Obituaries for the day of May 31, 2012

By Observer Upload June 01, 2012 08:36 am
Owings, Zastrow, Beith, Currey, Erickson, Townsend




June 2 — Betty Beith, memorial service, 2 p.m., First Christian Church

June 5 — Donald Townsend, funeral service, 2 p.m., Elgin Christian Church



Gavyn Owings



Gavyn Owings, 20 months old, of Wallowa, died May 27. A service will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Assembly of God Church in Wallowa. Bollman Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.



John A. Zastrow



John Albert Zastrow, 88, of Cove, died May 30 at his home. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.


Betty Beith

La Grande



Betty LaVonne “Grammy” Beith, 74, of La Grande, died May 28 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Christian Church in La Grande. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of the arrangements.

Betty was born April 13, 1938, to James Walter and Opal “Elizabeth” (Gover) Shaver in Baker. She was raised in Lime until she was 5 years of age when the family moved to Baker where she graduated from high school. 

On April 22, 1956, she married Garry Dean Beith in Baker. They lived in Nebraska as well as Stanfield and Huntington in Oregon. She settled in La Grande in 1969. Garry preceded Betty in death in November of 1996.

Betty was a child care provider for many children over the years as well as a Sunday school teacher, a volunteer at Riveria School and a 4-H leader. She was a very active member of the First Christian Church and was a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, the Eagles Lodge, the VFW Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary.

She enjoyed crocheting and was known among people she knew for making baby booties. She loved making popcorn balls. She also enjoyed sewing and knitting. Those who knew her say she was a compassionate and supportive person who was always willing to help others.

Survivors include her children, Donald M. and Rosie Beith of La Grande, Deana and Jack Dalton of Granger, Wash., Dana Musgrove of La Grande and Bernice and Willard Hafer of La Grande; daughter-in-law, Kathleen Coles of Portland; 15 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by sister, Jeanie Ann Shaver; and son, Robert Coles.

Memorial contributions may be made to any public school library in care of the La Grande School District or First Christian Church in La Grande.


Leta L. Currey

Formerly of Elgin


Leta L. Currey, 46, of Pendleton and formerly of Elgin, died May 28 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Baker County. 

Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, 352 SE Second St. in Pendleton. Viewing will run from noon to 5 p.m. today at Burns Mortuary of Pendleton. 

Leta was born March 5, 1966, in Lewiston, Maine. Leta was the daughter of Donald Moulton and Jenny McLeod. She was raised and educated in Maine. 

In 1989 she moved to Elgin. She had worked with Headstart in Elgin as well as the Elgin Corner Market and D&B Supply in La Grande. She had also been a reserve police officer for the City of Elgin. 

She married James Currey on July 25, 1998, in Elgin. The couple moved to Pendleton in 2005. She worked for Verizon and the PGG store before she began working as a Transportation Security Administration officer for Homeland Security at the Pasco airport. 

She was the founder of the Northwest Iron Maiden women’s motorcycle riders and a member of Wife’s Behind The Badge, the H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) and the Elgin Methodist Church. She loved spending time with her family and grandchildren as well as knitting, crocheting, photography and gardening. She loved anything with the color purple. Her passion was riding her motorcycle. 

She is survived by her husband, James Currey in Pendleton; her five children, Dana Apling of Portland, Stephen Devoe of Pendleton, Isaac Bolduc of Portland, Rainer Bolduc of Yucca Valley, Calif., and India Hardy of La Grande; nine grandchildren; four sisters, Julie Shaw of North Carolina, Kelly Laircey of Texas, Elizabeth Donahue of North Carolina and Missy Rolerson of Maine; two brothers, Donald Moulton of North Carolina and Johnny Poulin of Maine; many nieces and nephews; uncle, Floyd McLeod; and aunt, Beth Prevost. 

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate, in care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, P.O. Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801. 

Sign the online guest book and send condolences at


Virginia L. Erickson

Formerly of La Grande



Virginia Lynne Erickson, 68, of Olalla, Wash., died peacefully April 28 in Bremerton, Wash., surrounded by her family after a courageous nine-year battle with ovarian cancer. Services were held May 11 at St. Nicholas Church in Gig Harbor, Wash. 

Graveside services will begin at 11 a.m. June 16 at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton. 

Lynne was born Aug. 1, 1943, to Betty V. and Thomas L. Faulkner in Yakima, Wash. The family moved to Pendleton then to La Grande where she graduated from La Grande High School in 1961.

Growing up in La Grande, Lynne was a saxophone player in the pep band and a member of the choir. She was a Union County fair maid one year. She said she built wonderful, lasting relationships with “the gals” in La Grande

In 1964, Lynne graduated from Yakima Junior College with her LPN. She enjoyed being a nurse at various hospitals and retirement centers.

Lynne married John J. Erickson on Sept. 7, 1963, in La Grande and lived in Yakima, Wash., until moving to Seattle. They eventually settled in Olalla to raise their children, Nichole and TJ.

Lynne was an active member of the community from being a Camp Fire leader to a member of the Seattle chapter of National Foundation of Ileitis and Colitis (now Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation). She owned Children’s Bear Essentials and The Dance Shop. She belonged to Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, Relay for Life, Soroptimist International of Port Orchard and Tacoma Orthopedic Association where she founded the Betty Faulkner Guild, named for her mother.

Lynne enjoyed volunteering for anything, baking, crafting, gardening, golfing and spending time with her grandsons, Alex and Noah. 

Her favorite hobby of all was RV’ing with John. She looked forward to attending the Pendleton Round Up every fall. Her favorite trip of all was seeing the national parks.

She loved spending time with her dog, Teke.

Lynne is survived by her loving husband, John of Olalla, Wash.; daughter, Nichole of Yakima, Wash.; son and daughter-in-law, TJ and Mei-Ling of Olalla, Wash.; two grandsons; uncle, Bud Hays of Shelton, Wash.; her brothers and sister-in-law, Jim and Kathi Erickson of Chehalis, Wash., and Don and Vicky Erickson of Yakima, Wash.; sister-in-law, Patty Haynes of Bremerton, Wash.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Lynne was proceeded in death by her parents, Tom and Betty Faulkner of La Grande; and grandparents, Harry and Maude Hays.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, 

P.O. Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109-1023 or call 206-667-6121. Those who donate
should reference Lynne Erickson.



Donald W. Townsend

Formerly of Elgin


Donald W. Townsend, 46, of Portland and formerly of Elgin, died May 26 at his home. A funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. June 5 at Elgin Christian Church. Interment will be at Elgin Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Donald was born Nov. 6, 1965, in Heppner to Donald Arthur Townsend and Joyce Isebell (Breeding) Townsend. When Donald was 4 years old, his family moved to Elgin where he grew up and attended school.

Donald served his country in the United States Marine Corps. His wife is Jeanette Elaine (Thompson) Townsend.

Donald is survived by his wife, Jeanette Townsend of Rainier; his father, Donald A. Townsend and his wife, Marilyn, of Elgin; his mother, Joyce Casebeer of La Grande; brother, Randy Townsend of La Grande; sister, Sandra Swearingen and her husband, Matt, of Sheridan; three half-brothers, Corey Breeding, Jimmy Townsend and Bradley Townsend; step-son, Dale R. Earlywine; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and many aunts and uncles.