Obituaries for February 11, 2013

By Observer Upload February 11, 2013 09:49 am
Brown, Rose, Darrow, Sailing, Kirkeby



Holly Ray Brown



Holly Ray Brown, 60, of Union, died Saturday at a local care facility. A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Union LDS Church. A full obituary will be published later by Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.



Karen Rose



Karen Rose, 62, of Cove, died Saturday at Grande Ronde Hospital. Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.


Reginald August Darrow

La Grande



Reginald August Darrow, 93, of La Grande, died Jan. 27 at Angeline’s Senior Living. As he requested, there will be no public services. His ashes will be placed with his wife’s in Reedsburg, Wis.

Known as Reggie and Reg, he was born Aug. 14, 1919, to Harold and Lillian (Rodewald) Darrow on the family farm in the Township of Winfield, Sauk County, Wis. The second of five children, he was an eighth-generation North American and a son of the American Revolution.

The family later moved to Reedsburg, Wis., where the four Darrow boys became a regular fixture skating and playing hockey on the river in the winter and playing marbles, baseball and football summer and fall — but only after the family garden was weed-free.

During the Depression, in order to supplement the family income, Reg hitch-hiked to St. Paul, Minn., to work in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). In 1938, he graduated from Reedsburg High School and on Oct. 11, 1939, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Reg rose to the rank of chief pharmacists mate, serving under Major General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, director of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C. Reg seldom talked about and little is known of his time in the OSS.

Reg married Phyllis Rae Wheeler on Aug. 27, 1943, in Reedsburg, Wis., and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Md., on Nov. 23, 1944. After the war with the aid of the GI Bill, Reg earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he did his thesis on stream flow. 

Following graduation, Reg was hired by the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct stream flow studies of the lower Colorado River drainage. This data was used to develop irrigation and flood control systems throughout the region during the 1950s.

He was then hired by Bechtel Corp. to help design and manage projects spanning the globe, including the Carmen Smith Hydroelectric project in Oregon, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in California and building the industrial City of Jubail in Saudi Arabia. Reg was a licensed civil engineer in numerous states and a member of the A.S.C.E. 

Reg loved the out of doors. An avid golfer, he designed and built a golf course in the sands of Arabia in order to play. Small children the world over always brought a response from him and he was always eager to help with the grandkids. Generally a quiet man, he was known to break out in song, right up to the end. He was a frugal and conservative man personally and fiscally yet liberal in his generosity and love. In retirement, Reg lived out of his Airstream and was a member of the Wally Byam and Good Sam clubs, traveling between grandchildren and sunnier climes.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers and one sister; wife of 39 years, Phyllis; two sons, Garth and Grady; and an infant granddaughter.

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Grant and Ellen Darrow of Elgin; daughter, Zana Darrow of West Salem, Wis.; and nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the March of Dimes in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at 



Maxine Gail Saling

La Grande



Maxine Gail Saling, 72, of La Grande, died Feb. 7 in Boise, Idaho. 

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Valley Fellowship. Maxine was born on April 6, 1940, the daughter of Harvey and Ida (Sherman) Smith in La Grande. 

She graduated from La Grande High School, and on Sept. 19, 1959, she married John Saling. They had two children, and when they were young she was involved in scouting, PTA and other school events. She bowled in league bowling for many years and enjoyed square dancing. For more than 40 years, she was involved with the Thursday Girls lunch group.

Survivors include her son, Michael Saling and daughter, Michelle Saling, both of La Grande; two grandchildren; brothers, David Smith of La Grande, Carl Smith of Celebrate, Fla., and Roger Smith of Boise; sisters, Charlene Hall of Kennewick, Wash., and Christine Shurtliff of Vancouver, Wash.; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

Memorial contributions may be made to Valley Fellowship in care of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.


Iris Helene (Vogel) Kirkeby

La Grande



Iris Helene (Vogel) Kirkeby, 84, of La Grande, died Jan. 31 at her residence. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Elgin Cemetery.

Iris was born April 14, 1928, in Union to Walter and Ruth (Richardson) Vogel. She grew up in the Grande Ronde Valley, attending Union Elementary and graduating from Union High School. She also attended Eastern Oregon College of Education in La Grande. Iris married Glen W. Kirkeby, and they were married for 56 years. Glen died in 2006.

Iris spent her life caring for her home and her family. She enjoyed sewing, making quilts and tole painting. She was a 4-H leader. Iris also enjoyed golfing, a good game of Yahtzee, and she bowled for many years.

Iris is survived by her son and daughter, Steve (Verla) Kirkeby and Becky Keller, both of La Grande; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and two nieces.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Glen W. Kirkeby; parents, Walter and Ruth Vogel; her sister, Nelda Jean Logan; and son, Kim Bradley Kirkeby.

Memorial donations may be made to Grande Ronde Hospice or Wildflower Lodge, in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at