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Home arrow Obituaries arrow Obituaries for the week ending September 29, 2007


Obituaries for the week ending September 29, 2007

Richard "Dick" La Verne Province, 78, of Elgin, died Sept. 19 at his home. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Elgin Stampede Hall.

Dick was born on Oct. 3, 1928, to Fred and Florence (Haustien) Province in Calloway, Neb. He served as a Seaman Second Class in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1947.

He was a long-time logger in Pierce, Idaho, La Grande, Elgin and Sumpter. He participated in all phases of the logging process and retired in 2006. He moved to Elgin from La Grande in 2005.

Dick was a lifetime member of the Lions Club and a lifetime member of the Good Sams. Those who knew him say that fishing and hard work were his hobbies.

Survivors include his companion, Janet M. Bauer of Elgin; sons, Steve of Orofino, Idaho, Dale of Portland, Rick of Sand Point, Idaho; daughter, Shirla Underwood of Liberty Lake, Wash.; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Hospice in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande 97850.


Tina Petersen, 48, of Cove died Sept. 22 at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland of complications of autoimmune inner ear disease and diabetes. The family is holding a gathering of her friends and their companion animals at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Birnie Park in La Grande.

Tina was born March 7, 1959, in Park Rapids, Minn., to Jim and Carol Groth. Despite contracting Type 1 diabetes at age 2, she had a happy childhood in Walker, Minn., "up north" in lake country, and graduated from Walker High School in 1977.

She attended Iowa State University and St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, studying veterinary science and journalism. She also graduated with a teaching degree from Eastern Oregon University in 1997.

She married Jeff Petersen on Dec. 24, 1983, in Greybull, Wyo. The couple lived in and worked for newspapers in Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota and Minnesota before settling in Amery, Wis. Tina worked nearby in Center City, Minn., for Hazelden Educational Materials as a copywriter.

In 1994, the couple moved to Oregon, where Tina worked for The Observer in La Grande. She enjoyed writing and won numerous awards as a reporter.

Tina enjoyed travel, having lived in Sweden for a stretch during high school and later working for a summer at Yellowstone National Park. She loved reading, horseback riding and listening to music, which was frustrating for her when she lost her hearing during the last months of her life. But she especially loved raising and training Belgian teurveran, Belgian sheepdogs and collie dogs, among other breeds, and often worked in animal rescue or in adopting dogs from the local animal shelter.

Tina served as president of the Blue Mountain Humane Association and as a leader of the Prancing Paws 4-H Dog Club for about 10 years.

Tina is survived by her husband, of Cove; her mother, of Walker; her grandmother, Ila Wells, of Mountain Iron, Minn.; her brother, Skip, of Walker; her sister, Dixie, of Forest Lake, Minn.; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and many special nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father, Jim Groth, and her stepfather, Phillip Emery.

Memorial contributions may be made to help the family cover hospital bills, to the Blue Mountain Humane Association or to the American Diabetes Association. Contributions to the family can be left at The Observer office, 1406 Fifth St.


Brian Donald West, 29, of Wasilla, Alaska, and formerly of La Grande, died Sept. 20. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Catherine Creek State Park. Cousin Brandon Boone will officiate.

Brian was born July 20, 1978, in Salem. He spent his early years in La Grande. His Great-grandma Faye Hayes spent her later years helping to raise Brian and his younger brother, Christopher. He graduated from Honokaa High School in Honokaa, Hawaii, in 1995.

Brian joined the U.S. Air Force after high school. He served 10 years as a civil engineer and was a certified master plumber. Brian was stationed in New Mexico, Spokane, Washington and Japan. He served tours in Kuwait, Afghanistan and two in Iraq. He received an honorable medical discharge and retired as a staff sergeant first class.

He moved to Alaska and married his best friend, Mary, on Jan. 5, 2007, in Anchorage. The couple purchased a home in Wasilla and owned and operated West Home Repairs.

