February 17, 2005 11:00 pm

Danial J. Fleming, 47, of Union died Feb. 10 of natural causes. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16 at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.

Mr. Fleming was born Nov. 30, 1957, to James A. and Dorothy M. Crane Fleming in Meriden, Conn. He attended school in Wallingford, Conn., and graduated from Wilcox High School in Meriden in 1976. He become a computer technician.

He enjoyed cooking, tending bar, fishing, wine-making and singing.

Survivors include his sisters and their spouses, Debbie and Roger Clark, and Anita Taylor, all of Union; and other relatives.


Donald Edwin Miller, 66 of Cove, died Feb. 10 at his home. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday Feb. 15 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., with the Rev. Richard Thew officiating. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Miller was born March 28, 1938, to Oscar Edwin and Jean Frances Courtney Miller in La Grande. He attended school in La Grande and as a youth worked for Mel's Service Station and for the U.S. Forest Service as a lookout. In 1968 the family moved to Spokane where he worked for El Paso Natural Gas Co. and Washington Water Power Co., now Avista Utilities. On Sept. 19, 1982, he married Marie Kirkendall in Walla Walla. The couple lived in Spokane and later moved to Cove. He retired from Avista Utilities on Aug. 1, 1997, after 30 years.

He was a volunteer firefighter and enjoyed playing and watching sports, hunting, fishing, camping, pack horses, rock landscaping, and spending his mornings with his coffee group in Cove.

Survivors include his wife of Cove; children and their spouses, Lyndi and Dave Phifer of Stanwood, Wash., Patrick and Minda Gruenhagen of Mill Creek, Wash., and Donald Miller Jr., Doug and Jerri Miller and Brent Gruenhagen all of Spokane; a sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Gary Waldrop of Fort Myers, Fla; 10 grandchildren; and other relatives. His parents and a sister, Patricia Ann Miller, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Daphne Holmes, 91, of Riverside, Calif., and formerly of Cove and La Grande died Dec. 30, 2004, at a care center. At her request there was no funeral. Her ashes will be intered at Cove Cemetery with a graveside service in August. Preston and Simons Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Holmes was born Feb. 9, 1913, to Hugo C. and Ada Gibson in Birmingham, England. The family sailed on The Berengaria to New York City where her father worked as a consulting engineer and inventor. After a divorce she moved with her mother to Tacoma, Wash., where she graduated from the Annie Wright Seminary. She attended Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., and graduated from the University of Washington.

On March 2, 1935, she married John Eugene Holmes and worked for the Roseburg News Review. The couple moved to California in 1948 but returned to Oregon in 1982, first to Island City and then to Cove, where she lived until 1996 when she moved to the Grand Ronde Retirement Residence. She moved to Riverside in September to be near family.

She was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority, PEO and St. Peter's Episcopal Church. She enjoyed her friends and was active in birthday and sewing clubs.

Survivors include children, John Hollister Holmes of Placentia, Calif., Nancy Jane Wienenga of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and Edward Lynn Holmes II of Riverside; seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Her husband died earlier.

Memorials may be made to St. Peter's Episcopal Church in La Grande.


Betty Scott Johnson, 82, formerly of La Grande, died Feb. 10 in Seattle, Wash. The Funeral Mass and celebration of life will begin at noon Wednesday Feb. 16 at St. John's Catholic Church in Condon.

Mrs. Johnson was born March 3, 1922, to Raymond and Blanche Morris Schott in Fossil. She put herself through nursing school in Baker City, and worked as a registered nurse with a specialty in pediatrics. Throughout her life she maintained a strong attachment to her relatives in Oregon, and returned to Condon for the last time in 2003. She married Bartholomew J. Scott, who died in 1970, and Lee Johnson of La Grande, who died in 2003. She moved to Seattle after the death of her second husband.

Survivors include her daughters and their husbands, Patt Dronen of Lacey, Wash., Maureen Scott, and Deblynne and Patrick Whittlesey, all of Stanwood, Wash.; a daughter-in law, Susan Johnson of Canada; four grandchildren; a sister-in law, Dianna Schott, and other relatives in the U.S. and Ireland. Two step-children, Abe Johnson and Christine Johnson, and a brother, Robert Schott, all died earlier.


Michael Duane Le Gore, 56, of La Grande died Feb. 13 at Grande Ronde Hospital of natural causes.

A celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Committal and interment will follow at the Summerville Cemetery.

