March 07, 2004 11:00 pm

Orville Wayt

Formerly of Elgin


Orville Leon Wayt, 97, of Fruitland, Idaho, and formerly of Elgin died Feb. 13 in Enterprise.A memorial service will be held Feb. 28 in Middleton, Idaho.

Mr. Wayt was born Jan. 22, 1907, in Saint Edwards, Neb. He married Sara Lola Payne in Middleton, Idaho, in 1931 and the couple moved to Lime where he worked in the lime quarry as a shovel operator. They moved to Elgin in 1944 where he purchased the Elgin Cafe and later ran Elgin Transfer; Wayts' Clothing Store from 1947 until retirement; a restaurant starting in 1949 in the Elgin Hotel; distributed fuel oil for Richfield Oil; and worked for the Elgin School District until his retirement in 1972.

He was a member of the Masons and was Master twice; Eastern Star where he was a Worthy Patron three times and the Scottish Rites. He helped the Rainbow Girls, participated in the annual Christmas tree as a member of the Knights of Pythias and was a member of the Elgin Gun Club.

He served on the Elgin City Council and was a member of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce. He helped organize the first Elgin Rodeo in 1947 and dug the first city well; he supported all school activities. He will be remembered for his sense of humor.

After retirement the couple enjoyed traveling and spent winters in Arizona and summers at their home in Fruitland, Idaho.

Survivors include children, Leon Wayt of Rainer, Wash., Mel Wayt of Enterprise and Arlene Cook of Los Gatos, Calif.; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and a brother, Arden Wayt of Oceanside, Calif. His wife died earlier.

Norma Bobbitt



Norma Bobbitt, 77, of Enterprise died Feb. 22 at her home. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St. in Enterprise. A private burial will be at the Enterprise Cemetery.

Mrs. Bobbitt was born Jan. 27, 1927, to Clarence Orlando and Elsie Josephine Fretwell Smith in Oregon. She married Ralph J. Bobbitt in 1982 in Lewiston. He died in 2000.

She was a clerical worker in the medical field.

Survivors include children, Scott Thompson of Oregon City, Dan Thompson of Los Alamos, N.M., John Thompson of Enterprise, Kelly Thompson of Baker City; stepchildren, Carl Bobbitt of Joseph, Thomas Bobbitt, Patricia Zbylut of Cove, Kathy Lepper of Enterprise and Dick Bobbitt of Athena; one grandchild and a brother, Dan Smith of Enterprise. A son, Kyle, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Home Hospice in care of Bollman's.

William V. Casey

Formerly of Summerville


The funeral for William Voy Casey, 82, of Clear Creek, Idaho, and formerly of Summerville will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Summerville Cemetery. Mr. Casey died Feb. 20.

He was born Oct. 3, 1921, and was the youngest and last surviving member of his family. He was raised on a cranberry farm near the Oregon coast. After a four-year tour in the Navy, he married Juyne Elizabeth Graves.

He worked as a mechanic and maintenance superintendent his entire life and could fix just about anything that rolled or moved on tracks. He was a consummate hunter and sportsman.

He is survived by his two children, Bill Casey of Clear Creek and Margaret Palmer of Helix; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

O.J. Kemmerer Jr.



O.J. "Heavy" Kemmerer Jr., 83, of Cove, died Feb. 21 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Cove Seventh-day Adventist Church. Burial will follow at the Cove Cemetery. Arrangements are with Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Mr. Kemmerer was born on Oct. 14, 1920, at Coodys Bluff, Okla., the son of Orvin Joseph and Josie Mae Reynolds Kemmerer. He is the last survivor of three brothers and one sister, Don, Hoyt and Sue.

On Sept. 16. 1939, in Nowata, Okla., he married Thelma Elizabeth Fry. They first came to Oregon in 1942 when O.J. worked as a welder building liberty ships in Portland during World War II. In 1943 they returned to Oklahoma to help on the family farm until 1947.

In 1947, Heavy and his older brother, Don, and all their families finally settled in Oregon, near Corvallis. In 1949 he and his family moved to Halfway, and he worked in the logging industry for 11 years for N.C. Jones. In 1960 they moved to Ukiah and for seven years logged for Harris Pine Mills of Pendleton.

After that he became a contractor for the Forest Service building roads. In 1970 he worked as a contractor for the Soil Conservation Service building soil protection dikes in the wheat fields surrounding Heppner until finally retiring in Cove in 1995.

