December 21, 2003 11:00 pm

Vera B. Bennett

Formerly of La Grande


Vera B. Bennett, 78, formerly of La Grande, died Nov. 26 in Baker City.

Mrs. Bennett was born July 31, 1925, in Baker City to Ford and Jennie Mitchell. She was married to Harold Hewitt, divorced and later wed Donald F. Bennett. The couple were married for 50 years. Mr. Bennett died in June 2000.

She worked many years at Silverwheels Trucking in Baker City and La Grande, and retired from Viking Freight in La Grande. She also helped out her mother during lunch hours and special occasions at Topz Cafe in Baker.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Roni Hewitt of Salton Sea, Calif.; her daughter, Cheryl Cooper of Portland; two grandsons and a new great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews.

Sisters, Gladys Sieg and Lela Blankinship, and a brother, Robert Mitchell, died earlier

A private memorial service will be held later.

Memorial contributions can be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, Oregon Chapter, in care of Gray's West & Company Pioneer Chapel, PO Box 726, Baker City 97814.

Dean Matott

Formerly of La Grande


Dean Vance Matott, 76, of Libby, Mont., and formerly of La Grande died Oct. 19 at a care center after a long illness.

Mr. Matott was born July 10, 1927, to Iva and Macajah Matott in Hermiston. He grew up in Hinkle and graduated from Hermiston High School and the Oregon Technical Institute. He served in the Navy during World War II and later worked for the Oregon State Patrol. He was a carpenter and a certified millwright. He married Judy Moellring on July 10, 1970, in Weiser, Idaho. The couple lived in La Grande until 1978 when they moved to Libby. He was a member of the Libby Christian Church and the carpenters' union, and served as president of local 2225. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, boating, trapping, hiking, panning for gold and participating in church ministries.

Survivors include his wife of Libby; children and their spouses, Barbara and Darrel Reynolds of Kimberly, Idaho, Mike and Sherry Moran of La Grande, David Matott of Salem; five grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and a sister, Janice Doherty of La Grande. A son, Kelly and a sister, Rosella, both died earlier.

‘Art' Hallgarth



Arthur D. "Art" Hallgarth, 78, of Elgin died Dec. 1 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at the Elgin Cemetery.

Mr. Hallgarth was born Jan. 16, 1925, to Frank and Stella Glasson Hallgarth in Elgin. He graduated from Elgin High School and served in the Army during World War II. He worked for various mills in the Elgin area piling lumber. On Jan. 9, 1949, he married Dorothy E. Boswell, and in the 1960s, he began working for the Union County Grain Growers, where he worked until they closed. He then worked at home on the family ranch.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and working with wood. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and the American Legion.

Survivors include his wife of Elgin; a daughter and son-in-law, Jackie and Mike Hunter of Spokane, Wash.; a sister, Alma Grimm of Burbank, Wash.; two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and other relatives. A sister died earlier.

Memorials may be made to any charity in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.

‘Lyman' Nash



Walter "Lyman" Nash, 74, of Enterprise died Nov. 29 after a long illness. The funeral was today at the First Baptist Church in Enterprise with burial at the Enterprise Cemetery.

Mr. Nash was born Sept. 16, 1929, to Chief and Laverne Nash in Canwood, Saskatchewan in Canada. He graduated from high school in Auburn, Calif., and in April 1951 married Janie Bachman. The couple lived in Prospect and in California where they managed registered Herefords. For many years he was the beef herdsman at the University of California at Davis and became one of the top livestock judges in the state of California. He also bred and trained quarter-horses and Australian sheep-dogs. In 1968 the family moved to Wallowa County where he worked on ranches and ran his own logging operation. He married a second time and moved to Hermiston. That marriage ended in divorce and he returned to Wallowa County.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Ramona and Charley Phillips of Joseph, Ken and Annie Nash, and Todd and Angie Nash, all of Enterprise, and Jackie and Bill Matthews of Challis, Idaho; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sisters, Janice Ingle of Edgewood, Wash., and Wanda Alexander of Gallatin, Tenn., and other relatives. A brother, Lyonel Nash, and a grandson, Bart Phillips, both died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Wallowa County Fair Board in care of Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St. in Enterprise.

Mary M. Oylear



Mary M. Oylear, 98, of Cove, died Dec. 2 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

A service will begin Friday at 2 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.Committal and interment will follow at the Cove Cemetery.

Mrs. Oylear was born on Sept. 26, 1905, to C.A. and Elsie Hall Voelker in Frazey, Minn.The family later moved to Wyoming and in 1938 she married Harry L. Oylear in Thermopolis, Wyo.She worked as a librarian in Thermopolis and the Oylears moved to Cove in 1960 from Wyoming. Her husband preceded her in death on Dec. 10, 1974.

Mrs. Oylear was a member of the Presbyterian Church and the Cove Sportsman Club. She loved to fish and enjoyed dancing and knitting.

Survivors include her grandchildren, Lonnie Lee McLucas of Sandy, Melinda M. Wiemann of Apache Junction, Ariz., and Wayne McLucas of Estacada; great-grandson, Brandon McLucas of Portland; and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Janice Louise McLucas, a brother, Edward Voelker and a sister, Bertha Neifert.

