Obituaries for the day of December 28, 2011

By Observer Upload December 28, 2011 08:38 pm
McWilliams, Kalmbach, Kennedy, VanCleave, Federico



Dec. 31 — James Kennedy, memorial service with military honors, 2 p.m., Eastern Oregon Livestock Clubhouse, Union


Jerry McWilliams


Jerry McWilliams, 67, of Summerville, died Dec. 25 at his residence. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.




Hulda E. Kalmbach

Formerly of

Union County


Hulda Elizabeth Kalmbach, 84, formerly of Union County, died Dec. 25 in Salem. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in La Grande. City View Cemetery and Funeral Services in Salem is in charge of arrangements.

Hulda was born Feb. 11, 1927, in Tumalo to Homer and Jesse Cosner. As a child, her family moved to the Grande Ronde Valley where Hulda grew up and graduated as valedictorian from Union High School. She attended Eastern Oregon College and Western Baptist Theological Seminary.

On Jan. 20, 1947, Hulda married George C. Kalmbach. They enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage and together owned, with their son, Wesley, and daughter-in-law, Marit, what was then George’s Texaco in La Grande.

Hulda loved life in the Grande Ronde Valley. She enjoyed fishing, huckleberrying and picnicking with family and friends. She was active in the First Baptist Church, teaching Sunday school and leading numerous women’s activities for both the church and the Blue Mountain Women’s Association.

Hulda entertained many people. Those who knew her say her home was always open. She enjoyed writing. Some of her short pieces were published in The Observer under “Footsteps in Faith.” Hulda’s life was defined by her faith, her love of family and service to others, her family said.

Hulda is survived by her children and their spouses, Wesley and Marit Kalmbach of La Grande, Rodney and Brenda Kalmbach of Sutherlin and Donna Kalmbach and John Phillips of Salem; her sister, Nancy Rayburn of La Grande; seven grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George; her parents; and 14 siblings.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Women’s Association in care of Jodel Thatcher, PO Box 394, Halfway, OR 97834.


James C. Kennedy



James Claude Kennedy, 65, of Union, died Dec. 26. His memorial service with military honors will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Clubhouse in Union. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

James was born July 7, 1946, to George C. and Carrie J. (Potter) Kennedy in Bend. He grew up in Bend and also lived in Portland and Alaska. James graduated from North Powder High School.

He played baseball, basketball and football in school and in the Army, where he served his country for six years. He had one tour of duty in Vietnam and was a radio tech on a helicopter. He was also a supply sergeant in Alaska.

James married Lois M. Pfel on Sept. 6, 1967. His second marriage was to Colleen S. Reagan on May 2, 1987. James was employed with Baremore Logging until retirement in 2003. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping and riding ATVs. He was a member of the VFW.

James is survived by his wife, Colleen of Union; his children and their spouses, Yvonne Michelle and Tim Wainwright of Portland, Walter James and Tammy Kennedy of Lapine, Stacy Renee and Mitch Day of Union, Tracy Lynn and Brian Pomeroy of Union, Lindy Sue Rorden and Jesse Collins of Williston, N.D., Barbara Joanne Rorden of Union and Claudia Jean Kennedy of Union; his sister, Susan and her husband, George Aldrich, of Cove; 18 grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Carrie.




Tyler S. VanCleave

Formerly of La Grande


Tyler Sherman VanCleave, 33, formerly of La Grande, died Dec. 14 in an accident with his step-daughter, Calli, near Cascade High School after picking her up from a ball game. A service to celebrate his life was held Dec. 19 at Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer.

Tyler was born March 28, 1978, in Bend to Sherman and Vicki McNulty VanCleave. He grew up in the Tumalo area on a small farm with his parents and sister, Tara. He attended grade school in Tumalo and junior high and high school in Redmond and Mitchell, where he graduated in 1996. He was active in 4-H and FFA, welding and showing cattle.

Tyler loved the outdoors. His passions were family and outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, and 4-wheeling. His love of building and construction kept him busy, and he was planning to start his own business.

Tyler married Amy on Dec. 6, 2008. He became step-father to Amy’s three daughters. The couple had a son together, 2-year-old Benjamin.

Family members say Tyler will be remembered for his infectious smile and enormous heart.

Tyler and his step-daughter, Calli, were hunting partners and family members said they loved each other very much. He spent time teaching her gun safety and hunting techniques.

Tyler is survived by wife, Amy VanCleave; parents, Sherman and Vicki McNulty VanCleave; sister, Tara VanCleave Hett and brother-in-law, Mark Hett, of La Grande; sister, Jennifer Cunnington and brother-in-law, Brian Cunnington, of Beaverton; step-daughters, Bella, age 11, Reagan, 8; son, Benjamin, 2; maternal great-grandparents, Ralph and Dee McNulty “Grandma and Grandpa Tractor”; a nephew and a niece in La Grande; and other family members.

A memorial fund to support the family will be established. Further information may later be available on the Cascade School District website.




Calli R. Federico


Calli Renae Federico, 14, died Dec. 14 in a car accident in Turner along with her step-father, Tyler VanCleave. A service to celebrate her life was held Dec. 19 at Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer.

Calli was born on May 3, 1997, in Salem to Daniel Federico and Amy VanCleave. She attended grade school at Pringle Elementary and middle school at Judson, where she started many friendships.

She was living out her life-long dream of being a Cascade Cougar. She was in her freshman year. Calli was active in FFA and basketball at Cascade High School and had a new found love of running she discovered during cross country.

Calli had many dreams and aspirations for her future and her latest plan was to attend Stanford and become a surgeon. She stayed active in her community by volunteering in many school and church activities.

Growing up, Calli and her dad shared many early morning fishing trips. She loved the outdoors. She and Tyler shared a strong bond hunting, camping and riding 4-wheelers. She had a strong faith in God and shared that with as many people as she could, her family said. They said Calli’s smile and zest for life were infectious. She had a great pride and love for her family.

Calli is survived by mother, Amy VanCleave of Salem; father, Daniel and Cassie Federico of Roseburg; sisters, Bella and Reagan Federico of Salem; brother, Benjamin VanCleave of Salem; great-grandparents, Clarence and Audrey Scott of Aumsville and Ralph and Dee McNulty of Tumalo; grandparents, Jeanelle Scott of Aumsville and Sherman and Vicki VanCleave of La Grande; aunts and uncles, Rebecca Naatz of Wilsonville, Laura Naatz of Portland, Julie Naatz of Aumsville, Tara and Mark Hett of La Grande and Jennifer and Brian Cunnington of Beaverton; and other relatives.

A memorial fund to support the family will be established. Further information may later be available on the Cascade School District website.


The Observer publishes free obituaries as a community service. Obituaries are edited to fit news guidelines. Photos are encouraged. Paid space is available for families who would like to include more information. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center posts unedited obituaries at, and Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory posts obituaries at