Obituaries for July 3, 2013

By Observer Upload July 03, 2013 12:25 pm
Helmick, Huffman


Marlin Willard Helmick

La Grande


Marlin Willard Helmick, 83, of La Grande, died June 26 at home surrounded by his family. 

His funeral service will be at the Zion Lutheran Church at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by interment with military
honors at Grandview

A viewing for family and friends will be from
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Marlin was born Oct. 30, 1929, in Harrisburg, Pa., to Marlin W. and Lucy (McClaren) Helmick. He graduated from Los Angeles Metropolitan High School. After high school graduation, Marlin attended Los Angeles City College, where he majored in radio and television broadcasting and production. He also furthered his education at Eastern Oregon University. 

Marlin graduated from the U.S. Army Chaplain School at Air University, and served his country in the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain’s assistant, retiring as a master sergeant after 23 years. He was also a graduate of the Tactical Air Command NCO Preparatory School. 

While serving in the military, Marlin met Erna Hellmich from Germany, and they were married in England on Sept. 28, 1967.

Before his career in the military, Marlin was employed in the public relations department with Don Lee Radio and Television Broadcasting in Hollywood. After his retirement, he worked as an administrative assistant for the Oregon State Police. He also worked at La Grande department stores, as a desk clerk at a local motel and as a church volunteer since his faith was important to him.

In 1974, Marlin was given the United States Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, and in 1967, he received his Tactical Fighter Wing Training. Marlin has earned many awards, including Outstanding Soundman from Los Angeles City College; ASB president in high school; Lowry Technical Training Center appreciation for service; Protestant Religious Education Award; and a speech award in 1963.

Marlin enjoyed photography, traveling, reading, politics, spending time with family, learning about history and geography, and sharing his faith. He liked writing about family and friends, playing tennis and ping pong. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, the Royal Order of Atlantic Voyageurs and National Geographic.

Marlin is survived by his wife, Erna of La Grande; daughter, Andrea and her spouse, Jeff Solheim of Spokane, Wash.; two sisters, Rebecca Roberts and spouse Scott of Pennsylvania, and Toni Lee Shiery of Pennsylvania; a brother, Marlin Robin Helmick of Pennsylvania; three granddaughters and numerous nieces and

He is preceded in death by his parents, Marlin and Lucy Helmick.

Memorial contributions may be made to the 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

 Nide Harlan Huffman

Island City


Nide Harlan Huffman, 88, of Island City died in La Grande June 21.

Nide was born March 12, 1925, in Armin in Wallowa County to Victor and Vina Huffman.

Nide was a good man, his family said, and lived his life with grace, courage and a million-dollar smile.

On Aug. 3, Nide will go home. Nide’s ashes will be scattered where the mountains, valleys and rivers he loved so well seem to go on forever.

Vick and Barbara Huffman, Nide’s wife, Ann, and his stepson, Tom, will leave the R&R Drive In (301 N. Lake St., Joseph) at noon for the drive to Marr Flat. Family and friends are welcome to go along. For more information, call Vick Huffman at 541-523-2726.

Though life took Nide elsewhere, in his heart he was a cowboy and a rancher. Wallowa was “the county.” Imnaha was “the river.” “Home” was Marr Flat, where he and four brothers and five sisters were born to Victor and Vina Huffman.

Dave Warnock gave Nide his start as a cattleman. As a rancher, Nide owned several ranches and was in partners with his father, Victor Huffman, and later with his brother, Joe, and his wife, Jean. Nieces Joanne, Janice and Joyce were a particular joy to their Uncle Nide, though he loved his many nieces, nephews and cousins very well.

In 1972, Nide married Ann. The marriage was a happy one with three stepchildren: Connie, Kristin, and Tom.

Nide was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Don, Jeff, Joe, Jerry; his sisters, Alice, Mary, Stella, Jeanette and Arlene, and by lifelong friends, Kenneth Warnock and Jim Blankenship.

Nide is survived by his wife and stepchildren in Island City; sisters-in-law, Jean Huffman of Walla Walla, Wash., and Jordis Huffman of Joseph; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences to the family may be made at