Obituaries for June 29, 2012

By Observer Upload June 29, 2012 12:33 pm

Eva Dockweiler



Eva Dockweiler, 95, of Union died May 24 at her residence.

A celebration of her life will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Baker City Christian Church. There will be a reception at the church fellowship hall following the service.

Gray’s West & Co. is in charge of arrangements.

Leora Simmons




Leora Ruby Simmons, 87, a lifetime resident of Cove, died June 18 at the Grande Ronde Hospital.

A celebration of life took place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande. Committal and interment will follow at the Cove Cemetery. 

Those who wish may make contributions to the Cove Senior Meals in care of the Cove Baptist Church or Daniels-Knopp.  To sign the on-line guestbook visit

Leora was born on Feb. 24, 1925, the daughter of Roy and Frankie Delia(Ross) Alexander in High Valley. She attended grade school in High Valley and then Cove High School. In 1942 she married Lloyd Murchison in La Grande. 

They lived and farmed in the High Valley area where they raised their two children.  He preceded her in death in 1971. She later married Weldon Simmons, and he also preceded her in death in 2000. 

She was a member of the Mount Fanny Grange and the Cove Sportsman Club.  She was a homemaker and enjoyed taking care of her lawn. 

She enjoyed cooking and was well known for her pies.  She raised vegetable and fruit which she preserved for winter and family. She hosted many holiday dinners and gathering for family.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Delia and Tom Bowman of La Grande and James and Debbie Murchison of Cove; siblings and their spouses, Harry and Mia Alexander of Union and Arizona, Shirley and Dave Fields of Cove and Betty and LaVern Brant of Bend; sister-in-law, Shirley Alexander of Union; six grandchildren; fourteen great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews and other relatives. She was preceded in death by brothers, Virgil, Ken and Ray Alexander. 

William Robert Gale

Formerly of Union



William Robert Gale died Nov. 25, 2011, at his home in Hood River.

A celebration of life for friends and family will be held at the Hood River Inn in the Gorge Room July 8 from 2 to 5 p.m.

He was born Oct. 4, 1923, to Donald Robert Gale and Miskell Bloom Gale in Union. He was born in the house his father was born in, which was built by his grandfather and great-uncle.

He grew up in Union and graduated from Union High School, where he was active in sports, (football, track and field, and Golden Gloves boxing) and FFA.

Bill won a Union Pacific scholarship to Oregon State University, but gave it up when he was drafted into World War II. He joined the 10th Mountain Division, the famous “soldiers on skis,” and trained at Camp Hale in Colorado. He was a staff sergeant and was awarded the Bronze Star.

After the war he attended Oregon State University, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, and graduated with a bachelors degree in horticulture in 1950.

Upon graduation he moved to Hood River and worked for Food Machinery Corp., Niagra Chemical Division as a field manager. In 1951 he married Margie Carolyn Bryan. They had a daughter, Kathleen, and a son, Robert. Bill and Margie purchased the farm on Dethman Ridge where he lived the rest of his life. Margie died in 1964. Bill married Francis Yayoi Sono in 1966. They had a daughter, Stephanie.

Bill was active in Crag Rats, serving as Big Squeak in 1959; Pine Grove Fire Dept.; the Hood River Elks, American Legion, and JACL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister Donna. He is survived by his wife, Francis, three children, Kathleen (Don Morris) of Corvallis, Robert of Seattle, and Stephanie (Tom McKnight) of Hood River; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren (Isaac and Mahina Morris of Spokane).

Memorials may be made to a charity of choice.

George Edward Blanton

formerly of La Grande



George Edward Blanton died June 18, 2012 in McMinnville. He was born Nov. 11, 1933 to Buster and Bernice Blanton.

He married Gayle Gruis on Oct. 21, 1955. They had three daughters, Kathy, Becky, and Debbie. Ed  was preceded in death by the love of his life “Gayle” and niece Terri Ann Gowins. He is survived by daughters Kathy Holmes, Becky Echauri, and Debbie Phillips, and sister Nadine Gowins.