Michael was born Sept. 5, 1948, the son of Max L. and Orma (Schooler) Le Gore in La Grande. He graduated from La Grande High School.

He played in two local bands — Buck and the Hunters and The Ethics — and was a scout leader. He volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Army. He served during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Germany for four years.

While in the service he attended the U.S. Army Air Defense School and was also trained in radar systems.

After his honorable discharge he was a private pilot, an expert in electronics and his last years were spent employed by Eastern Oregon University. He loved his co-workers and the students.

He was an avid cyclist, loved to cook, did writings and was always willing to help others. He was a member of American Legion Post 43 and helped with mental illnesses in the community.

Survivors include his son, Ian Le Gore of Portland; mother, Orma Le Gore of La Grande; sister, Judy Smith of Elgin; numerous grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

Those who wish may make contributions in memory of Michael Le Gore to New Day Enterprises in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


Corky Combs, 75, of Baker City, died Feb. 10 at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Coles Funeral Home. Ritualistic rites will be accorded by B.P.O.E. Lodge No. 338. Vault interment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from noon to 7 p.m. today at Coles Funeral Home.

Corky was born July 7, 1929, in Baker City to Carl and Thelma (Shephard) Combs. He was raised in Baker City and attended school in Baker and Huntington. He graduated from Huntington High School in 1947. He attended Western Oregon College at Monmouth for several months. He married Betty Brewer in 1946. They left Monmouth and moved to Baker in 1948.

He bought a grocery delivery service and after several years sold it and went to work for Darigold Dairies in La Grande, delivering milk in Baker. After several months he started his own milk business, Corky's Independent Milk Service. Then he merged with Meadow Gold Dairies. Later he bought out Valley Dairy and the business became Baker Dairies. Later he added an ice business with two other partners, B.J.C. Ice Co.

In 1972, he started Baker Wholesale, a food wholesale company. As the business grew, he sold the milk business.

His wife and three sons were always a part of the business. Corky retired in 1987. After his retirement, golf became his great love. He became involved in the Baker Golf Club. He served as president of the social club directed the Baker Elks Golf Tournament for many years. He had his own golf tournament for many years, the Meadow Gold Golf Tournament, which is now known as the First Bank Tournament.

In his earlier years, his interests were hunting, basketball and fast pitch baseball. He was instrumental in bringing the 1968 Fast Pitch State Softball Tournament to Baker.

He was a member of the Baker Elks Lodge for 53 years.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty; sons, Steve Combs and his wife Pixie, Craig Combs and his wife Penny, and Bart Combs; sister and brother-in-law, Carmen and Bob Macy; eight grandchildren; three great- grandchildren; an aunt; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, mother and an uncle.

Those wishing to make memorial contributions in Corky's memory may direct them to Corky Combs Golf Memorial, Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place Street, Baker City 97814.


Marcia Kay Lutz, 43, of Union died Feb. 10, at her home. At the request of the family there will be no public services. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Lutz was born Oct. 11, 1961, to Sam and Jewel Thompson Wilder in Chippewa Falls, Wis. The family moved to Idaho and then to Newport where she graduated from high school in 1980. She attended Beauty College in Salem.

She lived for a short time in Prescott, Ariz., and on June 3, 1989, she married Roger Lutz in Clear Lake, S.D. They recently moved to Union. She enjoyed painting, writing, reading, crafts and sewing.

Survivors include her husband of Union; children, Travis Rose of Ontario, and Dillon and Paige Lutz of Union; her father, of Sheldon, Wis.; brothers, Chad Wilder of Bozeman, Mont., Phil Wilder of Oakdale, Calif., and Russ Wilder of Prescott; a sister, Linda Rodgers of Woodland, Calif., and other relatives. Her mother, a brother, Rodney Wilder, and a sister, Rhonda Wilder, all died earlier.


Robert Whitney, 63, of La Grande died Feb. 13 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A memorial will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday Feb. 19 at the Harvesters' Church of the Nazarene in Elgin. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Whitney was born July 12, 1941, to Walla Andrew and Harriett May Woodworth Whitney in Roseburg. He grew up in the Portland area and on Jan. 7, 1967, he married Yvonne Barron there. He played minor league baseball for two years and played four games in the major leagues for the Chicago White Sox as a catcher. He coached Little League for 11 years and in 1987 he was the color commentator for a Portland Beavers game.

