Obituaries for the day of May 15, 2012

By Observer Upload May 15, 2012 02:52 pm
Gilstrap, Stone




May 19 — Orlander ‘Lee’ Jenkins, graveside service, 1 p.m., Hillcrest East Cemetery; gathering for family and friends to follow, 3 p.m., Jenkins home

June 30 — Rod and Jeanne Gilstrap, celebration of life ceremony, 1 to 4 p.m.; family presentation, 2 p.m., 69789 Antles Lane, Cove


Rod Gilstrap




Rod Gilstrap, 82, of Cove, died May 4. A combined celebration of life ceremony for Rod and his wife, Jeanne Scroggin Gilstrap, who died in January, will run from 1 to 4 p.m. June 30 at their home at 69789 Antles Lane in Cove. A family presentation will begin at  2 p.m.

Roderic Warren Gilstrap was born May 29, 1929, to Dr. Clarence Lee Gilstrap and Julia Hulse Gilstrap in La Grande. Rod grew up in La Grande and attended college at Oregon State in Corvallis where he became reacquainted with his childhood playmate, Jeanne Scroggin of Union. Rod and Jeanne married during college in 1949 and had their first daughter, Nancy.

After graduation from Oregon State, Rod was set to follow in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Clarence Gilstrap of La Grande. He received a master’s degree in psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Rod announced to Jeanne that he had joined the U.S. Marine Corps to become a naval aviator. This started a life of travel with their next child, Susan, being born in Pensacola, Fla., and then soon after, their first son, Ted, in El Toro, Calif. Rod was destined to fly airplanes and took a job with United Airlines in Denver, Colo., in August of 1956 where the couple’s youngest child, Warren, was born.

Rod was as interested in the welfare of his fellow pilots as he was in flying. He spent most of his aviation career working both in management and in leadership roles with the Air Line Pilots Association. He negotiated pilot contracts and worked on aeromedical and flight safety committees. Early in Rod’s career with United Airlines, he was selected to fly to Toulouse, France, to bring back United’s first Caravel Jet to begin United’s Mainliner Jet service. Jeanne accompanied Rod abroad on her first trip to France.

Rod and Jeanne lived in Washington, D.C., when Rod was first vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association. He took part in many of the U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings working to advance safety in the airline industry. After eight years in the nation’s capital, Rod was called to San Francisco to take a management position as chief pilot and became United’s director of the Pacific during United’s acquisition of Pan American’s Pacific Division. As director of the Pacific, Rod, along with Jeanne, flew United’s inaugural flight to Tokyo, and met dignitaries and heads of state in Beijing, Seoul, Auckland and Sydney. 

After 35 years of professional flying, Rod and Jeanne built their estate home in Cove overlooking the Grande Ronde Valley. Rod and Jeanne’s home site included 500 wine grape vines, which would be the beginning of the Gilstrap Brothers Vineyard and Winery. While Rod was planting and cultivating grapes with his sons, Jeanne was building flowerbeds and planting roses and other plants and trees that would flourish on their Cove hillside.

Preceding Rod in death was his sister, Diana Gilstrap Vickrey; his father and mother; and his wife, Jeanne.

Survivors are his brother, Dwight Gilstrap of La Grande; his daughter, Nancy Gilstrap Ream and her husband, Tom Ream, of Cordova, Tenn.; his daughter, Susan Gilstrap Olliffe and husband, Jake Olliffe, of Anacortes, Wash.; his son, Ted Gilstrap and wife, Pamela Reszel Gilstrap, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and his son, Warren Gilstrap of Cove; seven grandchildren; four nephews; and one niece.

In lieu of flowers, the Gilstrap family requests that donations be made to the Grande Ronde Hospice in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.


Jimmy L. Stone

La Grande



Jimmy Louis Stone, 72, of La Grande, died May 9 at his home. Public service details will be announced later. Those who wish may sign the online guestbook or leave a message for the family at

Jimmy was born Oct. 5, 1939, the son of Wilson and Esther Juanita (Collie) Stone in Firebaugh, Calif. The family moved to La Grande in 1944. For a year in high school he went back to California and played on a successful baseball team. He returned to La Grande to graduate with the Class of 1958. 

On 1971, he married Mary Evers. That marriage later ended in divorce. 

He worked in the construction business and as a truck driver in Portland and Hermiston before returning to La Grande. He was a member of the National Guard for many years and was also a member of the American Legion.

Those who knew him say he was very handy at carpentry and loved doing it. His loves were his boys and grandkids. He enjoyed horses, hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his sons, Paul Stone of Beaverton and Jimmy Stone of Sisters; step-daughter, Julie Wray of Bend; three grandchildren; brother, Dean Stone of La Grande; half-sister, Betty Davis of Depoe Bay; step-sister, Donna Satran of Redding, Calif.; numerous nieces and nephews; and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Bobby Stone; step-son, Steve Rudd; and step-brother, Bobby Medred.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association in care of Daniels-Knopp, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande, OR 97850.


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.