Obituaries for the week ending July 9, 2005

July 04, 2005 11:00 pm

Mary Avis Murphy, 88, of Baker City and formerly of La Grande died June 30 at her home. A memorial service took place this morning at the Presbyterian Church in Baker City with Pastor Susan Barnes officiating.

Mrs. Murphy was born April 22, 1917, to John and Edith Morgan Piper in Trafford, Penn. She graduated from school there and married Robert E. Murphy in Washington, D.C. in December 1941. They lived in a number of places, and settled near Mt. Vernon, Va., then moved to San Jose, Calif., and in 1991 to La Grande. In 2004 she moved to Baker City to be near her daughter.

She worked for the postal service for a while, and was a volunteer with the Brownies. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and Eastern Star, and enjoyed arts and crafts, history, her owl collection, lunches and shopping trips with her friends, traveling and especially her cats.

Survivors include children, Cindy Vergari of Baker City, and Robert Murphy of Dumfries, Va.; two grandchildren; sisters and brothers-in-law, Betty and Quentin Proctor of Mount Jackson, Va., and Nancy and Paul Woodall of Mesa, Ariz.; and other relatives. Her husband and three brothers died earlier.

Memorials may be made to Pathway Hospice in care of Gray's West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City 97814.


Frank Edward Conley, 63, of Joseph and formerly of Cove died June 30 at his home after a long illness. At his request there will be no service. Bollman Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Conley was born May 22, 1942, to Merrell and Isabel Heger Conley in Cove. He graduated from Cove High School and attended Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, Eastern Oregon University and the University of Strasbourg, earning degrees in mathematics, English literature and education. He owned businesses in construction, accounting and tax preparation and guiding. He also worked as a farmer, high school teacher, an artisan, a naturalist and in foreign service, visiting more than 35 countries.

He enjoyed music, fishing, writing, hunting, jogging, hoking, theater, birds and butterflies, and above all, learning.

Survivors include his wife Susan of Joseph; a sister and brother-in-law, Sonny and Mary Jane Johnson of Cove; aunts, Maxine Stuart of Cove and Anne Heger of Seattle; a step-son and daughter; grandchildren and other relatives.

In lieu of flowers, mourners are invited to take themselves into the great outdoors and learn about this amazing world that surrounds us all.


Bessie Irene Zemke, 87, of Klickatat, Wash., and formerly of Cove died July 1 at her home. Gardner Funeral Home in White Salmon, Wash., was in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Zemke was born Jen. 2, 1918, to Louis F. H. and Mary Estelle Westmoreland Hammer in Pocahontas, Iowa. She graduated from Pocahontas High School and taught in a one-room school for a year. On March 17, 1938, she married Lester C. Zemke at Varina, Iowa. They farmed in several places in northwest Iowa before moving to Cove. After her husband's death she moved to Klickatat to be near her daughter.

She was a member of the Cove Improvement Club, the Chatter Club and the PTA, and was active in her church, home extension, and in her later years, with the senior meals. She enjoyed writing and receiving letters, and kept up with her nine siblings with a round-robin newsletter that arrived every six weeks. She loved having her children and grandchildren come to visit. Her nickname was "Happy," and she was known for her sense of humor.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Jerry and Ruth Zemke, Eugene and Leeanna Zemke, and Joy and George Miller; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and siblings, Mary Lou Johnson, Laura Belle McConnell, Dorothy Olson, LuVerne Danielson, Louis Hammer and Herbert Hammer. Two infant sons and three brothers, Walter, Mervyn and Harry Hammer, all died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cove Library, 606 Main St., Cove 97824 or to any charity.


Cecil LaDell Richards, 92, of La Grande and Gautier, Miss., died June 27 at Ocean Springs Hospital in Mississippi. Burial was in the Cove Cemetery.

Mr. Richards was born Aug. 27, 1912, to Clarence D. and Blanche C. Houx Richards in Cove. He graduated from Eastern Oregon Normal School, and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He served in the Navy during World War II and married Lina Margueriette Hesse. He was a coach, teacher and principal in Oregon public schools for more than 40 years at Ione, Milton-Freewater and Sweet Home. His first assignment was at Dry Forks School, and he retired from Sweet Home Junior High. In recent years he lived with his son in Gautier and returned to his home in La Grande in the summer. Many of his happiest memories were of the Minam and Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Nicholas Richards and Christy Wheeler of Gautier; three grandchildren; a sister, Deleva Richards of Cove; and other relatives. His wife, a brother, James C. Richards, and two sisters, Gladys Puckett, and Geraldine Warnstaff, all died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cove Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1, Cove 97824.


Mary Lou Hamilton Evers, 70, of La Grande died July 2 at a local care center.

Mrs. Evers was born Aug. 5, 1934, to Coy and Myrtle Arnson Hamilton in Florence, Ariz. The family moved to La Grande in 1947 where they owned Coy's Auto Supply.

She graduated from La Grande High School in 1952 and studied bookkeeping at Eastern Oregon Normal School. On June 22, 1957, she married James G. Evers.

