Obituaries for February 8, 2013

By Observer Upload February 08, 2013 01:53 pm
Taylor, Hodge, Labhart, Langford, Kline



Betty Taylor



Betty Taylor, 93, died at her home in Cove Wednesday. Arrangements are under the direction of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home.


Florence Mary Hodge

Formerly of La Grande



Florence Mary Hodge, 94, of Dallas, Ore., died Jan. 25. 

A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at Faith Community Church in Portland.  

Florence was born Feb. 1, 1918, in Pendleton to John E. “Jack” and Leffie (Davis) Casey. Florence grew up in Meacham. Florence lived with her husband, Bill, and family in La Grande and was a member of the
La Grande First Baptist Church from 1951 to 1964.

She is survived by sons, David and William Hodge; sisters, Ruth Casey; Phyllis Morris and Virginia Heald; five grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.  

Preceding her in death were her husband, William Wendle Hodge; her sister, Jean; and son, Michael.

Arrangements are entrusted to Cremation and Burial Care of Oregon.


William L. Labhart

Formerly of La Grande



William Leslie Labhart, 88, of Keizer and formerly of La Grande, died Dec. 19. A memorial service was held Feb. 1 at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Known as Bill, he was born June 25, 1924, in Portland, the eldest child of Carl and Edith Labhart. He attended schools in Portland and graduated from Corvallis High School. Bill attended Oregon State University and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and flew B17s in the European Theater during World War II.

Bill joined the Oregon State Police Game Division in 1947 and was assigned to the Heppner outpost. While there, he met and married Jacqueline Tetz. He and Jackie were married for 61 years and had three children.

In 1961, Bill was promoted to corporal and assigned to the traffic division of the John Day outpost. Promoted to sergeant in 1972, he was assigned to the La Grande outpost. He retired in 1979 after 32 years with the Oregon State Police.

Bill and Jackie moved to Salem in 1983 to look after Jackie’s father. They enjoyed trips to the coast and the Spirit Mountain Casino. Bill and Jackie also traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world.

In 2007, Bill and Jackie moved to the Willamette Lutheran Home in Keizer, where they spent their last years making memories with new friends. Bill’s fondness for candy bingo and his pinochle group were especially memorable.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl Labhart and Edith Lehr; wife, Jackie; and brother, Robert Labhart. Survivors include his sister and brother-in-law, Mina Lou and Jim Jenner of Berkeley, Calif.; children and their spouses, Chris and Kris Labhart of John Day, Mark and Melanie Labhart of Tillamook and Laurie and Paul Jaffe of Hamburg, N.J.; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Willamette Lutheran Foundation, 7693 Wheatland Road, North Keizer OR 97303.


Irene Langford

La Grande



Irene Adele Langford, 87, of La Grande died Jan. 31 at Grande Ronde Hospital. A memorial service will take place later. Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.

Irene was born on July 12, 1925, to Madison and Elizabeth (West) Watts in Union. She attended school in Union and graduated from Union High School. She married Merlyn Whitfield Langford on July 24, 1954. In her early years, she worked as a waitress. 

Irene was a wonderful housewife and mother, family members said. She also worked on a dairy farm. Later, she worked at Valley View Manor in La Grande. She spent many years helping on the Union City Council. 

Irene loved keeping in touch with family and friends. She also enjoyed the outdoors, especially camping, fishing and gardening. She was a member of the Union United Methodist Church and helped organize its upgrade and senior meals program.

Irene is survived by her children, Ronald and Thomasine Morris of Cove, Janette Langford Roberts of Cove and Dennis and Colleen Langford of Union; 11 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren; seven great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her siblings, Alpha Watts, Guy Watts, Max Watts, Bob Watts, Ruth Mallory and Letha Davis; and a grandson, Devin Langford.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Mervin Kline

La Grande



Mervin Kline died Dec. 9 at a care facility in La Grande. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at New Song Church on Cove Avenue in La Grande. A potluck will follow at noon.

Known as Merv, he was born in 1944 to Lola White and Lloyd Kline. He grew up in Oklahoma and later moved with his parents and two brothers, Emmett and Don Kline, to Oregon. Merv then attended La Grande High School.

Merv loved the Lord and spent his life spreading the Gospel with his wife of many years, Glenda Kline. He enjoyed helping people and searching out new business opportunities.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother; wife; and brother, Don.