Those who knew Brian say he was a very adventurous person. He enjoyed skate boarding, snowboarding and rock climbing. While in Hawaii, he relished hunting wild boars with a spear, fishing and board and body surfing in the huge waves off the north shore of the Big Island. He was able to surf while stationed in Japan and was the president of the Hawaiian Military Surfing Organization.

Brian was a tattoo artist who loved creating art on friends and family. He earned his associate of applied arts degree in art from Penn Foster University in 2006.

Those who knew him say he had an incredible sense of humor. They say he loved "hanging out" with friends and enjoyed philosophical discussions. His family says that they loved his bright smile and quick wit.

Brian is survived by his wife, Mary; children, Kalani, Matthew, Brian Jared and Allison; parents, Steve and Laurie Hewitt; father, Tony West; brothers, A.J. Hewitt, Christopher West and Scott Hewitt; grandparents, Gail Turnbow, Marguerite Zulhdorf and Jim and Phyllis Hewitt; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.


Mary Blanch Loudermilk, 96, of La Grande, died at a local care center Sept. 23. A graveside service will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday at Grandview Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mary was born on Nov. 3, 1910, to Jay Nutin and Stella Magdeline (Vaughon) Brown in Beaumont, Texas. She married Willard Jess Loudermilk Feb. 2, 1931, in Los Angeles. They had three children.

She moved to La Grande from Bend in 1950. Mary enjoyed hunting, fishing, cooking, canning, gardening, camping and crocheting.

She is survived by a daughter, Margaree Turner of La Grande; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, four sisters, two brothers; her son, Jay and her daughter, Louise.


Blaine Evans Allen, 68, of Haines, died Sept. 24 peacefully at his home. Visitation will run from 10 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday with the funeral service following at noon at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Hughes Lane in Baker City. Vault interment will be held at the Haines Cemetery immediately following the funeral service.

Blaine was born March 29, 1939, to Louis and Merle Bracken Allen in Ogden, Utah, the fifth of seven children. On Oct. 13, 1956, he married the love of his life, Ann Searle Allen. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Temple. They were married for 51 years.

Blaine was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those who knew him say he will be remembered for his love of people, generosity, witty humor and strong dedication to his family.

Blaine was considered an outstanding cattleman in Haines and throughout Union County. He was a rancher, farmer, poet and writer. Blaine was a friend to all; he never knew a stranger. Those who knew Blaine say he was a master of helping others to believe in themselves and their dreams.

Blaine is survived by his wife, Ann Searle Allen of Haines; sons, Blaine Jr. and his wife, Linda, of North Ogden, Utah, Brad Allen and his wife, June, of Haines and Brandon Allen of Crestwood, Ky.; daughters, Shelley Hill and her husband, Greg, of Bountiful, Utah, Shari Selander and her husband, Alan, of Carbondale, Ill., and Stephanie Allen of Haines; 23 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and siblings, Nedra Florence and Colleen Gallegos. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Reed, Louis, Jay, Frank Allen and Merlene Rivera.

Memorial contributions may be made to the LDS Humanitarian Fund in care of Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City 97814.


Lois Elise Garity, 96, of La Grande, died Sept. 18 at a local care center. Funeral services will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Lois was born on March 26, 1911, to Joseph and Lilly Zwiefel in Summerville.

She was educated at the Pleasant Grove School. She married Chester Michael Garity, who worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. She was involved with the Women's Auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. She worked for the Miller Dairy and Inland Feed and was a homemaker.

Survivors include her son, James Garity of Cove; granddaughter, Dawn Garity of Kissimmee, Fla.; sister, Adelaide Bailey of Hood River; three nieces; and other relatives. Her husband preceded her in death in 1968.


Grace Bertha Halliday, 75, of La Grande, died Sept. 25 at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise. A celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Burial will follow at the Hillcrest East Cemetery. Viewing will run from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Grace was born on Oct. 26, 1931, to Raymond and Anna (Gritzmacher) Viergutz in Wausau, Wis. She played semi-pro softball on an all-women's team and loved the sport. She graduated from high school in Wausau and moved to Oregon.

