August 03, 2003 11:00 pm

Iris Erma Decker



Iris Erma Decker, 94, of Enterprise died July 11 at the home of her daughter where she had lived since 1997. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Katherine's Catholic Church. Burial will be in Carleton, Neb. Bollman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Decker was born Dec. 11, 1908, to Albert and Emma Outhier near Steele City, Neb. She married Oliver Frank "Dutch" Decker in 1926 in Washington, Kan., where he was a railroad section foreman . The couple moved west in 1944, first to Aberdeen, Wash., then to North Powder, Rock Creek and Wasco before settling in Enterprise in 1953. She enjoyed gardening, reading and traveling, making gambling trips to Nevada until the age of 93. She had visited England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy and Switzerland.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Charles and Joyce Decker of Wasco, Ronald Decker of Cody, Wyo., Roe and Peggy Decker of Seattle, Wash., Harry Decker of Yakima, Wash., Davise and Larry McFetridge, and Terry and Joyce Decker, all of Enterprise, Monte and Frances Decker of Port Angeles, Wash., and Vivian and Tom Curtiss of Pendleton; 24 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and 14 great-great-grandchildren. Her husband, a son, Duane, four brothers and two sisters died earlier.

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to Hospice of Wallowa County or to Enterprise Community Connection for the senior meals program in care of Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise.

Dorothy W. Fowler

La Grande


Dorothy Winifred Fowler, 91, of La Grande, died July 10 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

At her request there will be no public service. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Fowler was born March 27, 1912, to Edgar and Zada Gordon Coffin in Summerville. She attended local schools and attended nursing school in Baker City. She married Harold Fowler in La Grande. She was later divorced and moved to Portland, where she completed her training as an LPN and continued to work at the Portland Adventist Hospital until she retired. She then lived in Salem until moving to La Grande in 1997.

Mrs. Fowler belonged to the Adventist Church, Western Conference. Her interests included gardening, painting, her church and her friends.

Survivors include her children, Phyllis and Pat Pattee of La Grande, Russell and Larry Fowler of La Grande and Peter Fowler of Gardnerville, Nev.; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Margie Round of Dayville; brother, Albert "Bud" Coffin of Orange, Calif., and other relatives.

One brother, four sisters and one grandson died earlier.

Eleanor Ruth Browne

La Grande


Eleanor Ruth Browne, 101, of La Grande died June 18 at a local care center.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, with the Rev. Sarah Stanton officiating.

Final interment will be July 26 in Nyssa, with former Eastern Oregon Bishop Rustin Kimsey officiating.

Mrs. Browne was born on Nov. 23, 1901, to Albert and Lorena Stephens Baker in Tenoa, Ill.

The family later moved west, and she graduated from the College of Idaho.

She married Wesley Browne in Boise in 1923. They raised their family in Nyssa, where she was involved with many civic affairs and the hospital auxiliary.

Her husband died in 1970, and when Grande Ronde Retirement Residence opened she moved to La Grande, where she became a member of Saint Peter's Episcopal Church.

Survivors include her children, Barbara Burnham of Portland and Jerry Browne of The Dalles; four grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; sister, Irene Nelson of Portland and other relatives.

Her son, Robert Browne, and daughter, Martha Colter, died earlier.

Marian Martin



A memorial service for Marian Lee Martin, 63, of Bridgeport will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Burnt River Community Church in Unity with Pastor Matthew Schnetz officiating. A reception will follow. Mrs. Martin died July 1 at St. Elizabeth Health Services in Baker City. Gray's West and Co. was in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Martin was born on Dec. 21, 1939, in California. She lived with her husband, Gary, on a ranch at Bridgeport and was involved with Union's Eastern Oregon Livestock Show.

Survivors include her husband of Bridgeport; children and their spouses, Don and Sandy Martin of Arizona, and Jeff and Michelle Martin of Redding, Calif.; step-children, Scoop and Neva Martin of Lookout, Calif., Linda and Mike Willhite of Klamath Falls, and Matt and Katie Martin of La Grande; 10 grandchildren and three brothers.

‘Darlene' Stanley

Formerly of Union


Gracia "Darlene" Stanley, 81, of Hermiston and formerly of Union died July 10 at a care center. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. July 26 at the Union VFW Hall. Daniels Chapel of the Valley and Burns Mortuary are in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Stanley was born March 19, 1922, to Howard H. and Eva Marie Simmons Hudson in Enterprise. She attended school in Union and married Sidney McMurphy on Sept. 26, 1937, in La Grande. They owned the Union Wood Co., and she worked in various restaurants through 1955 when the family moved to the coast. After a divorce she married Albert Stanley in 1956 in Reedsport. In 1968 the family returned to Union and bought the Knotty Pine Cafe, which they ran for several years before returning to Florence. She moved to Hermiston in 2000 to be near family. She was a member of the Elks Lodge in Florence. She enjoyed American and Chinese cooking, playing bingo and being on the coast.

