Obituaries for the day of December 16, 2011

By Observer Upload December 19, 2011 08:27 pm

Van Leuven, Keltz, Kelly, Wortman, Polfer, Terrrall



Dec. 17 — Darrell Van Leuven, celebration of life, 10 a.m., Loveland Funeral Chapel; graveside service to follow, Island City Cemetery

Dec. 17 — Ernest Keltz, celebration of life, 1 p.m., Daniels-Knopp

Dec. 19 — June E. Kelly, celebration of life, 11 a.m., Daniels-Knopp


Daniel Ray Wortman, 64, Ukiah, died at a family member’s residence in Union this morning. A full obituary will be published at a later time.  Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of his care and arrangements.

June Edna Kelly, 84, of La Grande, died Dec. 14 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande. Burial will follow at Island City Cemetery. 

June was born May 8, 1927, along with her twin sister, Jean, to Hubert and Rhoda (McCosh) Courtney in La Grande. She attended La Grande schools and then worked for Woolworths; the telephone company before doing custodial work at Grande Ronde Hospital; and then Eastern Oregon College. On Feb. 18, 1949, she married Arthur Frederick Kelly in La Grande.

She was a member of the Assembly of God/New Life Center. Her greatest joy in life was her family. In her younger years, she enjoyed skiing and ice skating. She enjoyed cooking, reading, crocheting and gardening.

Survivors include her husband, Arthur Kelly of La Grande; children and their spouses, Donald and Nita Kelly, Jimmy and Emi Kelly, Robert and Teresa Kelly, Carol and John Stockhoff and Cindy Kelly, all of La Grande; twin sister, Jean Marshall of La Grande; brother, Dale Courtney of Fruitland, Idaho; sister-in-law, Lorain Kelly of La Grande; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren with twins on the way; and other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Epilepsy Society in care of Daniels-Knopp.


Ernest “Ernie” George Keltz, 90, of La Grande, died Dec. 15 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of life will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation and Life Celebration Center.

He was born Dec. 4, 1921, in La Grande to Georginia (Dolbow) and Carl Keltz. 

He graduated from La Grande High School in 1939 and went to work for Boeing in Seattle until he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1940. He was shot down twice in flight during WWII and swore he would never fly again, but he did. 

He married Dorothy Christensen in 1945. They lived in Portland until 1947, at which time they moved back to their hometown of La Grande. 

Upon moving back home, he worked for the Island City Country Club as the greens-keeper. Shortly after, he began working for the Boise Cascade (Stanges) sawmill, farming during the day and working at the mill at night. He was also a volunteer firefighter for the Island City volunteer fire department for many years. 

He retired from Boise Cascade in 1983 to continue farming and to enjoy life. He spent his time hunting, fishing, camping, singing and listening to country music. He was an avid reader and storyteller. He loved to laugh and play pranks. Those who knew him say he had a kind soul and loving heart.

He is survived by his wife; children, Karen Keltz and Neal Lemery of Tillamook, Anita Goodwin of St. Helens, Sue and Leo Anderson of La Grande and Eric and Julia Keltz of Greenacres, Wash.; and sister, Juanita Dunn, of Roseburg. He had 10 grandchildren and 11great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Melvin Keltz; and sister, Virginia Traverso.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any charity.

Vickie Lynn Polfer, 59, of La Grande, died Dec. 8 in a Boise hospital from complications of surgery. A potluck service will begin at 5 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Hideout Saloon, 219 Fir St. in La Grande. A formal service will begin at 3 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Rose Room, 718 W. Idaho St. in Boise.

She was born July 13, 1952, in Chicago. She was the third child of George and Dorothy Polfer.

She had many friends in Eastern Oregon, her family said. She enjoyed spending time with her cat, Gracie.

She is survived by three sisters, Connie of Zephyhills, Fla., Carolee of Star, Idaho, and Cheryl of Marietta, Ga.; two brothers, Jeff of Nampa, Idaho, and Bill “Willie” of Meridian, Idaho; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Dorothy; and her brother, Pete.


Dr. Vance Lewis Terrall, 91, formerly of Union, died Dec. 2 of age-related causes. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Vermont Hills United Methodist Church, 6053 S.W. 55th Drive in Portland.

He was born May 24, 1920, to Lewis and Frances Terrall. The couple raised their three sons, Vance, Frank and Robert, in Union.

While at the University of Oregon Medical School, Vance met Joy Heath from Salt Lake City. They were married June 24, 1944, and had five children. In 1960, the large family moved to a home on Thompson Street near Grant High School. Vance lived in this home for 50 years until he could no longer live alone. He had a large backyard and took care of the lawn and gardens until 2010.

Vance served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Korea as a medic. He returned to complete his residency at OHSU and practiced family medicine in Portland until retiring in 1982. His first 15 years included making house calls in the evening and weekends.

He served on the medical staff of the old St. Vincent’s, Providence and Woodland Park hospitals and served a term as chief of staff at Woodland Park.

Vance loved the outdoors and had numerous family camping trips and backpacking adventures in the Wallowa Mountains wilderness — a tradition that started when he was a boy and continues with his descendants.

He became a wildflower expert and photographer, which allowed him to compile a portfolio of nearly every wildflower in Oregon. He was a member of the Native Plant Society.

From the time he was a boy, Vance collected stamps. He served as president of the Oregon Stamp Society for years. A portion of his stamp collection and wildflower photos may be seen in the Union County Museum in Union.

He and his wife, Joy, supported the Oregon Symphony and Opera. When his sons were young, he put in many years as a troop leader and doctor with the Boys Scouts. He was a long-time member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, serving as a deacon.

He was an avid reader; loved to dance to big band music; played bridge; worked crossword puzzles; learned watercolor painting; and played the organ. He was a life-time family archivist, writing and compiling records and pictures. He loved traveling through Europe, the Canadian Rockies, Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the continental U.S.

In his last 10 years, he took long walks and continued gardening. Those who knew him say Vance had a bright disposition and loved life. He maintained a positive outlook to his final days.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joy, who died in 1979 from Parkinson’s disease. He later married Ivy Ochsner. She died in 2001.

In addition to his brother, Bob (Vivian), Vance is survived by his children, Terry (MaryAnn), Annie Ocean (Karen), Scott (Margaret), Laurie and Rodger (Lisa), who spent his final three days by his bedside.

He is also survived by many grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Frank, in 2004.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to any hospice organization.

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