Obituaries for the week ending June 10, 2006

June 07, 2006 11:00 pm

Ronald Dave Scoubes, 91, of Elgin, died June 2 at his home. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m., Wednesday June 7 at the Elgin Christian Church. Burial was at the Island City Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Scoubes was born July 18, 1914, to David and Della Weston Scoubes in Cambridge, Idaho. He graduated from Elgin High School in 1933 and married Jessie Genevieve Jones in La Grande in 1936. He worked in the lumber industry and was shipping foreman at the Boise Cascade mill in La Grande. In 1966, he became Elgin city recorder, retiring after 13 1/2 years in that position.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, square dancing, gardening and being with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Coffee at Pop's house for the past several years involved at three or four generations around his kitchen table. He will be remembered as a gentle, caring man who loved the country life and treasured his family

Survivors include children and their spouses, Dee Ann and Larkin Conatser of Columbia, Md., and Ronald "Bud" and Janet Scoubes of Elgin; five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. His wife and two brothers, Harold Scoubes of Klamath Falls and Ralph Scoubes of Redding, Calif., all died earlier.


Wilfred Arthur Nitz, 65, of Hillsboro and formerly of La Grande died May 16. A memorial service was held May 31 in Sherwood. Skyline Memorial Gardens in Portland was in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Nitz was born Oct. 28, 1940, to the Rev. and Mrs. Carl Nitz in Scheflin. He attended Grant High School and graduated from Concordia High School and attended Concordia Junio College. He graduated from Concordia Teachers College in River forest, Ill., and in June 1963, married Judy Berreth. The couple taught in Elgin and Snohomish, Wash., and he served as interim principal in 1967-68. He became a lay pastor in Republic, Wash., and worked at various jobs, including coordinator of Ferry County community services. In 1976 he was certified as a lay minister in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. In 1980 he was ordained through the colloquy program of Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. On. Jan. 28, 1984, he became pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in La Grande where he remained for 19 years. He assisted in an outreach ministry to Joseph, Baker City and Pendleton, and served on the Ministerial Association and on the board of Youth For Christ. He was pastoral advisor for the Northwest Team of the Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ. The family cared for more than 20 foster children, and from 1995 to 2003 he and his wife owned Twin Firs Retirement Center. He retired in April 2003.

He enjoyed square dancing and cowboy action shooting, his dog and numerous family pets, and was known for his unusual vehicles, first a Checker taxi cab, then a motorcycle and an orange Saab sports car, more motorcycles and finally the old blue International pickup.

Survivors include children, Jody, Jonathan, Jennifer and Joyce; 11 grandchildren; three brothers, Carl, Ralph and Ronald; and a sister, Naomi. Another brother, Theodore, died earlier.


Wayne Clark, 96, of Star, Idaho, and formerly of Enterprise, died May 31 at a care center. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday June 9 at Bollman Funeral Home in Enterprise. Burial will be at the Prairie Creek Cemetery in Joseph.

Mr. Clark was born Sept. 23, 1909, to Frank and Viola Clark on a homestead in Hill City, Idaho. He graduated from high school in Carey, Idaho, and attended the University of Idaho. In the early 1930s he married Anna Browning. In 1959 he married Ival Deckard. With his brother Tom he bought a ranch south of Bellevue where he farmed and raised cattle for several decades. He served as Blaine County watermaster, and from 1949 to 1965 he was a Blaine County commissioner. He was president of the Yellowstone Highway District, and was an extra in several movies, doubling for Cesar Romero in "Wintertime" and appearing as a gunfighter in "Northwest Passage." He was inducted into the Idaho Cattleman's Association Hall of Fame in 1977. He was a member of the Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club and served as president. He trained and bred quarter horses and took fourth place at the world championships of chariot racing in Elko, Nev. In the late 1970s he leased his ranch and the family moved to Wallowa County where they purchased part of the Monument Ranch on Joseph Creek. After a short return to the Bellevue ranch, the family bought another place seven miles north of Enterprise. The couple lived in an assisted living home in Joseph. After the death of his wife he moved to Star.

Survivors include grandchildren, Richard Walker of Richfield, Idaho, and Kent Laverty of Boise; several great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, and other relatives. A daughter, Betty Clark Laverty, and his siblings, Tom, Jessie May, Vern, Frances, Helen and Champ, all died earlier.


