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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the week ending April 12, 2008

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Obituaries for the week ending April 12, 2008

Lanman, Adams, Stewart, Liebig-Thornton, Smith, Vincent, McMillen, Stewart, Running, Hyde, O’Mohundro,

 

 


Billy E. Lanman, 79, of La Grande died April 4 at the Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of his life will begin at

1 p.m. Wednesday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. Burial will follow at the Summerville Cemetery. Family members will host friends at a visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Daniels-Knopp.

Billy was born Nov. 9, 1928, to Ira L. and Hazel F. Lanman at the old Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. His early life was spent in Summerville on a ranch and later on another ranch on Pumpkin Ridge. He went to school in Pumpkin Ridge and Imbler, graduating from Imbler High School in 1946.

Soon after, he joined the Army and was stationed in Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo. After his honorable discharge he returned home and farmed with his father.

Billy married in 1948 and the couple had five children. In 1979 he married Rita A. Nice and became a stepfather to three more, making that a total of eight children. He loved them all.

He changed professions in 1965 and became involved in real estate. Moving to Eugene, he became a broker with a sales staff.

In 1973, Billy returned to La Grande and had a real estate office and staff. Eventually, he closed the office and returned to farming. After retiring in 1993 he moved to a small acreage on Fruitdale Lane in La Grande.

Billy was an active member and lay reader at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. He joined the Elgin Masonic Lodge in 1954 as well as the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry that same year. He became a member of the Blue Mountain Lodge at North Powder and became a master in 1966. He also served as master of Elgin Lodge in 1986. Billy was coronated a 33rd degree Mason in 1989. In 2002, he received what he considered his highest earthly reward — the Hiram Award.

He served as a member of the Grand Lodge Registration Committee and later became chairman and served for more than 20 years. He was appointed a Grand Lodge officer three times. He also belonged to the York Rite of Freemasonry, the Royal Order of Scotland, Al Kader Shrine and the Union County Shrine Club. He was also a member of the American Legion.

While ranching in the North Powder area he was chairman of the North Powder Water District for many years and from that term, the Wolf Creek and Pilcher Creek reservoirs were developed. He was a member of the Grande Ronde Water District, a director on the Union County Conservation Board and a director on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Billy loved to hunt, fish and grow things — always keeping a large garden. Those who knew him say he especially loved his kids and grandkids.

Survivors include his wife, Rita, of Island City; children and their spouses, Robert and Judi of Pendleton, William “Mark” and Peggy of La Grande, Mike and Vicki of La Grande, Chris Asla of

La Grande and Cindy and Bob Weber of La Grande; stepchildren, Steve and his wife, Susan Nice, of Portland, Ken Nice of Montana and Linda Belock of Olympia; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Arla Bingaman of Imbler; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Scottish Rite Clinics for Childhood Language Disorders, 1507 SW Morrison St., Portland 97205.


Colletta Delores Adams, 88, formerly of Elgin and La Grande, died Saturday at home in Southlake, Texas. Viewing will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Recitation of the holy rosary will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center in La Grande. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Elgin. Burial will follow at the Elgin Cemetery. A memorial Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Grapevine, Texas, at noon on April 26.

Colletta was born Feb. 10, 1920, to Joseph and Catherine Schmidt Bodenschatz in Wilmore, Pa. She grew up in Wilmore and graduated from high school there.

On Sept. 4, 1944, she married James Adams in Wilmore. They were married for almost 47 years until his death in 1991.

In 1953, she and her family moved to Elgin. Although she moved to Texas in 2003 to live with her son and his family, she always considered the Grande Ronde Valley her home.

She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and St. Anne’s Altar Society in Elgin. In her later years, she was a member of the Southlake Senior Center and St. Francis Catholic Church in Grapevine, Texas.

She enjoyed crocheting, quilting, sewing and other crafts. She was often called on to hem a pair of pants or a dress at the last minute. She enjoyed cooking and baking and for many years baked pies for Snyder’s Café. Her homemade rolls were enjoyed by many each year at St. Mary’s annual Elk Hunters’ dinner. She also enjoyed working crossword puzzles and successfully completed them most days until shortly before her death.

