Obituaries for the week ending Dec. 3, 2005

December 04, 2005 11:00 pm

Theodore Richard Hunter, 85, of Tucson, Ariz., and formerly of La Grande died Oct. 28. Half his ashes will be buried in North Ogden, Utah, in the spring. The other half will be scattered at a memorial service Dec. 4 at the family plot in Harlowton, Mont.

Mr. Hunter was born Nov. 4, 1920, to William R. and Loretta J. Sleasman Hunter on a ranch outside of Harlowton. He worked on ranches during the summer and joined the Montana National Guard while in high school. In 1940 he graduated from Harlowton High School where he excelled in boxing and dancing. He served in the Army during World War II and continued in the National Guard until he retired after 37 years of reserve and active duty. In July 1948 he married Glory Gilberta Lee. After a divorce he married Ouida Mae Conrade in 1959 in Ontario.

He graduated from Montana State College with two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in agriculture. He worked as a county agent, a feed and grain salesman, a dairy herdsman and a researcher in Montana, and finally as a Farmers Home Administration county supervisor in La Grande from 1962 until he retired in 1979. He moved to Tucson in 2000.

He was a member of the Elks Club in Ontario and La Grande, and enjoyed hunting and traveling. He will be remembered for his boundless energy, his gentle humor and his caring for other people.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Elizabeth Hunter of Bozeman, Mont.; a step-daughter and her husband, Patricia and Dayton Silver of Placentia, Calif.; a sister, Jane Rhudy of Tucson; a brother, James R. Hunter of White Sulphur Springs, Mont.; a stepdaughter-in-law, Phyllis Conrade of Tucson; three step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren. His wife died earlier.


Herbert "Jack" Horstman, 83, formerly of La Grande, died Oct. 13 at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, Calif. Burial was at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, Calif.

Mr. Horstman was born March 5, 1922 to Hershel and Frances Horstman in La Grande. He served in the Navy for 21 years, and was a prisoner of war for four years during WWII. His second career was with the San Diego Schools District as field supervisor for custodial and gardening staff.

Survivors include his wife LaDonna; two sons, Larrell and Brent; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, all of San Diego.


Dr. Mark Alexander Melgard, 74, formerly of Hot Lake, died Nov. 20.

Dr. Melgard was born Nov. 26, 1931, to Alexander and Ada Rumley Melgard at Hot Lake. The family moved to Portland during World War II, and her graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949. He graduated from Reed College and the University of Oregon Medical School in 1958. He worked as a neurosurgeon for 30 years at Salem Memorial Hospital and served as the chief of the neurosurgical section and director of the radio-isotope department. He married Linda Hammond in 1963 and after a divorce married Cherie Havens in 1975.

He was a member of the American Medical Association, the Oregon Medical Association, the Marion-Polk County Medical Society, the North Pacific Society of Neurology and Psychiatry, the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Harvey Cushing Society of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, held a fellowship int he American College of Surgeons, and was the founding president of the Oregon Neurosurgical Society.

When he retired from his medical practice he served as the medical director for the Workers Compensation Division of the Oregon Department of Consumer Business Services.

He enjoyed reading, traveling and hunting, especially in Africa. He rode and raised horses and owned a working ranch while maintaining his medical practice. He was known to be sharp of wit and temper, but under the rough exterior he was generous and caring. He was greatly respected.

Survivors include his wife; children and their spouses, Christopher and Benjamin Melgard of Salem, and Marilee and Mark Figueroa of Los Angeles, Calif.; and two grandchildren.


Antone Raymond Gonzales, 72, of The Dalles and formerly of Union County, died at his home Nov. 16. Burial was at The Dalles Win-quatt Crematory. Spencer, Libby & Powell Funeral Home was in care of arrangements.

Mr. Gonzales was born June 25, 1933, to Joseph Henry and Amelia Anna Thompson Gonzales on Pumpkin Ridge. He attended school in Elgin, and worked as the district maintenance superintendent for the Bonneville Power Administration for 35 years. He demanded perfection from his crews and garnered enduring respect from his colleagues. On Dec. 1, 1980, he married Louise Jane Hallerbarter Ulvin in Spokane.

