April 02, 2003 11:00 pm

Mary Kusaka

La Grande

Mary Kusaka, 84, of La Grande, died Sunday at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Sharon Stace

Formerly of Summerville


Sharon Marie Dougharity Stace, 59, of Ajo, Ariz., and formerly of Summerville died March 15. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Summerville Cemetery Chapel. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Stace was born Nov. 23, 1943, to G.A. "Mick" and Lucille Elizabeth Justice Dougharity in Prairie City. She graduated from Imbler High School in 1962, and in 1971 she married Larry Stace. The couple lived in Carson, Wash., until they moved to Ajo two and a half years ago. She decorated wedding cakes and was an excellent seamstress and tailor. She enjoyed fishing, sewing and being with her family. She was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Survivors include her husband of Ajo; children, Brett Stace who is serving aboard the USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf, and Dawn Chase of Portland; two grandchildren; a brother, Mick Dougharity of Mount Vernon; two sisters, Beth Dunkleberger of Portland and Patty Bingaman of Imbler; and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the Blue Mountain 4-H Center in care of Daniels Chapel, 1502 Seventh St.

Lawrence Romer

Formerly of La Grande


Lawrence Paul Romer, 44, of Port Angeles, Wash., and formerly of La Grande died March 20 in Seattle of natural causes. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. April 5 at the home of his sister, Julie Gust, 3117 N.E. 62nd in Portland.

Mr. Romer was born June 30, 1958, to Theodore and Bernice Romer in Portland and graduated from Madison High School in 1976.

He worked as a carpenter in construction in Oregon and Washington, and for the Bonneville Power Administration. He married Kristy (Aldrich) Battrick and after a divorce, Rosalind Chan. He enjoyed garage sales, carpentry, boating, photography, being a rock hound, playing golf and being with his children. He had a tremendous sense of humor and a unique perspective on life.

Survivors include his wife of Port Angeles; his children, Elijah Romer of La Grande, Jeremy Romer and his wife Mindi of Halsey, and Ashley and Mallory Romer; his mother of Portland; sisters and their husbands, Linda and Denny Garvey of Oakton, Va., and Barbara and Gene Ramberg, Julie and Lynn Gust and Janis and Rob Langenhuysen, all of Portland; brothers and their wives, Stephen and Lori Romer of Seattle, Douglas and Susie Romer of La Grande, and Jay and Kendall Cunningham of Gresham, and other relatives. His father died earlier.

James Schoenwald


A memorial for James M. Schoenwald of Elgin, who died Feb. 25, will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Elgin Community Center. Participants are invited to come as they are.

‘Lamar' Christensen

Formerly of La Grande


Russell "Lamar" Christensen, 86, of Mesa, Ariz., and formerly of La Grande, died March 23. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the LDS Chapel, 1802 Gekeler Lane. Viewing will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., and one hour before the funeral.

Mr. Christensen was born Oct. 14, 1916, to Harris and Robenia Bodily Christensen in Chesterfield, Idaho. He served as a captain in the Army during World War II, and received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart following his tour of duty in the Pacific. He married Betty Jane Grice on Feb. 1, 1947, in La Grande. He worked as a meat cutter at Chris' Foods in La Grande, a store that later became Hub City Foods. He became a co-owner of the store until his retirement. He was a member of the LDS Church, where he was dance director of the Mutual, president of the elders' quorum, high priest group leader, a member of the bishopric, and high councilman in the La Grande Stake. He also worked with his wife at the genealogical library for several years.

Survivors include his wife of Mesa; children, Stephen Christensen of Gresham, Russell Christensen of Salem and Rebecca Cass of Mesa; seven grandchildren; four brothers, Adrian of Salt Lake City, Odell and Clyde, both of Orem, Utah, and Max of Soda Springs, Idaho; a sister, Gayle Gardner of Orem and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the Neely Ray Hospice House or the LDS Family History Center in care of Loveland Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.,

La Grande 97850.

Janis Jones



Janis M. Davis Jones, 65, of Haines died Monday at St. Elizabeth Health Services in Baker City. At her request there will be no services.

Mrs. Jones was born Nov. 1, 1937, in Forks, Wash., to Ed and Doris Jones Davis. She attended school in North Powder and graduated from Mac High in Milton-Freewater, and married Ed Jones. She enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fishing and wildlife. She loved all animals and and made friends with everybody she met.

Survivors include her husband of Haines; children, Tawni Smith of St. Helens, Edward Roe of Mattoon, Ill., Dixie Birdsong of St. Helens, and Gearld Dewayne Roe of La Grande; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and other

relatives. Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City 97814.

Maureen Waisner

La Grande


Maureen Marie Waisner, 38, of La Grande died of natural causes March 24 at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center. At her request no local services will be held.

Ms. Waisner was born March 20, 1965, to Wilbur and Maureen Bailey Waisner in Helena, Mont. She attended schools in California and moved to

La Grande about five years ago. She was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and was known for her creative arts and crafts. She was an avid reader. Survivors include her children, Crystal Martin, Levi Kendall, Kayla Kendall and Hope Osborn, all of La Grande; a granddaughter; her father of Helena; and a sister, Joann Upton of Camden, Ind. Her mother died earlier.