Survivors include her children, Delores Adams of Richardson, Texas, Kaye and her husband, Mike Hanson, of Vancouver, Wash., Becky and her husband Rod Nichols, of Boise, Idaho, daughter-in-law, Lessa Adams of Elgin; Ed and his wife, Donna, of Southlake, Texas; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a son, Harold in 2004.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Call A Ride Southlake (CARS) in care of Daniels-Knopp, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande 97850.


Thomas G. Stewart, 82, of La Grande died April 3 at the home of his friends, Kay and Vernon Slippy. A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Daniels-Knopp with Rev. Vernon Slippy officiating.

Thomas was born Sept. 18, 1925, to Thomas A. and Mary Jane (Gale) Stewart in Ponoka, Alberta, Canada. He served in WWII in the Canadian Navy as a Telegraphist Trained Operator serving in the Atlantic, in the D-day invasion, and in the Pacific on board Corvettes and Mine-sweepers.

He moved, with his parents, to New Westminister, B.C., during the war. After the war he attended the University of British Columbia. He transferred to the University of Washington in 1946 as a pre-med major.

He married Jo Anne Arnold in 1951 in Seattle. They had one daughter, Bonnie Gale. They divorced in 1967.

Thomas was an adjuster for Grange Insurance. He later joined the National Association of Independent Insurance Claims Adjusters and was a member until his death. He adjusted as a Storm Trooper traveling to the Gulf States after hurricanes. He was also responsible for five southern counties in Southwest Washington. He was a member of the ski patrol and a Red Cross first aid instructor.

Thomas was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Baker, the Defiance Lodge AF & AM of Tacoma, Wash., and the Presbyterian Church of Seattle.

He moved to La Grande in 1972 and worked for Denton and Associates. He married Ethel Anderson on April 3, 1978, and lived on Spring Street until her death in 1995. He was her caregiver for the last 18 months of her life. He moved to the Sundowner Trailer Park where he lived until his death.

Thomas was proud of his Irish ancestry and was often kidded about talking “Irish.” He was an avid reader and his home could be found cluttered with magazines and books. He was a dog lover and had many pets. He never met a stranger and had a keen sense of humor.

Thomas is survived by his daughter, Bonnie; grandson, Tommy of Seattle; miniature Dauchund, “Doxie”; and many close friends including Pastor Vernon and Kay Slippy and Janie Norvell all of La Grande.


Pamela Liebig-Thornton, 56, of La Grande, died at St. Lukes Hospital in Boise after a long and courageous battle with cancer. A recitation of the rosary will begin at 7 tonight at Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory.

A Mass of Christian burial will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, 1002 L Ave. Burial will follow at the Grandview Cemetery.

Pamela was born May 22, 1951, in Portland to Norman and Dorothy (Drinkwater) Liebig of Hines. As an infant she lost her first mother and was raised by her father’s second wife Marion (Sutherland) Liebig, whom she knew as her mother. She spent her childhood in the Hines area where she attended public schools.

Pamela met and fell in love with Fred Thornton Jr. in high school and they married on Jan. 27, 1968, in Weiser, Idaho. They had two daughters, Tina and Kari, while living in Hines. She moved with her husband to

La Grande where she lived for the past 26 years.

In Hines she worked at the Harney County Hospital in Burns in various roles. In La Grande she worked at the Grande Ronde Hospital as well as providing in-home services for seniors. During the past several years she devoted her time and energy to her family and recently to her two grandchildren. Those who knew her say she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and daughter.

She enjoyed growing colorful flowers and feeding hummingbirds in her garden. Birds and squirrels were welcomed into her yard where her feeders were always kept full. She was an avid shopper who enjoyed giving gifts and never once missed a chance to celebrate a birthday or holiday for her family and friends.

