Obituaries for the week ending May 27, 2006

May 29, 2006 11:00 pm

Dennis Albrandt, 57, of Elgin died May 19 in a Boise hospital after a long illness. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. May 27 at St. Mary's Catholic Church on 12th and Division streets in Elgin.

Mr. Albrandt was born Nov. 18, 1948, in Livermore, Calif. He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, and on Sept. 21, 1985, he married Shelly Lynn Moody in Elgin. He worked for many years as a truck driver. He was patriotic and proud to be an American, and will be remembered as a compassionate, forgiving and generous man.

Survivors include his father and stepmother, Rhenny and June Albrandt of Dublin, Calif; his mother and stepfather, Wenona and Dave Hall of Santa Maria, Calif.; a sister, Pennie Albrandt of Truckee, Calif.; step-siblings, Susan and Al; and a stepson, Matthew Drake, of Soldotna, Alaska. A stepbrother, Rick, died earlier.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Make A Wish Foundation, 3550 North Central Ave., Suite 300, Phoenix, Ariz. 85012-2127; or the Elgin Library P.O. Box 67, Elgin, for children's books.


Marion Sue Ingram, 88, of Haines died May 13 in Medford. A graveside service will begin at 11 a.m. Friday May 26 at the Haines Cemetery with Deacon James R. Watt of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral officiating. A reception will follow at the Haines Methodist Church hall.

Mrs. Ingram was born Aug. 28, 1917, to Thurman S. and Meda Prim Teeter in Waitsburg, Wash. She graduated from Imbler High School in 1935, and attended Eastern Oregon Normal School. She studied secretarial science at Draper's School of Commerce in La Grande, and on Nov. 14, 1939, she married L.M. "Bud" Ingram in La Grande. They spent most of their lives together a ranch near Haines that they bought in 1946. She moved to a retirement center in Medford in 2001 to be near her daughter.

She was a homemaker a member of the Town and Country bridge club. She enjoyed oil painting, making rugs, needlework, dancing and traveling. She was always a lady, and sought perfection in everything she did.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Cherie and Paul Kangas of Medford, and Jim and Mary Ann Ingram of Haines; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Tennys Bickelhaupt of Waitsburg, Wash. Her husband and a brother, Thurman Teeter, Jr., died earlier.

Memorials may be made to the Oregon Alzheimer's Association or any charity in care of Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place Street, Baker City 97814.


Dortha Emma Voruz, 86, of La Grande, died May 20 at a care center in Gresham. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.

Mrs. Voruz was born Aug. 17, 1919, to W. Ray and Bertha Frances Lovely West in Perry. She was a descendant of a pioneer family that settled at Smith Mountain in Wallowa County. She graduated from La Grande High School and worked at a doctor's office for a short time before becoming secretary at the high school. In 1941 she became secretary to the superintendent of schools and remained there until her retirement in 1982.

On Jan. 10, 1942, she married Herbert G. Voruz Jr. in Glendale, Ariz. He died in 1953 when his transporter plane crashed during the Korean War.

She was a member of the First Baptist Church and AARP, and held offices in the Grande Ronde Hospital Auxiliary, the Educational Office Professionals, the National Association of Secretaries/Education Professionals, the Union County Retired Educators, Beta Sigma Phi and the Knife and Fork Club and Soroptimist International for whom she served as secretary of District 2, president in La Grande in 1964-65 and 1975-76 and District 3 director, and was named Soroptimist Woman of the Year in 1969, 1979 and 1986. She was an associate member of the La Grande and Union County Chamber of Commerce and served as an ambassador. She was also on the board of the Union, Wallowa, Baker Federal Credit Union and served as treasurer for several years. She was also treasurer for the Union County Museum Society.

She was athletic and at one time played on a semi-professional women's softball team. She enjoyed sports, watching the Portland Trail Blazers, ceramics, photography and traveling.

Survivors include her daughters, Nancy Rhodes of Portland and Sharon Langley of Troutdale; a foster daughter, Lu Wayne of Salem; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a step-brother, Boyd Standley of Salem, and other relatives. A son, Gary Voruz, two brothers, Norman and Vel West, and a step-brother, Wayne Standley, all died earlier.

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


Helen Spray, 86, of Union died May 14, 2006, at her home in Union. At her request there will be no memorial service. Loveland Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Spray was born July 20, 1919, to Paul and Elsie Eberley in Harper. She helped her grandmother, Madge Hinkle, run the Harper Hotel. She graduated from high school and attended a beauty school in Ontario. She worked for several years in the Harper post office.

She was around railroads all her life. Her grandfather, John Eberley, worked on the railroad tunnel between Harper and Juntura. Her father, Paul Eberley, was the first depot agent in Vale. And her husband, Keith Spray, worked on the shortest railroad in Oregon between Union and Union Junction.

She enjoyed fishing, caring for her roses and being with her family. She was known for her sense of humor.

Survivors include a stepson, Sherrod Lee Spray; nieces and nephews, Virginia Sattley, Lerice Martin, Margaret Spikes, Ronald Roethler, Selwin Spray, Richard Spray and Gary Spray, and other relatives.

Her husband and two sisters, Dorothy Eberley and Ruth Jones, died earlier.


