Obituaries for the day of May 28, 2012

By Observer Upload May 29, 2012 11:44 am
Dunning, Morgan



John ‘Jack’ Walter Dunning

La Grande



John W. “Jack” Dunning was born in Jersey City, N.J., on Dec. 26, 1943, and died May 20 at Kadlec Hospital, Richland, Wash.

A Rosary will be said at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande at 6 p.m. on Thursday. A funeral mass in honor of Jack will take place at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church at 2 p.m. Friday, followed by a reception at Our Lady of the Valley Parish Hall. Burial will take place at Hillcrest East Cemetery, La Grande.

Friends are invited to sign the online guest book at

Jack was the oldest of three children born to Mildred (Oddo) and Gilbert Dunning.  His parents were Roman Catholics and sent Jack to parochial schools. Jack excelled in his studies and became an altar boy, serving God each week. Gilbert Dunning was a career Marine and often took Jack to the firing range, which began his love for target practice and hunting. During Jack’s younger years, the Marine Corp moved the Dunning family from New Jersey to Jacksonville, Fla.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Memphis, Tenn. The family settled in Santa Monica, Calif., following Gilbert’s retirement from the armed services. 

Dunning’s love for fishing and the outdoors began at an early age. He often told stories of his “Tom Sawyer” days spent on his “little tin boat” fishing catfish in the Southern waters.

He also loved sports and added baseball to his favorite pastimes. Jack quickly became the star pitcher on Catholic High’s state championship baseball team. He received a baseball scholarship to the University of Tennessee following high school graduation and for a short time attended UT. 

In 1964, Dunning met his bride to be, Kathleen Farr, and soon thereafter was married. They made their home in Brookings Harbor and the following year were blessed with a daughter, Trisha. Three years later a second daughter, Tammie, was born. Their home was full of activities and the young family enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fishing, boating, raising and showing Labrador retrievers and working to tame Trisha’s pony. 

Dunning’s job with General Telephone & Electronics Corp. took him to many parts of the Pacific Northwest, and in 1980 the family settled in La Grande.

Dunning loved to take his young family camping every summer to Central Oregon. One of their favorite spots was “Cow Camp.” Camping, hunting, fishing, boating, and spending time with his family was an important part of who Dunning was. Dunning retired from GTE after 30 years of service, and he and Kathy settled into a busy but relaxing retirement life. 

From his retirement, he was reborn. Always the outdoorsman and devote Catholic, he was then able to pursue these interests full time. And that he did with a vigor and vitality that was truly wonderful, family members said. 

Dunning was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church and was active on the executive board as well as supported various church projects. The parish was lucky to get a volunteer who could fix anything and would help whenever needed, family members said. 

Dunning was proud to be in the Knights of Columbus. He loved the fellowship and helping with the projects.

He loved the valley and retirement afforded them the luxury of spending more time exploring the hills and streams, cruising Alaska and reacquainting himself with various parts of the eastern and southern United States.

But tragedy struck the family in 2005 when Kathy died. Jack’s life would forever feel the void and miss the smile, laughter and joy she brought to his life, family members said. 

Dunning filled his days fishing and hunting and working wildfires around the country. But his greatest joy was in the time spent with family watching his grandchildren’s sporting events: football, softball, basketball; and supporting their individual endeavors, whether at the Union County Fair or at a game. He could often be found with his perpetual camera capturing the moments only to share them later with anyone who would take a minute to listen to his recaps and view his photos. 

Following daily mass, he could be found with his close friends sharing the highlights of the games and voicing his opinions on the various roundtable topics. He could often be found at a mountain lake on his quest for the elusive trout, or showing a family friend or small child the joy of catching their first fish. 

In 2010, Dunning met Dianne Jackson and recently planned to begin again with a new life in Prosser, Wash. The couple purchased a country home on the Yakima River, and Dunning was looking forward to spending his next 20 years growing old together, watching the Canada geese land on the river, surrounded by family, and teaching their youngest grandchildren the joys of fishing. He will be sorely missed, family members said. 

Survivors include mother, Mildred Dunning of Montgomery, Ala.; children, Trish and Rich McDaniel and their children, Dalton, Wesley and Jessica of Summerville; and Tammie and Mike McDaniel and their daughter, Haley of Osburn, Idaho; sister Darlene and brother-in-law John Munson of Montgomery, Alabama; and Mildred Ann (Tiger) and brother-in-law Cam Gilbert of Montgomery. His father preceded him in death in 1991.

Memorials be made to Our Lady of the Valley, Marian Academy directly through Daniels-Knopp, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande OR 97850.



Lola Morgan

La Grande



Lola Marie Morgan, 97, of La Grande and formerly of Union, died May 17 at a local care facility. A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the La Grande Post Acute Rehab Center, 91 Aries Lane in La Grande. Those who wish to help the family with expenses may make contributions to the LG Post Acute Rehab. Center or the son, Merv Kline, in care of the nursing home.

Lola was born on Aug. 15, 1914, the daughter of Mack and Margaret (Palmer) White in Sulphur, Okla. She married H. Lloyd Kline in Sulphur, and they came to Oregon in 1937. They returned to Oklahoma for a few years before returning to Oregon. She worked as a nurse’s aide at the old Grande Ronde Hospital.

He preceded her in death.

She later married Willard Morgan, and he also preceded her in death.

She enjoyed bird watching and getting out into the mountains, mushrooming and picking berries.

Survivors include her children, Emmett and Joyce Kline of Salem and Mervin Kline of La Grande; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and other relatives. 

She was preceded in death by her son, Donald Kline, and brother and sister-in-law, Everett and Lucille White and daughter-in-law, Glenda Kline.


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.