Obituaries for June 19, 2013

By Observer Upload June 19, 2013 02:29 pm
Skovlin, Harden, Spilker, Dake



Jon M. Skovlin


A celebration of life for Jon M. Skovlin will take place at the McDaniel Bear Creek Cabin in Wallowa County at 2 p.m. July 5. Contact Donna Skovlin 541-568-4625 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for



Ethan Lane Harden

Formerly of La Grande


Ethan Lane Harden, formerly of La Grande, died June 10 in Fruitland, Idaho.

A memorial service will be held at the Fruitland Middle School, 800 S. Pennsylvania Ave., at 3 p.m. Saturday.  

Ethan was born almost six weeks early to Brian and Anissa Harden in La Grande Oregon and quickly grew to be the biggest boy in his classes.

He grew up in Baker City and attended preschool through fourth grade there. He attended fifth and sixth grades at Fruitland Middle School in Idaho.

Ethan was loving to all whom he met and was a stranger to no one. He delighted in sharing with others his faith in God’s promises.

He was kind, respectful and generous.

Ethan had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh.

He loved most outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, geocaching, fishing, riding his bike, swimming, riding horses and sports of all sorts. He loved building worlds with his Legos and in Minecraft.  He liked to share carnivals with his friends and family. He enjoyed reading, performing plays and photography.

He will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched.  An online memorial page can be found at

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Ethan Harden Memorial Fund, Brian Harden Account,Old West Federal Credit Union, 2036 Broadway St., Baker City, OR  97814.



Glenn Harold Spilker

La Grande


Glenn Harold Spilker, 91, a longtime resident of La Grande, died June 15 after having a stroke at his home from which he never recovered. 

A viewing for family and friends will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Friday at Loveland  Funeral Chapel. A funeral service will be held at Loveland Funeral Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday. A graveside committal service will follow at the Grandview Cemetery with military honors.

 Glenn was born April 6, 1922, in Davenport, Wash., the son of Adolph and Lona (Eldridge) Spilker. He spent his childhood on the family wheat ranch, later graduating with the Davenport High School Class of 1941. After graduation, he worked for Safeway and later with Bonneville Power building the first steel power line between Spokane and Coulee Dam. In 1943, he enlisted with the U.S. Army during World War II. He joined the Rangers and endured fierce fighting on the front lines at Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines. He was wounded several times. His medics and commanding officers were killed and because of this, he did not receive the Purple Heart.

After his honorable discharge from the service, he returned home and married his longtime pen-pal LaFern Kilborn on Jan. 30, 1946. The couple had two children, Jean and Jonathan. After 16 years of marriage the couple divorced. On Nov. 10, 1966, he married his high school sweetheart, Joana Frances (Mills) Dailey. The couple had been married for more than 46 years and had resided in the same home in Century Estates Subdivision.

Glenn was a graduate of the J. M. Perry Institute in Yakima, Wash., where he studied refrigeration and air conditioning. He then moved to La Grande and was employed by the Mt. Emily Lumber Co. In 1954, he began a 34-year career in the telephone industry, starting with West Coast Telephone, which later became General Telephone Co., now known as Verizon. He began installing telephones when people were switching from crank telephones to the new model where you instantly talked to the operator, who said, “Number, please.” He progressed to becoming a special equipment specialist, where he installed and maintained multiple communication systems for hospitals, businesses and colleges. He retired from the telephone company in 1984. After retirement, he became a private contractor and repaired and maintained systems when the telephone company lacked trained technicians. 

He enjoyed all sports, especially fast-pitch hardball. He often played catcher and was known for his ability to break hardwood bats. In high school, he excelled in football, wrestling and baseball.

Glenn was a 61-year life member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, life member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 259, life member of the Elks Lodge La Grande/Baker, life member of the American Legion Post No. 43, as well as a life member of the VFW Post No. 2990. He had been a member and past captain of the La Grande Volunteer Fireman’s Association. He was active with numerous community organizations and received many awards and recognition for his volunteer efforts. In most recent years, he enjoyed taking care of his yard, reading and watching sports on television.

Glenn is survived by his wife, Joana Spilker of La Grande; two children; Jean and husband (Sonny) Hagenah of Lostine and Jonathan and wife (Patti) of Pendleton; and three stepchildren, Frank Dailey (Lea) of Bend, Linda Mix (Jim) of Reedsport and Sandra Hudson of Milwaukie; five granddaughters, three great-grandchildren, nine step-grandchildren, and seven great-step-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, a sister and an adopted sister. 

Online condolences to the family may be made at www.lovelandfuneralchapelcom.


Marie Esther Dake

La Grande


Marie Esther Dake, 91, of La Grande, and formerly of San Diego and Walla Walla, died June 12 at her home. 

Marie was born on July 27, 1921, the daughter of the Lutheran minister Frederick Leimbrock and Marie Baepler, in Denver. Her father died when she was 3, and a few years later her mother moved Louise, twins Veneta and Viola, and Marie to San Diego. Her older sisters married and started families while young Marie helped her mother operate a boarding house in the historic Mission District. 

In January of 1940, she married Wilbur “Whitey” Dake in San Diego. They had a son and a daughter. When her son married and moved to Oregon, he kept his city parents connected by giving them a rabbit, Scooter, and later a dingo cow dog named Rufus. That provided years of entertainment in the neighborhood.

Even though she was not one to acquire “dust collectors,” she worked in upscale retail and was valued for her store displays and meticulous care of the shops she worked for. Early on, she joined a sorority and stayed with it until the senior members were having difficulty enlisting young women to keep it going. 

Husband Wilber “Whitey” died in San Diego in 1983. Marie stayed in the family home and then had to learn to drive near the age of 65. She had a sporty red Maverick that she drove only on certain routes, like to church.

She moved to Walla Walla in 1993. She learned to drive all over town. Even more amazing, she drove back and forth across the Blue Mountains to visit family for several summers. She gave up driving when she turned 90.

Marie loved flowers and roses in particular. Her front and back yards were in a constant state of perfection, as was her home, wherever she lived.

Later, a newly built retirement residence called Wheatland, not far from her neighborhood, became her proud home for the next several years. Although she quit yardwork, she stayed busy socially with her church, lunch bunch, swimming exercises and other workouts and managed the library there. Whenever a neighbor would recover from an illness or accident, Marie would step up to check in, feed, clean and shop for them. She called her floor “her block.” She was the most active of the residents there, attending every planned activity, tea and ice cream social and never understood what kept the majority in their apartments when they had so much to do there. She even won a trophy when she joined a Wii bowling team.

She later moved to La Grande, survived her hip-replacement after a fall and celebrated her 91st birthday at La Grande Acute Rehab.

Then she moved to her final home, a place called Angeline’s in La Grande. Her dementia was dominant by now to the outside world, but the family stayed connected to their mom’s inner strength, unconditional love and tireless concern for others. Most often when the family visited, she would worry that they had work to be done.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Jean Marie Marrero, and siblings, Louise, Viola and Veneta.  

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Nancy Dake of La Grande; one grandson; one great-granddaughter; and other relatives.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande OR 97850.