Obituaries for the week ending June 25, 2005

June 19, 2005 11:00 pm

Emma Louella Wright, 91, of La Grande died June 15 at a local care center. A graveside service and celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Abbey View Memorial Park in Brier, Wash. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Wright was born Nov. 21, 1913, to Pete and Minnie Hill Edd in Glasgo, Mont. She attended school in Willston, N.D., and married Leland Stroud there. They were later divorced.

In 1945 she married Henry Benter in Seattle. The couple lived in Springfield and Mayville before moving to Baker City where they lived from 1954 to 1961. They lived in La Grande until his death in 1965 when she moved to Seattle to be near her sisters. She married Bill Wright in 1978 in Olympia, Wash., and lived in Bremerton, Wash., until his retirement from the shipyards. They moved to Canton, N.C. He died in 1986. In 1993 she returned to La Grande.

She enjoyed gardening, sewing, cooking, collecting dolls and traveling.

Survivors include children, Donald Stroud of Ketchikan, Alaska, Alice Williamson and Roberta Adlard, both of La Grande, and an adopted son, Richard Benter of Fletcher, N.C.; stepchildren Rayman Benter and John Benter, both of Crosby, N.D., and Mildred Kjorli of Havre, Mont.; sisters Ruth Trainer, Verna DeWitt, Nyla Wills and Betty Conners, all of Seattle; a brother, Zell Edd of Williston; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

A brother, Jess Edd, and a sister, Edna DeLapp, died earlier.


Ernest Allen Snapp, 72, of La Grande, diedJune 13 at his home. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. today at the Grande Ronde Community Church with the Rev. Vernon Slippy officiating. Burial will be in Etna, Calif.

Mr. Snapp was born May 4, 1933, to Charlie and Victorine Whittaker Snapp in Fort Jones, Calif. He graduated from Chico State University and served in the Army. He taught high school shop for a few years before moving to Alaska for a number of years. He returned to Etna to be with his father, until he took early retirement. He moved to La Grande to be closer to family.

He was a member of the Karok Tribe of California and the Lions Club, and a life member of the North American Hunting Association. He enjoyed hunting, playing bingo and collecting things.

Survivors include children, Linda Monge of Lakeview, Wash., Greg Snapp, Darrell Snapp, Devera Mitts and Ernestine Ramberg, both of La Grande, and James Snapp of Ketchikan, Alaska; step-children, Bernie Guthrie of Yakima, Wash., Sol Gutherie and Herbie Guthrie, both of Ketchikan, Melvin Gutherie of Metlaketla, Alaska; 25 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; brothers, Arnold "Bud" Snapp, Charles Glen "Babe" Snapp and Joseph Edward Snapp; and a sister, Helen Lincoln, all of Etna; and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the LHS Band Boosters or the Lions Club in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Albert G. Oard, 84, of Baker City died June 17 at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Center. A private family service will be held at a later date at Burns. Coles Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Oard was born Feb. 2, 1921, to James and Clara Kesterson Oard in Lawen. He attended schools at Crane and Drewsey and graduated from Crane High School in 1938. He attended Oregon State College and served in the Air Force during World War II. He graduated from Oregon State College in 1946 with a degree in forest and range management.

In December 1945 he married Erma Lee Cawlfield in Burns. They lived in various parts of Oregon working for the U.S. Forest Service. During his 40- year career he served as ranger, branch chief in range and at the regional office in Portland, then as forest supervisor for the Malheur National Forest, and in 1974 moved to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest where he was forest supervisor until his retirement in the early 1980s.

The couple moved to Colorado where he managed a ranch for five years before returning to Baker City, going to Yuma, Ariz., every winter for 12 years. He enjoyed fishing and hunting, wagon-train trips, making wagon wheels, collecting items for his What Is It? Museum in his basement, and Dutch-oven cooking. He was a great steward of the land.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the VFW, the Society of American Foresters, the Society for Range Management and the Second Air Division Association Eighth Air Force. He served as the commander of American Legion Post 41, and president of the Pacific Northwest Section Society Range Management.

Survivors include his wife of Baker City; children, Mike Oard of Telluride, Colo.; Jim Oard of Baton Rouge, La., and Jane Case of Prineville; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and other relatives.

A brother, Richard Oard, and two sisters, Etta Temple and Eva Whiting, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Pathway Hospice, 2192 Court St., Baker City 97814.


Donald E. Prince, 75, of Wallowa died June 19 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital in Enterprise. A graveside service will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Wallowa Cemetery.

Mr. Prince was born May 8, 1930, to Wayne W. and Sadie R. Horton Prince. He graduated from Wallowa High School in 1949 and served in the Army, and in August 1953 married Maxine Hammack. He worked at ranching and logging until 1988 when he moved to Pendleton. He worked for Holdman Ranches until he retired in October 2004.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting and being with his family.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Patti and Jim Tippet of Wallowa, Ken and Vicki Prince of Umapine, Teona and Rans Golden of Pilot Rock, Delwyn Prince of Hermiston, and Chandra Wilson of Hillsboro; a sister, Edna Rae Fletcher of Clarkston, Wash.; a brother, Lawrence Prince of St. Helens, Wash.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His wife, a granddaughter, Jennifer Prince, and four brothers, Earl, Glen, Bill and Alvin Prince, all died earlier.


Gerald Gene "Jerry" Thompson, 56, of Estacada and formerly of La Grande died May 25.

Mr. Thompson was born Nov. 28, 1948, to Gene and Lela Thompson in Gresham. He graduated from Sandy High School in 1967, and served in the Navy aboard a submarine during the Vietnam War. He married Linda Martin. They were later divorced. He lived in Colton and Elgin, and moved to La Grande in 1994, where he worked as a carpenter and later for a tree-trimming business. In 2002 he quit work to care for his mother.

