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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the week ending June 24, 2006


Obituaries for the week ending June 24, 2006

John Howard Harris, 75, of Irrigon died June 15 at his home. At his request there will be no funeral. Burial will be July 2 in the Pioneer Cemetery that was started by his grandfather, Lewis Fisk, in 1882 at the park near Medical Springs

Mr. Harris was born Sept. 17, 1930, to Thomas Howard and Laura Ellen Fisk Harris in Baker City. He worked in the woods, as a mechanic, a heavy-equipment operator and as a truck driver. He was married twice and divorced twice.

Survivors include his companion, Sharon Hindman; children, Father Michael Harris, Anthony Harris, Lorinda Harris, Sheryl Harris, Jeanine Harris, Angie Hopkins and Kally Allen; an adopted daughter, Barbara, and a step-son, Kip; 22 grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law, Lewis and Severina Harris of California; a half-sister, Patricia Turner; and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the Saint Anthony Hospice, 1601 S.E. Court Ave., Pendleton 97801; the Pioneer Cemetery Association, Medical Springs, 97814 or to Sharon Hindman to help defray medical costs in care of Burns Mortuary, P.O. Box 289, Hermiston 97838.


Linda Colleen Douglas, 46, of La Grande died June 14 at Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland. A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. June 23 at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery followed by a celebration of life at the Presbyterian Friendship Center, 1204 Spring Ave. St.

Mrs. Douglas was born June 9, 1960, to Colen and Irene Lucht Weaver in Porterville, Calif. She graduated from Porterville High School in 1978 and married Dale Douglas in Las Vegas, Nev., in 1979. The family moved to La Grande in 1990 where she worked as an answering service operator for Commline Paging and Answering Service.

She enjoyed quilting, crafts, scrapbooking, stamping, reading and being with her family.

Survivors include her husband of La Grande; daughters Tricia Douglas of La Grande, Malissa Cisneros of Weston and Brianne Douglas of The Dalles; one grandchild; a brother, Paul Mellinger, and a sister, Wanette Alba, both of Porterville, and other relatives. Her parents, a brother, Arle Mellinger, and a sister, Bonna Duncan, all died earlier.


Robert Leslie Brandon, 65, of La Grande and Battlement Mesa, Colo., professor emeritus at Eastern Oregon University, died unexpectedly June 12. There will be no public service.

Mr. Brandon was born in 1940 in Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington in civil engineering in 1962, and served in the Navy. In September 1967, he married Cheri Roberts. He earned a master's degree in mathematics from California State University at Northridge in 1969, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Colorado State University in 1972.

He taught at the University of Maine-Presque Isle and at Eastern Oregon University, where he was awarded the 2000 Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, represented EOU on the Oregon Inter-Institutional Faculty Senate and served as Chairman of the Athletic Committee. He retired in 2002.

He was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, the American Mathematical Association and the Mathematical Association of America.

He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed backpacking, hiking, bicycling, skiing, canoeing and golf. He and his daughter completed Cycle Oregon eight times. He ran several northwest races as well as the Boston Marathon. He climbed Mount Rainier and canoed down the Moisie River in Labrador.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande and Battlement Mesa; a son, Christopher Brandon of Costa Mesa, Calif; a daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Casey Parliament of Vail, Colo.; two grandchildren and two brothers.

Contributions may be made to the Robert Brandon Memorial Fund through the Eastern Oregon University Foundation, 1 University Boulevard, La Grande.


Samuel Grant Huffman, 69, of Baker City and formerly of Joseph died June 15 at his home. At his request there will be no services. Gray's West & Company Pioneer Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Huffman was born Sept. 4, 1936, in Joseph. He drove logging trucks for E.T. Carter Logging, Kenny Mills logging and others. He always said logging was in his blood. He and his wife Qwendolyn and their three children moved to Utah. After his wife died he moved to Wyoming where he built fences for Bruce Thayer Salvage on and off for 28 years.

When he became ill he moved to Settlers Park where he was known for his smile and sense of humor.


Opal Laverne Polk, 80, of Vancouver, Wash., and formerly of North Powder died June 8. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Polk was born July 15, 1925, to Mary and Jacob Simonis in North Powder. She married Perry Polk who died earlier.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Betty and John Sneddon of Vancouver, Linda Sill and her fiance Bob Turkington of Anchorage, Alaska, and David and Margaret Polk of Longview, Wash.; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Ruth Marie Bunnell, 91 of La Grande died June 20. A memorial service will begin at 3 p.m. Friday June 23 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. Burial will be in Santa Anna, Texas.