Iva "Deanie" Barker, 78, of Walla Walla and formerly of La Grande died on May 22 at a care center. The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday May 27 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangments.

Mrs. Barker was born Oct. 14, 1927, to Lloyd and Nora Erlandson in Kansas City, Mo. She married Roger Barker of Yakima, Wash., and graduated with honors from Central Washington University. She earned a master's degree from Eastern Oregon State College, and was a passionate educator who taught for over 30 years, most recently in La Grande, where she spear-headed the School on Wheels program that allowed middle-school students to travel to Europe and the eastern United States. She taught all ages in Portland, Vale and La Grande, and was a member of the Oregon Education Association and the Democratic Party.

She had many talents, including drawing and painting, crochet and needlework, and a beautiful singing voice. After retiring she worked as the secretary at St. Peter's Church.

Survivors include children, Rodney Lloyd Barker of Guam and Bonnie Joy Barker of Bellingham, Wash., and a foster son, Mark Brinton of Vale. Her husband, a son, John Edwin Barker, and a foster son, Daniel Brinton, all died earlier


Joe Hardy, 72, of La Grande died May 21. A Mass of Christian Burial was held today at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Hardy was born Jan. 10, 1933, to Robert Morgan and Grace Whited Hardy in Baker city. He attended school in Unity and graduated from Powder Valley High School. He served in the Navy and worked in the Unity mill and began his career with the Oregon State Police in 1957 in La Grande. On Nov. 26, 1957, he married Florence Winburn.

Survivors include his wife of La Grande; his mother-in-law, Lena Marshall; siblings and their spouses, George and JoAnne Hardy of Unity, Everett and Judy Winburn of Billings, Mont., Darlene Herron of La Grande, and Dolores and Gary Adams of Ontario; and other relatives.


Patrick Joseph O'Connor, 68, of Joseph died May 21. A recitation of the rosary will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at Bollman Funeral Home, 315 N. Main St. in Enterprise. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Katherine's Catholic Church, with military honors at the Joseph Cemetery.

Mr. O'Connor was born March 5, 1938, and raised in eastern Texas. He married Claresse Martin 43 years ago, and served in the Air Force. He worked as a woodsman and a cowboy. He had a great love of God, family and country and a passion for horses and the outdoors. He lived a life of selfless dedication, his family said, and had a positive affect on the lives of many. He was known for the ability to project confidence in any situation.

Survivors include his wife of Joseph; children, Kitty Bean, Sean O'Connor, Tim O'Connor and Jim O'Connor; six grandchildren and two siblings, Richard O'Connor and Jane Harris.

Memorials may be made to any charity in care of Bollman Funeral Home.


Jean Ann Dixon, 95, of La Grande died, May 21 at her home. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Mrs. Dixon was born Dec. 30, 1910, to James M. and Jessie Payne Murray in Tacoma, Wash. She married Carl Dixon and worked for 10 years as a medical secretary at the La Grande Clinic and later as the secretary to the manager at the Boise Cascade particleboard plant until her retirement. She was a woman of wit and wisdom. Her sense of humor delighted everyone and her warmth encouraged many who knew her.

Survivors include her daughter, Anne Murray of Madison, Conn.; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and other relatives. Her husband died earlier.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande 97850.


Rollin Dean Schimmel, 61, of Pendleton and formerly of La Grande, died May 20 in Klickitat County, Wash., in a rafting accident. A private graveside service will be held at Olney Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held June 15 in Pendleton, the time and place to be announced at a later date. Bishop Funeral Chapel in Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Schimmel was born Jan. 1, 1945, to Rollo and Vivian Duncan Schimmel in Hillsboro. He graduated from Rainier Union High School in 1963 and attended Eastern Oregon College where he was a standout wrestler.

He worked as a wrestling and football coach at Pendleton High School, and was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Order of the Antelope, the Pendleton City Club and other organizations.

He was named to the Oregon High School Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Eastern Oregon University Athletic Hall of Fame, and was a 1967 NAIA national wrestling champion. He was also a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and founded the Pendleton Youth Wrestling Club.

Survivors include his fianc, Joyce Follis; brothers Irwin Schimmel of Vancouver, Wash., Don Schimmel of Longview, Wash., and Larry Schimmel of Gilbert, Ariz.; sons Rick Schimmel of Pendleton and Randy Schimmel of Oregon City; 11 grandchildren and other relatives. One grandchild died earlier.


Ralph Melvin Roper, 86, died May 26 at a local care center in La Grande.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Summerville Cemetery in Summerville. A viewing will be held on Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

Ralph Melvin Roper was born Oct. 27, 1919, the son of James Purl and Anna Maude (Shoemaker) Roper in Mesa, Colo. He lived in Colorado and Idaho until moving to Summerville in 1936.

Mr. Roper served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1943 until 1945 and was part of the air offensive against Japan in New Guinea, South Philippines, and Luzon. After his honorable discharge, he worked as a farmer and a logger and was employed by Boise Cascade in Elgin at the stud mill from 1966 until his retirement in 1976.

Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, Curt and Twila Roper of La Grande; a nephew and his wife James and Ramona Roper of Cove, and their son Micheal; numerous other nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends. A niece preceded him in death.

Memorial contributions in memory of Mr. Roper can be made to any charity in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.