Obituaries for October 24, 2012

By Observer Upload October 24, 2012 02:10 pm
Davis, Gafford, O'Mohundro, Scott, Owen, Schwarz, Thomas, Williamson, Wray



Fern Davis




Fern Davis, 87, of Elgin, died Oct. 19 at a local care facility. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 10 at the Elgin Methodist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Loveland Funeral Chapel of La Grande.

Fern was born July 22, 1925, in Union, Iowa, to Harold and Ethel (Dillon) Clark. 

She went to school and graduated in Iowa. 

She married Harry Davis, and they were married for 68 years.

Fern enjoyed doing crafts, playing the piano, crocheting and attending performances at the Elgin Opera House. She was a member of the Elgin Methodist Church and the Elgin Home Extension program.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her husband, Harry Davis of La Grande; children and their spouses, Kathy and Bill Lane of Pittsburgh, Penn., Linda Davis and Jim Rueff of Chimacum, Wash., Jeanne and Bryan Yeager of Elgin and Mike and Laurie Davis of Beaverton; sisters and brothers-in-law, Barbara and Paul Gentile of Leo, Ind., and Lynn and Bruce Norton of Seneca, S.C.; and seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.



Wendi D. Gafford

Formerly of Elgin


Wendi Dawn (Bonney) Gafford, 48, formerly of Elgin, died Oct. 8 at OHSU in Portland after a battle with cancer. A celebration of life will begin at 1 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Faith Center Church in Vancouver, Wash., 10702 NE 117th Ave.



Lee Roy O’Mohundro

La Grande


Lee Roy O’Mohundro, 58, of La Grande, died Oct. 22 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash. Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.



Esther P. Scott



Esther Pauline Scott, 90, of Wallowa, died Oct. 22. A funeral service is planned for 1 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Wallowa Christian Church. A complete obituary will be published at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Bollman Funeral Home of Enterprise.



Harry L. Owen

La Grande



Harry Lane Owen, 94, of La Grande and formerly of Baker City, died Oct. 21 at his home. Viewing for family and friends will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the La Grande Church of Christ. Committal and interment will follow at the Grandview Cemetery.

Harry was born March 23, 1918, to Harry A. and Bertha Mae (Allen) Owen in College Place, Wash., and was raised in Weston. In 1939 he married Murl Farrens. 

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 until his honorable discharge in 1946.

Harry worked in many small sawmills in Oregon, including mills in Monument, Long Creek and Ritter. He later was a custodian for the Prineville School District, then moved to Federal Way and managed apartments.

His first wife preceded him in death. 

He moved to Baker City and there he married Hannah Brown on June 19, 1999.In 2006 they moved to La Grande.

Harry was a devoted member of the Church of Christ in Federal Way and in La Grande. He served as an elder for 15 years. He enjoyed fishing and RVing.

He was preceded in death by his first wife and one brother and two sisters.

Survivors include his wife, Hannah Owen of La Grande; children, Karen Joyce Williams of Bartlesville, Okla., and Jerry Keith Owen of Lakeview; five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kibo Group or the GRH Hospice in care of Daniels~Knopp, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.




Littia May Schwarz

La Grande



Littia May Schwarz, 16, of La Grande passed away on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

Littia was born in Kennewick, WA, on April 24, 1996.  Littia was raised by her grandparents, Janet Hume-Schwarz and Lyle Schwarz.  Her parents are Jeff Bohnenkamp of Portland, OR and Christine Reveal of Birmingham, AL.

Littia attended Cove Kindergarten, Union Elementary, Grande Ronde Academy, La Grande High School and was currently enrolled in Oregon Connections Academy.

She loved little children and was so proud to be employed at Mountain Valley Fitness and Health in the child watch center.  She also worked at the Potter’s House Gallery and Gift Boutique as a web photographer and staff member.

Littia was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Union, OR.  She also worked as a volunteer at the Union County Fair and served at American Legion Auxiliary meals.  Her pet project was creating special Christmas trees for Mount Emily Safe Center.  Last year it was a purple themed tree.  This year, she wanted a rainbow themed tree. Children at the center took her ornaments and decorations home as a special treat during Christmas time.

Littia was known for her caring and giving personality.  

Her friends included small children, her peers and she even touched the hearts of older folks.  One of her acts of love for her Great grandfather Henry was to sneak in Oreo cookies at the Alzheimer’s nursing home in Olympia, WA.

Skateboarding was one of Littia’s newest interests.  She simply loved the challenge of improving her strength and skills.  She had also competed with the La Grande Swim Club since elementary school admiring and working with her mentors and coaches.  She played piano since first grade and longed to play her Grandpa Andy’s guitar.

Littia read a lot, nonfiction and stories.  She wrote poetry and worked hard on school work.  Two days before she passed, she happily struggled with her grandfather on Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.”  She traveled extensively and as often as she could.  From the first thrilling plane ride at age five to Disneyland, to the final car trip with her grandparents to Yellowstone, she squeezed a lifetime of adventure in her life.  She loved Paris, but had a special place in her heart for Amsterdam and Anne Frank’s home.  “The Diary of Anne Frank” at La Grande High School was a very moving experience for her.  Littia’s favorite place to visit was the Egyptian Rooms at the British Museum in London.  It was hard to pry her away from there once she saw and the history of mummies and old culture on the Nile.