Pamela successfully searched for and found her natural birth parents and was reunited with them in June 2000. She not only found her birth mother, Gloria Golden, and birth father, Monte La Lumia, but also a sister, Monica Clancy, along with a wonderful extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. The relationship with both her families helped support and sustain her during her battle with breast cancer.

Survivors include her husband, Fred Jr.; daughters, Tina Thornton and Kari and her husband, Bob Mussatto, of La Grande; son, Andrew Vilk of Roseburg; mother, Gloria Golden of Harlingen, Texas; sister, Monica Clancy of Harlingen; stepbrother, Steve Russell of San Francisco; two grandchildren; and many other relatives.

Pamela was preceded in death by her parents, Norman, Dorothy and Marion Liebig, and Monte La Lumia; and brother, Anthony Liebig.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke’s Hospital, MSTI, Grande Ronde Hospital or the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.


Geraldine Iphiginia “Gerry” Smith, 95, of La Grande and formerly of Elgin, died April 7 at her home.

A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at the La Grande New Life Center, 10700 Walton Road. Private burial will be at the Elgin Cemetery. Viewing will be held tonight from 4 to 6 at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh Street.

Gerry was born on Nov. 15, 1912, to Ernest John and Lydia (McBean) Ross in Adams. She graduated from Weston High School and met her future husband, Richard “Lee” Smith, while cooking for the harvest crews. They married on Oct. 28, 1942, in Lewiston.

The couple moved to Elgin in 1945. In the late 1950s through the 1960s they ran Smith Dairy on Valley View Road and sold milk and cream to the people in Elgin.

She was very involved and a past Matron of the Rebekkah Lodge. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed playing cards and working puzzles. She loved to dance and spend time with family.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Harold Lee and Judith Smith of

La Grande; daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth “Ann” and Steven Galloway of Elgin; six grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by sisters Florence Wishart and Mildred Tucker.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Senior Center, which she and her husband had been active in over the years.


James “Doug” Douglas Vincent, 73, of Ukiah, died April 7 in Gresham. At his request no services will be held. Burial was at the Ukiah Cemetery. Gresham Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Doug was born Oct. 17, 1934, to Cecil and Ruth (Dawson) Vincent in St. Louis. When Doug was 6, the family moved from Missouri to Tillamook where Doug was raised and educated. At 16, he purchased a log truck and moved to Eastern Oregon where he met and married the love of his life, Patsy Sheff, on Aug. 14, 1955. The couple had five children. Doug logged in Union, Wallowa and Umatilla counties.

In 1964, they moved to Alaska where Doug owned and operated Specialized Truck Parts & Service. In 1984 Doug and Patsy moved back to Ukiah, where they opened and operated Dan’s Ukiah Service, a hunters’ travel stop.

Doug bred and raised Healer dogs and rabbits. He loved the Ukiah valley and enjoyed caring for the local bird population and engaging in political discussions.

Doug is survived by his wife of 52 years in Ukiah; three daughters, Dellena Levan of Wasilla, Alaska, Vonnie Ceja and Terrie Lockwood of Gresham; son, Daniel Vincent of Ukiah; sister, Rosemary Vincent of Boliver, Mo.; brother, John Vincent of Gresham; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Doug was preceded in death by his son, Douglas Allen Vincent in 1973; brother, Timothy Carl Vincent in 2002; and his parents.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Quick Response Team, P.O. Box 57, Ukiah 97880.


Carl Richard McMillen, 71, of Spirit Lake, Idaho, and formerly of La Grande, died April 7 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Celebration of life services begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Clark Fork Senior Center in Idaho. A private family interment will follow at the Clark Fork Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Carl was born June 26, 1936, to Maxine Petrina Skillingstad and William Hyrum McMillen in Salt Lake City. During WWII the family moved to San Francisco to work in the war effort. Carl attended grade school in

San Francisco at Parkside Elementary and at the age of 6 sold newspapers with his brother Phillip on the street corner in the Sunset District in downtown San Francisco.

