Obituaries for December 5, 2012

By Observer Upload December 05, 2012 01:49 pm
Graham, Thomas, Bjarke, Gordon, Rose, Van Blokland



Cheryl A. Graham



Cheryl A. Graham, 65, Union, died at her residence Tuesday.  A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.





Norma Thomas

Baker City


Norma Thomas, 75, of Baker City, died Nov. 30 at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel. A private burial will be at the Union Cemetery.



Dolores Marie Bjarke

La Grande



Dolores Marie “Dolly” Bjarke, 82, of La Grande, died Dec. 2 at Wildflower Lodge with her family by her side. Memorial services will be announced at a later date. Loveland Funeral
Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Dolly was born April 1, 1930, in Tacoma, Wash., to Elizabeth Victoria (Munt) and Peter Orlando Omodt. She attended Lincoln High School in Tacoma. After her schooling, she married Woodrow Wilson Bjarke. He died Nov. 29, 1988.

Dolly spent her life caring for her home and her family. She enjoyed crocheting and square dancing.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Woodrow; parents, Peter and Elizabeth; and sister, Janice Karen Roy.

Survivors include her daughter, Janine A. Bjarke of La Grande, daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca M. and Kent McCall of La Grande, and six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Online condolences to the family may be made at





Gary Lee Gordon Sr.




Gary Lee Gordon Sr., 76, of Enterprise, died Dec. 4 at his home. At his request, no services are planned.

Gary was born May 24, 1936, in Postville, Iowa, to Raymond and Lettie (Brink) Gordon. He was raised in Iowa. In 1953 he moved to California. Then in 1969 he returned to Iowa, where he lived until he moved back to California in 1982. In 1988 he moved to Enterprise.

Gary served with the Iowa National Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps. He married Esther Eva Cerda on Nov. 19, 1955, and worked as a general contractor.

Gary enjoyed fishing, hunting and collecting antiques. He also liked watching sports, especially, golf, football and NASCAR racing.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by his siblings, Raymond “Bud” Gordon and Betty Lucier.

Survivors include his wife, Esther of Enterprise; sons and daughters-in-law, Gary Lee Jr. and Sandi Gordon of Wallowa, Greg and Carol Gordon of Bullhead City, Ariz., Garrick and Michelle Gordon of Tillamook and Garold and Tammy Gordon of La Grande; daughter, Monica Eva Garner of Fruitland, Idaho; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Bollman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 547, Enterprise 97828.





Rena Pearl Rose




Rena Pearl Rose, 91, of Elgin, died Dec. 2. At the request of the family, there will be no services. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Rena was born Feb. 11, 1921, in Tacoma, Wash., to Pearle Jasper and Alice Amy (Monroe) Dickes. She grew up in Tacoma where she graduated from high school. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, achieving the rank of pharmacist mate and receiving an honorable discharge in 1946.

In 1942 Rena married Fred Rose. For many years she worked in the senate offices of Sen. Al Cranston. She enjoyed sewing, reading and crafts and loved to watch baseball and spend time with her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, Lois Ross, Dora Wager, Lester Dickes and Carol Dickes.

Survivors include her husband of 70 years, Fred C. Rose of Elgin; children and their spouses, Douglas and Lee Rose of Roseville, Calif., and Deborah and John Loree of Cove; siblings, Lila Frodel and Lee Smyth, both of Washington; and seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Online condolences to the family may be made at




Clifford Curtis ‘Curt’ Van Blokland

La Grande



Clifford Curtis “Curt” Van Blokland, 68, died Dec. 3 at his home near La Grande. A celebration of life will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lighthouse Church in Island City. A reception will follow.

Known as Curt, he was born Nov. 26, 1944, to Andrew Clifford “Shorty” and Mildred (Spencer) Van Blokland at the St. Joseph Hospital in La Grande. He was raised and educated in La Grande, graduating with the La Grande High School Class of 1963.

Curt attended Blue Mountain Community College before returning to work with his father on the family farm. During the winters he worked at Anson’s Ski Shop. In 2004 he began working as a salesman for M.J. Goss Motor Co., where he worked until retiring in 2010.

On April 7, 1965, Curt married Karen Shenfield at the First Christian Church in La Grande. 

Curt was a member of the South 40 Club, the Oregon Wheat League and the Elks Lodge. He served on the board of directors of the La Grande Rural Fire Protection District in Island City for many years and the Union County Extension Service. He enjoyed farming, working in his yard, photography, playing pool and golfing. Curt collected cars that he meticulously kept in perfect and spotless condition. One favorite was his ’58 Chevy Impala with which he won “Best in Show” at the Portland Roadster show.

He was preceded in death by his father, Shorty.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Karen of La Grande; children and their spouses, Krysten and Sam Wiseman of Lake Oswego and Kelly and Elaine Van Blokland of Portland; two grandchildren; mother, Mildred; sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Berkley Summers of La Grande; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation to be used in treatment of cancer: GRH Foundation, 900 Sunset, La Grande 97850.

Online condolences may be expressed at or site under the name curtvb.