May 23, 2002 11:00 pm

Dean Severns

Formerly of La Grande


Dean K. Severns, 86, of Seattle and formerly of La Grande, died April 17 at a Seattle care facility.

A service will start at 2 p.m. today at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in La Grande with the Rev. N. Frank Cooke officiating. Committal and interment will follow at the Island City Cemetery.

Mr. Severns was born April 11, 1916, to James M. and Myrtle O. (Jones) Severns on the family homestead in Centennial Valley, Mont. The family moved to La Grande in 1922. He attended Greenwood School and graduated from La Grande High School in1934.

He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and later went to work at the Mt. Emily Lumber Company (which later became Boise Cascade). During World War II he served with the U.S. Army in North Africa and Europe.

He returned to La Grande and Boise Cascade. He retired after 42 years of employment with Boise.

On May 7, 1941, he married Mamie Pearl Hollen in Weiser, Idaho. She died on Nov. 17, 1977. In 1996 he moved to Yakima to be near his family and they recently moved to Seattle.

He was a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church and the American Legion where he was past post commander and past district commander. In 1972 he was Oregon State Legionnaire of the Year. He also belonged to the La Grande Eagles and Elks lodges He was a devoted grandfather and enjoyed bowling, hunting, fishing and casino gambling.

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Kelly and Nancy (Stiles) Severns; four grandchildren who were like his own children, Jennifer and Peter Huang, Wendy Severns and Jeff Ford, all of Seattle; brothers, James J. Severns of Hermiston and Donald D. Severns of Albany; sister, M. Iris Bates of La Grande and other relatives and friends.A sister, Etta True of Baker City died earlier.

Contributions may be to the Oregon Cancer Society in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, 97850.

James Earl Wood

La Grande


James Earl Wood, 71, of La Grande died April 18 at his home.

A service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Mr. Wood was born on April 28, 1930, to James Earl and Martha Marie (Martin) Wood in Bend. He attended school in Astoria and later graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in agriculture.

In September 1953 he married Janet Kunkel and they made thier home in Hermiston. During the Korean Conflict he served with the United States Marines.

Mr. Wood worked as a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad and farmed.

The Woods were divorced in 1974 and he moved to La Grande. He raised cattle, pack mules and horses. He enjoyed packing and camping in the Wallowa Mountains and the Snake River area with his family and friends. He married June Eleanor Flanagan in 1979.

Mr. Wood was a member of the Backcountry Horsemen, the Masonic Lodge, Al Kader Shrine and the Elks Lodge. He enjoyed cowboy poetry and valued time spent with his grandchildren and good friends.

Survivors include his children, Daniel James Wood of Hermiston, Ronald James Wood of Sparks, Nev., Thomas James Wood of Hermiston and Jane Marie Vanderzanden of Gales Creek; nine grandchildren; a brother, Jack D. Wood of Richland, Wash.; wife June Wood of La Grande; former wife, Janet Hutchinson of Umatilla and other relatives and friends.

Contributions may be made to the Backcountry Horsemen in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, 97850.

Gary K. Eisler

Formerly of La Grande


A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Sunset Presbyterian Church, 14986 N.W. Cornell Road, Portland, for Gary K. Eisler, 57. He died April 20 at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Wilhelm Funeral Home, 6637 S.E. Milwaukie Ave., Portland.

Mr. Eisler was born June 15, 1944, in Toledo, Ohio, to Marton and Frances Eisler.

He was a history teacher in Ohio. He married his wife, Bonnie, on May 13, 1967. She died on Jan. 20, 1996.

In the early 1970s, he was the publisher and owner of the Eastern Oregon Review in La Grande.

He was a freelance writer and co-publisher of many books, including American Heroes, Heritage: Climbing the Centuries, and Barter and the History of Money.

He was the chief executive officer of Eisler Spring Water. He was a member of the Beaverton Rotary Club, MENSA and the Sunset Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Eisler is survived by his children, Laura Baker of Happy Valley, Amy Nys of Tualatin and John Eisler of Aloha; a brother, Daniel Eisler of Toledo, Ohio; a sister, Sue Coffey of Indiana; and two grandchildren.

Burial will be at the River View Cemetery in Portland. Memorial contributions may be made to the Beaverton Rotary Foundation. Arrangements are by Wilhelm Funeral Home.

Dean L. Corbin



Dean Leon Corbin, 68, of Cove, died April 20 at a La Grande care home.

A celebration of life service will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, with David Arnott III, chaplain of the American Legion Post 43, officiating. Burial will follow at Cove Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Mr. Corbin was born Oct. 5, 1933, to Floyd and Violet Bonebrake Corbin in Vancouver, Wash. The family moved to Spokane where he attended school, graduating from Rogers High School in 1953.

He served in the Navy Seabees during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 17, 1955.

He married Nancy Ann Williams on Oct. 12, 1963, in Cove. They owned and operated Marge's Tavern in La Grande from 1976 to 1988. He was a member of the American Legion Post 43 and the Elks in La Grande for 26 years.

Besides his wife of Cove, he is survived by two sons, Dean and his wife Carla of Dallas, Ore., and Clinton and his wife Sharon of Union; a daughter, Debbie Straight and her husband Ed of Union; two grandsons and three granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Neuropathy Association in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.