He was a member of The Dalles Country Club and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, earned a pilot's license in 1968, and enjoyed the outdoors, writing poetry, fishing, boating, hunting, camping, reading, traveling being with his family. His passion, drive for excellence and love of life has already been passed on to the next generation.

Survived by his wife of The Dalles; children and their spouses, Joseph and Jeanne Gonzales, Amber and Ed Laite, and Melissa and Joseph McNeal; stepchildren and their spouses, Tom and Karyl Lea Ulvin, and Mark and Mary Ulvin; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Una Roberta Johnson, 67, of La Grande died Nov. 28 at her home. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.

Mrs. Johnson was born May 2, 1938, to Louie and Marjie Byrd Scates in Forum, Ark. She attended school in Sandy and Estacada, and on June 22, 1958, she married Jerry Johnson in Stevenson, Wash. They moved to La Grande 10 years ago from Coburg.

Survivors include her husband of La Grande; two brothers, Donnie Scates of Huntsville, Ark., and Louie Scates of Lake Oswego; and four sisters, Louetta Burnett of Talent, Pauline Alleiger of Sandy, Harretta Bolinger of Everett, Wash., and Dorothy Taylor of Portland. Her parents died earlier.


Sylvan Star Hewitt, 88, of Union and formerly of Richland, died Nov. 25 at a local care center. Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 7th St. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at Daniels Chapel. Burial will follow at the Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland.

Mr. Hewitt was born May 13, 1917, to Elvira and Icey Hewitt in Richland. He attended school in Richland and Baker City, and in 1939 he married La Nore Wilson. He served in the Army in World War II. After the war he built and ran a sawmill in Summerville. In 1957 he sold the mill to Val Setz Lumber Co. and moved to La Grande.

He bought several commercial and residential properties, spent a short time in the cattle business, purchased an airplane to do some aerial crop spraying and to fly sportsmen into Red's Horse Ranch. He also spent a few years hauling logs.

After a divorce he moved back to Richland in 1973. He built and collected mining equipment and mined for gold on the Snake River, Cornucopia, Sumpter, Granite and in Alaska.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, fixing mechanical things, helping people and traveling. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and of the American Legion.

Survivors include two grandsons, Zachary Stockton Hewitt of Palm Springs, Calif., and Gabriel Stockton Hewitt of Austin, Texas; two brothers, Richard and Bob Hewitt, both of La Grande, and long-time close friend Etta Ruberg of Union. Two sons, Duane and Tom, and two sisters, Rita and Arvilla, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the VFW in care of Daniels Chapel.


Connie "Pat" Eastwood, 67, of Downsville, La, and formerly of La Grande died Nov. 24. A memorial services was held Nov. 27 at the Kilpatrick Funeral Home West Monroe Chapel.

Mrs. Eastwood was born Dec. 13, 1937 and graduated from La Grande High School in the late 1950s. She married Gene D. Eastwood who worked for the railroad. They lived for several years in Northeast Oregon. In Louisiana she was active in a Youth Pathfinder Group and ministries in Mexico and South America through Westlakes Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Survivors include her husband of Downsville; children, Clayton M. Eastwood of Pendelton, Donna M. Eastwood of Phoenix, Ariz., and Kinda K. Eastwood of Vernon, Conn.; a sister, Donna Detrick of Hillsboro; a brother, James Holloway of La Grande; 4 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


Fern M. Galligan, 93, of North Powder, died Nov. 18 at her home. A celebration of life and a recitation of the rosary will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Baker City with Father Julian Cassar officiating. A reception will follow at the Geiser Grand restaurant in Baker City.

Mrs. Galligan was born Oct. 9, 1912, to Windom H. and Catherine Wood Myers in Baker City. She attended school in North Powder, and on June 14, 1933, she married Michael J. Galligan. They lived on their ranch on Wolf Creek where she remained after he died in 1984.

Survivors include daughters and their husbands, Mary Schaan of Seattle, Janet and Edward Clarke of Brookings, and Joan and Fred Colton of North Powder; 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; a brother and his wife, Dr. Kenneth H. and Betty Myers of McMinnville, and other relatives.

Several siblings and their spouses, Kermit and Thelma Myers, Jerome Myers, and Marjorie and Harvey DeMoss, and Shirley and Virgil Spence, all died earlier.

