Obituaries for July 10, 2013

By Observer Upload July 10, 2013 10:59 am
Rankin, Chrusoskie, Kornblum, Spray, Phifer

Patrick Rankin

La Grande

Patrick Rankin, 85, of La Grande, died July 9 at his home. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church. A full obituary will be published later by Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.

Lee A. Stickler

Formerly of Wallowa CountyServices for Lee A. Stickler, 95, formerly of Wallowa County, who died Nov. 21, 2012, will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Enterprise Cemetery. A full obituary appeared earlier.

 Charles David Chrusoskie

Formerly of La Grande


Charles David Chrusoskie, 54, died at his home in Portland on July 5. 

Charles was born Dec. 29, 1958, in La Grande, the son of Gerald S. Chrusoskie and Charlotte L. Morrison.  

Charles grew up in La Grande.

His parents both preceded him in death. 

He is survived by brothers, Kenneth Chrusoskie and Phillip Chrusoskie; sisters, Catherine Moore and Teresa Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

There will be no funeral.


Edward ‘Ed’ Gerald Kornblum

La Grande


Edward “Ed” Gerald Kornblum died June 22 in La Grande. 

Ed was born Feb. 21, 1937 in Columbus, Ohio. Ed served in the Army. After the Army, he worked for the Oregon State Parks as a superintendent for the parks in the Tillamook area. Ed married Jean La Rochelle in 1987 and after he retired from the park service in 1995, they traveled the United States in their motor home.  

Ed loved to laugh and always had a smile for you, family members said. He loved traveling to out-of-the-way places with the motor home. Ed was a fine craftsman and made beautiful items from wood. He loved to go fishing with his best friend of 30 years, Sam Baldwin of Union. 

He was preceded in death by his three brothers, William, Allen and Ronald. 

Ed is survived by his wife, Jean; his daughter, Michele, and her husband, Eddy, of Elgin; three grandchildren; his son, Richard Kornblum of Tillamook; two stepdaughters, Elaine La Rochelle of Elgin and Darlene La Rochelle of Phoenix, Ariz.; and a sister, Meta Reistad, of Napa, Calif.

There are no services at Ed’s request, but his ashes will be scattered at his favorite fishing hole. 

Memorial donations may be made to the Grand Ronde Hospice through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway OR 97834.

 Ricky Kim Spray

La Grande


Ricky Kim Spray, 59, of La Grande, died July 8 at his daughter’s home. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande.

A potluck at the Nazarene Church will follow the service.

Rick was born on June 9, 1954, the son of Gerald and June (Williams) Spray in La Grande. He graduated from La Grande High School with the Class of 1972 and began work with the Union Pacific Railroad. 

On June 15, 1975, he married Teresa “Terri” Fincher in La Grande. He took a break from the railroad and enlisted in the United States Army and served his country for four years. 

After his honorable discharge, he returned to work for the railroad until his retirement in 2009. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, animals, horses and pack trips. 

When his children were young, they were all involved with 4-H. In recent years, his enjoyment was found in his children and grandchildren.

Survivors include his children, Scott and wife, Kyra Spray, of La Grande, and Jackie and husband, Scot Leonard, of La Grande; seven grandchildren and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; and a brother, Jerry Spray.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association or the Oregon Hunter’s Association.

 Helen Mae Phifer

La Grande


Helen Mae Phifer, 95, died at a La Grande care facility on June 23 on her birthday on a super full moon. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

A memorial service will be announced in August. 

Helen was born June 23, 1918, to Walter and Helen (Linebarger) Lane of Ladd Canyon. She grew up in Kamela and La Grande. She married Frank Hiatt, a war hero, who is now deceased. She remarried Ward Clinton Phifer, a United States Air Force officer. Helen was a dedicated homemaker and a loving mother, family members said.

Helen danced with the Umbrella Girls and the Southern Dixie Belles. She was an outstanding painter and a volunteer at the Union County Senior Center in
La Grande. Her warm personality and laughter will be missed by her family and all those who knew her in La Grande. 

She is survived by her son, Robert Phifer, and his spouse, Wendy Stewart, of Vancouver, B.C., Canada; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Online condolences to the family may be made at