At 17, Carl enlisted in the Marines and was in active duty during the Korean War. Carl served in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1962 and received special recognition for sharpshooting.

In 1955, Carl married Maxine Sanders in Oklahoma City and they settled in Woodland, Calif., and had three children. Carl worked for Yolo Engineers as a land surveyor until 1968.

In 1965, Carl married Maurine June Walton, who he had known since she went to high school with his sister Darlene. Maurine had three children that he raised as his own, and together they had three more.

In January 1968, Carl moved his family to Everett, Wash., and worked for Ruskin-Fisher, Group Four and Sadler Surveying. Carl was a licensed land surveyor in Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Utah. In 1971 Carl worked on a top secret project in Point Barrow, Alaska, for the Navy as a surveyor.

In 1973 after obtaining his Idaho Land surveyors license, Carl and Maurine moved their family to Clark Fork, Idaho, where they started McMillen Land Surveying. During his years running McMillen Land Surveying, Carl was one of the largest local employers at the time. Carl had contracts all over the Northwest for the federal government. Together, Carl and Maurine later purchased and ran the Cedars Café, Playhouse Bar, Bucks Saloon and Alibi Charters.

Carl had a love of the outdoors and enjoyed collecting guns, knives, belt buckles, coins and antique surveying equipment. He received his captain’s license in 1971 and could be found on the weekends cruising around Lake Pend Oreille with his friends and family on the Alibi. Carl was a member of the VFW and the American Legion.

Carl is survived by his sister, Lani Eisemann of Grove, Okla.; brothers, William and Lois McMillen of Lake Havasu, Ariz., and Bobby and Leanne McMillen of California; daughters, Lynn and Tony Bierwagen of Thompson Falls, Mont., Helen and Rick Valenzuela of Round Rock, Texas, Vickie Broeder and Mike Walker of Priest River, Idaho, Michelle and Wayne Becker of Clark Fork, Carla and Kevin Loveland of La Grande; and sons, Thomas Hayden Church of Utopia, Texas, Andy Quesada of Canyon Lake, Texas, Eric Lofstrom of Priest River and Raymond McMillen of Spirit Lake; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Carl was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Phillip McMillen; sister, Darlene Wolfe; and ex-wives, Maurine McMillen and Shirley “Wilson” McMillen.


Thomas G. Stewart, 82, of La Grande died April 3 at the home of his friends, Kay and Vernon Slippy. A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Daniels-Knopp with Rev. Vernon Slippy officiating.

Thomas was born Sept. 18, 1925, to Thomas A. and Mary Jane (Gale) Stewart in Ponoka, Alberta, Canada. He served in WWII in the Canadian Navy as a Telegraphist Trained Operator serving in the Atlantic, in the D-Day invasion and in the Pacific on board Corvettes and Minesweepers.

He moved with his parents to New Westminister, B.C., during the war. After the war he attended the University of British Columbia. He transferred to the University of Washington in 1946 as a pre-med major.

He married Jo Anne Arnold in 1951 in Seattle. They had one daughter, Bonnie Gale. They divorced in 1967.

Thomas was an adjuster for Grange Insurance. He later joined the National Association of Independent Insurance Claims Adjusters of which he was a member until his death. He adjusted as a Storm Trooper, traveling to the Gulf States after hurricanes. He was also responsible for five southern counties in Southwest Washington. He was a member of the ski patrol and a Red Cross first aid instructor.

Thomas was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Baker, the Defiance Lodge AF & AM of Tacoma, Wash., and the Presbyterian Church of Seattle.

He moved to La Grande in 1972 and worked for Denton and Associates. He married Ethel Anderson on April 3, 1978, and lived on Spring Street until her death in 1995. He was her caregiver for the last 18 months of her life. He moved to the Sundowner Trailer Park where he lived until his death.

Thomas was proud of his Irish ancestry and was often kidded about talking “Irish.” He was an avid reader, and his home could be found cluttered with magazines and books. He was a dog lover and had many pets. He never met a stranger and had a keen sense of humor.