She is survived by her grandparents, Lyle Schwarz and Janet Hume-Schwarz, her father Jeff Bohnenkamp of Portland, OR, her mother, Christine Reveal, and half-sister, Harleigh Reveal, of Birmingham, AL.  Grandmother Laurie McCain of Portland, OR, Great grandparents George and Betty Bohnenkamp of Boise, ID, Aunt Jill VanNattan and cousin Austen VanNattan of Portland, OR.  She is also survived by numerous relatives including great aunts, great uncles and cousins

There will be a Rosary on Friday, October 26, 2012 from 6:00-6:15pm followed by a gathering until 8:00pm at Loveland Funeral Chapel.  Everyone is invited to stop by and sign the guest book and share memories.  A Mass Service will be held on Saturday, October 27, at 10am at the Sacred Heart Church in Union, OR.  Friends are welcome to attend.

Memorial donations can be made to the Mount Emily Safe Center at 2107 3rd Street, La Grande, OR, to continue her project of providing decorated trees and ornaments for their children.

Like children all over our community, she was a gift on loan to all who survive..  



Harry A. ‘Seth’ Thomas

Island City



Harry Arthur “Seth” Thomas, 91, of Island City, died Oct. 22 in Tillamook. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Summerville Baptist Church.  Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center of La Grande.

Known as ‘Seth’, he was born Aug. 31, 1921, to Roland and Elizabeth “Lizzy” (Wells) Thomas in La Grande. He was raised in Starkey and was married to Ethyl Gardner. 

They moved to Gladstone where he worked out of Portland for Consolidated Freight as a long-haul driver. After his retirement they moved back to Union County.

Seth was a member of the Tri-City Baptist Church in Gladstone and the Summerville Baptist Church. He served on the City Council of Island City for many years and was a member of the Island City Cemetery board. 

He was also a member of the Teamsters Union. An accordion player, Seth loved polka music.

He was preceded in death by his wife and a daughter, Gayle Emmons.

Survivors include his son-in-law, Don Emmons of La Grande, and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Summerville Baptist Church in care of Daniels~Knopp, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.


William L. Williamson




William Lynn Williamson, 80, of Cove, died Oct. 21 at his home. Viewing for family and friends will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, followed by the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 6 p.m. at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center in La Grande.

A funeral Mass will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Union. Committal and interment will follow at the Cove Cemetery, concluding with a potluck dinner at the Cove Sportsman Club.

Known as Bill, he was born March 3, 1932, in Page, Neb., to Lynn and Eda (Nelson) Williamson. 

He grew up in Perry and attended schools in La Grande, graduating with the La Grande High School class of 1950. Bill remembered as a child in Perry watching the freeway being built and the winter there was green snow. 

Bill was a sawyer at Boise Cascade for 47 years and in his spare time he built rentals.

Bill was married to Martha Kleng and Shirley Alexander, both of whom preceded him in death. 

On March 14, 1980, he married Windy (Karrels) Brainerd at the Church of the Nazarene in Union.

A square-dance caller, Bill was a member of the Star Promenaders of La Grande, the Indian Valley Square Dance Club of Elgin and the Muddy Frogs of Milton-Freewater. 

He belonged to the Blue Mountain Old Time Fiddlers, Cove Booster Club and Oregon Renters Association, and was a 35-year member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

Bill enjoyed hunting, drives in the woods, mushroom hunting and berry picking. He was an expert campfire builder. He loved music and enjoyed playing his guitar. 

Bill faithfully followed his grandchildren through sporting events and loved his Leopards.

He was preceded in death by his parents; former wives; a twin at birth; siblings, Mary Lynn, Celestine and Robin; and a grandson, Jeffrey Brainerd.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Windy of Cove; children and their spouses, Bill and Frances Williamson of La Grande, Lynette Williamson of La Grande, Patrick and Joanita Williamson of Pendleton, Paul and Mari Brainerd of Cove and Ed Brainerd and Steve and Kelly Brainerd, all of Memphis, Tenn.; 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson; and a sister, Fay Hammock of Vancouver, Wash.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cove QRT or a charity of choice sent directly or in care of Daniels~Knopp, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.



Raleigh A. Wray

La Grande



Raleigh Arthur Wray, 81, of La Grande, died Oct. 12. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Eagles Lodge in La Grande. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Raleigh was born Feb. 24, 1931, in Spokane, Wash., to Samuel and Rose (Wilson) Wray, and he attended school in La Grande. 

He was self-employed in the scrap metal business and drove truck selling metals.

Together with his companion of 20 years, Mary Stein, Raleigh enjoyed going camping, fishing, mushroom picking, sightseeing and playing video games. They also worked together collecting metals and working on vehicles. 

Raleigh was a member of the Eagles Lodge for several years.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Arthur Wray and Audrey Morgan.

Survivors include his companion, Mary Stein of La Grande; children, Tony and Kelly Wray and Michael Wray, all of Boise, Idaho, and Teresa Peovich and Belinda Heisig, both of Ontario; and nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.


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