In 1974 the family moved to La Grande where he worked as a custodian at Eastern Oregon College and as a CNA working with Alzheimer's patients before retiring in 2001. He served on the Lifespan Advisory Council and for the last 30 years he was the head delivery man for the Bridal Bouquet Flower Shop, which he and his wife owned. He was a member of the Nazarene church in Elgin where he taught Caravan and Sunday school, and sand in the church choir.

He enjoyed learning about geography and made a habit of writing letters to chambers of commerce all over the world. He enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with his family. He told his children they could accomplish anything they put their minds to. He always remembered names.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; children, Marette Estelle Whitney of Portland, Gayla Anne Harrell of Aloha, and Dean Andrew Whitney of Athol, Idaho; two grandchildren and a brother, Bill Whitney of Portland.


Linnea Severin, 92, of Cove died Feb. 15 at her home. A memorial service will begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday Feb. 19 at the Cove Seventh-day Adventist Church. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Severin was born April 15, 1912, to Albert and Amilia Fagerberg in Karlshamn Sweden. The family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Lincoln, Neb. On March 17, 1946, she married Myren Severin in Los Angeles, Calif. They lived in Nebraska and California before retiring to Cove in 1966. She was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Survivors include sons, Myren Severin of Waipahu, Hawaii, Ron Severin of College Place, Wash., and Don Severin of Cove; three grandchildren; two sisters, Grace Jose and Virginia Fishering, both of Loma Linda, Calif., and a brother, Egon Fagerberg of Lincoln, Neb. Her husband, four brothers and three sisters all died earlier.


Claude Eugene Hand II, 86, of La Grande died Feb. 15. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday Feb. 22 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Private burial will be at Hillcrest East Cemetery.

Mr. Hand was born May 11, 1918, to Claude Eugene and Minnie Modrell Hand in Milton-Freewater. He graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1936, and on June 24, 1939, he married Erildean Hastings in Walla Walla.

He worked for Sears & Roebuck Co. in Walla Walla and in Aberdeen, Wash., at the Farm Store and for Teague Motor Co. In 1955 he moved to La Grande and purchased Walker Motors which became Hand Ford Sales. He operated the dealership until his retirement in 1981. He also had a pilot's license and enjoyed flying.

He was a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church where he served as senior warden, vestry member and was a licensed lay reader for many years. He previously was a member of the Elks, Rotary, the La Grande Country Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the board of Grande Ronde Hospital. He enjoyed nature, watching the sky and playing golf and bridge. He watched every baseball game his grandchildren played from T-ball through college.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; children and their spouses, Claude Eugene III and Patsy Hand of Eugene, and Cheryl and John Howton of La Grande; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and other relatives. Two sisters, Mildred Kincheloe and Ethelyn Pontius, died earlier.

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


Elva Lee Willhite, 57, of La Grande died Feb. 15 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 22 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. Private burial will be at Grandview Cemetery.

Elva Lee was born on June 3, 1947, to Edwin and Eddia White Lovely in La Grande. She attended La Grande schools and in 1963 she married Dick Bennett. After a divorce she married Allen Whillhite. The couple moved to Reno, Nev. where she worked for IGT building slot machines. They were later divorced and she returned to La Grande in 1997. She worked as a flagger on road construction sites and spent the last couple of years in Lostine enjoying the mountains with a good friend.

Survivors include her mother Orofino, Idaho; children, Sherrie Bennett of Moscow, Idaho, and Terrie Lovely of Orofino; a brother and his wife, Dennis and Linda Lovely of Hermiston; three grandchildren; one great-grandson and other relatives. Her father died earlier.

Memorials may be made to any charity in care of Daniels Chapel.


Marianne Kornelius Pedersen, 78, of Clackamas and formerly of Union and La Grande died Feb. 7. Burial was at Hillcrest East Cemetery in La Grande. Mt. Scott Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Pedersen was born March 19, 1926, Marianne Ulvaer in Larvik, Norway. She was raised in Norway and worked on ships as a steward for five years. She married Harry Pedersen in 1954 and came to the U.S. in 1961. The couple lived in Union, La Grande and Junciton City before moving to Clackamas a few months ago. In La Grande she worked at the Valley View Care Center as a nurse's aide. She enjoyed travling, gardening, knitting, cooking, the ocean and being with her family.

Survivors include children, Aage Louis Pedersen and Lis Ory; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, a brother, Ronald Louis Ulvaer, and a sister, Lovise Retta Huseby.