Obituaries for the day of December 20, 2011

By Observer Upload December 20, 2011 08:28 pm
Gross, Herrmann, Plett, Wortman


Dec. 21 — Orpha Mae Plett, funeral, 2 p.m., Elgin Church of the Nazarene; burial, Summerville Cemetery

Dec. 27 — Lillian Herrmann, celebration of life, 10 a.m., Union County Senior Center


Betty Lou Gross

La Grande


Betty Lou Gross, 67, of La Grande, died Dec. 16 at a local care center in La Grande after a long-term illness. There are no services planned at this time. A memorial service for family and friends will be planned for a later date. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Betty was born Aug. 20, 1944, in Prineville to Claud and Sylvia (McElhaney) Binam. She married Ronald Gross in 1960 and they became the parents of four children and eight grandchildren.

After five years of schooling and college, Betty and her husband moved to La Grande in 1965. She enjoyed her career as a dietician at the Grande Ronde Hospital for 22 years. Due to illness, she retired early.

Betty enjoyed spending time with her family and grandchildren. She enjoyed church activities. She was able to travel south for the winter months. She had a special bond with her sisters.

Betty is survived by her husband of 51 years, Ron; her children, Kent Gross of Corvallis, La Ronna Gross of La Grande and Tina Howell of Imbler; and eight grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her son, Kim; her parents, Claud and Sylvia; and her brother, Archie Binam.


Lillian E. Herrmann

La Grande


Lillian Esther Herrmann, 88, lifetime La Grande resident, died Dec. 2 at a local retirement center in the company of her daughter. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of arrangements. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 27 at Union County Senior Center, 1504 N. Albany. All are welcome.

Lillian was born Easter Sunday April 1, 1923, to Fred and Sarah (Monroe) Young in La Grande. She was raised and educated in La Grande, graduating with the Class of 1941 from La Grande High School.

On Nov. 15, 1942, she married her high school sweetheart, Harold Herrmann. After living for several years on the Herrmann family farm, the couple bought acreage in Apple Valley, Idaho. In 1955, they moved back to La Grande, buying the home on Fruitdale Lane where Lillian would live for more than 50 years.

Those who knew Lillian say she was known for her cheerfulness, goodwill and hospitality.

With a large extended family and many friends, her home was rarely without visitors on a typical day. Lillian loved the outdoors and always planted a large garden. She loved horsepacking and backpacking in the Wallowas, fishing and hunting with her family. Those who knew Lillian say she was not timid — she once flew in an open-cockpit biplane to visit a friend who worked on a Snake River ranch. Her easy laugh and generous nature crossed over generational lines and made her a favorite at gatherings of her large extended family, her family said.

Survivors include her son, Tom Herrmann of La Grande; daughter, Gail Horning of Hermiston; nine grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by an infant son, Bruce; her parents; her husband; and three sisters, Margaret McCoy, Mildred Carlson and Helene Holcomb.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘N Home Hospice in care of Daniels-Knopp.


Orpha Mae Plett

La Grande


Orpha Mae DeLong Plett, 96, of La Grande, died Dec. 17 at Grande Ronde Retirement Residence. A funeral will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Elgin Church of the Nazarene. Burial will follow at the Summerville Cemetery. Daniels-Knopp, Funeral, Cremation and Life Celebration Center is in charge of arrangements.

Orpha was born June 10, 1915, the daughter of Charles and Belle (Smith) Colegrove in Gifford, Mo. The family later moved to Idaho.

On April 23, 1934, she married Earl DeLong in Avon, Idaho. They moved to Elgin in 1950. She worked as the dispatcher for the Elgin police and fire departments before later working in the cafeteria at the Elgin Schools. Earl preceded her in death in 1970.

In 1985, she married Dave Plett and he preceded her in death in 1985.

She was a member of the Elgin Church of the Nazarene.  She enjoyed cooking and traveling and loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her daughters, Norma Rysdam of Elgin and Vicki McComas of Houston, Texas; sister, Reta Karshen of Las Vegas; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by children, Larry and Janice DeLong.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Elgin Volunteer Fire Department in care of Daniels-Knopp, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande.


Daniel R. Wortman



Daniel Ray Wortman, 64, of Ukiah, died Dec. 16 at his sister’s home in Union. Funeral services will begin at 1 today at the Camas Creek Bible Church in Ukiah. Burial will be at the Ukiah Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Daniel was born Jan. 3, 1947, in La Grande to Raymond Ansel Wortman and Susan Eula Brown Wortman. He was raised in Ukiah and graduated from Ukiah High School.

Daniel served his country in the United States Army. He was trained as a Green Beret in the Special Forces division. Daniel was employed as a timber faller until his retirement. He loved the outdoors, fishing, camping and hunting. Those who knew him say he was a generous, giving man who helped many people.

Daniel is survived by his son and wife, Tony and Mary Lou Clark of Portland; his sister and her spouse, Becky and Tim Jordan of Union; two nephews; and several uncles, aunts and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.