Obituaries for the day of June 6, 2012

By Observer Upload June 06, 2012 12:52 pm
Ault, Curtis, Fairall, Lawson, Tarvin




Dale W. Ault Sr.




Dale Willard Ault Sr. , 71, of Richland, died May 19 at Settlers Park Assisted Living Facility in Baker City. A celebration of Dale’s life as well as a fish fry is set for June 23 at noon at the Richland Community Park.

Dale was born May 16, 1941, in Spokane, Wash., to Willard and Irene (Foland) Bradley. He was raised by Stan Ault.

In his early years, Dale went to work in Kellogg, Idaho, in the silver mines. In his mid-30s, he hurt his back. It was then that he went to school in Klamath Falls at the Oregon Institute of Technology. Dale graduated with a degree in medical technology. Following school, he went to work at the Fourth Street clinic in La Grande. He then went to Enterprise Hospital, the Burns Hospital and to Dayton, Wash. He retired from Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day.

His son, Dale Jr., was born in 1974.

Dale loved to hunt in his earlier days and fishing was the ultimate hobby for him. He loved riding motorcycles and for a short time, he had a pilot’s license.

On July 15, 1990, he married Della Weeks at the Trees of Mystery in Northern California. After retirement, he and Della spent winters in Quartzite, Ariz., and his summers at Port Orford. 

Those who knew Dale say he was a friendly and loving man. 

Dale and Della made their retirement home in Richland. They were very involved with the Eagle Valley Grange and said they loved the community and the people.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

Dale is survived by his wife, Della; son, Dale Ault Jr. and wife, Sarah; three grandchildren; step-son, Dale Palmer Jr. and wife, Kathy; sisters, Gerrie Skewis and Connie Thorsell; and several cousins. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the wildflower site that welcomes visitors to Richland in care of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home P.O. Box 543 Halfway, OR 97834.



John Curtis

Formerly of Union



John Arthur Curtis, 84, of Harrisburg and formerly of Union, died June 1 of complications from kidney failure. Private burial will be held at Alford Cemetery in Harrisburg. Murphy-Musgrove Funeral Home in Junction City is in charge of the arrangements.

He was born March 18, 1928, in Harrisburg to Chester and Della Tandy Curtis. 

He married Dolores Peterson on June 10, 1949, in Junction City.

He was a heavy equipment operator, heavy construction worker, farmer and rancher.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores; two sons, Jack of Troutdale and David of Harrisburg; a daughter, Laurie Gay Seale of Union; a brother, Charles of Harrisburg; a sister, Elnora Malpass of Eugene; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Randall, in October 1992.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cascade Hospice or Harrisburg Odd Fellows Lodge. 



Jennifer Anne Fairall




Jennifer Anne Fairall, 46, of Union, died April 28 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. A memorial gathering in Jennifer’s honor will be held at a later date.

Jennifer was born June 3, 1965, in Portland. She attended elementary school in Portland and Springfield and graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in Portland in 1983. 

She was employed as a medical transcriptionist at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande until her illness became disabling.

She is survived by her parents, Jean and Larry Albrich; two children, Bethany Staten Moffatt and Chase Fairall; two brothers, Ralph Albrich and Adrian Albrich; a niece and a nephew; and other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to an Oregon 529 College Savings Plan for Christian Chase Fairall, Account No. 211091, in care of Jean Albrich, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it





H. Lorene Lawson




H. Lorene Lawson, 83, of Enterprise, died May 25 at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. A service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Bollman Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Enterprise Cemetery.

She was born Jan. 12, 1929, to Jessie and Lena Peete in Bertrand, Mo. 

She married Bob Lee Lawson in 1944. Lorene was a stay-home mom.

She was a member of the Nazarene church. 

She enjoyed oil painting and was interested in politics.

Survivors are her sons, Danny Lee Lawson of Enterprise and Steven James Lawson of Molalla; and daughter, Sharon Rose of Molalla.




Frances Tarvin

La Grande



Frances Tarvin, 92, of La Grande and formerly of Baker City, died June 1 at her home at Grande Ronde Retirement Residence in La Grande. A memorial service will be arranged for a later date. Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center is in charge of the arrangements.

Frances Dale Runft Tarvin was born in Herington, Kan., on Nov. 1, 1919. She was the youngest of six children born to Jacob and Pearl L. (DeWeese) Runft. Frances’ grandfather and father owned a general store in Hays, Kan. One of her favorite stories was about the day the infamous Dalton Gang arrived while her father was closing the store. He told them he was leaving and to “help themselves.” When he returned in the morning, he found a list of items taken and money on the counter. When Frances was 19 years old, the family moved to Baker City where her father worked for Basche-Sage Hardware.

Frances’ first job was working as a nanny in Auburn and then in Bridgeport, where she met her future husband, Chelmer A. Tarvin. They were married in Weiser, Idaho, on Sept. 13, 1941. Their first home was in La Grande, where Chelmer worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. Shortly after the birth of their first son, the Union Pacific transferred Chelmer to Baker City. They stayed in Baker City until 1946 and then moved to Hereford in the Burnt River Valley area to ranch for the next 20 years. They lived the rest of their married life in Baker City. Chelmer died July 9, 1991.

Frances drove cattle trucks across the windy and crooked road over Dooley Mountain to Baker. She said she would never forget the day she came around a corner upon a logging truck accident. The men attempting to move the log truck were instructed to hold traffic, but when they saw who was driving they called out, “It’s a woman driver, don’t try to stop her.” 

Frances centered her life around her family. She said “our homes were always full of love and open to friends.” She was involved in the community and schools, and was a member of the Christian Church in Baker City. Frances and Chelmer loved to square dance. Eventually Chelmer became a caller to the dances. She particularly enjoyed transporting her sons’ fellow grade school and high school students to sporting events. All her life, and even up to a few days before her death, she loved to play card and board games with everyone, but especially with her children and grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; siblings, Leland, Donald, Everett, Lyle and Gladys (Burdett); and three grandchildren. She is survived by her sons, Clinton I. and Kathy of La Grande, Clifford A. and Chris of Waitsburg, Wash., and Darrell C. and Karen of Mesa, Wash.; 11 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Grande Ronde Hospital Hospice or the American Cancer Society.


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