June 29, 2007 11:00 pm

Mary Benge, 92, died June 21 in La Grande. A memorial service will be held at the Heppner Masonic Cemetery at 11 a.m. Saturday. A potluck will follow at the Heppner Elks Club. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mary was born April 9, 1915, in Coffey, Mo., to Claude and Ethel Brumfield Cartwright. She had four siblings. Raised by her grandparents, she grew up in Coffey and graduated from Coffey High School at age 16.

After graduating, she met and married Dem Reninger and they had three children. They lived in Denver, where they were in the restaurant business before divorcing. In 1943, she moved to Heppner where she married Terrell Benge. They ranched on Social Ridge and Rea Creek until retiring in 1972.

Mary was very active in the Ladies Elks and Eastern Star. She was known for her cooking, especially her sourdough bread. She also enjoyed playing cards and gardening and was an avid reader.

Survivors include her son, Michael "Butch" Benge of Falls Church, Va.; stepdaughter, Lynn Marie McDonald of Omaha, Neb.; grandchildren, Terry Hughes of La Grande, Teresa Hughes of Heppner, Saderia and Tiffany Benge of Falls Church, Va., Leann Cardell of Omaha, Neb., and Cameron McDonald of Houston; six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Terrell; two daughters, Maryann and Joan; stepson, Ralph; a great-grandchild; one brother and three sisters.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation or any other charity.


Georgettae "Georgie" Pearl Colpitts, of Halfway, died at her home June 20.

A viewing will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday at Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home in Halfway. A graveside celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway. A potluck reception will follow at the Pine Valley V.F.W. hall.

Georgie was born May 26, 1938, in Enterprise to Richard and Dellourias Brock. She was raised and educated in Enterprise, graduating from high school in 1956. In December of that year, she married Harvey Colpitts. They had four children: Audrey, Alice, Arlene and Chip.

The family moved to Milton-Freewater for a short time, until Harvey found work on the dams in Oxbow in 1967. They lived in Oxbow for a couple of years, before settling in Halfway.

Georgie enjoyed sewing, doing craft work and painting ceramics. She enjoyed fishing and putting puzzles together. When she moved to Halfway, she went to work cooking and waitressing at Wild Bill's and Stockman's Restaurant. Georgie was a friend to many and always had a smile, family members said. She had a great outlook on life and never minced words in telling you exactly how it was.

She is survived by her sister, Carlene Johnson-Small of Enterprise; children, Audrey and her husband, Walt Cool, of Vanderhoof, B.C., Alice and Jerry Tunnell of Fernley, Nev., Arlene and Donny Douglas of Valleyview, Alberta, and Chip Colpitts of Kingston, Nev.; 11 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews and her beloved house cat, The Reverend.

Georgie was preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Loretta.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Tami's Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway 97834.


Margaret Caldwell Holloway, 91, of Amelia, Ohio, and formerly of La Grande, died June 6 in an Amelia care center. Date of services will be announced later. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Margaret was born on Nov. 9, 1916, in Fort Duchesne, Utah, to Mason and Ida Mae Caldwell. At age 8, she and her family moved to the Lime area. She attended school in Baker and La Grande, graduating from La Grande High School in 1935.

She married Jess Holloway on March 31, 1942, in Weiser, Idaho. They were ranchers in the Durkee area until moving back to La Grande in 1975.

Margaret worked many years for Dr. John Higgins in Baker while raising her son and being a devoted wife, family members said. Later she worked at her sister Lois' bowling alley in La Grande until retiring. She moved to Ohio in 2001 to live with her son, Monty.

She enjoyed painting, traveling and spending time with her family and friends. She was always there to offer a good cup of coffee, a smile and a listening ear, family members said. She had a wonderful sense of humor and could always help others see the silver lining in every situation. Her family was the most important thing to her. Her granddaughters came every summer for an extended visit.

She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Verleigh Powers of Amelia; her granddaughters, Marni Holloway of San Diego and Erin Kaiser and husband Kendall of Battle Ground, Wash.; three great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Barbara Caldwell of La Grande and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jess Holloway; son, Monty Holloway, who died last year; sisters, Lois Ferguson, Norma Lester, LaVeta Mohr and brother, Donald Caldwell.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley.


