolences online at www.hippensteelfuneralservice.com.

Dan was born Oct. 13, 1963, in Baker City, the son of Robert and Ruth Harkness Watson of La Grande. Dan was raised in Oregon and graduated in 1982 from La Grande High School.

He came to Lafayette in July of 1991. He married Teresa Mellott on May 22, 1992, in the Rush Pavilion at Columbian Park in Lafayette.

Dan has worked for the past 16 years for the city of Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department and most recently as the head custodian at the McAllister Center. He has also worked part-time at Star Lanes.  He was a member of the Moose Lodge. He was a former board member of the Lafayette Bowling Association, and had bowled in the Satellite Mixed Leagues on Sunday nights and the American Northside Men’s League on Wednesday nights. Through the years, he also bowled in other bowling leagues. While bowling, Dan was known for throwing his hat.

Dan enjoyed NASCAR and was a fan of Tony Stewart. He and his wife attended numerous NASCAR races with the Brickyard Buddies.  

Surviving are his wife; his parents; one brother, Douglas Watson Sr. of La Grande; mother-in-law, Agnes Clemons of Lafayette; one niece; two nephews; and numerous aunts and uncles and cousins throughout the United States.

Memorial contributions may be made to the McAllister Summer Camp Scholarship Fund in care of the Lafayette Parks Foundation.


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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