Obituaries for April 26, 2013

By Observer Upload April 26, 2013 10:06 am
Curry, Sage, Laughlin


Gene Ashby Curry

La Grande


Gene Ashby Curry, 87, of La Grande, died April 24 in the Grande Ronde Hospital of congestive heart failure. His graveside service with military honors will be at the Cove Cemetery at noon Tuesday.

Gene was born May 17, 1925, in Seattle to Loy Rucker Curry and Clara Pearl Mullenax Curry. He was raised in Seattle where he attended Cleveland School. He lived in Haines before moving to
La Grande. Gene was married to Bernadine Sharp Dunbar. He was employed in furniture manufacturing and bridge construction.

Gene was drafted into military service in 1943 at the age of 18. He served in the 119th Combat Engineer Battalion Company A and was honorably discharged on Sept. 12, 1945. Gene wrote and put together articles for the newsletter, “Hellcats” of World War II. He was featured on the History Channel’s segment on war veterans and their writings. Other than family, his greatest involvement in life was his connection with his military buddies, the “Hellcats” of World War II.

Gene is survived by his wife, Bernadine of La Grande; his children, Jeanne Dunbar Stitzel and her husband, Mike of Valdez, Alaska; Wes Dunbar and his wife, Maureen of Union; Cindy Dunbar Shanks and her husband, Jim of Mead, Wash.; Terry Curry and his wife, Cybil of South Carolina; three siblings, Helen White and her husband, Jim of Seattle; Paul Curry of Seattle; and Margie Schorer and her husband, Bill of Las Vegas, Nev.; nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. 

The loves of his life were his grandchildren, family members said. He had a special connection with each one of them.

Gene was preceded in death by his daughter, Gail Dunbar Hart; his parents, Loy and Clara; siblings, Opal Parks, Carl, Jim, Ed and Blake Curry, and Pauline Wade.

Memorial contributions may be made to “Wounded Warrior Project” in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

 Online condolences to the family may be made at



Douglas George Sage

Formerly of Cove


Douglas George Sage, 69, of Richland, Wash., died in Kennewick, Wash., on Feb. 27.  

A celebration of Doug’s life will be held at noon May 4 at the Buckskin Golf Course in Richland.

People are invited to express their thoughts and memories in the online guestbook at

Donations may be made to the Hospice House, 2108 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336.

A full obituary appeared earlier in the Observer.



Jack and Barbara Laughlin

Formerly of La Grande

Family and friends of Jack and Barbara Laughlin are invited to join their children in a celebration of life scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 4 at the Faith Center in Island City. 

Barbara Jeanne (Chadwick) Laughlin, 73, of Vancouver, Wash., and formerly of La Grande, died Jan. 20 at her home in Vancouver after a battle with cancer.

Jack Lee Laughlin, 75, of Vancouver and formerly of La Grande, died Nov. 11 in Vancouver after an extended illness. The couple had been married 53 years.