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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the week ending March 29, 2008


Obituaries for the week ending March 29, 2008

Beck, Goff, LeaMaster, Gordon, Harvey, Johnson, Price, Walton, Hughes, Wortman,




Joyce Kennedy Beck, 63, of Kennewick and formerly of Elgin, died March 17 in Yuma, Ariz., in an ATV accident. A memorial service will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Building 4 of the Benton-Franklin County Fairgrounds just off East 10th Avenue in Kennewick.

Joyce was born June 1, 1944, to William and Mildred Kennedy in Portland. She grew up in Elgin and graduated from Elgin High School in 1962.

She was married in January 1964 to Bill J. Beck of Hermiston. The couple moved to the Tri-Cities in 1969 where she worked for Ice Harbor Dam and the Social Security Administration as an administrative specialist. Her husband of 40 years, Bill, died in 2004.

Those who knew her say Joyce enjoyed life and participated in the Benton/Franklin County Fair Board Association, Red Hat Society and Cosmos Singles Group. She enjoyed dancing, playing cards, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Joyce is survived by her sons, Kent and Steve of Kennewick; two grandchildren of Kennewick; aunt, Mina Burnett of Springfield; sister, Barbara Prince of Kamiah, Idaho; brothers, Dick Kennedy of Pendleton and David Kennedy and Rex Kennedy, both of Elgin; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Published March 24, 2008 

Connie Rae Goff, 58, of La Grande, died March 21 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Appreciation Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande.

Connie was born May 29, 1949, to William and Myrtle (Ross) Goff in Boise, Idaho. She graduated from Union High School. She was a faithful employee of RD Mac for 37 years. She loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting and camping. She loved spending time with her family and playing video games.

Survivors include her siblings and their spouses, Linda and Thurman Elliott of La Grande, Ronnie and Pam Goff of Phoenix, Debbie and Merle Stookey of Pasco, Wash., Jackie and Ben Randall of Dolores, Colo., Cindy and Lonnie Weaver of Union and Sandy Baker of La Grande; step-father, Ernie Silvey of Union; uncle, Homer Ross of La Grande; uncle and aunt, Merle and Marcella Ross of Ukiah; numerous nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Cancer Society or the Diabetes Association in care of Daniels-Knopp.

Published March 24, 2008

Avonne “Von” Mae (Hinton) LeaMaster, 78, died in her sleep the morning of March 22. A funeral service will begin at

11 a.m. Friday at the Haines First Baptist Church in Haines, with longtime family friend Clifford Cole officiating. A private burial for family will follow at the Haines Cemetery.

Von was born May 4, 1929, in Wallowa to Velma Margaret Davis Hinton Plass and Harry Hinton. She grew up on the family ranch near Crow Creek a few miles northeast of Enterprise and spoke fondly of those childhood years. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandmother, Myrtle Davis.

Von and her mother had a special passion for horses. Her rural upbringing provided the perfect environment for her to become an expert rider. There were several instances when she would walk up to a bridled horse, grab the reins and a tuft of mane, swing herself up and ride off bareback to the wide-eyed astonishment of onlookers.

During the Great Depression in the late 1930s, Von’s family moved off of the ranch in search of employment. The family eventually found steady work in Portland. She attended her first two years of high school at Roosevelt High before moving back to Enterprise where she graduated from Enterprise High School in 1947.

Von worked several jobs following high school including secretarial work in San Francisco. She also worked as hostess/usher at the Paramount Theatre in Portland. She later helped her mother with their restaurant business in La Grande.

She met a handsome young sailor, Carlus Raymond “Lee” LeaMaster, who was on leave visiting family and friends in Eastern Oregon. They dated for a few months and were married July 20, 1951, in Honolulu. The young couple moved several times in the 1950s as Lee was assigned to duty stations in Hawaii, Virginia and Alaska. They moved back home and settled in Haines in 1960 when Lee retired from the Navy.

Von’s life revolved around her family, community and friends. She was the consummate stay-at-home mom, homemaker and housewife. She was very involved in the Haines PTA when her children were attending Haines Elementary

School. The PTA sponsored “Hootinannys” in the early to mid-1960s. People say the

events brought the entire community together and became legendary among longtime local residents.

Von loved big band music. If a Glenn Miller tune came on, she would leap to her feet, grab the nearest person and dance gleefully about the room. She loved reading and could finish long novels in just a couple of days.

She especially looked forward to family picnics, dinners, gatherings and visits from friends. She liked to talk, and it was not easy to have a short conversation with her. She considered her grandchildren, Hannah, Jordan and Clay LeaMaster, her treasured blessings. She had an especially close bond with them.

Survivors include her half-siblings, Thomas Hinton of Milton-Freewater and Sandra Johnson of Wallowa; son, Brad R. LeaMaster and his wife, Katherine, of Dallas; daughter, Carla Michel and her husband, Jim, of Meridian, Idaho; son, Blain LeaMaster and his wife Paula of Baker City; and three grandchildren.

