Obituaries for the week ending July 16, 2005

July 10, 2005 11:00 pm

Irene Winifred Landis, 90, of Wallowa died July 8 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Wallowa Assembly of God Church. Burial will be at the Wallowa Cemetery.

Mrs. Landis was born Aug. 3, 1914, on Alder Slope. Her great-grandparents first settled in Imnaha in 1879. She graduated from Enterprise High School in 1932 and married Benjamin Theodore "Ted" Landis in 1936 by eloping to Walla Walla. She delivered firewood for 13 years, and worked as a clerk in the Wallowa County Courthouse, and as a bookkeeper for the Wallowa School District. She retired in 1977. She enjoyed gardening, reading, quilting, picking huckleberries and researching her family history.

Survivors include daughters, Cathy Decker and Berdiene Barr; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Wilmer Cook and Wayne Cook; a sister, Vinita Fisher, and other relatives. Her husband, a daughter, Myrna McDaniel, a brother, Lawrence Cook, and a sister, Lenora Cook Brewer, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to any charity in care of Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise.


Robert Edward Schie, 76, of Portland and formerly of La Grande died June 30.

Mr. Schie was born May 5, 1929, in International Falls, Minn. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and as a policeman in La Grande from 1955 to 1963 when he moved to Portland. He married Caroline Jordan in 1959, and worked for Freightliner as a parts and service clerk for 30 years.

Survivors include his wife of Portland; sons, Mike and Terry Schie; brothers, Merle nd Don Schie; sisters, Darlene Swan, Maxine Hopkins and Judy White; and five grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army.


Lila Mae Keagle Smith, 74, of Salem and formerly of La Grande died July 11 at her home. At her request there will be only a graveside service. Burial will be at at Siskiyou Memorial Gardens in Medford.

Mrs. Smith was born Oct. 4, 1930, to Cecil and Irene Keagle in La Grande. She graduated from La Grande High School, and on Dec. 26, 1947, she married Walter "Chip" Smith in La Grande. They later moved to Medford, where she worked for the Bureau of Land Management and USBank, where she worked until her retirement. Her husband died in 1997, and in 2002 she moved to Salem to be close to family.

Survivors include a son, Benjamin Smith of Asotin,Wash.; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; siblings, Duane Keagle and Judy Tallon, both of Salem, and LeRoy Keagle of La Grande; and other relatives. A sister, Janet Lee Nasseth, died earlier.


James "Jim" McNurlin, 84, of La Grande died July 9 at his home. A graveside service will begin at 3 p.m. today at Hillcrest East Cemetery.

Mr. McNurlin was born Feb. 3, 1921, to Carl and Bessie Cuzick McNurlin in Greenwood, Neb. On March 25, 1941, he married Gale Y. Walter in Vancouver, Wash.

He served as mayor of Depot Bay for two terms, and on the Depot Bay City Council for 17 years. He was named Depot Bay Man of The Year. The couple ran the Four Winds Motel for 26 years, and moved to La Grande in 2001 to be near family. He was a member of the Corvallis Masonic Lodge and the 41st Division of the National Guard in Portland. He enjoyed his boat, fishing and hunting waterfowl.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; a son and his wife, Jerry and Audrey McNurlin of La Grande, a sister and her husband, Peg and Jack Moul of Salem; two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. A sister, Louise McNurlin, and a brother, Kerm McNurlin, both died earlier.


Bennetta Blanche Orton, 84, of Portland and formerly of La Grande died July 7. Viewing will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow July 14 at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, 520 W. Powell Boulevard in Gresham. A graveside service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday July 15 at the Olney Cemetery in Pendleton. A memorial service in Portland will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday July 16 at the Cherry Wood Assisted Living Chapel, 10610 S.E. Clay St.

Mrs. Orton was born Dec. 9, 1920, to Elam Owen and Eva Mildred German Briggs in La Grande. She graduated from Eastern Oregon Normal School and earned a master's degree in 1956. She started her teaching career in Starkey in 1937 in a school made from a boxcar. She worked for the Oregon Department of Education in Salem and the Multnomah County ESD. In 1946 she married Virgil Orton. He died in 1956. She moved to Portland in 1971 and married Virgil's brother ,Floyd "Bud" Orton, on March 21, 1971. He died in 1993. She was past president of the Oregon Association for Childhood Education and a member of the Alpha Kappa Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Rockwood United Methodist Church and the Retired Teachers' Association of Oregon. She enjoyed photography, traveling and entertaining.

Survivors include a son, Roy Orton of Portland; a stepdaughter, Mary Ellen Medina of Vancouver, Wash.; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


Grady Wade Darrow, 50, of La Grande died July 10 at his home after a long illness. A celebration of life will be held later.

Mr. Darrow was born May 29, 1955, to Reginald and Phyllis Darrow in Blythe, Calif. He lived a number of places before moving to La Grande in 1979. He married Judith Campbell and was later divorced. He was a musician, and helped organize the Thursday Night at the Max concerts. He was primarily a blues-man and "played a real mean blues harp," according to his family and friends. He played whenever and wherever he could.

Survivors include children, Miranda Darrow of Carmel Valley, Calif., Eva Darrow of Ashland and Dala Darrow of La Grande; his father of Billings Mont., and Yuma, Ariz.; a brother, Grant Darrow of Elgin; and a sister, Zana Darrow of Bangor, Wis. His mother and a brother, Garth Darrow, both died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Grady Darrow Probate Estate, P.O. Box 1549, La Grande 97850.