Ms. Bunnell was born Nov. 11, 1914, to Frank and Birdie Letha McHorse Bunnell in Eddy, Texas. She married Thomas House, and after his death she married George Ward. After his death she resumed her maiden name.

She worked in a shipyard in California during World War II and worked at various jobs before retiring in 1972. She moved to La Grande with her second husband in 1976.

She enjoyed the arts, music, operas, symphonies and watching ice skating in later years. She was an avid reader and spent a lot of time in her flower garden in the summer.

Survivors include children, Thomas House of Valley Center, Kan., Jorine McConville of Norman, Okla., and Fran Davis of Sun Valley, Calif.; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and other relatives. A daughter, Bunny Jourdan, and two sisters died earlier.


Hugh Gerald Erwin, 95 of Union died June 21 at Grande Ronde Hospital. The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Monday June 26 at the Union United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Union Cemetery.

Mr. Erwin was born Oct. 25, 1910, to Hugh and Bertie Largent Erwin in Adrian, Mo. He worked on ranches in Pendleton, Summerville and North Powder, and graduated from Powder Valley High School in 1929. On Sept. 26, 1936, he married Fern Baxter in La Grande. The couple lived in Union for many years, and he worked for the Oregon Highway Department in Union and later in La Grande. He retired in 1973.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling, playing bingo and being with his family.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Gary and Barbara Erwin of Lincoln City, Leah Lewis and Richard and Jan Erwin, all of Baker City, and Donna and Joe LaVerdure of Pendleton; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren and other relatives. His wife and four sisters, Maxine Kirkland, Virginia Erwin, Marge Miller and Norma Betts all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Union United Methodist Church in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Clair Alvin Hought, 92, of La Grande died June 21 at OHSU Hospital in Portland. Viewing will be tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday June 24 at Zion Lutheran Church, 902 Fourth St.

Mr. Hought was born Oct. 26, 1913, to James Edward and Sophie Ottelia Jacobson Hought in Noonan, N.D. The family farmed and had a coal mine. On Aug. 31, 1935, he married Helen Marie Kloster in Noonan. In October of that year the entire family moved to Monroe. The couple later lived in Portland where he worked for Kellers' Bakery. In 1951 they moved to La Grande where they opened Hought's 24 Flavors ice cream shop. The shop was closed in 1985.

He was a member of Zion Lutheran church and enjoyed people, playing pinochle, traveling and gardening.

Survivors include children and their spouses, James Hought of Vancouver, Wash., and Charlotte and Gary McCoy of Wallowa Lake; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. His wife, and siblings, Eber, Lonnie, Glenn and Homer Hought, Neva Healey, Edna Rossow, Delphane George, Helen Ann Engle and Effie Fox, all died earlier.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel.


Howard C. Kiser, 78, of Lostine died June 22 in Union. A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Lostine Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Kiser was born July 27, 1927, to William and Agnes Olson Kiser in Weiser, Idaho. He attended Weiser schools, and worked for the ranchers on Mann Creek. He served in the Army during World War II. In May 1956 he married Nancy Thorson in Weiser.

He worked for the Weiser Flour Mill before moving to Lostine 30 years ago. Twenty- two of those years were spent in the home of his long-time friend and caretaker, Sally Akin.

Survivors include sons and their wives, David and Anita Kiser of Parma, Idaho, Mark and Lori Kiser of Omaha, Neb., and Scott and Bonnie Kiser of Polson, Mont.; six grandchildren; a sister, Jean Kuriatnyk of Portland; a brother, Jess Kiser of Joseph; and other relatives. A son, Ross, three brothers and two sisters all died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lostine Grange.


Sylvia Wilson, 88, of La Grande died June 20 at a local care center. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

Mrs. Wilson was born Sept. 10, 1917, to Mathew and Christina Elizabeth McNew Nooner in Salt Lake City. She married Robert Blacker who died an automobile accident. She later married Arthur R. Wilson in Sisters.

She was a member of the Church of the Open Bible and later the New Hope Church. She enjoyed embroidery, gardening, baking and playing bunko.

Survivors include children, Shirley Cox and Donna L. Frash, both of La Grande, and Judith Larsen of Eugene; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren and other relatives.

Her husband; five sisters; eight brothers; a granddaughter, Debbie Jean Frash, and stepson, Dwayne Wilson, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to any charity in care of Daniels Chapel.


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