Obituaries for the day of April 10, 2012

By Observer Upload April 10, 2012 12:44 pm
Hansen, Kilgore, Elton




April 14 — Juanita Fitzpatrick, celebration of life, 2 p.m., Elgin Stampede Hall; reception follows



Dwayne Hansen



Dwayne Hansen, 33, of Cove, died April 9 of natural causes at his residence. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.



Ruth L. Kilgore

Formerly of La Grande



Ruth Louise Kilgore, 96, of Enterprise and formerly of La Grande, died April 7 at a nursing care center in Enterprise. No services are planned at this time. Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Ruth was born Jan. 31, 1916, in Humboldt, Iowa, to George and Kathryn (Shaffer) Steigerwalt. Ruth’s younger brother was born before the family moved to Emmett, Idaho, where Ruth attended grade school. Her mother died in 1928 and after her father’s death in 1932, an aunt and uncle provided a home for the two teenagers in Payette, Idaho, where Ruth graduated from high school. 

After graduation, she received nurses training in Baker City, eventually becoming certified as a licensed practical nurse.

Ruth married James G. Smith on Feb. 27, 1937. They had a daughter and a son. After their divorce, Ruth moved to La Grande with her children. On Jan. 31, 1944, she married Glen E. Kilgore. Ruth worked at St. Joseph Hospital as an LPN. She enjoyed the maternity night shift where the new mothers named her the “midnight angel.”

Her youngest son, Donald Kilgore, died in an automobile accident in 1968. Ruth decided to take an early retirement from St. Joseph Hospital to join her husband when his job transferred him to Portland. In 1972, a grandson, William Armstead, died of cancer. After her husband’s retirement, they moved back to La Grande.

Those who knew Ruth say she was an intellect and an avid reader. She enjoyed playing the piano for personal enjoyment and always maintained a garden and orchard. In 2005, Ruth moved to Wallowa County to be near her son, Jim, and his extended family.

Her husband, Glen E. Kilgore, died in 1988. Ruth’s brother, Victor Steigerwalt, died in 1995. She was also preceded in death by her parents; son, Donald Kilgore; and grandson, William Armstead.

Ruth is survived by her daughter, Diane Armstead of Longview, Wash.; son, James W. Kilgore and his wife, Ernestine, of Enterprise; six grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews.


Alice Lee Elton

Formerly of La Grande



Alice Lee (Keyzers) Elton, 87, formerly of La Grande, died Feb. 6. Her memorial will begin at 10 a.m. April 14 at the Assembly of God Church in Umatilla. Burial will be held later. 

She was born Sept. 8, 1924, to Millard and Lida (Williams) Keysers in McCormick, Wash. She was raised with her older sister, June (Robillard) in Yakima. She had said her ancestors helped to settle the Nile Valley. 

In 1943, she met and married Fredrick Elton and they had three daughters. In 1978, they moved to Union when Fred was transferred to the PGE offices in La Grande. A year later, they moved in to La Grande proper and remained there until 1988. During this time, she worked for Sullivan’s Music, the Diet Center and Certified Personnel Services. 

Upon Fred’s retirement, they moved to Umatilla, until he preceded her in death in 1991. They were married 48 years.

She lived in the Tri-Cities area since the death of her husband. During her lifetime, she was a meat wrapper and homemaker. She worked for the Benton County Auditors office and was active in the Democratic Party.

She loved music, especially if it came from her kids. She enjoyed dancing and laughter. Her family was very important to her. 

She is survived by her daughters, Lin, Judy and Sarah; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and other family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the McKay Preschool where Alice often volunteered.


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.