Obituaries for the day of March 27, 2012

By Observer Upload March 27, 2012 01:40 pm


Kaaen, Holum




Opal B. Kaaen

Formerly of La Grande



Opal Bernice Kaaen, 94, of Ontario and formerly of La Grande, died March 23 at a care center in Ontario.

A public viewing will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at Loveland Funeral Chapel. Private family funeral services will be held.

Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Opal was born Aug. 30, 1917, in Fort Gibson, Okla., to Joseph Willard Taylor and Jessie Viola White Taylor.

She grew up in Deary and Troy, Idaho, where she graduated from high school. Opal won a “silver slipper” for track and was crowned prom queen.

On March 5, 1939, she married LaVern Tillman Kaaen in St. Maries, Idaho.

They were married for 69 years until the death of LaVern in 2008.

Opal was a resident of La Grande for 54 years.

Before her marriage, Opal worked as a waitress in Lewiston, Idaho, and as a clerk in a hardware store in Troy. 

During World War II, she worked as a journeyman electrician in the Vancouver, Wash., shipyards.

She enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and traveling.

Her greatest enjoyment was being with her family. Opal was a member of Zion Lutheran Church. 

Her family says they’ll remember Opal as a “wonderful homemaker and the fastest huckleberry picker.”

Opal is survived by her two sons and their spouses, Wayne and Becky Kaaen of Dixie, Wash., and Dean and Beth Kaaen of Vale; 12 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren with two more great-grandchildren on the way.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to youth activities at Zion Lutheran Church, in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.


James M. Holum




James M. Holum, 84, died March 22 at his home in Enterprise. The memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Enterprise Christian Church, 207 E. Main St. in Enterprise.

James was born May 6, 1927, in Sacred Heart, Minn. He was the oldest of seven children born to Jens and Mable Holum. Jens was a widower and had seven older children as well.

James grew up in Sacred Heart on the family farm until the family moved to Oregon around 1943.

James joined the Army at the age of 18, and served from September 1945 through March 1947. He was stationed in Japan and Hawaii. 

After he was discharged, he married Marjorie Myra-Holum. James and Marjorie had five children; 14 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

James worked in the building construction trade in Clackamas County for many years until 1971 when they moved to Deschutes County, where he became a building inspector until he retired in 1992.

After retiring, James and Marjorie moved to Enterprise. 

James loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, camping and working in his yard.

He enjoyed spending as much time with his family as he could.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, OR 97239.


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. Both Daniels-Knopp and Loveland Funeral Chapel post unedited obituaries on their websites. The sites are and, respectively.