Von was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather, Orville Plass; and husband, Carlus.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Haines School Fund in care of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home P.O. Box 543 Halfway 97834.

Published March 25, 2008

Arlie F. Gordon, 76, of Union, died March 17 at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise. A graveside service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at the Union Cemetery with a celebration of life potluck to follow at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show clubhouse. Services are casual dress. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Arlie was born Aug. 9, 1931, to Ralph and Lillian Gordon in Eureka, Calif. The only boy of four children, he was raised on the family ranch in Showers Pass, Calif. Arlie worked all around that area for many years. He married Dorene McPherson and raised two children, Candy and Abe.

In 1969 the family moved to Summerville, Calif., where he worked for Sierra Pacific as a truck driver for 16 years. He and Dorene divorced in 1981.

He married his wife, the love of his life, Karen, on Oct. 22, 1982, in Reno. They were together for 25 years. He became dad to her four children: Jackie, Stormie, Marty and Debbie. In 1992, they moved to the Grande Ronde Valley where Arlie became involved in many things. He worked for the Union Cemetery District for the last 11 1/2 years. He was on the Planning Commission for seven years before serving eight years on the Union City Council where he was the liaison for the Planning Commission. He was voted Man of the Year in 2005.

Those who knew him say Arlie had a passion for doing his part to improve and help the community grow. They say that people may have not always agreed with Arlie, but they always knew his view and where he stood on things.

Arlie enjoyed hunting, fishing, mushrooming and huckleberry picking. He loved his work at the cemetery and took great pride in his work. He enjoyed helping with the stock show every year and riding his horse when time allowed. He loved spending time with his family and watching his grandchildren in their activities.

In 2007, Arlie and Karen started running the concession stand for Union High School and loved putting time into making it run smoothly.

Arlie is survived by his wife, Karen; daughter, Candy and her husband, Al Fizer, of Janesville, Calif.; stepchildren, Jackie and her husband, David Chase, of Herlong, Calif., Stormie and her husband, Scott Watkins of Ballinger, Texas, Marty and his wife, Melody Weston, of Huntington, and Debbie and her husband, John Savely of Union; 19 grandchildren, four of which are serving in the armed forces; 23 great-grandchildren with three more due to be born this year; three sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Lillian Gordon of California; son and daughter-in-law, Abe and Liz Gordon of Cove; and infant granddaughter, Rochelle of California.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union Cemetery at 770 E. Fulton St., Union 97883. A drinking fountain will be erected in memory of Arlie at the cemetery.

Published March 26, 2008

Edna Irene Harvey, 99, of La Grande, died March 19 at home. A service will begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eternal Hill Cemetery in Oceanside, Calif. Family and friends may sign the guest book online at www.danielsknopp.com .

Edna was born Oct. 18, 1908, to Allan and Daisy (Cox) Reeves in Springhill, La. She married Leonard Burr “Buck” Harvey, and they lived in Gresham, Pendleton and Texas. In 1969, they moved to Oceanside. She was active in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oceanside and with ladies’ organizations.

The couple loved working in their yard and always kept it beautiful. Her husband preceded her in death on March 13, 1999. Three years ago, Edna moved to La Grande.

Survivors include her daughter, Carol “Joyce” O’Connor of Carlsbad, Calif.; daughter-in-law, Myrna Stertz of La Grande; four grandchildren; numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her sons, Doyle Harvey and Dennis Harvey Sr.; and granddaughter, Judy Aldrich.

Published March 26, 2008

Roger Dale Johnson, 55, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and formerly of La Grande and Union, died March 22 after an extended illness. Services are planned for a later date. Buck-Miller-Hann Funeral Home in Idaho is in charge of arrangements.

Roger was born Nov. 9, 1952, to Burnies and Metta (King) Johnson in La Grande. He attended schools in Union and graduated from Union High School in 1971. He then served in the Army.

Roger moved to Idaho Falls in 1988 and worked for Anderson Lumber until his health began to decline. He took great pride in his son, Tanner.

He is survived by his son, Tanner, of Renton, Wash.; parents, Burnies and Metta Johnson; brother, Gary and his wife, Lou, of Union; sister, Glenda McDonald and her husband, Ron, of La Grande; sister, Nela Sanchez of Beaverton; and several nieces and nephews.

Published March 27, 2008

Sylvia Ruth Price, 85, of La Grande, died at her home March 24. A funeral service begins at 10 a.m. Friday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

The eighth of 12 children, Sylvia was born Jan. 5, 1923, to Fredrick and Olive (Crisp) Duneman on a farm near Cresco, Iowa. She and some of her siblings walked 1 1/2 miles to a country school until junior high, then they went to school in town. After her school years she worked at different jobs, doing waitress work and working at the Cresco Hospital.

When World War II started, she and her sister Eunice moved to Madison, Wis. After working there for some time, she went with a girlfriend to Denver. Sylvia worked at Remington Arms, a defense plant, until 1945 when the war ended. She then moved back to Cresco, where she met Harvey. They married on Nov. 28, 1945.