All his life he was an active member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He loved gardening, metal working and music.

Mr. Kemmerer is survived by his wife, Thelma, of 64 years; daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Jim Patchin of Boise; two grandchildren; one great-grandson; numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.

His son, Johnnie, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Cove Seventh-day Adventist Church, P.O. Box 188, Cove 97824.

Glen Hylton

Formerly of La Grande and Enterprise

A memorial service for Glen Hylton, 78, of Baker City and formerly of La Grande and Enterprise, will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Gray's West and Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. in Baker City, with Pastor Roger Scovil of the First Christian Church in Baker City officiating. A reception will follow at the VFW hall, 2005 Valley Ave.

He died Jan. 24 at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.

Wiley Nebeker

La Grande


Wiley Melvin Nebeker, 83, of La Grande died Feb. 23 in a Boise hospital. Viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the LDS Church in Island City with Bishop Robert Bedard officiating. Burial will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery.

Mr. Nebeker was born Feb. 1, 1921, to Wiley and Annie H. "Nellie" Lindsay Nebeker on the family homestead near Mount Glen. He graduated from

La Grande High School, where he was active in the choir. He served a mission in Hawaii and was at Pearl Harbor just hours before the Japanese bombed it on Dec. 7, 1941.

He married Jeane Barnwell on April 9, 1946, in the Salt Lake Temple and worked as a postal clerk for over 30 years.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Stake High Council, served as Stake Clerk, Bishop of Fourth Ward, and served in the bishoprics of all four La Grande wards. He enjoyed horses, nature, hunting, camping, singing and being with his family.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; six children and their spouses, Leland and Ivana Nebeker of Eugene, Jan McBride of Mountlake Terrace, Wash., Melody and Jim Macorkel of Chicago, Kay and Rick Padilla of Winters, Calif., Penny and Brent Flory of Wallsburg, Utah, and Scott and Kim Nebeker of La Grande; four sisters, Ida Lyman of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Gertie Hibbert, Verda Westenskow and Viola Barritt, all of La Grande; 36 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and other relatives. A daughter, Elayne; two brothers, Vern and Alex Nebeker; and one sister, Helen Zaugg, all died earlier.

Kenneth Twidwell

Formerly of La Grande

A memorial service for Kenneth Twidwell, formerly of La Grande, who died in The Dalles Jan. 19, is planned for 1:30 p.m. March 13 at Grande Ronde Community Church, 410 Fir St., with Pastor Vernon Slippy and Duane Barstad officiating.

Carolyn Dutcher



Carolyn Jean "Cookie'' Dutcher, 63 of Umatilla, died Feb. 24 at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston.

A memorial service will be March 6, 1 p.m., at Congregational Community Church, Enterprise. Private inurnment will be at Enterprise Cemetery.

Carolyn was born on June 28, 1940, in Portland to August T.W. and Margaret Hazel Nordlund Sperling. On July 7, 1988, she married Kenneth Dutcher in Reno.

Carolyn grew up in La Grande, graduated from high school and went to Eastern Oregon College where she earned a teaching degree. She taught grade school at McNary Grade School in Umatilla before retiring.

Carolyn is survived by her husband; daughter, Tricia and her husband Matt Weisenburger of Maple Valley, Wash.; her twin sister, Marilyn and husband Ken Hold of Enterprise; brother Ted and his wife Sandi Sperling of Newport, Wash.; stepsons and stepdaughters, Scott of Weed, Calif., Shannon of Umatilla, and Shawn and Shonelle, both of Enterprise; five grandchildren and other relatives.

Contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

Richard Nicholson

Island City


Richard Charles Nicholson, 90, of Island City, died Feb. 23 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Private burial will be at Hillcrest East Cemetery.

Mr. Nicholson was born on Nov. 22, 1913, the son of George and Clara Nicholson in Los Angeles. He graduated from Loyola High School, Seattle University with a B.S. in social science and California State University, Sacramento campus, with a master's degree in clinical psychology.

His career included training in the last mounted cavalry unit of the CMIC, followed by time spent in the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1934 he joined the Army and was stationed at Oahu. In 1938 he married Lucille Marron in Santa Ana, Calif. They had three daughters.

In 1940 he joined the FBI and worked across the country. In 1955 he joined the U.S. Court system and was appointed chief of federal probation and parole officer for California's eastern district. He studied with Tom Harris, author of "I'm OK, You're OK," was successful in adapting "T.A." to his work with parolees, is mentioned in Harris' book and also has been published.

