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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the week ending April 19, 2008


Obituaries for the week ending April 19, 2008

Helm, Kropf, Burrows, Pursley, Paul, Dean, Homan, Phillips, Vancil




Doris Ann (Swisher) Helm, 60, of Enterprise, died April 10 in Lewiston, Idaho. Services will be held at a later date.

Doris was born June 13, 1947, to Bob and Nadine (Fordice) Swisher in Enterprise. She attended school in Flora and in Enterprise.

Survivors include brothers, Carl and Harry Swisher of Enterprise. She was preceded in death by her parents; and husband, Bill Helm of Kentucky

Elmer James Kropf, 88, of Cove, died April 11. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church, 10401 West First Street, Island City. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Burial is to be at the Duchess Cemetery in Duchess, Alberta, Canada, at 2 p.m. Friday with Delbert Birky officiating.

Elmer was born Feb. 15, 1920, to Levi David and Esther (Maurer) Kropf near Harrisburg. At the age of 13, Elmer accepted Christ as his personal savior and was baptized and united with the Mennonite Church, to which faith he remained faithful until death.

On Nov. 3, 1940, he married Orpha Gingerich of Harrisburg. They lived in the Lake Creek area until 1960 when he, with his family, moved to Canada, living most of the time in the Duchess, Alberta, area. There, his wife died of cancer on Jan. 16, 1991.

In the late summer of 1991, he moved back to Oregon where, on Sept. 22, 1991, he married the former Esther Miller (Gingerich) of Harrisburg. Esther presently lives in a nursing care home at Scio.

He is survived by two sons, Owen and his wife; Ella, of Cove, and Ellis and his wife, Ruth, of Tilley, Alberta, Canada; and daughter, Barbara and her husband, Brian Maldaner of Tilley, Alberta, Canada; 26 grandchildren; 51 great-grandchildren; stepson, Harold Miller of Harrisburg; stepdaughters, Janice and her husband, Gary Kropf, of Harrisburg, Marlene and her husband, Douglas Ulrich of Albany, and Carolyn and her husband, Daniel Zook, of Culver; 13 step-grandchildren; 11 step-great-grandchildren; and brother, Wilbur Kropf, of Pelkie, Mich.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two step-mothers, Lydia (Maurer) Kropf and Evelyn (Hilty) Kropf; and a grandson, Barry Kropf.

David Lee Burrows, 94, of Wallowa, died April 12 at his home. A service will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Wallowa Senior Center. A private burial will be held at the Prairie Creek Cemetery. Bollman Funeral Home in Enterprise is in charge of arrangements.

Lee was born April 12, 1914, to David Henry Burrows and Edith Foster Burrows on Upper Prairie Creek. He spent his early years on the family farm on Upper Prairie Creek. In 1920, he moved with his family to Ontario, then to Parma, Idaho, and to Vancouver, Wash. They later returned to Joseph where Lee attended Hurricane Creek Grade School and Joseph High School.

Lee married Myrtle Elizabeth Sasser of Miton and moved back to Enterprise. In 1945, the couple moved to Wallowa to pursue an offer from Clay Webb to build and operate a Texaco service station together.

In 1952, the Burrows Cafe was built across the street from the service station in Wallowa. The couple operated the cafe until they retired in 1973. Lee and Myrtle were grateful through the years for the kind thoughts and memories about the cafe by local residents and travels.

Lee enjoyed visiting with people and always welcomed the opportunity to meet people and discuss the topic of the moment. The Wallowa Senior Center was a special place for Lee. Those who knew him say his many friends at the center gave him much enjoyment, and he was thankful to all who he shared meals and conversation with.

Survivors include his son, Thorval and his wife, Mary Ann Burrows, of Wallowa; several grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; sisters, Betty McNeese of Great Falls, Mont. and Oma Snell, Lincoln, Neb.; cousins, Jo Nash of Joseph and Jack Foster of California; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrtle Burrows; half-brothers, George Williams and Oakley Burows; and brother, Gene Burrows.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wallowa Senior Center.

