Obituaries for the day of March 21, 2012

By Observer Upload March 21, 2012 12:31 pm
Klages, Pridgen, Trump, Coursey, Desparois





March 23 — Homer Ross, graveside service, 2 p.m., Grandview Cemetery Veterans Circle

March 24 — Michael Desparois, celebration of life, 1 p.m., New Song Community Church, Loveland Funeral Chapel

March 24 — Jean Burford, celebration of life get-together, 3 to 6 p.m., EOLS clubhouse, 760 E. Delta, Union



Harold Klages



Harold Klages, 86, of Joseph, died March 17. A service will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Grace Lutheran Church in Enterprise. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lutheran Church. A full obituary will be available. Bollman Funeral Home in Enterprise is in charge of the arrangements.



LaVern R. Pridgen

La Grande


LaVern R. Pridgen, 87, of La Grande, died March 21 at a local care home. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of
the arrangements.



Neva A. Trump



A celebration of life for Neva A. Trump, who died March 18, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Elgin Community Center. Neva was 83 and lived in Elgin.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Lung Association or the Elgin Ambulance in care of Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande. A full obituary will be published later.


Deborah Ann Coursey

Formerly of La Grande



Deborah Ann (Claudson) Coursey, 48, died March 14 at her home in Meridian, Idaho. Summers Funeral Home in Meridian is in charge of the arrangements. Debbie requested that there not be a public service. Her ashes will be scattered on a beach in California where her family says she spent some fun times.

Debbie was born Nov. 24, 1963, in Ontario. She attended Ontario schools through the fifth grade. She moved with her family to La Grande in 1975 and finished grade school and high school in La Grande. She graduated with the Class of 1982 from La Grande High School. She moved to Boise and attended Boise State. While there, she worked at the corrections department with the state of Idaho. During the early years of working for the state, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and corrections at Boise State. She worked during the time the new maximum security prison was built and received an accommodation for excellent service to the operation of that facility.

After resigning from the state, Debbie had her own in-home paralegal business.

The last couple years, Debbie had been plagued with health issues. Family members say she died in her sleep.

Debbie is survived by her parents, Allan and Eddie Claudson; brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Robin Claudson; and two nephews; plus many aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Memorial contributions may be sent to Shriners Children’s Hospital or any other charity in care of Summer Funeral Home, 3629 E. Ustick Road, Meridian, Idaho, 83646-5651.


Michael R. Desparois




Michael Ray Desparois, 69, of Cove, died March 19 at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. A celebration of his life will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at the New Song Community Church. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Mike was born Jan. 1, 1943, in Portland to Kelsey Earl and June Eleanor (Miller) Desparois. He was raised in Portland where he attended Buckman Elementary and Washington High School. In the 1950s, Mike won a trip to San Francisco for selling the most newspaper subscriptions for the Oregonian. 

His first marriage was to Barbara Ella McSweeney. He married Jana M. Shearman in 1997.

Mike served his country in the United States Marine Corp from 1961 to 1966 during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Hawaii, Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan. He also was a participant in the Cuban Missile Crisis. After his honorable discharge, he served many years of meaningful employment in the Portland area working for Grand Metal Products, Pierce Freight Lines, General Tire and Garrett Freight Lines. He moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1975 where he was tire foreman on the Alaska pipeline. 

Afterward, he moved back to Portland where he was employed with Delta-McLean Truck Line. In the 1980s, he owned Five Star Tire Service in Portland. 

Mike was an inventor. He invented several pieces of tire equipment and holds one United States patent.

In 1996, he moved to the Grande Ronde Valley where he was employed with V1 Propane and Ed Staub and Sons. He was an independent ground contractor with Federal Express up until his death.

He served as umpire for the Union County Little League. In the 1980s, he was coach of the Potts Town Roamers volleyball team in Portland, and was awarded first place in “C” League. In the 1970s, he competed in the world championship Tire Rodeo in New York City and took third place. 

Mike was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He was a member of the American Legion and the National Rifle Association.

Mike is survived by his wife, Jana; his children, Timothy Desparois and his wife, Stephanie, of La Center, Wash., Barbara Mitzkowski of Portland, Ty Joseph Desparois of
La Grande, Michelle Gallaway of La Grande and Kevin Gallaway of Cove; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.




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