Memorials may be made to the Cove Sportsman Club in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

MerryAnne Steele

La Grande


MerryAnne Partney Steele, 60, of La Grande died Dec. 1 at Grande Ronde Hospital of natural causes. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.

Mrs. Steele was born April 4, 1943, to Carlton and Lois Cameron Luck in Pendleton. She graduated from Pilot Rock High School and later from Eastern Oregon State College with a degree in journalism. On Sept. 22, 1963, she married Richard Partney.

She later married Brian Steele and that marriage later ended in divorce. She managed women's apparel stores in Bend and Cannon Beach. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and PEO in Bend and in La Grande.

She enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren and writing poetry, gardening, cooking, walking and reading.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Mary Cameron and Craig Porter of Pilot Rock, Michael and Tracy Partney and Joseph and Carol Partney, all of La Grande; five grandchildren and other relatives. Her parents died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation or the La Grande Fire and Rescue in care of Daniels Chapel.

David Young

Formerly of La Grande


David Lynn Young, 50, of Milwaukie and formerly of La Grande died Nov. 27 at a care center. A graveside service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Willamette National Cemetery.

Mr. Young was born July 30, 1953, to Jim and Nellie Ruth Young in La Grande. He served in the Army and worked at Terry Trailers in Island City. He was shot in the head on June 24, 1981, and has been in various hospitals and care centers since then.

Survivors include children, J.D. Young and Kelsey Young; his father; a sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Fred Reeves; two brothers and a sister-in-law, Kenneth and Robert and Rose Young; and one grandchild.

His mother died earlier.

Patricia Simonis

La Grande


Patricia Anne Simonis, 71, of La Grande died Dec. 1 at her home. Viewing will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.

The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Island City. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.

Mrs. Simonis was born Jan. 29, 1932, to Joseph F. and Argie Nelson Salkield in La Grande. She graduated from La Grande High School in 1950 and married Ernest P. Simonis on Sept. 26 of that year in the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She was a homemaker, was active in the Family History Center and other groups, and was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She enjoyed china painting, oil painting, and spending time with her family. She was known as the Rose Lady. In 1997 and 1998 she went on a family history mission to Rexburg, Idaho, and British Columbia.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Kathy Lin and Verdean Eggleston of Gunnison, Utah, Michael Simonis of La Grande, Dixie and Matthew Haycock of Beaverton, and Jo and Tom Campbell of Selah, Wash.; two brothers, Jay Salkield of Ritzville, Wash., and Lynn Salkield of Sunnyvale, Calif.; two sisters, LaNeeve Carbine of Bountiful, Utah, and Jean Landers of La Grande; 24 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Her husband and a brother died


Memorials may be made to the Family History Center in care of Loveland Chapel.

Thomas Silvey



Thomas Marion Silvey, 70, of Westfall, died Dec. 3 at a care center in Payette, Idaho.

A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley in La Grande.Committal and burial will follow at the Union Cemetery.

Mr. Silvey was born on April 16, 1933, to Otto William and Avo May Nelson Silvey near Antlers, Okla.When he was 8 the family moved to Seattle and later to Mitchell, where he graduated from high school.He later moved to Prineville, where he worked as a logger. He then moved to Westfall where he was a rancher.

Mr. Silvey was a member of the Cattleman's Association, the Prineville Elks Lodge and the NRA.

He loved animals and the outdoors, including hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his sisters and brother, Arrene Powell of Bend, William Silvey of Newport and Dorothy Brookshire of Union; numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.

His sister, Freda Huddleston, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to a favorite charity in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

Thomas Struck

Formerly of La Grande


Thomas Struck, 86, of Boring and formerly of La Grande, died Dec. 3 at his home. Sandy Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Struck was born on March 10, 1917, to Walter and Zepha Struck in Burns. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1933 and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as an aircraft electrician. He married Alice LeBar on July 4, 1947, in Carson City, Nev. The couple lived in Melbrace, Calif., where he worked for United Airlines. They moved to Boring 18 years ago.

Survivors include a sister, Velda Klein of La Grande and other relatives. His wife, a brother, Grant Struck, and two sisters, Alice Spencer and Fannie Skeen, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Mount Hood Hospice, P.O. Box 1269, Sandy 97055.

William Robert Backus


William Robert Backus, 56, of Elgin, died Tuesday as a result of an automobile accident.A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Christian Life Center in Elgin. A full obituary will be published later.

Judy Thomas

La Grande

Judy Thomas, 57, of La Grande, died Friday at her home.Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Marian Kennedy

Formerly of Elgin

Marian Wilkins Kennedy, 85, of Largo, Fla., and formerly of Elgin died Dec. 3 at Suncoast Hospital.

Moss Feaster Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Kennedy was born in Dundee, Ill., and moved to Largo five years ago from Elgin.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Gerald and Barbara Kennedy and Carol and David West, all of Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., Joyce and Raymond Clark of McHenry, Ill., and Sharon Miller and Terry Jenks, both of Largo; 13 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.