Obituaries for January 18, 2013

By Observer Upload January 18, 2013 09:29 am
Fordice, Smith, Baker



Stephen Adair Fordice

Formerly of Enterprise



Stephen Adair Fordice, 63, died at West Valley Memorial Hospital in Goodyear, Ariz., with his daughter Jenny, son Dane, and brother Phil present on Jan. 11 from complications due to COPD.  

Steve was born in Enterprise on July 6, 1949, to Delbert and LeNeva Fordice, and attended elementary school and high school there. Steve was a proud and distinguished veteran of the U.S. Army, serving a tour in Vietnam in 1969-70, and honorably discharged in 1972. 

In April 1975, Steve joined the Wallowa County Road Department, where he worked as crew member and foreman for 34 years, retiring in August 2009. Steve loved the outdoors and could be counted on by all the locals to know the best hunting and fishing spots in Wallowa County. He could be found most weekends hauling a steelhead out of the Grande Ronde river, catching a mess of kokanee out of Wallowa Lake, plinking away at squirrels out on Ant Flat road, or filling his deer or elk tag in the fall and winter months. 

If Steve didn’t have his fishing pole or rifle in his hand, then he busied himself with projects by repairing, upgrading or improving the quality of life for his family. Steve spent the winter months in Bouse, Ariz., where he surrounded himself with close friends and neighbors, enjoying ATV rides, flying his remote-controlled airplanes and soaking up sun on the porch of his residence tinkering with projects and feeding the wild quail that shared his lawn with him.

Steve is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Watson of Salem; his son, Dane, and his wife, Jami, of Fort Lewis, Wash.; brother Phillip and his wife, Linda, of Pendleton; three grandchildren, nieces, and grand-nieces. He is also survived by former spouse Nan Fordice of La Grande. He was preceded in death by his parents, Delbert and LeNeva Fordice, and trusty companion, dog Scooter.

At Steve’s request, a celebration of life service will be held in the spring of 2013 in Enterprise. Details will be published at a later date. 



Nanette Marie Tams Smith

La Grande



Nanette Marie Tams Smith, 73 of La Grande died Jan. 14 in Walla Walla, Wash. 

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. today, Jan. 18, at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande.

Nanette was born to Dick and Mary Davenport Griffith on Feb. 5, 1939, in Heppner. Nan attended Spray Elementary School and graduated from high school in Fossil. She lived in many places in Oregon — Spray, Fossil, Kinzua, Gold Beach, Myrtle Point and La Grande — as well as in Alaska.

Nanette married Clifford Olson in 1958. She later married Larry Tams with whom she had her boys and raised their family. In 1990, Nan moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, where she met Jim Smith. They were married on Nov. 25, 1994, and lived happily together until his death in 2004. Nan loved fishing in Alaska with Jim, the love of her life. She also loved to read.

Nanette is survived by three children, Terry and his wife, Dena Tams, of La Grande; Jeff Tams of Buffalo; and Brian and his wife, Wendy Tams, of Hillsboro. She is also survived by two sisters, Marlene Case of Pendleton, and June and her husband, Wes Mollenhauer, of Longview, Wash.; and her two brothers, Dean Griffith of Pilot Rock and Mick and his wife, Darlene Griffith, of Powers. Also surviving are five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and 11 nieces and nephews.

Nanette was preceded in death by one son, Bob Tams, her husband Jim Smith and her parents.



Barbara Baker

Formerly of North Powder



Barbara Jean Baker, 86, of Baker City and formerly of North Powder, died Jan. 15, at her daughter and son-in-law’s home in Hermiston. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. today, Jan. 18, at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., in Baker City. Interment will be at 1 p.m. at North Powder Cemetery.

Barbara was born May 23, 1926, in North Powder, the 10th of 14 children born to Frank Henry and Olive Adaline (Davis) Pearson. She attended school and graduated from high school in North Powder. Barbara was the descendant of two early pioneer families in Union County: her grandparents, Henry and Manerva Anderson Pearson; and John Samuel and Susan Dealy Davis, who homesteaded at North Powder in 1872.

Barbara married Eldon Hobbs Oct. 23, 1946, and they had one daughter, Donna Jean. They were divorced in 1963. Barbara married Eldon O. Baker Dec. 31, 1965. They moved to their Baker City home where Barbara continued to live until one week before she died.

Barbara began working in 1964 at the Rosanna Dress Shop in Baker for her sister-in-law, Julia Hobbs. In 1965, she went to work in the cosmetics department at Levinger’s Rexall Drug in Baker. When Levinger’s sold out to Payless, Barbara continuing working for Payless and later for Rite Aid. She worked full-time for Rite Aid until she retired in June 2010.

An avid traveler, Barbara especially loved cruise ships. She was a league bowler and loved to play cards and spend time with family and friends.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Chuck Moeller of Hermiston; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister, Phyllis Fettig of North Powder; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by both of her husbands; five brothers, Elmer, Bus, Calvin, Pete and Mick Pearson; and seven sisters, Ruby Butler, Susie Lewis, Dorothy Tiffany, Peggy Spence, Lois Campbell, Alta Coates and Grace Rowett.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heart ‘n’ Home Hospice of Baker City, Vange John Memorial Hospice of Hermiston or a charity of choice in care of Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, 97814.