The couple later moved to Kellogg, Idaho, where their son, Neil, was born on Jan. 20, 1947. They later moved back to Cresco for a few years, then moved to Grundy Center, Iowa, where they bought a short-order café in Morrison. They later sold that and bought one in Grundy Center.

They moved to Springfield where they bought and operated an ice cream store for a couple of years. They were then offered a job managing a retirement home. After a few years, they were transferred to Beaverton to manage another retirement home there. Later, they decided to retire to La Gande where their son was living.

Sylvia was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and enjoyed traveling, crocheting and working in her garden.

She is survived by her son, Neil, and his wife, Gloria; one granddaughter; brothers, Jerry of New Hampton, Iowa, and Virgil of Cresco, Iowa; and one sister, Eunice, of Grants Pass. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; three brothers; and five sisters, all of Iowa.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Home Health Hospice, P.O. Box 3290,

La Grande 97850.

Published March 27, 2008

Dorothy Louise Walton, 87, of Island City, died March 21. A graveside service will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at the Island City Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Dorothy was born Feb. 21, 1921, to Byron Howard and Vashti Ester (Piersol) Haynes in Sterling, Colo. She grew up in Colorado, and through various circumstances went to live in Arkansas for a time, which is where she met and married her husband, Ray Walton.

The couple married in 1939 and had their first son, Lee, in 1940. In 1942, they moved to California and settled in the Lodi/Walnut Grove area near Sacramento, where they had their second child, Nancy, in 1943. In 1952, the family moved to Willits, Calif., where they had a third child, Thomas, in 1957.

Dorothy and Ray lived in Willits until 1967 when they separated. Dorothy relocated to Los Angeles to live with her father who was a recent widower. She lived in Los Angeles until 1995 when she moved to La Grande to live near her son, Lee.

Dorothy fell in her home and was hospitalized in 2001. Following a recuperative period, she became a resident of the Twin Firs assisted living facility. When Twin Firs closed its doors in 2003, she moved to a new elder foster care home that was being started by one of her caregivers from Twin Firs. Diane Hainline cared for Dorothy until the day Dorothy died.

Those who knew her say Dorothy was a hard-working individual and always gave more than she received. She was a woman of many occupations in her lifetime. In her early years, she was usually waitressing or cooking in numerous cafes, truck stops and diners while raising her children. Later, she was a housecleaner for a time and was accepted as a family member by those whose homes she took such good care of.

When she moved to Los Angeles, she became a cook in a small hospital in Glendale, and worked there until it closed in 1979. She developed a good reputation in the local health care community and was able to transition to the position of dietician and head cook at a small convalescent hospital nearby, where she worked until retiring in 1991.

After retiring, she spent most of her time doing what she loved most — crafts of all kinds. She had a talent for sewing, crochet, knitting, needlepoint, quilting, dolls, miniatures, ceramics and painting.

Dorothy is survived by her three children, Lee and his wife, Dawn Walton, of La Grande, Nancy Bromaghim of Fort Bragg, Calif., and Thomas Walton of Palmdale, Calif.; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Published March 27, 2008

Charles “Charley” Edmund Hughes, 63, of Boise and formerly of La Grande, died March 23 at Sunbridge Retirement home in Meridian, Idaho. Services will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at Faith Community Bible Church in Boise.

Charley was born Dec. 14, 1944, in Nampa, Idaho, to Charles and Gladys (Farr) Hughes. He moved to La Grande to attend school and play football at Eastern Oregon State College in 1963. Upon graduation, Charley taught school in Meridian before moving back to La Grande to open Charley’s Sports, which he ran for 10 years.

During that time he served as a coach in numerous youth sports throughout the community. After closing the store in 1988, Charley went back to teaching. He taught in the Imbler school system for 16 years before retiring and moving to Boise.

Those who knew him say Charley had a contagious smile. They said he always had a kind word and a moment of his time for anyone that needed it.

Charley is survived by his brother, Jim Hughes; sisters, Virginia Scheele and Betty Wells; children, Jay Hughes and his wife, Heather, Kelli Hughes, Kasey Hughes, Jenica and Rianna McKay; and six grandchildren.

Published March 28, 2008

Fern Francis Wortman, 82, of Redmond and formerly of Wallowa County, died peacefully March 28 of natural causes at her daughter’s home.

At her request, services are planned for her favorite time of the year, in the summer, at the Island City Cemetery. Redmond Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Fern was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1926, to David and Hazel Garrett in Promise. She was a green-eyed, red-haired Irish-Scottish girl. She was proud to graduate from Wallowa High School in 1945, working at all times to support herself through school. She was married to Stanley Charles Wortman for 50 years. He preceded her in death in 1993.

Those who knew her say she was a wonderful mother to her two daughters. She enjoyed volleyball, bowling and sharing with many friends. She loved to travel and win big in Las Vegas with her family and partner, Paul Bishop.

Survivors include her daughters, Mitzi Wortman and Roxie Wortman-Leckie; sons-in-law, Robert Benson and Steven Leckie; brothers, Ottis Garrett of Prairie City; and many nieces and nephews.

Published March 29, 2008


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