Obituaries for April, 12, 2013

By Observer Upload April 12, 2013 10:44 am
Davis, McDaniel, Kleng, Kronsberg-Emmett, Sailer



Joseph ‘Joe’ F. Davis



Joseph “Joe” F. Davis, 71, of Summerville, died Thursday at his residence. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.



Keith McDaniel


A celebration of life for Keith McDaniel will be held at the Wallowa School Beth Johnson Room at 2 p.m. April 20.



Shirley Jean Kleng

La Grande


A celebration of life for Shirley Jean Kleng will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Kleng, 81, died at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Karen, on Jan. 13 in La Grande. 

Shirley was born March 25, 1931, in La Grande to Elvin and Virginia (Davenport) Carman. Shirley was the third child in a family of 12 children. She attended Riveria Elementary and finished the eighth grade at La Grande Middle School.

Shirley married Dewy M. Kleng July 3, 1947, in Weiser, Idaho. She was 16, her groom 21. This union lasted seven months short of 65 years. Dewy died Dec. 26, 2011.

Shirley worked nearly full time from the time she was 13 years old. She washed dishes at the old Grande Ronde Hospital, using a chair to reach the sink. She babysat, worked in a bakery, drug store, lunch counter and at various other jobs. 

When she was around 17 years old, she was hired at Smith Brothers Moving and showed a flair for bookkeeping. She earned a certificate in bookkeeping through a course at what is now Eastern Oregon

She was then employed at La Grande Lumber. Receiving a great deal on lumber, she and Dewy built their home on Sunset Drive. In 1963, she was employed at M.J. Goss Motor Co. She stayed with this employment for 33 years, retiring in 1996.

Shirley earned many awards, certificates, plaques and the like for maintaining an “Honor Roll” status for Goss Motors in bookkeeping. She also took the company from handwritten spreadsheets to the computer age, a great feat for someone who never attended high school.

Shirley cared deeply for her family. She and Dewy raised sons Mike and Steve. She was an exceptional grandmother and great-grandmother, family members said.

She enjoyed taking care of her family, boating, riding ATVs, hunting, mushrooming, doing ceramics and traveling to Reno and Jackpot, Nev.

Shirley is survived by two sons, Mike (Karen) Kleng of La Grande and Steve (Bobbie) Kleng of Stanfield; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dewy; two infant sons; sister, Sharon Shenfield; and brothers, Paul Carman, Elvin Carman, Ronald Carman and Keith Carman.

Donations in her memory may be made to Grande Ronde Hospital Hospice.



Gert Kronsberg-Emmett

La Grande


A celebration of life for Gert Kronsberg-Emmett, 90, will begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church, 2080 Marion Ave. in North Bend. The Rev. J. L. Coffey will officiate. There will be a reception following the service. Graveside burial will be in the Ocean Ridge Cemetery at 1 p.m.

Gert died peacefully in her sleep on April 1 at her residence in La Grande. 

Gertrude Eileen Murphy was born on March 18, 1923, in Roseburg to her parents, Alphonso and Delila (Polley) Murphy. She lived in Roseburg until her teen years when her family moved to Coos Bay, where she attended Marshfield High School, graduating in 1941. She trained at McAuley Hospital as a surgery tech and worked there from 1942 to 1945. During this time, she met August (Gus) Kronsberg, and they married in January 1945. Gert spent her married life as a homemaker and had a wonderful gift of hospitality. Her life reflected her love for all people, and she will be remembered by many as a mentor and friend.

With the death of her husband, Gus, in 1984, she became a volunteer. She applied and was accepted to join YWAM. Her first assignment was to travel on the ship Anastasis down the coast of California to work in the kitchen of their headquarters. She traveled to Europe and Mexico sharing the gospel of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In 1990, she “hung up her wings” and came back to North Bend and became involved with tutoring grade school children and joined the BAH auxiliary, supervising the Junior Auxiliary. She also spent time with prison ministries and played piano for the First Baptist Church. She was very involved in the lives of her grandchildren and their care.

In 2009, she met and married Robert (Bob) Emmett, who survives her. They had three happy years together before Gert’s move to La Grande to have the special care that she needed.

She is survived by her children, Tom (Anita) Kronsberg of North Bend, Anne (Mike) Johnson of La Grande, Mary Williamson of Seattle, Andy Kronsberg of Coos Bay and Rob (Vicki) Kronsberg of Redmond; brother, John (Jack) Murphy of Vancouver, Wash.; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, and 16 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by son, Charlie Kronsberg; her parents; and her siblings, Mary Annette, Joan, Mary, Katherine, Francis (twin) and Maxine. Her brother, Edward Vincent, was killed in action in WW II.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to South Coast Hospice, 1620 Thompson Road, Coos Bay, OR 97420.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Orval Paul Sailer

Formerly of La Grande


Orval Paul Sailer, 99, of Hermiston and formerly of La Grande, died April 8 in Hermiston at Good Shepherd Hospital. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. Committal and interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.

Orval was born on Oct. 28, 1913, the son of William Paul and Pearl (Bearden) Sailer in La Grande. He attended Central Grade School and graduated from La Grande High School. He played football during high school and excelled with a win as Oregon state champs. He attended Eastern Oregon Normal School for two years before going to work for the Union Pacific Railroad in the mid-1930s. He worked for the railroad until his retirement in 1975.

Orval met Billie McClure at a root beer drive-in in La Grande, and they were married in 1935. She preceded him in death. He enjoyed hunting and fishing most of his life, as well as traveling and trailer camping. Orval found time to be a member of the La Grande BPOE and also the La Grande Masonic Lodge.

Survivors include his children, Leonard Sailer and Sandi Tucker, both of Hermiston; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives. He was preceded in death by a younger sister and her husband, Vaughn and Clair Lennox.