Roy Pennington, 71, of La Grande, died June 26 at his home. A graveside service will begin at 1 p.m. Friday at the Island City Cemetery.

Roy was born April 21, 1936, the son of Wesley Lawrence and Katie Pennington in La Grande. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1954. On April 27, 1956, he married Jane Duncan in Elgin. He worked for Boise Cascade until 1959. He was a union carpenter, working for Bechtel Brothers, Gilco and later for Gus Tsiatsos until retiring in 2000.

Roy had a great love of the outdoors, including hunting, fishing, mushrooming and gardening. He loved going into the mountains and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife, Jane Pennington of La Grande; son, Dale and his wife, April, Pennington of La Grande; daughter, Sandy Knudson of Baker City; four grandchildren; sisters, Ruth Roulet of Elgin and Mildred Hayes of Enterprise; sister-in-law, Wanda Pennington of La Grande; numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Walter and Lawrence Pennington.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Lung Association in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 7th Street, La Grande 97850.


Judy Bernice Peterson, 61, of La Grande, died June 21 at her home.

A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Summerville Baptist Church. A private family burial will be held later.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Judy was born May 3, 1946. She enjoyed arts and crafts and made beautiful wreaths at Christmastime, family members said. She grew beautiful roses and took great pride in her flower garden.

She also loved doting on her dog, Brady.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Larry Neill; two grandsons; siblings, Glenda Hachmeister and Brent Peterson, both of Ogden, Utah; and many nieces and nephews.

Judy was preceded in death by a daughter, Christa Riggle; brother, Doug Peterson; sister, Carol Van Hulton; and her


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association, 3212 Highway 30, La Grande 97850.


Donald Virgil Stitt, 92, of Woodburn and formerly of La Grande, died June 18 at the Cascade Park Retirement Home in Woodburn. Funeral services were held June 27.

Donald was born June 9, 1915, the third of six children, to Charles

and Annie Stitt in La Grande. He grew up in La Grande and graduated from La Grande High School where he was an outstanding athlete in basketball, football and track.

In 1937, he moved to Portland with his family. He played professional basketball for the Signal Oil Co. and attended Oregon State University in 1939 and 1940 where he was a star guard on the basketball team.

He served in the Army and was stationed in England during World War II. While in England, he was a member of the basketball team that won the United Kingdom Basketball Championships. After the war, he played professional basketball in the Northwest Professional Basketball League for the Salem Trailblazers and the Portland Indians.

At 40, Donald began playing tennis. During his tennis career, he won many Northwest titles and was a top-ranked player for many years. He was also an accomplished bowler and won many team bowling titles.

In his 70s and 80s, he competed in the Masters Track and Field Championships, winning many titles. In one competition, he barely missed the world record in the high jump for his age.

He was self-employed for many years in the health and exercise equipment field in Portland.

He moved to Cascade Park Retirement Center in Woodburn in 2004.

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Laretta and Marie, and brothers, Wilford and Daniel. He is survived by his brother, Alvin Stitt of Portland. He was a beloved uncle to his many nieces and nephews, family members said.


Carolyn Rees Lovelace, 74, of Ontario and formerly of Cove died of cancer June 25 at the home of her daughter, Rilla Lovelace Hanger, of Monroe, Wash. Her ashes will be spread at Cove Cemetery, followed by a family celebration of life at the Cove Pool at a time and date to be announced later.

Born Feb. 18, 1933, Carolyn loved animals, especially horses. She also took in young people who needed a safe place.

Carolyn passed on a strong love of family connections, family members said. She was a proud fourth-generation Oregonian from Cove, her family having come over the Meek Cutoff in 1845.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband and life-long soulmate Charles "Dewey" Lovelace who died in December 2005 and her son, Bryan Mack.

Survivors include her children, William Rees Lovelace of Ontario, Peggy Lovelace Contreras of Philomath, Curtis Lovelace of Ontario and Rilla Lovelace Hanger of Monroe, Wash. She is also survived by sister, Donna Rees Sands of La Grande and brother, Lewis M. Rees of Vancouver, Wash. She is also survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.