January 07, 2003 11:00 pm

Karen Ann Breshears

Formerly of Cove


Karen Ann Breshears, 58, died, Dec. 25 at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Brookings from complications of diabetes.

A memorial service will be held Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. at the Brookings Nazarene Church with Lee Garvin officiating.

She was born in Fairmont, Minn., on Nov. 12, 1944. Until 1962 she lived in Sherburn, Minn., where she graduated from Sherburn High School. After graduation, she moved to Bowman, Mont., where she worked in the Dean's office at Montana State University. In 1966, she moved to Seattle and worked for Boeing as a secretary in a high security area.

She married Raymond Jay Breshears on Aug. 1, 1970.

The couple moved to his hometown of Cove, where they started a family. The family moved to Brookings in March 1974 and opened Recreation Specialties, an RV and marine repair business, which they operated until 1992.

During that time, Mrs. Breshears also worked at Azalea Middle School in the office, and from 1992 to 2001, she was the office manager at Town & Country Animal Clinic.

In Brookings, she was a 4-H leader and a member of Beta Sigma Phi.

She enjoyed reading, singing and riding horses. She always went out of her way to help others, had a wonderful capacity for joy and never shied away from a challenge, family members said.

She is survived by her husband Jay; son Renn and his wife Maggie Breshears of Palouse, Wash., daughter Heather and her husband Guy Patterson of Mount Vernon; mother Catherine Hartwig of Brookings, and brother Charlie Hartwig of Oshkosh, Wis.

Her father of Brookings died earlier.

Arrangements are under the direction of Redwood Memorial Chapel.

Evelyn Irene Ramsey

La Grande


Evelyn Irene Ramsey, 80, of La Grande and formerly of Summerville, died Dec. 30 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Friends may call on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Daniels Chapel.

Mrs. Ramsey was born on Jan. 7, 1922, to William and Hallie Bottles Sanderson in Miles City, Mont. The family moved to Summerville when she was a young child. She attended the Dry Creek School in Summerville. In 1950 she married Howard Ramsey. He died in 1996.

Mrs. Ramsey enjoyed quilting and crafts, as well as western and mystery novels.

Survivors include her sons, Gary Marcum of Portland and William Marcum of Mountain Home, Idaho; seven grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; sisters, Dorothy Craig of Summerville and Wanda Pointer of Island City; brother, Billy Sanderson of Elgin; many nieces and nephews and other relatives. Her brothers, Donald and Kenneth Sanderson, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Summerville Cemetery Chapel Restoration Project in care of Daniels Chapel, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

Robert Paul Jones

North Powder


Robert Paul Jones, 60, of North Powder died Dec. 28 at his home.

A vigil service will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City. Funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in North Powder. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral will celebrate. Following the service, vault interment will be at the Haines Cemetery.

Mr. Jones was born March 30, 1942, in Tulsa, Okla., to Jess and Gertrude Shutler Jones. He was raised and received his education in Kingfisher and Crescent, Okla. He also attended engineering school at Oregon State University. He married Mary Colburn on Dec. 26, 1970, at St. Peter's Catholic Church in The Dalles.

They moved to North Powder in 1973 from La Grande. He worked as a surveyor for the highway department and the U.S. Forest Service. He also did ranching jobs, commercial fishing and managed the ski shop at Anthony Lakes. He loved skiing and Anthony Lakes, his children and grandchildren. He was good at mechanics and mathematics, family members said. He had an appreciation for ways and values of the Native Americans. He had interests in plants, gardening, tropical fish and photography.

Besides his wife of North Powder, he is survived by his daughters, Katie of Haines and Maureen of Bayside, Calif., and his son, Robert of Vancouver, Wash.; two grandchildren; a sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Ken Self of Grass Valley, Calif.; and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

His parents died earlier.

Memorial contributions may be made to the North Powder Quick Response Team, in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City 97814.

Keith C. Patten

Formerly of La Grande


Keith C. Patten, 81, of Yakima and formerly of La Grande died Dec. 30 at the Landmark Care Center.

A funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Langevin-Mussetter Funeral Home in Yakima, with private burial at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Mr. Patten was born Jan. 26, 1921, in La Grande to Harvey C. and Teresa Castle Patten.

He served in the Army during World War II, receiving a field promotion for heroism in the Philippines.

For 43 years Mr. Patten lived in La Grande, where he raised three children as a single parent. During his time in La Grande, he married Alyce Olsen Roberts.

He was active in civic organizations and enjoyed fishing, hunting, traveling and dancing and was proud to have helped build the Godfrey's Espresso stands.

Mr. Patten is survived by three children: Howard and his wife, Nan, of Montana; Nancy and her husband, Larry Godfrey, of Yakima; and Jeffery and his wife, Debbie Patten, of Boise; a brother, Charles, and his wife, Ethel Patten, of La Grande; a sister, Sarah Powers of Baker City; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and other relatives.