Survivors include children, Ronald McMurphy of Richland, Wash., Robert McMurphy of Russell, Kan., and David Stanley of Fennville, Mich; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Gwendolyn Baca of

La Grande and other relatives.

Her husband; five brothers, Oliver, Edward, Robert, Carl and William Hudson; and two sisters, Ruth Hall and Isabell Cooper, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Shriners' Children's Hospital, 3101 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland 97201, in memory of her brother, Billy, who had polio and was helped by the Shriners.

Kenneth Torkelson

La Grande


Kenneth L. Torkelson, 74, of La Grande, died July 13 at his home.

The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at the Church of the Nazarene, 109 18th St., with Harley Kauffman of the Grande Ronde Mennonite Church officiating.

Burial will follow at Cove Cemetery. Loveland Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Torkelson was born Oct. 25, 1928, to Severt E. and Rosa Eggers Torkelson in Duchess, Alberta, Canada. He attended schools in Kansas and Missouri, and on Oct. 9, 1949, married Grace Lauver in Duchess.

He was a partner with his father-in-law in several businesses included a school bus business and a bulk fuel and fertilizer company. The couple moved to La Grande in 1988. He was a member of the Grande Ronde Mennonite Church in Cove. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, making birdhouses and spending time with his family.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; children and their spouses, Bettyanne and David Gingerich of Shedd, Earl Torkelson of Brooks, Alberta, Canada, Phyllis and Menno Amendt, and Charlene and George Amendt, all of Danskin, British Columbia, Canada, Kelvin and Donna Torkelson of La Grande, Allen and Crystal Torkelson of Duchess, and Kent and Amy Torkelson of Boise; 22 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Norman Torkelson of Duchess, and other relatives.

Two daughters, Arlene and Violet, and five brothers all died earlier.

Memorials may be made in lieu of flowers to the Christian Aid Ministries in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.

‘Jack' Whipple



John H. "Jack" Whipple, 85, of Elgin died July 16 at a La Grande care center. A graveside service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Elgin Cemetery. Viewing will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.

Mr. Whipple was born May 21, 1918, to Roydon G. and Grace M. Schwabauer Whipple in Portland. He graduated from Benson High School and served in the Army during World War II, active in the Pacific Theater. He worked for the SP&S Railroad as a painter, and on Aug. 24, 1964, he married Rachel Thomas in Vancouver, Wash.

He retired from SP&S and Burlington Northern in 1974 and the family moved to Elgin in 1989. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, tying flies, making fishing poles and gambling.

Survivors include his wife of Elgin; children, Sandy Brahm of Port Orchard, Wash., and Cindy Whipple of Vancouver; and a sister, Hilda Baker of Salem. Two brothers and a sister died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Loveland Chapel.

Bernie Briggs



Bernie Marie Briggs, 97, of Union died July 13 at her home. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the Union Methodist Church.

Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Briggs was born Oct. 12, 1905, to Harlow and Bertha Simmons Hohstadt in Manitou, Oklahoma Territory. She married William Earnest Briggs on Nov. 3, 1923, in Vineta, Okla. The couple lived in Oklahoma, Kansas and Idaho and moved to Union in 1938. She was a homemaker and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, sewing, crochet, knitting, quilting, gardening and traveling. She made many caps and lap robes for the veterans hospital and helped deliver them.

If there was a dance with country music, she would go. She rode a mule in the Stock Show parade in Union at age 83. She was a member of the Methodist church, the Eagles, the Eastern Oregon Singles Club, the Order of Eastern Star and the VFW Auxiliary of which she had been president.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Lonnie and Gloria Briggs of Roseburg, Dale and Rhoda Briggs of Bend, Reba Hamon of Prineville, Marie and Hugh Neville of Ojai, Calif., LaVerne and Jerry Scott of Kalispell, Mont.; daughter-in-law, Sue Briggs of Union; 27 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, John Hohstadt of Needles, Calif., and Harry Hohstadt of Corvallis, Mont. Her husband, a son, Loyd, a daughter, Neta Winslow, a granddaughter, three brothers, Gale, Cletus and Pat, and three sisters, Lola, Opal and Eva, all died earlier.

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to any charity in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

Wilda Shenfield

Wilda Shenfield, 88, a longtime resident of La Grande, died Friday at her home. Funeral services are pending, and a full obituary will follow. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Rodney Flintoff

Rodney Flintoff, 63, of Elgin, died Thursday in Scappoose. Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.