Richard Donald "Dick" Bonney, 91, of Union died June 1. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Thursday June 8 at the United Methodist Church in Union. Burial will follow at the Union Cemetery.

Mr. Bonney was born April 1, 1915, to Richard Herman and Sara Louise Brannian Bonney in Bellingham, Wash. The family arrived in Union on Jan. 5, 1920, via the short track railroad from Union Junction to Union. His father built and ran the fish hatchery on Catherine Creek. He helped transport fingerling trout to the Minam River, drove horses from Union to Halfway, and spent many days enjoying the outdoors. He served in the Navy during World War II, and on July 23, 1946, he married Gertrude "Trudy" Roberts. They moved to Union and spent the rest of their lives there. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping, poetry, art and woodworking. He became a carpenter and cabinet maker but never gave up his other interests.

Survivors include many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the Union United Methodist Church in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St.


Orville Dee Shirley, 79, of La Grande died June 2 at St. Elizabeth Health Services in Baker City. Burial will be at the Enterprise Cemetery. Gary's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Shirley was born Oct. 21, 1926, to Chet and Lady Clair Mabor Shirley in Wallowa. The family lived in Enterprise before moving to the Willamette Valley. He worked in the shipyards during World War II and later worked in the timber industry as a log-truck driver and millwright. He worked for Boise Cascade in La Grande until his retirement.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and working on automobiles.

Survivors include sons, Dee Allan Shirley and George Lee Shirley, both of La Grande.


Dale W. Pierson, 82, of Salem and formerly of La Grande died June 2 at his home. Viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday June 8 at Howell Edwards Doerkson Funeral Home in Salem. A graveside service will begin at 1 p.m. Friday June 9 at the Summerville Cemetery.

Mr. Pierson was born Oct. 6, 1923, to Sylvan and Vera Bradley Pierson in Grafton, Neb. The family lived in Lyle, Wash., Hermiston and at Mount Emily Camp. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1941, and served in the Army during World War II. He attended Eastern Oregon Normal School and graduated from Willamette University College of Law. On July 24, 1948, he married Elenor Hayes in La Grande.

He enjoyed golf, skiing, mountain climbing, flying and watching sports on television, especially baseball.

Survivors include his wife of Salem; a sister, Ruth Loock of La Grande; a brother and sister-in-law, Glen and Willamina Pierson of Las Vegas, Nev.; and other relatives. A brother, Morris Pierson, died earlier.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to any charity.


Powell Graham, 87, of La Grande died June 6 at his home. A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday June 10 at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. Burial will be private.

Mr. Graham was born April 25, 1919, to Harry and Dora Powell Graham in Milton. At the age of 16 he received his Eagle Scout Badge from Mayor La Guardia and Jimmy Durante in New York City. He earned a degree in pharmacy from Oregon State University, and owned Graham Drug. In September 1940 he married Marjalee Purdy of La Grande. He served in the Navy and was ship photographer aboard the USS Randall.

He was a member of the Elks Lodge, playing in golf tournaments and serving as exalted ruler. He became the Grand Exalted Ruler of Oregon. He was also a member of the La Grande Masonic Lodge. He enjoyed local sports and for many years broadcast La Grande sporting events on the radio.

He was president of the Oregon Board of Pharmacists, and taught pharmacy at OSU. He was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia Award from Wyeth and the American Pharmaceutical Association.

Survivors include children and their spouses, Gary and Patti Graham of Pendleton, Jude Graham of Portland, and Debra and Robert Wright of Blackfoot, Idaho; 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His wife and a son, Don Graham, both died earlier.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Oregon Heart Association or to OSU for a pharmacy scholarship fund in care of Daniels Chapel.


Charles T. Melton, 73, of Union died May 24 at his home.

Mr. Melton was born Dec. 29, 1932, to Frank and Rose Klepzig Melton in Dixon, Mo. He was a farmer, and married his wife, Deloris, on Nov. 12, 1960, in Reno, Nev.

Survivors include children, Mindy Melton of Union, Marcia Wisdom of La Grande, Donna Melton of Seattle and Teresa Melton of Stoneville, N.C. Loveland Funeral Chapel was in charge of arrangements.