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


James Henry Wittmeyer, 85, of La Grande died Nov. 29 at his home. Viewing will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, also at Daniels Chapel. A private burial will be at Island City Cemetery.

Mr. Wittmeyer was born July 24, 1920, to James Henry and Elva Spencer Wittmeyer in Glendale, Calif. He graduated from high school in Yoncalla in 1935. He studied mechanics at a trade school for in Eugene, and on Nov. 2, 1941, he married Gail Polly in Woodburn. James enlisted in the Navy but was discharged for medical reasons. The couple lived in California where he worked for a grocery store and for the United States Forest Service. He later worked in sales and moved to Pendleton in 1961 where he worked for the Oregon Parks Department. They moved to La Grande in 1982 and he retired in 1983.

He was a past member of the La Grande Elks Lodge, Tri-Mountain Good Sams Chapter and the Blue Mountain Gem Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, the outdoors, wood carving and lapidary work.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; children and their spouses, Charlene and Duane Kenward of Kehei, Hawaii, and Jean and Doug Mallory of Enterprise; a sister, Mary Scullion of Tujunga, Calif.; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and other relatives. A son, Marvin Ross Wittmeyer, a grandson, Willie Mallory, and two brothers, William and Carl Wittmeyer, all died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pacific Northwest Renal Service in care of Daniels Chapel.


Hazel "Dollie" Christensen, 94, of La Grande died Nov. 25 at Grande Ronde Hospital. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Christensen was born Sept. 28, 1911, to Wade and Lena Eikenberry Griffin in Glendale, Calif. She attended school there and enjoyed crochet, embroidery, cooking and keeping a clean and well organized home.

Survivors include children, Pearl Tetreau of Vancouver, Wash., Ferna Vail of Union, Elizabeth Nipp of Tillamook, Thomas Vail of Grants, N.M., William Vail of Anatone, Dollie Warren of Bullhead City, Ariz., Opal Corpuz of Christmas Valley, and Patricia Elsner of Salem; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her husband, Delvin Christensen, 12 brothers and sisters, and a son, James Dean, all died earlier.


Dr. Gerald M. Hill, 86, of La Grande died Nov. 30 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 4 at Daniels Chapel of the valley, 1502 Seventh St. A memorial Mass will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.

Dr. Hill was born April 16, 1919, to George C. and Hattie Valetta McNett Hill in Pendleton. The family moved to La Grande when he was 6 years old. He served honorably in the Army during World War II and the Korean War. From 1946 to 1994 he had a successful dental practice in La Grande, and in 1948, he married Santa Veristain in Vale.

He was a member of the Elks Lodge, the American Legion, the Catholic Church and the Lions Club. He loved Eastern Oregon, his family, being a dentist, fishiing and tinkering on cars.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Santa Hill of La Grande; children, Lisa Hill of La Grande, and Gerald Hill Jr. of Seattle; a son-in-law, Shawn Konecky of La Grande; other relatives and friends. A twin brother, George, died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association in care of Daniels Chapel.


Kevin Lee Haefer Sr., 51, of Stanfield died Dec. 1 at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston. A memorial service will be conducted at a later date at the First Baptist Church in La Grande. Private inurnment will be in the Cove Cemetery. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Haefer was born June 18, 1954, to Royal and Verna Smith Haefer in La Grande. He graduated from Union High School in 1973 and worked for B&K Auto. He married Darlene Steele in 1981. After a divorce he married Charlene Rhoades on July 31, 1996, in Stanfield. He worked at C&B in Hermiston and at PGG as a gas attendant from 1992 until 2002 when he retired.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church, and ejoyed fly fishing, hunting and spending time with his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife of Stanfield.; a son, Kevin Haefer Jr. of Bay Shore, N.Y.; his mother and stepfather, Verna and Fred Hill of La Grande; a sister, Cheryl Wagoner of La Grande and a brother and sister-in-law, Ferrin and Jean Haefer of Enterprise; stepchildren, Paula Webb of Stanfield, Joe Rhoades of Troutdale, John Rhoades of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Courtland Rhoades of Ontario, and Tammy Pike of Hermiston; and other relatives.

His father died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, Ohio 44720.