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

Billy Clyde Helton

La Grande


Billy Clyde Helton, 16, of La Grande died March 21 at St. Alphonsus Trauma Center in Boise after a car accident. A celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the New Life Center in Island City, 10700 Walton Road, with Pastor Art Evans officiating.

Mr. Helton was born Oct. 13, 1986, in Kansas City, Kan., and had lived in Oregon most of his life. He attended schools in La Grande and had a passion for hunting, fishing, camping, and boating. He loved the outdoors. He was also a talented sketch artist. He enjoyed riding his bike, 4-wheeling, boxing and spending time with his mother and his friends.

Survivors include his parents, Rose Flack of La Grande and Billy J. Helton of Pendleton; a brother, Ricky Helton of La Grande and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to The New Life Center in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

Harold ‘Lightening' Conner

La Grande


Harold E. "Lightening" Conner, 87, of La Grande died Feb. 27 at his home. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., with Pastor Gary Hood of the Pioneer Park Church of God officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest East Cemetery. Viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mr. Conner was born Feb. 3, 1916, to Guy and Bessie Elliott Conner in Council, Idaho. During World War II he served in the Navy, was a ship barber and went to Pearl Harbor the day after it was attacked.

On Sept. 17, 1950, he married Eileen P. Davis in La Grande; they were the first couple to be married in the new Pioneer Park Church of God building.

He worked as a loader for Boise Cascade for 33 years until his retirement.

The couple ran a daycare for many years. He purchased a home for his mother and younger siblings and took care of them.

He was a member of the Pioneer Park Church of God and extended a helping hand to anyone who needed it.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, gardening, spending time in the mountains and just being outdoors.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; children and their spouses, Nadine Faber of Vancouver, Wash., and Sandy and Steve Campbell of

La Grande; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; siblings and their spouses, Ivan and Eileen Andrew of Baker City, Wilda and Charles Hitt of Riddle, Violet White of Gallatin, Tenn., Hazel Martin of Weiser, Idaho, and Della Widner of Payette, Idaho; and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to GRH Home Care Services in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

Virginia Traverso

Formerly of La Grande


Virginia M. Traverso, 79, of Eugene and formerly of La Grande died March 27 at a care center. A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Mrs. Traverso was born Feb. 12, 1924, Virginia Keltz in La Grande. She married Donald E. Traverso Dec. 12, 1942. He died in 1983. She worked at a number of clerical jobs including for the state of Oregon. She was a member of the Springfield Moose Lodge, the Eagles and the American Legion.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Dona and Arnie Coleman of Colorado Springs, Colo., Bob and Nancy Traverso of Canby, and Peggy and Bill Youngblood of Bellingham, Wash.; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a sister, Nita Dunn of Portland; and a brother, Ernie Keltz of La Grande.

Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Hospice in care of Andreason's, 1395 Cross St., Ste. 5, Eugene 97401.

Elvie Rizor

Formerly of Union

Elvie I. Rizor, 94, of Eugene and formerly of Union died Friday in Eugene. Arrangements will be announced later by Loveland Funeral Chapel. A full obituary will be published later.

Paul Walden

Formerly of La Grande


Paul E. Walden, 85, of Hood River and formerly of La Grande died March 28 in Hood River. A memorial service is planned for Wednesday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Hood River with the Rev. Rustin R. Kimsey, retired Episcopal bishop of Eastern Oregon, officiating.

Mr. Walden was the father of 2nd District U.S. Rep. Greg Walden of Hood River.

Mr. Walden was born May 7, 1917, to Ernest Edmund and Nellie Angeline Purdy Walden on a wheat ranch near Prescott, Wash. He grew up in Milton-Freewater and graduated from Mac-High in 1935. In 1940 he married Betty McEwen in La Grande. After her death in 1990 he married Ethel Mae Tenney, who died in 1999.

Mr. Walden earned his license as a radio-telephone operator in 1937 after studying broadcast engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He acquired his radio amateur (HAM) license in 1934, and remained an active amateur radio operator until recently.

He spent 48 years in radio broadcasting, working as an engineer and station manager at radio stations in Walla Walla, La Grande and Pendleton. He worked at KODL radio in The Dalles for 27 years before purchasing KIHR radio in Hood River in 1967. He served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives.

He was a member of the Episcopal Church and served as a lay reader. He had been a member of the Diocesan Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon, serving for two years as council chairman.

He was named First Citizen of The Dalles in 1956, where he was president of Kiwanis and twice president of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce.

He was a former exalted ruler of the Hood River Elks Lodge, and also was a member of the Hood River Rotary Club, the Pendleton Masonic Lodge and other Masonic orders.

He served in the Army Signal Corps in 1946 and 1947, stationed at Fort Monmouth, N. J.

Mr. Walden greatly enjoyed hearing and telling a good story.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Bob and Connie Walden of Phoenix, Ariz., Bill and Sandy Walden of Gresham, and Greg and Mylene Walden of Hood River and Washington, D.C.; stepchildren and their spouses, Mike and Val Tenney, and Jo Ann and Lewis Wixon, all of The Dalles, and Barb and Mitch Hosford of Hood River; two grandsons; two sisters, Eleanor Day of Kellogg, Idaho, and Ginger Delk of Ridgecrest, Calif.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Gorge.