Marlene Gail Nice Pursley, 57, of Indiana and formerly of La Grande, died April 13 in La Grande of natural causes. Services will be held in Indiana.

Marlene was born Sept. 20, 1950, to Paul and Leora Nice in La Grande. She graduated from La Grande High School in 1968 and married Roger Pursley in 1971. The couple lived in Boggstown, Ind.

Survivors include her parents, Paul and Leora Nice; husband, Roger; daughter, Jennifer Armes; son, Jon Pursley; five grandchildren; sister and her husband, Cathy and Dick Cook of Walla Walla; brother and his wife, Larry and Claudine Nice of La Grande; and nieces and nephews.

Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Donald K. Paul, 81, long-time resident of La Grande, died April 14 at his home. Daniels-Knopp funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in La Grande with a reception to follow.

Don was born June 7, 1926, to John E. and Mary K. Paul in Glendale, Calif. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1945, one day before his 18th birthday.

After basic training, he served as a troop trainer until the end of World War II. He re-enlisted and served during both Korean and Vietnam wars, for a total of 22 years.

He loved the service and served in Japan, Korea and Germany, plus Alaska and several other states. During this time, he raised five sons.

After leaving the Army, Don worked at Cape Kennedy and attended night school, training to become a teacher. He traveled to Oregon with three of his five sons, and bought property in Palmer Junction. He and his friend, Wes Falor, built a house and he lived happily there for several years.

In 1981 he married Lanetta Carter of La Grande, and they began building a home near Morgan Lake with help from Wes Falor. The house took 10 years to build as they did nearly all the work themselves.

Don taught science at La Grande Middle School for 19 years. He loved teaching, especially seventh- and eighth-graders. Don was the favorite teacher of many students, giving each of them a nickname and treating everybody as though they were special.

After retiring, Don enjoyed sailing with Dr. Bryce Young. They traveled to Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Pitcairn, the Gambier Islands and the Tahitian Islands. He loved his boat, and he and Lanetta sailed in the San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound. Those who knew him say he felt lucky to have had such a marvelous retirement.

Don loved singing and had a beautiful bass voice. He sang in both the Community Church and United Methodist Church choirs, often performing solos. He enjoyed performing in musical theater at EOU.

He was also active in the Union County Democrats, Great Decisions and served on the Citizens Review Board for several years, aiding children of dysfunctional families.

For the past five years Don battled emphysema, never losing his optimistic spirit and sense of humor. He was a voracious reader and maintained a vital interest in world politics.

He is survived by his wife, Lanetta; five sons, Mark and Jeff of Florida, Brad of West Virginia, Michael of Spokane and Brian of La Grande; nieces and nephews; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Army Emergency Relief Fund, the Don & Lanetta Paul Music Scholarship at EOU, the United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, the GRH Home Health/Hospice or any other charity in care of Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

Former Union County Treasurer Barbara June Dean, 84, died April 14 at her home in La Grande. There will be no services. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of arrangements.

Barbara was born Dec. 7, 1923, to William Humphrey and June Alta (Evans) Morrison in Halfway. After graduating from high school in Baker she attended business college. On Oct. 10, 1942, she married Byrl Dean in Weiser, Idaho.

In 1961 she began working at the Union County Courthouse and in 1976 she was elected Union County treasurer. She served four terms, a total of 16 years, retiring in 1992.

She was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church and a life member of the Soroptimists Club. She belonged to the Legal Secretaries Club and Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

Survivors include her husband of 65 years, Byrl of La Grande; sons and daughters-in-law, David and Mary Lou Dean of La Grande and James and Dianne Dean of Salem; siblings, John Morrison of La Grande, Alice Stitzel of Union and Bonnetta George of Springfield; five grandsons; one great-grandson; and other relatives and many friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to GRH Homecare Services, P.O. Box 3290, La Grande 97850.

Steven Warren Homan, 52, of Echo and formerly of Elgin, Enterprise and La Grande, died April 13 at his home in Echo. Services will begin at 2 p.m. April 26 at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Island City. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Steven was born June 26, 1955, to Arthur Warren and Janet (Moys) Homan in Enterprise. He was raised and educated in Enterprise. After high school, he was a police officer in Enterprise, Elgin, La Grande, Hillsboro and Boulder, Colo., county sheriff’s departments.