Thomas is survived by his daughter, Bonnie; grandson, Tommy of Seattle; miniature Dauschund, “Doxie”; and many close friends including Pastor Vernon and Kay Slippy and Janie Norvell, all of La Grande.


Mary Lee Running, 81, of Wallowa, died April 10. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Wallowa Cemetery with a potluck to follow at the Wallowa Senior Center.

Mary was born July 7, 1926, to Jerry and Lena Maxwell in Wallowa. She graduated from Wallowa High School with the Class of 1944. She was also a graduate of Kinman Business University in Spokane.

Although her primary occupation was banking, Mary lived her life for her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Kenneth James Running; daughters, Carolyn Bjur of Portland and Ann Marie Scott of Wallowa; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Enid and Pat.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Wallowa Senior Center Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 112, Wallowa 97885.


Robert E. Hyde, a 1945 graduate of La Grande High School, died April 5 at his home in Sun City, Ariz. He was 80.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Mt. Scott Funeral Home in Portland with burial at Willamette National Cemetery to follow at 12:30 p.m.

Bob was born June 16, 1927, in Morton Mills, Iowa, on a 160-acre farm. He was the youngest child of Cecil and Edith Hyde. He was the largest of the four children, weighing in at 12 pounds.

Bob and his siblings made La Grande their home after the death of both their parents in February 1929. They were reared by Roy and Fausta Tyler, cousins of their mother.

As a young child, Bob worked at the Tyler Creamery making popsicles and did chores on the Tyler farm. During his high school years he participated in wrestling, weightlifting and played right tackle on the football team.

Immediately after graduation, Bob, along with 25 of his classmates, enlisted in the Navy. He served his enlistment on the destroyer the Henry W. Tucker. His duties took him to such places as Okinawa, Hawaii and Oshima, Japan.

Upon being discharged from the Navy in 1946, he returned to La Grande and enrolled at Eastern Oregon College, taking business courses.

He married Irene Smart in April 1948 and to them two daughters were born, Nan and Valerie. He pursued a partnership in Arctic Refrigeration and moved to Joseph. He later sold his partnership and started his own business in Enterprise.

In 1957, he married Myrna Adams and to them a daughter, Frances, was born. He built his own shop and sold Admiral appliances as well as TVs until they moved to Portland. Myrna preceded Bob in death in October 1967 due to injuries from a car wreck.

Bob continued his refrigeration repair doing work for such companies as Safeway and Fred Meyer stores.  

In May 1977 he married Carollee Hunt. They lived in Portland. In the mid-1980s, Bob came up with the idea of a Liquid Pressure Amplifier (LPA), which would deliver enough liquid refrigerant to properly cool products. The refrigeration industry had long been vexed with the problem of not keeping products cold enough on an ongoing basis.  Looking around, Bob could not find pumps small enough to deliver his product, so a prototype was produced and Hy-Save Inc. was born. Bob’s Hy-Save pump has been sold all over the world.

In the late 1990s, Bob semi-retired and sold his business to Detroit-Edison and did consulting work for the company.

Bob and Carollee retired to Sun City in 2007.

He was preceded in death by his older siblings, Everett, Vernon, Jean and Paul.

He leaves behind his wife, Carollee; three daughters, Nan Fordice of La Grande, Valerie Hyde and Frances Ofstedahl of Portland; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society for cancer research.


Leslie Ann O’Mohundro, 58, of Gresham and formerly of La Grande, died April 7. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Omega Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.

Leslie was born June 23, 1949, in Pendleton. She moved to Portland 20 years ago, but was raised in La Grande. She graduated from La Grande High School and attended Eastern Oregon University. She worked as a salesperson at Linen N’ Things and Meier and Frank.

Survivors include her father, Lewis R. O’Mohundro; mother, Dorothy O’Mohundro; brothers, Lee Roy O’Mohundro and Richard L. O’Mohundro; and sister, Sue O’Mohundro-Bailey.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society.

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