Obituaries for Aug. 15, 2012

By Observer Upload August 15, 2012 02:23 pm

Steven Lanxon

formerly of La Grande



Steven Ray Lanxon, 51, of Dallas, died on Aug. 8. He was born on May 19, 1961 in Portland to James and Dorothy Lanxon. He graduated from high shool and attended Mt. Hood Community College and Eastern Oregon University. He served his country during Desert Storm and was honorably discharged. 

He married Diane Omnes and had one daughter, Danielle. Lanzon was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed the times they traveled to Alaska and the years they spent living in eastern Oregon. He loved hunting, fishing and camping. He treasured the memories of hunting with his grandpa. 

He is survived by his wife, Diane Lanxon and his daughter, Danielle Lanxon, both of Dallas. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Lanxon and his uncle Bob Burger. 

At his request, the family will hold a private service. Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be left at 

Carol Berry

Formerly of La Grande



Carol Ruth Berry, formerly of La Grande, died Sunday, Aug. 12, at a care facility in Anchorage, Alaska from an extended illness.

Berry was born Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1930 to William Sherman Shinsel and Vernal Ruth (Pate) Shinsel in Calpet, Wyo.

She attended grade school in Seattle until her family moved to La Grande in 1945. She graduated from La Grande High School in 1949.

After high school, Berry graduated from Portland Nursing School with a nursing degree in 1952.

On March 26, 1953 Carol married Robert Merton Berry at the Logan Latter-day Saint temple.

She worked as a nurse at Madigan Military Hospital at Fort Lewis during the Korean War while Bob Berry was in the military.

Berry lived in Washington, Utah, La Grande, and in 1958 moved to Alaska where they built a home near Delta Junction and raised their family.

Berry loved their time in Alaska. She loved the beautiful mountains and wildlife.

Berry was a hard worker and very talented. She was always at Bob’s side – clearing land, planting or harvesting crops, hunting and fishing and even helping build homes for their family. She was a skilled hunter.

Berry loved her roles as wife, mother, and homemaker. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, and making wedding cakes for family and friends.

Berry was active in many church callings. She served a mission with her husband for the LDS church in Cape Verde Islands, Africa for 18 months.

Berry was preceded in death by her parents, and her infant daughter, Crystal Kay, infant twin brothers Max and Rex, and older brother, S. Ray Shinsel.

Carol is survived by her husband of 59 years, Robert (Bob) Merton Berry, sons Robert Sherman of Atwater, Calif., Loren of Anderson, Alaska, a daughter Bonita Yeoman and husband Allan of Rexburg, Idaho, sons Clinton of Anderson, Alaska, Curtis and wife Niki of Moose Pass, Alaska, Vernal and wife Twila of Nikiski, Alaska and Goldyn Scott and wife Erika of Salcha, Alaska, as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Sisters, Joyce Ford (Charles) of Florida, Glenda Stallings of Nevada, Kay Newman (Dave) of California and Brother Vic Shinsel (Maxine) of La Grande.

A funeral for family and friends will be held in Soldotna, Alaska, Thursday Aug. 16 at 4:30 p.m.

There will be a graveside service and interment at the Island City Cemetery, Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. Online condolences to the family may be made at Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. 

Julia Gilbert

formerly of La Grande



Julia (DeFries) Gilbert died peacefully at her home in Rainier, Wash., with her family present on June 23. 

Gilbert was born in La Grande on April 15, 1935. She grew up in La Grande and graduated from La Grande High School. She married her husband Jay Gilbert on Dec. 16, 1955. 

She is survived by her husband Jay Gilbert of 54 years; four daughters, Kimberly Gilbert, Cindy Boll, Sandra Gilbert and Leila Gilbert; brother Charles DeFries; sisters Helen Kenneda, Nadine Wood, Lois Henderson, Patricia Sansburn, of Eugene, Donna Weber, of Eugene, Mrytle Halley, of Kansas City, Mo., Reba Moore, of Athena, Frieda Beach, of Hermiston, Roxa Isitl, of Bullhead City, Ariz., Joyce Walker, of Yakima, Wash., Morchette Crook, of Rainier, Wash., Barbara Ackerman of Hermiston. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Teresa and John DeFries, brothers John Defries and Delbert Defries and sisters Wanda Allison and Julia.  

Shirley Louise Durfee

formerly of Elgin



Shirley Louise Durfee, formerly of Elgin, died on July 23, in Pendleton. She was 80 years old. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 11 a.m. at Elgin Christian Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cove Christian Camp in care of the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862. 

Durfee was born on April 24, 1932, the daughter of John “Jack” and Ruby Brooks Pesheck in Dickinson, N.D. She was the youngest of three brothers and four sisters. She lived with her family on the cattle ranch they owned in the badlands of south western North Dakota. In 1937, she moved with her family to a vegetable farm two miles north of Albany, where her family raised carrots, corn, sugar beets for seed, red beets, cucumbers and mint. She worked on her farm, as well as neighboring farms, hoeing in the mint fields and picking strawberries. The hard work increased when her three brothers left the farm to join the army during World War II. 

She went to a two-room school in her elementary years and to Albany High School where she graduated in June, 1950. She met Dale Durfee, who was in the Army Air Corps and stationed in Tacoma, Wash. They married on July 1, 1950. 

The couple lived in Albany where all five of their sons were born. In 1967 they moved to Athena. In 1969, they moved their family to Elgin where Dale worked as a millwright until his retirement in 1992. 

Shirley worked at Bob’s Market in Elgin as a grocery clerk. She later graduated from La Grande Business College and worked as a receptionist and secretary at the First State Bank of Elgin. Her husband died in 1999. Durfee was a member and past president of the Pythian Sisters and a longtime member of the Elgin Christian Church. She enjoyed yard sales, camping, gardening, walking, crocheting and loved to laugh with her family and friends. 

Survivors include her children, Stan (Cindy) Durfee, Tigard, Delbert (Kayla) Durfee, of Athena, Doug (Patti) Durfee, Ed (Sharee Henderson) Durfee, of Elgin; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brothers Bob (Phyllis) Pesheck, of Lake Tahoe, Calif., Don (Mary) Pesheck, of Lebanon; sisters Marion (Stan) True, of Albany, Beverly Santo, of Camp Verde, Ariz., and brother-in-law Herb Schlappi of Seaside. 

Her parents, infant son Steven, sister Jean Schlappi, brother Darrell Pesheck, sister-in-law Mary Pesheck and brother-in-law Talbot Sanot all preceded her in death. 

Barbara J. Hansen

Island City


Barbara J. Hansen, 78, of Island City, died at Grande Ronde Hospital on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. A full obituary will be published at a later date. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.