He moved from La Grande to Blackfoot, Idaho, and then to Echo. He greatly enjoyed dispatching for a trucking company and loved football, rodeo, fishing and mushrooming. He dearly loved the Denver Broncos.

Steven is survived by his companion of over 10 years, Peggy Ervin; mother, Janet Homan of La Grande; children, Anthony “Tony” Homan of Walla Walla, Wash., and Arthur “AJ” Nittman of Longmont, Colo.; brother, Douglas “Doug” Homan of La Grande; sister, Cindy Homan of Joseph; and three grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 1508 Fourth Street, La Grande 97850.

Dorothy May Phillips, 78, of North Powder, died April 15 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A graveside service will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mount Hope Cemetery. A potluck reception will follow at 4 p.m. at the North Powder Grange on E Street.

Dorothy May Calloway was born Jan. 6, 1930, to Roy Daniel Calloway and Ora Agnes (Burris) Calloway in Baker City — the second of seven children. She was a life-long resident of Baker and Union counties and attended school in Baker City. Dorothy worked as a certified nurse’s aide at St. Elizabeth Hospital and Grande Ronde Hospital for many years and as a motel maid at Sunridge Inn in Baker City.

She married Francis E. Phillips on March 7, 1948, at the home of her employee, Ethal Troyer. The couple had four daughters. She enjoyed being a homemaker, sewing, baking and caring for children, grandchildren and extended family. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Dorothy is survived by her four daughters, Marjorie Miller, Gloria Bailey and her husband, Dave, Shirley Rogers and her husband, Chuck, and Patty Phillips; 11 grandchildren; 13-great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; brother, Robert Calloway; sisters, Roberta Graves and Shirley Guilliams; sister-in-law, Joan Calloway; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis; granddaughter, Cassie Miller; two brothers, Ralph Calloway and Ronnie Calloway; and sister, Fern Wheeler.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City 97814.

Merna Bernice Adkins Vancil, 89, of Oregon City and formerly of Enterprise and North Powder, died April 17 at her home. A graveside service will be held at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery at a later date. Holman, Hawkins, Bowker and Waud Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Merna was born April 9, 1919, to Eva Lena and Marvin Adkins near Weston. She began her schooling at Fairview School on Reed and Hawley Mountain and then moved to Weston with her family in the third grade. She graduated from Weston High School in 1936.

Merna married Marvin Vancil Aug. 7, 1938, in Weston. They called Weston, Enterprise, Arlington, North Powder and Mount Vernon their home.

Merna was an active supporter of school activities while Marvin was an educator. She was primarily a homemaker until her children were in school. Later she worked as a school secretary in North Powder and Mount Vernon and was a secretary for the county Extension agent in Canyon City.

She reigned as queen of the Umatilla County Pioneer Associations’ annual Pioneer Reunion in Weston in 1985 as her mother had in 1960.

Merna loved being around people whether it was for family gatherings or with members of Neighbors of Woodcraft, Order of Eastern Star and the Rainbow Girls in North Powder. She was the Mother Adviser for the Rainbow Girls in North Powder and led cooking and sewing in 4-H. She enjoyed bowling league, sewing for her family, doing handiwork and playing cards with her family and friends.

After retirement, she and her husband golfed and spent time with their friends at the golf course at John Day. When her husband’s health failed, she gave all her time to his care. Those who knew her say she put her family first and loved spending time with them, cheering them on in their pursuits.

In 2004, she moved to Walla Walla to enjoy the companionship of her sisters. In 2006, she moved to an assisted living center in Oregon City. She was a member of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.

Merna is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Judy Vancil of Redmond; daughters, Lynne and her husband, Tom Adams, of La Grande, and Dana and her husband, John Copenhaver, of Burns; nine grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; sisters, Georgia Schisler and Marilyn Duffy of Walla Walla; sister-in-law, Marie Vancil of Milton-Freewater; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband; brother, Pete Adkins; son, Donald Vancil; and grandson, John Copenhaver.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.


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