Ed was an avid hunter and spent his whole life with “his girls.” He lived in La Grande his entire life until the last two years when he moved to McMinnville to be close to his daughter Becky. He was her “superhero” and will be greatly missed.

A private memorial will be held at a later date. To leave online condolences for the family, please visit 

Christine Marie Kohl




Christine Marie Kohl, 50, of Union, died at her residence June 26. A “casual dress” Celebration of the Life of Christine will be Sunday July 8 at 1 p.m. at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Clubhouse in Union followed by a potluck dinner. For information about the potluck dinner, please call Kim Brock at 541-519-0311.

Christine was born May 15, 1962 in Yreka, Calif., to her parents Kenny Fox and Alice Margurite (Bunce) Fox. She grew up in Bremerton before her family moved to Baker City at the age of 12. She graduated from Baker High School. 

Christine enlisted in the Air Force and after serving her country, received an honorable discharge.  She continued her education at Eastern Oregon University.

At this time she met Johnny Kohl and they were married on June 18, 1988. 

Christine put her education on hold while she raised her family. It was not until a few years ago that she went back to complete her education. 

With hard work and the proud support of her family, Christine graduated Suma Cum Laude from Eastern Oregon University in 2009 with a bachelor’s of science degree in Sociology.

Christine was employed by the United States Forest Service from 1989 to 2008, serving as a dispatcher and then as an administrative assistant. In her earlier years she worked at the Baker City Co-op and was a 4-H leader. She was educated the practice of Reiki energy healing and achieved fourth level Reiki Master Teacher. 

Christine was active in Wings and served as a True Colors Counselor. 

Her best and most enthusiastic support was reserved for her son Haiden and his Union High School cross country team. She attended every meet with her support. 

Christine loved gardening and her flowers.

She enjoyed canning and sewing for her family.

Christine is survived by her husband Johnny; two children, Haiden Kohl of La Grande and Tyger Ricard of Portland; her mother, Alice Saul of Baker City; her siblings  Kenny H. (Lori) Fox of Haines; Clifford L. (Kathy) Fox of North Powder; A. Kathy (Tracy) Moss of Prairie City; Billy (Arlene) Saul of Baker City; Kim (Wes) Brock of Baker City; one grandchild Tital Bailey of Portland; Aunt Vicky Culver of Washington; Uncle George Bunce of Indiana; and nine nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father Kenny H. Fox Sr., her dad Roy R. Saul; Grandmother Alice Bunce and Grandfather Ken Bunce.

Memorial contributions in memory of Christine may be made to the Wings True Colors Scholarship Fund, in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Marilyn Jean Wylam

La Grande



Marilyn Jean Wylam died June 26 in Salem.  Marilyn was born in Centralia, Wash., on June 9, 1928, to Jay and Vernetta Southworth.  She married Robert Wylam on Feb. 15, 1947.  Bob and Marilyn lived in Puyallup, Wash., until moving to La Grande, where Bob took a job at Hand Ford Sales in 1957. 

Marilyn loved her home at 1812 Walnut St. where she and Bob raised their two sons.

Her husband, Robert, died in July of 1993.  Marilyn is a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.  Marilyn was a wonderful mother and homemaker. 

She maintained her home beautifully, loved her flower gardens, and time with her two sons, her eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Marilyn was blessed to spend the last four weeks of her life surrounded by all of her family.  Marilyn is survived by her sons Jay and Doug  Jay and his wife Ann live in Salem. Jay and Ann have four children; Holly, Benjamin, Dustin and Emmett.  Doug and his wife Kerrie, live in Roseburg.  They also have four children; Brent, Brooke, Alexa and Joel. 

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Grandview Cemetery.  Friends and family are also invited to share stories and a “Toast to Marilyn” from 3 to 5 p.m. at the La Grande Country Club.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Marian Academy of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR. Condolences to the family may be made at 

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.