Obituaries for January 30, 2013

By Observer Upload January 30, 2013 01:54 pm
Uterhardt, Fincher, Cropp, Horn, Knapp, Mellish



Gerald W. Uterhardt



Gerald W. Uterhardt, 77, of Imnaha died Jan. 25. At this time, no services are planned. Bollman Funeral Home of Enterprise is in charge of arrangements.



John Fincher


A graveside service for John Fincher will begin at 1 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Island City Cemetery. A celebration of life will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Elgin Seventh-day Adventist Church.



Marvin D. Cropp

La Grande, North Powder



Marvin D. Cropp, 96, of La Grande and North Powder, died Jan. 28 at a local care facility in La Grande. 

Family and friends will gather for a remembrance and viewing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at Loveland Funeral Chapel. A graveside service will be held at the North Powder Cemetery at 2 p.m. Friday.

Marvin was born March 31, 1916, at Richland, the fifth child of James S. and Anna J. (Simonis) Cropp. He attended schools in Richland, Dixie, Auburn and Baker.

During his younger years, he lived throughout Baker County and then settled outside of North Powder. After the death of his wife, Mary, he lived in the Willamette Valley including several years with his son, Charles.

Marvin was married to Mary Louise Gover in Weiser, Idaho, on March 3, 1937. Together they ranched and farmed in Baker County and raised five children. Other than family and ranching, his interests included fishing, hunting and telling stories of the old days.

He is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Pearl and Robert Bull of La Grande; daughter, Gloria Cropp of La Grande; daughter-in-law, Barbara Cropp of Baker City; six grandchildren; brother-in-law, Merle Osborne; and several great- and great-great grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Marvin was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; companion, Rosanna Strenke; sons, David, Wilbur (Bill) and Charles Cropp; daughters-in-law, Mae and Nina Cropp; his parents, James and Anna Cropp; sisters, Agnes Willett, Norna Sullivan, Mary Stacey, Marguret Osborne, Adelene Hansen; and brother, Wilbur Cropp.

Arrangements are being handled by Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of choice.



Barbara ‘Birdie’ Janet Horn




Barbara “Birdie” Janet Horn, 77, of Elgin died Jan. 25 at her home. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Loveland Funeral Chapel in La Grande. A celebration of life will follow at the Elgin Community Center at 11 a.m.

Barbara was born on Feb. 8, 1935, in La Grande to Emmett and Eva (Rollins) Thompson. She lived in Elgin, Baker City, Umatilla and Dallas, Ore. She attended school in Elgin at the Pleasant Grove School House. She married Stanley Bruce Horn on July 22, 1950, and was a dedicated housewife and a loving mother. During the mid-1970s, she enjoyed selling Sarah Coventry jewelry and even won a trip to the Sarah Coventry national convention in Milwaukee, Wis., as a “top seller.”

Birdie enjoyed doing needlework, baking and spending time with her family.

Barbara is survived by her children, Connie and James Tucker of Elgin; Lonnie and Melissa Horn of Elgin; Larry and Peggy Horn of Erda, Utah; Lillie and Curtis Hurst of Elgin; Troy “Emmett” and Becky Horn of Dallas, Ore., and Chris and Chelsea Horn of Elgin; siblings, Larry Thompson and his wife, Betty, of Elgin; Dixie Stanton of Redmond; and Toby Williams and her husband, Chuck, of Elgin; 16 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and one on the way, one great-great grandchild, seven nieces and eight nephews.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Emmett and Eva (Rollins) Thompson; her husband, Stanley Horn; and her sister, Peggy Kennedy.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Marian Earl Knapp

La Grande



Marion Earl “Giddy-up-go” Knapp, 84, of La Grande died at a care facility in Baker City Jan. 25. A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.,
La Grande.

He was born on Aug. 5, 1928, to Lowell W. and Bessie May Batchelor Knapp in La Grande. Marion was raised and educated in La Grande. He married Dorothy Mae Fairfull on Nov. 10, 1950. He worked for Paul Dougherty Logging for several years. He later bought his own truck and worked for B & E Logging, Gunnels Brothers Logging and several other companies.

He earned several trophies from his army jeep at cars shows and also restored a 1950s Chevy. He enjoyed riding four-wheelers, hunting, snowmobiling, woodcutting and spending time at his cabin on Glass Hill that he, his father and brother Lloyd built. He was very proud to represent veterans while driving his jeep in parades. He was a member of the VFW. He was a very kind and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, family members said. He was proud of his service with the Navy, where he was an outstanding cook on Johnston Island and Hawaii.

Marion is survived by his daughter, Darlene Kramer (David) of La Grande; brothers, Lloyd Knapp (Betty) of Elgin and Pat Knapp of Paradise City, Calif.; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and brother, Charles Ray Knapp.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Union County Animal Shelter in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel 1508 Fourth St.,
La Grande, OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Miriam Marie (Oldham) Mellish

La Grande



Miriam Marie (Oldham) Mellish, 92, died Jan. 22 at her home in La Grande.

A celebration of life will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at the La Grande Seventh Day Adventist Church. Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.

Miriam was born on Jan. 4, 1921, in Hancock County in northwestern Ohio.  

Miriam was the fifth child in a family of 10 born to Gale and Carrie Oldham. In 1935, they were introduced to the Adventist message, and in 1936 Miriam was baptized with her parents and most of her siblings. Instead of continuing in public school, Miriam, along with other siblings, attended Mount Vernon Academy where she graduated in 1941.

After finishing a nurses training course, she worked for a while as a nurse in Ohio, Michigan and California. It was in California where she met her husband, Dan Mellish, and they were married in a garden wedding in Carlsbad, Calif., on May 15, 1946. They spent the next 58 years together. They lived for several years in the Escondido, Calif., area, where five children were born to them: Daniel, Jim, John, Paul and Esther. They then moved to Cave Junction, where they farmed until 1969. They relocated to Walla Walla, Wash., and later to La Grande to be closer to Esther.

Miriam worked in nursing homes, helped run the farm and was active in her local Seventh-day Adventist Church. She enjoyed being a seamstress, sewing quilts, gardening, canning and spending time with her family. Mostly, she loved telling their life stories to anyone who would listen.

During her life, she and Dan traveled to many countries to do mission work through the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They continued to support mission work when they were no longer able to travel.

Miriam was preceded in death by her husband, Dan; son, John; grandson, Kregg; and seven of her siblings.

She is survived by sisters, Ruth Merrill of Vista, Calif.; Grace Green of Littleton, Colo.; brother, Harold Oldham of Grand Junction, Colo.; children, Dan Mellish of Walla Walla, Jim Mellish of Arizona, Paul Mellish of Walla Walla and Esther Miracle of La Grande; 21 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.