Obituaries for June 10, 2013

By Observer Upload June 10, 2013 10:41 am
Ainsworth, Clemens, Gulzow, Hays, Briney

Philip Ainsworth

La Grande

Philip Ainsworth, 91, of La Grande died Saturday at his home. Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.

 Vanessa L. Clemens

La Grande

Vanessa L. Clemens, 76, of La Grande, died Sunday at her residence. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.

 Ella Gulzow

La Grande

A funeral service for Ella Gulzow will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the First Christian Church in La Grande, followed by interment at the Island City Cemetery.  A luncheon will follow interment at the church. A public viewing will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Loveland Funeral Chapel in La Grande.

 Frank A. Hays



Frank A. Hays, 82, of Enterprise, died May 23.

A celebration of life service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Enterprise.

Frank was born Oct. 23, 1930, the son of Omar and Anna Prendergast Hays in Enterprise. He attended Enterprise schools, served in the U.S. Navy and was married Feb. 15, 1957, to Joyce Bailey Ertz.

He was a retired longtime business owner.

Frank belonged to the Elks BPOE 1829, Shriners, Masons and was a member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Enterprise.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce, of Enterprise; children and their spouses, Steve (Colleen) Ertz of Chandler, Ariz., Debbie Ertz Weaver (Lee) of Fairview and Pam Hays Canavan (Bill) of Island City; siblings and their spouses, Marge McBride of Sacramento, Calif., Robert Hays (Pat) of Salem and Freida Hansen (Gib) of Enterprise; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Frank’s parents and brothers, Harold, J.D., Jack, Bill and Ron, died earlier.


Esther Marie Briney



Esther Marie Briney, 55, of Cove, died May 30 at Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande. 

Celebration of life services were held June 2 at the Faith Center in Island City. Interment was at Cove Cemetery.

Esther was born Sept. 26, 1957, in Cottonwood, Ariz., to Robert “Bob” and Charlotte (Coon) Girdner. She attended various grade schools in Arizona before moving to Cove, where she graduated from high school. 

Afterward, she attended George Fox College. 

In 1979, she was awarded the title “Miss Rainmaker.” She has been grand marshal of the Cove Cherry Fair. 

Esther was married first to Kurtus Blodgett. She was later married to Richard Briney. 

Esther was employed at Goodwill Industries, in addition to managing her home and family. She collected dolls and enjoyed playing the piano. 

According to her family, her greatest achievement was the super daughter, wife and mother she became.

Esther is survived by her husband, Richard Briney of Cove; five children and their spouses, Luke and Nancy Blodgett of Portland; Benjamin and Kaylee Blodgett of Portland; Gabriel Blodgett of Umatilla; Samuel and Randee Blodgett of La Grande; and Matthew Briney of Cove; her parents, Bob and Charlotte Girdner of Cove; her siblings and their spouses, Ruth Ann Zigler of Sagle, Idaho; Sharon and Robert Markum of La Grande; Nancy and Tom Acord of Redmond; Stephen and Cathryn Girdner of Lakewood, Calif.; and Daniel Girdner of Phoenix, Ariz.; and two grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two daughters, Rachel Elizabeth Blodgett and Bethel Rapha Blodgett; and her brother, Robert Paul Girdner.

Online condolences to the family may be made at

Memorials may be made to a charity of choice.