Obituaries for July 29, 2013

By Observer Upload July 29, 2013 10:17 am
Mason, McCall, Skeen

Vivian Mason

Formerly of Island City

Vivian Mason, 97, of Hermiston, born Feb. 28, 1916, at Island City, died July 26 at Guardian Angel Homes Assisted Living Facility in Hermiston. At her request, there will be no services held. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.

 Frances E. McCall

La Grande

Frances E. McCall, 98, La Grande, died Friday at her residence. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory will be in charge of her care and arrangements.

 David R. Skeen

Formerly of La Grande


David R. Skeen, 75, formerly of La Grande, died July 24 at Richland Rehabilitation Center in Washington.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Tri-Cities Calvary Chapel, 10611 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick, Wash.

Dave was born in
La Grande on May 22, 1938, to Roy and Ruby Skeen. His father was a cattle rancher/college professor, and his mother was a teacher.

In 1956, Dave graduated from La Grande High School and subsequently attended Eastern Oregon College and Oregon State University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in education (1960), a master of science degree in mechanical engineering (1966) and a doctor of philosophy in nuclear engineering (1971).

His career in the nuclear industry extended over 30 years and included employment as an engineer and manager with Exxon Nuclear and Energy Northwest.

On Aug. 30, 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, lifelong companion and friend, Sharon Hill. She was his support as he finished his education, and together they started and raised a family. Since 1970, Dave and Sharon had lived in the Tri-Cities, Wash., area.

For many years, Dave and his wife were committed members of Central United Protestant Church, where they served Christ working with the Kenya mission program. They traveled several times to the East African nation to assist in building and education projects, such as establishing the Kenya Methodist University.

Dave was also a great singer and loved being a part of worship.

Later, Dave and Sharon attended Calvary Chapel in both Kennewick and Pendleton, continuing to serve the Lord there.

Dave was a committed husband, father and grandfather. He had a steady giving nature, and was always available when needed with a kind word, helpful hand or listening ear, making sure that other people’s needs were met before his own. He was also a great administrator, organizer and completer of projects, family members said, and no matter what he did, he always seemed to end up in this role, especially when it came to family projects. 

Dave worked and played hard, and after a project was over, he was ready for a good hand of pinochle or a tussle on the floor with his grandkids.

Dave is survived by his wife, Sharon; sister, Joan Lynch; three children, Terri Barnhart, Stephani Hopfer and Rodney Skeen; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Ruby Skeen, and his sister, Marilyn Muller.

People can express their thoughts and memories in the online guest book at