In 1971 he retired from the federal probation system after having served 35 years in the federal government. He was often called "Uncle Sam's Boy" for his many years of service to his country.

Following retirement he and his wife moved to Cove. They spent many years traveling and developing their property. He was a consultant with the Union County Mental Health Clinic, played trumpet with the Grande Ronde Symphony and played golf at the La Grande Country Club. He was also a member of the Masonic Order, a Shriner and a member of the Scottish Rite.

Survivors include his wife; daughters, Elizabeth Li Gerygson of Maui and Virginia Smith of La Grande; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and other relatives. A daughter, Theresa, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Shriner's Children's Hospital or the charity of choice in care of Daniels Chapel, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

Wendell ‘Red' Poffenberger

Formerly of Elgin, Wallowa


Wendell "Red" L. Poffenberger, 75, of Juliaetta, Idaho, died Feb. 22 at the Life Care of Lewiston from cancer. At Red's request, cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life with a covered dish luncheon will be at 11 a.m. March 20 at Mountain View Funeral Home, Seventh and Cedar, Lewiston.

Red was born Sept. 4, 1928, to Charles and Ethel Brown Poffenberger in Helix. He graduated in 1946 from Elgin High School. Red and Mary Stace were married Aug. 15, 1949, at Enterprise. During high school and after he worked for Oregon State Forestry in Wallowa and for farmers around Elgin. In fall 1949 they moved to Condon, where he worked on grain elevators for area farmers.

In 1950 they moved to Clinton, Mont., and he worked at sawmills there and at Milltown, Mont., and Wallowa. He worked in construction, which included several homes, a post office and bridges on Highway 84 near La Grande in the late '50s and early '60s.

In the mid-'60s they moved back to Wallowa, and he worked for J.I. Morgan and Boise Cascade in Joseph driving log truck. In the late '60s he was a timber faller for Jim Henderson Logging and other companies in Wallowa and Union counties. He owned and operated an 18-wheeler throughout the Northwest.

They moved to Idaho in the '80s to log and for road construction. He retired in 1993.

Red enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, family gatherings and a good joke. He wanted to be home at night. He also enjoyed coffee and tales at The Bottoms Up.

He is survived by his wife, Mary of Juliaetta; brother Murl of Juliaetta; sister Myrna Hayes of Wallowa; sons Gregory and his favorite daughter-in-law, Vickie of Lewiston and Patrick of Pendleton; daughters Audrey Adams of Philomath, Becky West of The Dalles, Susan Gammin of Kendrick, Tammy Hawley of Lewiston and Ann Poffenberger of Pendleton; 26 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials to Angel Flight, 3237 Donald Douglas Loop, South Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Ethel ‘Ilene' Odell

Formerly of Imbler


Ethel "Ilene'' Bewley Odell died Feb. 21 at the Sherwood Park Nursing Home in Keizer after a prolonged illness.

Services were held Tuesday at Oak Park Community Church of God. Burial was at Restlawn Memory Gardens.

Ilene was born March 17, 1937, to George and Hazel Howe Bewley in La Junta, Colo. As a result of a drought in the Southwest, her family migrated to the Northwest in search of jobs and eventually settled in Imbler, where Ilene grew up with her four siblings. Ilene graduated from Imbler High School in 1955.

During high school and at Warner Pacific College in Portland, she developed a keen interest in playing piano and chorale. Singing alto for the female trio The Carillons, Ilene performed in 70 concerts in seven western states, including singing in the Billy Graham Crusade Choir during the 1958 San Francisco crusade.

Ilene later took a job with an airline in Anchorage, Alaska, where she met her husband, Sgt. Edward Randolph Odell. As the wife of a career military sergeant, Ilene raised four children while moving her family to military bases nine times across the United States and Greece before settling in Keizer in 1977. There she worked as a secretary at Stusser Electric until retiring in the mid-'80s.

Ilene is survived by her husband; their sons, Douglas Odell of Salem, Eric Odell of Cranston, R.I., Maj. David Odell of McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey; and daughter, Julie Hiller of Portland; sisters Georgia Carolyn Mortier of Aloha and Joyce Elaine Bewley of Fort Worth, Texas; and nine grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Northwest Medical Teams, P. O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207.