James Brennan



James Thomas Brennan, 60, of Enterprise died April 22 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital of natural causes. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Enterprise Christian Church with the Rev. Earl Loree officiating. Bollman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Brennan was born March 20, 1942, to James T. and Elizabeth Born Prentice Brennan in Utica, N.Y. He married Karen Vincent on June 12, 1967, in Lanesboro, Penn. He worked at the Pleasant View Care Center.

Survivors include his wife and a son, Jamie Brennan, both of Enterprise, one grandchild, a brother, three sisters and a step-sister, Kay Cambell. A second brother died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Pleasant View Care Center in care of Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise 97828.

Pauline Howard

La Grande


Pauline Isabelle Howard, 97, of La Grande died April 20 at Grande Ronde Hospital. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Summerville Cemetery Chapel. Viewing will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

Mrs. Howard was born May 27, 1904, to James and Ione Jaycox Woodell in Wallowa County. She graduated from La Grande High School, and in 1923 she married Glynn Howard in La Grande. The couple lived on the Oregon coast and later farmed in the Grants Pass area until 1936 when they moved to Sumpter. After her husband's death in 1953, she returned to La Grande to care for her parents although she spent the summer months in Sumpter. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star in Sumpter for almost 50 years. She enjoyed fishing and taught her grandson to flyfish.

Survivors include her daughter, Jean Massie of La Grande, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and other relatives. Her husband, a son, James Howard and a brother, Clarence Woodell, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the OES Alpine Chapter, the Union County Historical Society or any charity in care of Daniels Chapel.

Donald Gray

Formerly of La Grande

Donald N. Gray, 84, of Eugene and formerly of La Grande died Thursday at his home. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Richard Brock



Richard Edward Brock, 91, of Enterprise died April 24 at a care center. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St. in Enterprise, with Pastor Jack Farrell officiating. Burial will be at the Enterprise Cemetery.

Mr. Brock was born Jan. 29, 1911, to George W. and Etta Pearl Cannady Brock in Wallowa County. He lived his entire life on Alder Slope. He married Dellouris Levenia Whitmore and worked at a sawmill and as a farmer. He enjoyed writing poetry, gardening and being with his family.

Survivors include his daughters, Carlene Small of Enterprise, Loretta Colpitts of Wallowa and Georgetta Colpitts of Halfway, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. His wife died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Wallowa Valley Care Center in care of Bollman's Funeral Home.

George Skorupan

La Grande

George Skorupan, 84, of La Grande died Thursday at a care center. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. A complete obituary will be published later.

Donald Conner

Formerly of Wallowa


Donald Robert Conner, 87, of Corvallis and formerly of Wallowa died April 23 at a care center. A graveside service will begin at 1 p.m. May 26 at Bramlet Cemetery in Wallowa with Father Rich Attebury officiating and fraternal rites by the AF&AM Lodge 81 in Joseph. McHenry Funeral Home in Corvallis is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Conner was born Sept. 2, 1914, to Robert Jacob and Jennie Magdalene Coleman Conner on Whiskey Creek. He graduated from Wallowa High School in 1932, and on May 28, 1942, he married Zella Mae Twidwell in Weiser, Idaho. He farmed and owned Don's Food Store from 1950 until 1991. He had started as a boxboy-clerk at the store in 1938 and became manager in 1943. The couple moved to Corvallis in 2000 to be near family.

He was a member of the Junior Jaycees and helped cook the Cowboy Breakfast during Chief Joseph Days. He was a member of the Masons, the Lions, the Wallowa Grange, the Odd Fellows, the Elks and served on the the rural school board, the city school board, the City Council, the Wallowa Cemetery District, the Rodgers Ditch Co. and the local volunteer fire department. He enjoyed fishing, sports, and being with his family.

Survivors include his wife, a daughter and son-in-law, Maridee and Richard Symons, all of Philomath, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, sisters, Dorothy Coffelt of Texas, Bonnie Parrott and Louise Nelson, both of Walla Walla, a brother, Sid Conner and other relatives. Two brothers and a sister died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, the Wallowa Senior Center or the Wallowa Fire Hall fund in care of McHenry Funeral Home, 206 N.W. Fifth St., Corvallis 97330.

‘Vladek' Kostechka

Formerly of Pendleton


Walter "Vladek" Kostechka, 86, of Portland and formerly of Pendleton died April 23. A graveside service will be held at a later date in Waitsburg, Wash.

Mr. Kostechka was born June 24, 1915, to Antonina and Sergi Kostechka in New Market, N.H. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and moved with his brothers to Pendleton. He served in the Navy during World War II, and on May 18, 1947, he married Dorothy Lucille Brown. The couple lived in Hermiston and later in Portland.

He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad first as a fireman and later as an engineer at Huntington and La Grande. He retired as a yard engineer in Hinkle in 1976 and worked another 13 years as a custodian at Edgefield Lodge for Troubled Youth in Troutdale.

He was a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge 1845, and a member of the VFW, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Oldtimers' Club and Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church. He was honored in 1967 as Dad of the Year by Boy Scouts Troop 653. In Portland he was a member of the Hawthorne Lions Club and volunteered for the Loaves and Fishes meal program.

He enjoyed gardening, his family and coaching baseball.

Survivors include his wife of Portland, children, Andrew Kostechka of Milwaukie and Paul Kostechka of Boise, Carla Day and Kay Proctor of Heppner, 10 grandchildren and other relatives.

Three brothers died earlier.

Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to the American Heart Association, 1425 N.E. Irving St. Ste. 100, Portland 97232.