Obituaries for the day of February 20, 2012

By Observer Upload February 20, 2012 05:16 pm


Hardy, Hudson, Tyler, Withycombe


Jennie Hardy



Jennie Hardy, 79, of Elgin, died Feb., 19 at her home. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.


James ‘Jim’ Hudson

La Grande


James “Jim” Oliver Hudson, 69, of La Grande, died Feb. 16 at his home with his family present. A full obituary will be available later. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of the arrangements.


Stellina D. Tyler

La Grande


Stellina D. Tyler, 91, of La Grande, died Feb. 20 at her home. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge the arrangements.


Elwanda ‘Wanda’ Withycombe

Island City



Elwanda “Wanda” Beth Withycombe, 90, formerly of San Diego, died Feb. 16 at her home in Island City with her family present. A celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Loveland Funeral Chapel. Entombment at Grandview Cemetery/Mausoleum in La Grande will follow. 

Wanda was born July 6, 1921, in Grace, Idaho, to Wayne and LaVern (Ashbaker) Carstensen. She was raised by her grandparents, Jacob and Viola Ashbaker in Grace.

For many years, Wanda worked at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, Calif. She began working on the assembly line and advanced to a supervisor position. 

On May 9, 1959, Wanda married James “Jim” Withycombe, in Las Vegas. They lived in San Diego, where they owned and operated the Mission Valley Pet Clinic. Wanda served as clinic |receptionist, bookkeeper, animal handler and anesthetist.

Family was very important to Wanda and the couple regularly visited relatives in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, Hawaii and Florida. The family pets were also very special to Wanda — cats, Elfego Baca and Pam, and dogs, Blondie, Freyja and Misty.

Those who knew Wanda say she and Jim had fun and were together 24/7. She loved the San Diego Padres and joined Jim as he followed the San Diego Chargers. The couple had season tickets for 30 years, and never missed a game. 

She loved her garden, growing oranges, lemons, avocados, macadamia nuts, bananas and a wide variety of herbs and flowers. The couple spent time in their timeshares: Hawaii every year around their anniversary; Palm Springs; Las Vegas; and the Lawrence Welk resort for Wanda’s birthday.

Wanda was active for most of her life. She liked bowling, walking and exercising with friends into her 80s. As Wanda’s health declined, she was cared for by her husband of 52 years. In 2009, Wanda and Jim moved to La Grande to be closer to family.

Wanda is survived by her husband, Jim; son, James “Jim” Withycombe and his wife, Mary ,of Greenville, Texas; daughter, Virginia Bertels and her husband, George, of Island City; brother, Gerald Carstensen and his wife, Shirley, of Cyprus, Calif; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many cousins.

Wanda was preceded in death by her grandparents; parents; a step-father; sisters-in-law, Melba Withycombe, Isabel Boyd and Carolyn Carothers; and brothers-in law, Robert Withycombe and Robert Carothers.


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