Obituaries for the week ending Sept. 10, 2005

September 07, 2005 11:00 pm

Chester William "Bill" Gardner Jr., 87, of Washougal, Wash., and formerly of Baker City died Aug. 22 at his home. Burial was at Mount Hope Cemetery with Pastor Ed Niswender of Calvary Baptist Church officiating. Military rites were accorded by the Baker Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, No. 3048.

Mr. Gardner was born May 9, 1918, to Chester Willliam and Cora Young Gardner at Baker City. After graduating from school in Baker City he worked as a logger with his uncles, and served in the Navy as a gunner during World War II.

His spent the rest of his working life in logging, and spent time mining whenever possible. He knew where several eagle pairs nested in Baker County and faithfully visited the nests to check out the hatch.

He was known as an honest, hard-working man with a fearless spirit and great physical stamina and strength. He was an optimist, and his name was familiar in the logging industry throughout Northeast Oregon.

Survivors include a son, Frank Gardner of Burns; a sister-in-law, Lorraine Gardner of Baker City and other relatives. His wife, Rita, and a brother, David, died earlier.


Judy Houtz Whitford, 64, of San Jose, Calif., and fomerly of Summerville died Aug. 29 after a short illness. Services will be held in San Jose at a later date.

Mrs. Whitford was born March 22, 1941, to Cecil and Geneva Bushnell Houtz. She graduated in 1959 from Imbler High School and attended Whitforth College. She worked at US Bank in LaGrande and moved to the San Jose area, where she married Ron Whitford in 1969.

Survivors include a son, David Whitford, and a daughter, Ceri Whitford, of San Jose, siblings and their spouses, Don and Gwenn Houtz of Summerville, Mick and Louise Houtz of Baker City, and Joanne and Dave Hopkins of Beaverton; and other relatives. A brother, Bruce Houtz, died earlier.


Lawrence Edwin Winters, 91, of La Grande died Sept. 2. At his request there will be no public service.

Mr. Winters was born April 28, 1914, to Wilborn and Ida Mae Winchester Winters in Salina, Kan. As a child he traveled the country with his father who was a railroad engineer. By the time he was 21 he had visited every state. He played trombone with dixieland jazz bands in the Mid-west and the South, and served in the Army during World War II in the Pacific. He was also a member of the Army band. On June 12, 1946, he married Dorothy Byrd in Vancouver, Wash. They moved to La Grande where she was dean of women at Eastern Oregon College. He worked for Mount Emily Lumber Co. until his retirement in 1975.

He was one of the first presidents of the Grande Ronde Symphony and traveled in Europe with the symphony's People to People tours. He loved music and enjoyed hunting, fishing, trips to the big lakes of Canada and traveling.

Survivors include his sister-in-law, Nayda Wiseman of La Grande, and other relatives. His wife, four sisters and a brother, all died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Grande Ronde Symphony in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Buena Jean Williamson, 71, of Milton-Freewater and formerly of Joseph died Sept. 4 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday Sept. 10 at Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise. Burial will be at the Lostine Cemetery.

Mrs. Williamson was born Feb. 20, 1934, to Arthur and Grace Barton in Bend. She graduated from Joseph High School in 1952, and on June 21, 1952, married Wayne Williamson. She worked for many years as a sales clerk and later as a bank teller. In the 1990s she worked at the Wallowa County Museum where her specialty was antique clothing. She was a talented seamstress and crafter and enjoyed camping, being outdoors, reminiscing about her childhood and her happy times with family and friends. She moved to Milton-Freewater a year ago.

She will be remembered for the strength of her beliefs and the lessons she passed on to her children and grandchildren.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Mona Kay and Bill Williams of Joseph, and Karen and Lee Zollman of Walla Walla; siblings and their spouses, Aleene Alford, and Charlene and Dallas Williamson; and five grandchildren. Her husband and a sister, Garnet Rae, both died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in care of Bollman Funeral Home.


LeeElda Bess Draper Brown, 84, of La Grande and formerly of Adrian died Sept. 6 at her home in La Grande. Her funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at the Owyhee Ward LDS Church near Adrian. Burial will follow at the Owyhee Cemetery.

Mrs. Brown was born Aug. 24, 1921, to Reuben and Bessie Simmers Draper near Rockland, Idaho. She attended school in Rupert, Idaho, then worked as a ranch cook in Rome, Ore.

She married Bob C. Brown Aug. 12, 1939, in Caldwell.

During World War II, Mrs. Brown worked as an electrician in the Oakland, Calif., shipyards. After the war, she and her husband returned to Oregon and eventually settled in Portland. She operated a beauty shop there for many years.

In 1973 the Browns returned to Malheur County. Mr. Brown died in 1992.

In 1995, Mrs. Brown moved to La Grande to be closer to her son and his family.

She was a member of the LDS church and was very active in Relief Society projects.

Mrs. Brown will be remembered for helping raise and nurture numerous siblings, and later their offspring as well as her own children and grandchildren. She was always ready to help anyone in need.

Survivors include Howard and BJ Brown of La Grande and Rebecca and Calvin Robinson of Clatskanie; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brothers Gary Ellibee of Teccoa, Ga., and Don Ellibee of Mountainair, N.M. Her husband; a daughter, Marvel; and 10 brothers and sisters died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Red Cross for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.


Arnold Kim Walker died Sept. 7 in La Grande. He was 52.

Services will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11206 McAlister Road, Island City. Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.

Mr. Walker was born May 19, 1953, in La Grande to Jim and Darlene Winburn Walker.

He loved the outdoors and especially loved hunting, shooting, traveling and being on the water. He also enjoyed writing, photography, philosophy and spending time with his close friends. He espeically enjoyed reading and bought and sold books. He took great pride in building his personal library. Mr. Walker had a great sense of humor and was a friend to many.

He is survivied by his mother Darlene Herron and his daughter Lila Walker, both of La Grande, and his father James Walker of Hilgard, sisters Yvonne Alexander of La Grande, Brenda Walker of Moses Lake, Wash., Cindy Clark of Portland, his grandmother Lena Marshall and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.