Obituaries for November 5, 2012

By Observer Upload November 05, 2012 01:50 pm
Barns, Gerlach, Lewis, Allen, Mathson, Strobl



Local funerals and visitations

Nov. 10 — Fern Davis, memorial service, 11 a.m., Elgin Methodist Church

Nov. 10 — William Aschenbrenner, memorial dinner, 1 p.m., VFW Hall, Enterprise

Nov. 11 — Crystal A. Strobl, celebration of life, Terminal Gravity Brewing, Enterprise

Nov. 16 — Elvamae Lewis, celebration of life, 11 a.m., Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center



Frank W. Barns

La Grande


Frank W. Barns, 86, of La Grande, died Nov. 4 at a local care facility. A complete obituary will be published at a later date. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory.





Harlan Gerlach

Island City


Harlan Gerlach, 84, of Island City, died Nov. 5 at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.





Elvamae Lewis

La Grande


Elvamae Lewis, 99, of La Grande, died Nov. 2 in Richland, Wash. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 16 at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. 

A complete obituary will be published at a later date.


Catherine G. Allen

Formerly of La Grande


Catherine “Katy” Goddard Allen, 78, died Oct. 29 after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. A celebration of life was held in Redmond, Wash.

Known as Katy, she was born March 4, 1934, in Pittsburgh, Penn., to Homer and Jeannette Goddard. Katy was a curious and adventurous child and eschewed convention at an early age. She attended Dennison College in Ohio and studied education at the University of Arizona, graduating with honors.

Her first teaching job was in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she met Wesley Allen, a medical student at the University of Utah. A well-loved family story tells of how on their first date she met him at the front door and asked him to take out the garbage while she finished dressing. Within the year they were married. The couple lived in California, Oklahoma and Oregon as their family grew to include three daughters and two sons.

The family settled in La Grande where Katy was actively involved in the Methodist Church, PEO and CASA and taught piano and special education. After 40 years in La Grande, Katy and Wes moved to Kalispell, Mont., to be close to their daughters, finally settling in Redmond, Wash., to be close to their son.

Katy possessed an unrestrained sense of humor, was wildly unconventional, a passionate advocate for the underdog and was deeply devoted to her family and friends. She was a nurturing mother who kept a welcoming household with an open-refrigerator-policy. Katy enjoyed entertaining and threw frequent costume and dinner parties, drawing together a diverse group of people. Uninhibited in even the most formal of settings, she loosened people up, got them laughing, and brought out their playfulness with her antics.

Music played a central part in Katy’s life. She grew up singing with her mother and father and later performed with Wes and their children in many public events. Though not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Methodist Church choir and was involved with musical theater. Katy spent hours at the piano singing, composing music and teaching lessons.

Despite her physical limitations, Katy relished traveling. She did not want her illness to define her and rejected the perception that she had limitations. One of her most remarkable characteristics was her indomitable will. Whether it was refusing the aid of a wheelchair or enduring numbers of treatments, she fought to maintain her independence. She was blessed by the companionship and kindness of family, friends and caregivers.

Survivors include her brother, Jerry Goddard; husband, Dr. Wesley Allen; children and their spouses, Genia and Kevin, Julie and Dave, Beth and Doug, Phil and Cathy, and David; and 13 grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society ( or the Emerald Heights Benevolence Fund.



Delance O. Mathson

La Grande



Delance Ole Mathson, 60, of La Grande, died Nov. 2 at his residence. At the family’s request, there will be no services. Arrangements are under the direction of Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory.

Delance was born Jan. 7, 1952, in Baker City to Theodore Ole and Helen (Zabriskie) Mathson. He grew up in Perry and graduated from La Grande High School.

Delance served his country in the U.S. Navy and received an honorable discharge. He was a welder by trade and enjoyed being with family and friends, cooking and playing Santa Claus.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his son, Garret Mathson of La Grande, and seven brothers and sisters.

Online condolences to the family may be made at 



Crystal A. Strobl

Formerly of Enterprise



Crystal Ann Strobl, 35, of Prineville and formerly of Enterprise, died Oct. 20 in a motorcycle accident near Redmond. A celebration of life is planned for noon Nov. 11 at Terminal Gravity Brewing in Enterprise. Attendees will be given the opportunity to share favorite stories and memories. Some refreshments will be provided.

Crystal was born Aug. 20, 1977, in Monches, Wisc. She worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife since 2002, in the Prineville field office for the past three years and before that in Enterprise as a wildlife technician.

Survivors include her father, George Eugene Strobl; mother, Patricia Ann Strobl; siblings, Secret Theresa Strobl and Blase William Strobl; and two nieces and two nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to the Wildlife Federation of Oregon, or family and friends are invited to plant a tree in Crystal’s honor for a “Life Well Lived.”


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