Obituaries for the day of December 9, 2011

By Observer Upload December 09, 2011 08:15 pm
Bigler, Dohnal, Mayberry, Harklerode, Leonard, Simonis



Dec. 12 — George Simonis, funeral, 2 p.m., Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation and Life Celebration Center

Dec. 12 — Thomas Mayberry, funeral with full military honors, 2:30 p.m., Blue Mountain Conference Center


Lenore R. Bigler


Lenore Rose Bigler, 84, of Union, died Nov. 17 at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. A celebration of life previously scheduled for Dec. 31 has been canceled. Instead, there will be a service in the spring. Details will be announced later.

Loveland Funeral Chapel helped with the arrangements.


Marjorie E. Dohnal

La Grande


Marjorie E. (Gray) Dohnal, 77, of La Grande, died Dec. 7 at her home. Marjorie had requested that no service be held. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of arrangements.

She was born Sept. 19, 1934, at Hilgard to John E. and Beulah M. (Francis) Gray. She was a lifelong resident of Oregon. She attended grade school at Hilgard and graduated with La Grande High School Class of 1952.

Marjorie enjoyed camping and those who knew her say she was an excellent fisherwoman. Favorite pastimes also included oil painting, knitting, crocheting, sewing and other needlework. She enjoyed genealogy. She was involved in the community over the years in PTA and Grande Ronde Hospital Auxiliary, and served as head of the canning department at the Union County Fair and treasurer of the La Grande Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

When not working as a licensed real estate agent, licensed tax preparer, bookkeeper or retail salesperson, she enjoyed referring to herself as a “domestic engineer.”

She was preceded in death by brothers, Elmer and James Gray; her parents; and other relatives. Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Elvin “Al” Dohnal of La Grande; sons, Rick Dohnal of Seattle and Todd Dohnal of Pendleton; daughter, Cheri Dohnal of La Grande; brother, John Gray Sr. of Hilgard; several grandchildren and great-grandsons; and other relatives.


Thomas Mayberry

Formerly of La Grande

A funeral service with full military honors for Thomas Mayberry, who died Dec. 3, will begin at 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Blue Mountain Conference Center National Guard Armory in La Grande.

Thomas was 21 and formerly lived in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.


Lee E. Harklerode



Lee Evan Harklerode, 87, of Cove, died Nov. 28 at his home. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Lee was born on April 4, 1924, in Huntington Park, Calif.

He is survived by his wife, Thelma Harklerode of Cove; children and their spouses, Evan and Karen Harklerode of San Luis Obispo, Calif., Carolyn and Roger Hinckley of Cove, Yvonne and Douglas Franklin of Grass Valley, Calif., and Mark and Lexie Harklerode of Salem; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Marita Stolp.


Roberta W. Leonard

Formerly of La Grande


Roberta Wilma Leonard, 89, of Yakima and formerly of La Grande, died Sept. 13 at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital of age-related causes. A private memorial service will be held later. Online condolences may be made at Valley Hills Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

She was born Jan. 8, 1922, at home in Walla Walla, Wash., to Philip and Ella Winters. She was a granddaughter of early German settlers who lived in Yamhill County.

Roberta attended grade school in Walla Walla and Hermiston and graduated from La Grande High School in 1940. She was active in sports and was proud to be a member of the Girls Letter Club as one of the first girls to receive four sports letters in volleyball. She participated in Girls League throughout high school and in her junior and senior years, she was in Honor Society and the Quill and Scroll Club. She was also part of the student council her senior year.

Following high school, she had several jobs. She worked for Eastern Oregon College as a member of the president’s office staff. Then she worked for the Social Security Administration in La Grande. She attended Drapers Business School in La Grande and started working as a bookkeeper for Bunting Tractor & Inland Machinery Co.

It was there that she met Bert Leonard, one of the Caterpillar mechanics. She married Bert on Sept. 18, 1949, in La Grande. On Nov. 25, 1953, their son, Lowell Leonard was born. As they raised Lowell, Roberta became a stay-at-home mother.

She and the family moved to Yakima in 1967. She worked for Country Store Clothing as the office manager, and she was a secretary for Inland Machinery Co. in Yakima. She retired in 1984. She was a past member of the Terrace Heights Women’s Club. Roberta loved to watch her grandson, Jamie, perform in the Eisenhower High School Marching Band. She especially enjoyed visits from her brother, Eugene Winters and his wife, Leona, and their daughter, Stephanie Engle.

Roberta was preceded in death by husband, Bert; her brother, Lowell Winters; and sisters, Phyllis Moulton and Marguerite Winters. She is survived by her son, Lowell Leonard and his wife, Jan, and their son, of Yakima; brother, Eugene Winters of Eugene; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yakima Arboretum.


George R. Simonis

La Grande


George Raymond Simonis, 80, of La Grande, died Dec. 5 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Monday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande.

George was born May 4, 1931, the son of Perry James and Mae Rhoda (Miller) Simonis in La Grande. He graduated from La Grande High School, and on May 11, 1949, he married Darleen McLaughlin. George was a baker in Coos Bay, and became an accomplished cake decorator. In 1951, George and Darleen returned to La Grande where he worked at Mount Emily Lumber and then the La Grande Boise Cascade sawmill as a planer and shipping foreman until his retirement. He also farmed his land near Ladd Canyon. George enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his wife, Darleen, of La Grande; children, Jeanne Simonis of Walla Walla, Susan and Bill Thomas of Union and Janet Stowell of La Grande; brothers, Henry Simonis of La Grande, Wayne Simonis of La Grande and Joe Simonis of Montana; nine grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and other relatives. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter Nancy Lee; and his brothers, Ernest Simonis and James Simonis.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Shiners Hospitals for Children in care of Daniels-Knopp.