She worked as a bookkeeper for her husband's business, Grande Ronde Construction, for more than 50 years.

She was a member of the Laureate Alpha Omicron Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, the Daughters of the Nile, the Mavericks and the Rusty Wheels Car Club.

Survivors include a son, Jeffrey Coy, of La Grande; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A daughter, Judy Lynn, died in 1988.

Memorials may be made to the Shriners' Hospital in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.


Nicolas Mesa Coronado, 58, of La Grande died July 5 at Grande Ronde Hospital of natural causes. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of The Valley Catholic Church.

Mr. Coronado was born Sept. 10, 1946, to Pedro and Mesa Santos Coronado in Ciudad Monte, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He started working with his father at the age of 7. He enjoyed working, gardening, household chores and driving tractors. He came to Union County in 1991 from Mexico. He worked for the Arnoldus family at Trico Farms since 1991.

Survivors include his wife Juanita G. Coronado of La Grande; his father; three children, stepchildren and their spouses, Martin and Elvira Guerreo, Maria and Juan Torres and Jesse Gloria, all of Weiser, Idaho, and Rudy and Elaine Gloria of Kuna, Idaho; 11 grandchildren; three brothers and four sisters. His mother and a brother died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made for funeral expenses to Loveland Funeral Chapel.


Shanyn Lee Miller, 5, daughter of Ryan and Melea Miller and little sister of Malcolm Miller-Burke, died June 30 at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera, Calif., due to complications from dermatomyositis.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Union Methodist Church with Pastor Ernest Smith officiating. Committal and interment will follow at the Union Cemetery. The family requests that casual, light-colored apparel be worn to the celebration of life.

Viewing will be held at Daniels Chapel of the Valley today from 4 to 6 p.m.

Shanyn enjoyed playing tee-ball, soccer and kickball. She liked butterflies, stars, bubbles and playing with Barbie, My Little Pony and Dora the Explorer.

Pink and purple were her favorite colors. Her favorite books were "Dragon in a Wagon'' and "Ten Little Monkeys.''

Her big brother was her best friend and they spent many happy hours playing together.

Survivors include her parents and brother, Malcolm; grandparents, Sherryl Burke of Union, Art Warren of Union, Ron and June Miller of Union and Kathy Rowley of Alaska; great-grandparents, Bryce and Pearl Miller of Union and Jean Smith of La Grande; great-great- grandmother, Helen Bower of Union and other relatives.

Contributions may be made to a memorial fund in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Roy Raymond Leonard, 91, of Island City died July 6 at a local care center. A celebration of life will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the First Christian Church. Burial will be at Island City Cemetery.

Mr. Leonard was born May 26, 1914, to Frances and Martha Lingely Leonard in Delmeade, Canada. The family moved to Blaine, Wash., and then La Grande in 1932. On May 21, 1944, he married Leola Marie Wilcox. After her death he married Loree Ready on June 18, 1982, in Azusa, Calif. He was active in the Island City Rural Fire Department and served on the board of directors for the Island City Cemetery. He was instrumental in starting the Tri-County Wool Pool and volunteered with Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries. He was a member of the First Christian Church, the Blue Mountain Gem Club, the Tri Mountain Good Sam Club, and a life member of the La Grande Elks Lodge. He enjoyed camping, traveling, fishing hunting and and gardening.

He was known as the Candy Man because he would always have candy for the ladies.

Survivors include his wife, of Island City; siblings and their spouses, Fred and Iris Leonard of Monroe, Wash., Phil Leonard of Klamath Falls, and Edith Dahl of Columbia Falls, Mont.; a stepdaughter, Vicki Schofield of Arcata, Calif., a step-granddaughter; and a great-great-grandchild. Five sisters, Coral Bergeron, Zella Petersen, Edna Culp, Lola Zubrick and Patricia Rutz, and three brothers, Bert, Walter and Gordon Leonard, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to The First Christian Church, 901 Penn Ave. or to Neighbor to Neighbor Ministries, P.O. Box 1135, La Grande 97850.


Eloise Frances Ingerson, 86, of La Grande, died July 7 at her home. A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Hillcrest Cemetery with Pastor Vernon Slippy of the Grande Ronde Community Church officiating.

Mrs. Ingerson was born Dec. 4, 1918, to Ed and Helen Dodson Davis in La Grande. She graduated from Riveria School and from La Grande High School in 1936. On Dec. 11, 1937, she married James Ingerson in La Grande. He died in 1999.

Mrs. Ingerson was a homemaker and assisted her husband with his contracting business and their rental property for many years. She always did what needed to be done and will be remembered as a hard worker and a great pie maker.

She was a member of the Women's Benefit Association, and enjoyed her garden and flowers, the outdoors, fishing, camping, traveling, sewing and being with her family.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Jerry and Nancy Ingerson, and a son-in-law, Greg Blackman, all of La Grande; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and other relatives. Four sisters, Elma Woodard, Florence Dial, Aglah Meredith and Billie Jean Peach, and a brother, Eldon Davis, all died earlier.

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