Mr. Patten's wife, Alyce, died earlier, as did a brother, Christopher Patten, and a great-granddaughter.

Memorials may be made to a charity of choice in care of Langevin-Mussetter Funeral Home of Yakima, P.O. Box 2824, Yakima, Wash., 98907.

Thomas Seay

Thomas D. Seay, 88, of La Grande, died Thursday at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Service information will be announced later. Loveland

Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Barry Kropf



Barry A. Kropf, 22, of Cove died Dec. 31 at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland after a short illness. The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Church of the Nazarene, 109 18th St., La Grande. Burial will follow at the Cove Cemetery. Viewing will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at the Grande Ronde Mennonite Church in Cove.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Kropf was born May 18, 1980, to Owen and Ella Torkelson Kropf in Brooks, Alberta, Canada. In 1988 the family moved to Cove, where he attended school. He was a teacher for the Grande Ronde Mennonite School and enjoyed the outdoors, especially packing into the high country and high lakes. He was a cheerful person and loved children and helping people, family members said.

Survivors include his parents of Cove, his siblings and their spouses, Louise and John Troyer of Nevada, Beverly and Steve Hertzler of the Dominican Republic, Janice and Mark Brandt of Manitoba, Canada, Jeffery and Laura Kropf, James and Lynette Kropf, Shirley and Peter Martens, John and Sara Kropf, and Margaret, Jerry and Steve Kropf, all of Oregon, a paternal grandfather, Elmer Kropf of Harrisburg, and a maternal grandmother, Ruth Torkelson of Alberta.

Memorials may be made to the Grande Ronde Mennonite School, 69371 Lantz Road, Cove 97824.

Myrtle M. Johnson

Myrtle M. Johnson, of Gentry, Ark., and formerly of Cove, died Jan. 1 in Arkansas. Local graveside services will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Merlin Baldwin

Formerly of La Grande


Merlin Wesley Baldwin, 53, of Woodland and formerly of La Grande died Dec. 18 in Portland of natural causes. A memorial service will be held in August at the Clark County Fair. Woodland Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Baldwin was born March 20, 1949, to Elmer and Verna Mae Baldwin in Nebraska. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1968 and later from Oregon State University. He raised cattle and sheep and was a member of the board of the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Oregon Jersey Co-op, and served as a director of the Cowlitz County Conservation District.

Survivors include his wife, DeeDee, and son, Andy Baldwin, both of Woodland, his mother of Mesa, Ariz., two brothers, Todd Baldwin of La Grande and LeRoy Baldwin of Anchorage, Alaska, and a sister, Verdella Gilmer of Portland.

Memorials may be made to the Shriner's Children's Hospital, 3101 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland 97201.

Louise Choate

La Grande


Louise Wetzel Choate, 92, of La Grande died Jan. 2 at a local care center. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. A private burial will be at the Summerville Cemetery.

Mrs. Choate was born Dec. 28, 1910, to Lewis I. and Floy Wells Wetzel in Pendleton. She graduated from La Grande High School in 1928 and from Eastern Oregon Normal School in 1931. She taught in La Grande and at Kamela. On Aug. 15, 1933, she married Virgil A. Choate in Pasco, Wash. She was an active PTA member and a 4-H leader for boys and girls. She taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school, and was a den mother for Cub Scouts, a leader of Brownies and Girl Scouts and a counselor for the regional Girl Scout Camp at Wallowa Lake.

She was a member of the Union County Museum, the Union County Historical Society, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Methodist Church, the National Good Sam RV Club, the Tri-Mountain Good Sam Chapter, and a 50-year member of the OSU Home Extension study clubs.

She enjoyed reading, crafts, needlework, traveling and being with her family.

Survivors include her husband of La Grande, children and their spouses, Virgil L. and Carolyn Choate of The Dalles, and Nancy Christensen of Lebanon, four granddaughters, several great-grandchildren, two sisters, Vera Hearing of Island City and Floy Matthews of Beaverton, and other relatives. A sister, Virginia Lewis, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Union County Museum in care of Daniels Chapel.

Thomas Seay

La Grande


Thomas D. Seay, 88, of La Grande died Jan. 2 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. Burial will be private.

Mr. Seay was born July 19, 1914, to Thomas and Ruth Hershey Seay in Arapahoe, Colo. He served in the military during World War II and worked for the Colorado Highway Department for many years. He retired in 1980. He moved to a local care center in 2001.

Survivors include his sons and daughters-in-law, Gordon and Elen Johnson of La Grande, and Raymond and Agnes Johnson of Wallowa, seven grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and a brother, Harold Seay of Brazil, Ind. His wife, Rhoda, died in 1999.