Obituaries for November 14, 2012

By Observer Upload November 14, 2012 03:09 pm
Bechtel, Bultman, Moore, Pieper, Lathrop



Local funerals and visitations

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

Nov. 16 — Margaret Bultman, memorial service, 2 p.m., Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory

Nov. 17 — Duke Lathrop, funeral service, 11 a.m., Enterprise Elks Lodge; meal follows at South Fork Grange


Jack Bechtel

La Grande


Jack Bechtel, 81, of La Grande, died Saturday at the Grande Ronde Hospital. A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. A full obituary will be published later.


Margaret Bultman

La Grande


Margaret Bultman, 91, of La Grande, died Nov. 11 at the Wild Flower Lodge. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory. A complete obituary will be published at a later date.



Luverne Gerald ‘Jerry’ Moore



A memorial gathering and tribute to the life of Luverne G. “Jerry” Moore of Union will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 24 at 1205 Adams Ave.,
La Grande.





Orpha E. Pieper

La Grande


Orpha E. Pieper, 85, La Grande, died Tuesday at a local care facility. A full obituary will be published at a later time. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of her care and arrangements.




Emra C. ‘Duke’ Lathrop




Emra C. “Duke” Lathrop, 87, of Lostine, died Nov. 2 of lymphoma. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Nov. 17 at the Enterprise Elks Lodge. A meal will follow at the South Fork Grange. Arrangements are under the direction of Bollman Funeral Home.

Known as “Duke,” he was born Dec. 11, 1924, in Wallowa, the ninth of 13 children of Louis and Hazel (West) Lathrop. He was raised in the Leap Area, north of Lostine, and graduated from Enterprise High School in 1943. On Nov. 6, 1950, Duke married Leah Rhee Caudle in Lewiston, Idaho. They helped raise dozens of foster children, then adopted Becci in 1955 when she was three days old and her biological brother Burke in 1957 when he was five days old.

Duke and his brother Harold “Shorty” Lathrop sold their Lord Flat and Snake River property when Duke and Rhee married, and they moved to Jim Town Road outside of Lostine. They lived in various places in the Lostine area prior to establishing the Rocking Eleven Ranch, just north of Lostine on Jim Town Road, in 1963. They began ranching with a few head of cattle and worked other jobs to make a living. Duke worked for both the USFS and Wayne Cook during those early years. He and Rhee grew the ranch from its humble beginning to what it is today.

Duke became an accomplished cattleman. He loved cows, working dogs, horses and ranching. He had an eye for quality bulls and continued to buy all the ranch bulls until his death.

In the 1980s Duke and Rhee began traveling in the winters. He still went to the ranch almost every day he was home, sharing his vast knowledge. In 2008 Duke and Rhee moved to their new home on Lostine River Road, just inside the city limits.

Duke was often referred to as the “Silver Fox,” due to his white head of hair. He enjoyed being a leader and teaching young people. He was a member of many organizations, including the Soil & Water Conservation District Board; Wallowa County Stock Growers’ Association, serving as president and receiving both the Grassman of the Year and Cattleman of the Year awards; Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, serving as Oregon State second vice president; South Fork Grange, serving as master; and Lostine Presbyterian Church, serving as trustee and on the endowment committee. He was also involved in the West Side Ditch Company, Enterprise High School boxing team, Lostine School Board, Wallowa County ESD, Wrangler Riding Group and Enterprise Elks Lodge. He was an honorary member of Future Farmers of America, and he and Rhee were chosen to be the 2012 Hells Canyon Mule Days Honorary Grand Marshalls.

Duke was known for his generosity at Christmastime, when he gave away ground beef throughout the community. He enjoyed dancing and could often be found Saturday nights at the South Fork Grange, Imnaha or anyplace in between. He also enjoyed playing cards with “the boys” at the Range Rider Tavern in Enterprise and sharing early morning coffee with the crew at the Lostine Tavern.

While Becci and Burke were in 4-H, Duke chaperoned several mountain trips with the whole club. He relished playing Santa for the children at the Grange and at church. He loved being with his children and grandchildren and recently welcomed his first great-grandchild. He would say his biggest accomplishments were his family and the ranch.

He was preceded in death by three sisters and four brothers.

Survivors include his wife of almost 62 years, Rhee Lathrop; children and their spouses, Becci Rhee Lathrop-Sasser of Enterprise and Burke Lee and Tammy Lathrop of Lostine; two granddaughters and a great-grandson; sisters, Sally Akins of Lostine, Mary Lou Huffman of Hermiston and Marion Bowen of La Grande; brothers, Wayne Lathrop of Enterprise and Melvin Lathrop of Wallowa; and numerous nieces and nephews.