On Oct. 9, 1951, she married Alta Wiliam "Doc" Halliday in La Grande. His work for the railroad took them to various places including Arlington, Pendleton, Hinkle and Huntington before settling in La Grande more than 40 years ago. Grace worked as a cook for local nursing homes and as a housekeeper for local motels.

She was a member of AARP and was the state co-coordinator at one time. She was a member of the Union County Senior Council, Youth Council, UPRR Old Timers and Jr. Old Timers and the VFW Auxiliary, of which she was a past president. She was an ombudsman for local nursing homes and served as umpire for local softball games. She helped her husband in his duties as a volunteer firefighter and was an avid bowler.

She was an active member of the Union County Senior Center and the Blue Mountain. Fiddlers Association. She enjoyed ceramics and flowers and loved family outings and gatherings.

Survivors include her husband of La Grande; children, Billie Halliday of La Grande, Pam and Tim Willcoxon of La Grande, Randy and Cheryl Halliday of Provo, Utah, Lynn Halliday of La Grande and Marty Halliday of La Grande; brothers, Les Viergutz and Glen Viergutz, both of Wausau; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Winfield Scott; grandson, Mark Willcoxon; four brothers; and one sister.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Senior Center or the Meals on Wheels program in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, 97850.


James "Jim" Leonard Rogers, 66, of La Grande, died of natural causes while cutting wood on Sept. 25. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church, 1308 Washington Ave., La Grande 97850. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Jim was born on Feb. 16, 1941, to Lawrence and Ella (Guptil) Rogers in Priest River, Idaho. He married Shirley Bernice Olson on July 13, 1963, in Orville, Calif. They have lived in La Grande since 1965. He was a carpenter and built homes, traveling with his wife doing heavy construction and building bridges from 1982 to 2002. Jim retired in 2002.

Jim was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt, fish, snowmobile and water ski with his family, especially his grandsons, Taylor, Mitch and Jake Workinger.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; daughter, Lisa and her husband, Brad Workinger; grandsons, all of La Grande; mother, Ella Inez Rogers; brothers, Jerry and his wife, Cindy Rogers, and Mickey Rogers; sisters, Sherry and her husband, Bill Renton, Robin and her husband, Kip Kreager, Laurie and her husband, Mike Kreager, all of Priest River; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union County Search & Rescue or the La Grande High School Boys Athletic Department in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.


Janice "Jannie" Lynn Hindman, formerly of La Grande, died of natural causes on Sept. 25 at her home in Lincoln City. Funeral services begin at 11 a.m. Sunday at Pacific View Memorial Chapel in Lincoln City.

Family and friends are invited to attend a remembrance gathering Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the home of Ray and Carol Westenskow at 1502 Fourth St. in La Grande.

Jannie was born Dec. 7, 1945, to George and Bethel McClure in Portland.

The family moved to La Grande where she attended Fruitdale Grade School and graduated from La Grande High School in 1964. She received a master's degree in special education from Portland State University in 1974.

She married Mac Hindman on Dec. 22, 1975. After a brief period in Portland, Jannie and her family moved to Durkee where they remodeled the old Hindman homestead and hosted many family celebrations. She spent the last several years living with her husband in Lincoln City, cultivating her love of the ocean. She enjoyed cooking for family and friends, gardening and writing. She had a great love for animals, especially her office cats and mongrel dogs. Most special to her were the times spent with her granddaughter, Allie.

Jannie was nationally recognized as an advocate for children. She worked to establish several programs for the treatment of abused children and authored several publications in the field, most notably "A Very Touching Book." Those who knew her say she had limitless dedication.

She is survived by her husband of Lincoln City; a son Monty of Minneapolis; granddaughter, Allie Hindman of Baker City; sisters, Carol Westenskow and Mary Wiggins of La Grande; five nieces; six nephews; great-nieces and nephews; and other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lincoln City Children's Advocacy Center at P.O. Box 707, Newport 97365 or to local children's advocacy centers.


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