He enjoyed camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, picking mushrooms and collecting rocks and opals.

Survivors include children, Joseph Mason of Fort Carson, Colo., Jeremy Thompson of Estacada, and Gena Plummer of Carson City, Nev.; his mother, Lela Zumwalt of Sandy; a sister, Katie Cummings of Milwaukie and eight grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Sandy Hospice in care of Sandy Funeral Home, 39551 Pleasant St., Sandy 97055.


Irvin James Witten, 66, of Union, died June 19 at Grande Ronde Hospital. Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday June 24, at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 25 at Hillcrest Cemetery with Bishop Jerry Baxter officiating. A reception will follow at the Union Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mr. Witten was born Nov. 18, 1938, to Walter and Neva Mathson Witten in Perry. He lived in Spokane, Durkee and Pendleton before settling in La Grande where worked for Union Pacific Railroad until his retirement in 2001. He enjoyed sports including track, football, baseball, music, collecting coins and spending time with his family and friends.

Survivors include his children and their spouses, Andrew Witten, Margaret and Thomas Leonard, and Ben Witten, all of Union; siblings and their spouses, Larry and Debra Witten of La Grande, and Linda Witten of Idaho; two grandchildren and other relatives. A son, Matthew Witten, an infant daughter, Katharine, and a sister, Barbara Newcomb, all died earlier.

Contributions may be made to a memorial fund in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley.


Roy Rollo Stoltenburg, 75, of Cornelius and formerly of Elgin, died June 18. Viewing will be for the hour before the funeral, which will begin at 11 a.m. Monday June 27 at Grace Lutheran Church, 7610 N.E. Freemont St., in Portland. Ross Hollywood Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Stoltenburg was born March 13, 1930, to Richard and Hulda Hackbart Stoltenburg in Watertown, S.D. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1948, and served in the Air Force in the Military Police. In 1954 he married Barbara Mack in Watertown. The couple were later divorced. He earned a degree in civil engineering in the early 1970s.

He worked as a letter carrier, a building inspector, manager of a parts department, carpenter and farmer, and owned the Rocking Horse Day School, Elgin Hardware and the Corner Market.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Monica and Rod Kendall, Ronda Stoltenburg, Steve and Mary Stoltenburg, Jonna and Ken Olson, and Jeff Stoltenburg; six grandchildren; and siblings, Elaine Weagel, Maecille Moss, Harold Stoltenburg and Velma Moss.

Condolences may be sent to Steve Stoltenburg, P.O. Box 6741, Beaverton 97007.


Mildred Santoes, age 90, of La Grande, died June 20, 2005 at her home. Services will be held on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley. Interment will follow at the Hillcrest Cemetery.

Mrs. Santoes was born on Feb. 20, 1915, the daughter of Leonard and Bertha Wright Emmons in Joseph.

She graduated from Joseph High School and was married to Denver Hensley. The marriage later ended and on March 5, 1953 she married Cleo Santoes. He preceded her in death on January 13, 1984.

Mrs. Santoes was a member of the Eagles Auxiliary, the American Legion Auxiliary, where she was their musician, and a member of the Southern Dixie Bells Umbrella Club, which performed for various functions and won several parade awards.

She was an active volunteer at the Senior Center and played her electric keyboard for them. She enjoyed gardening, flowers and camping and her favorite hobby was dancing.

Survivors include children, Carl and Jackie Hensley of Sula, Mont., Elaine and Alan Case of La Grande, and Tari and Carl Knop of Big Sandy, Mont.; eight grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. A son, Butch Hensley, her twin brother, Milford Emmons, and two sisters, Macel Reece and Vivian Hovis, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Union County Senior Center in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Katherine Mary Louise "Kitty" Bretelle, 98, of Union, died June 24.

Mrs. Bretelle was born Dec. 27, 1906, to James and Elizabeth Taylor in Mt. Lehman, B.C., Canada, and raised on the family dairy farm which her grandparents had settled as pioneers.

She study the piano and received a certificate from the Royal Academy of Music in Canada. In 1928, she married Ted Bretelle, a drummer, and the couple played for many years in clubs around Olympia, Wash. She worked as a hospital volunteer during World War II. In 1948, she moved to Union and began giving piano lessons, provided a music program for the Keating School, and played for funerals and weddings throughout the area. In 1993 she was grand marshall of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show.

She enjoyed fishing and at the slightest suggestion, she had her lunch and fishing gear packed and was ready to head for a stream or lake.

Survivors include her son, Gordon of Union, two grandchildren and other relatives. Two brothers, Harry and Gordon, died earlier.


Kathleen Elizabeth Ann "Kate" Sutton, 90, of La Grande died June 22 at a local care center. iewing will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday June 26 at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Monday June 27 at The Elgin United Methodist Church. V

Mrs. Sutton was born Nov. 6, 1914, to Henry and Ethel Dougherty Winn in Milton-Freewater. She graduated from Maclaughlin High School, and married Harold L. Sutton on Dec. 2, 1932, in College Place, Wash. They moved to Elgin in 1935.

She was a homemaker although she worked for Pondosa Lumber Co. during World War II. The family maintained a second home in Sumpter where they lived part of the year. She was a member of Elgin United Methodist Church and the Elgin Good Sam Club. She enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping with her family, sewing and traveling

Survivors include her children, Barbara Jean Beickel of La Grande and Cynthia Kaye Gibson of Portland; four foster children, Shirley Taylor, and Dennis, Bob, and Linda Swalberg; 4 foster-grandchildren; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Elgin United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 7, Elgin 97827.