Obituaries for September 18, 2013

By Observer Upload September 18, 2013 09:22 am
Whipple, Faro, Maszk, Emerson-Smith, Rayburn, Cline


Rachel Indlee Thomas Whipple

Formerly of La Grande


A graveside service for Rachel Indlee Thomas Whipple will take place at 11 a.m. Sept. 27 at the Elgin Cemetery, with a luncheon following at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Elgin. 



Patrick Louis ‘Pat’ Faro

La Grande


Patrick Louis “Pat” Faro, 82, of La Grande, died Tuesday at a local care facility. A full obituary will be available later. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.



Teresa L. Maszk

La Grande


Teresa L. Maszk, 51, of La Grande, died Tuesday at her home. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Roxie Emerson-Smith

La Grande


Roxie Emerson-Smith, 71, of La Grande, died Tuesday at a local care facility. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Nancy Virginia Rayburn

La Grande



Nancy Virginia Rayburn, 89, of La Grande, died at her home on Sept. 7. A casual dress memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Homestead Church (New Holland dealership building on McAlister Lane). Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Nancy was born in 1924 into the large family of Homer and Jessie Cosner, while they lived at Tumalo. It was soon determined that her hip socket had not formed properly and physical activity would be difficult.

Through the years, she was often told by doctors that she would not be walking much longer. But she fooled them all, ignored the discomfort and kept on going.

Times were tough in the ’30s. Money and food were scarce. Long before “women’s liberation,” Nancy and her sisters drove horses and helped with the outdoor work.

Nancy graduated from Union High School in 1942 where she had the privilege of having teachers who looked past her circumstances and saw potential. Their encouragement to participate as a thespian and on the debate team gave her the confidence to venture ahead with the skills needed to survive.

Nancy wanted to be a teacher, but a young man riding a 1925 Harley named John Rayburn convinced her to marry him before leaving to serve in World War II. 

She followed him to Texas and made wonderful memories prior to his departure for the European Theater. It would be more than two years before she would see him again.

Nancy prepared their first child, Nancy Lee, to meet him when he arrived back in La Grande, and she must have done a good job because it was love at first sight. Patsy, John Jr., Sheri and Sam were added to complete the family.

John and Nancy farmed east of the airport, where she worked hard and taught her children that work could be fun, whether it was washing clothes in the wringer washer, snapping beans or stacking hay. 

She always had the time and energy to play a game after a day of hard work and could quickly write a poem describing it. 

After supervising homework, she would gather her children around the wood stove to listen to a chapter from a favorite book read with such expression that she left them begging for more or around the piano singing, or playing an instrument she taught herself to play.

Holidays were made special as secrets lurked about the house and the whirring of the sewing machine continued late into the night preparing a surprise. When her grandsons arrived, she doted on them. Nancy wasn’t a fence sitter and was outspoken about life and her faith.

She loved children and encouraged them in their faith as a Good News Club organizer, VBS worker, leader of Jet Cadets at the First Baptist Church, and in ASSU Bible Schools in Imnaha and Keating.

Her natural skills were also used to enhance the lives of children as a 4-H leader for 40 years. She was especially proud when her club won a state Community Pride Award and she and one of her club members were awarded a trip to
San Francisco.

She had an “I think I can” spirit that was infectious, never seeing a problem that could not be solved. She contributed to the family income as a census coordinator and selling Shaklee products and toys.

Her world was turned upside down in 1998 when John died. Her son, John Jr., died in 1969, and she was preceded in death by her son-in-law, Bill, and all of her siblings, Emma, Ollie, Rollo, Otto, Nora, Ray, Lucy, Verda, Ellen, Doris, Clinton, Hulda, May and Esther.

She is survived by her children, Nancy Lee (Jim) Hudson; Patsy Rettig and her son, Samuel; Sheri (Bud), Sam and his son, John; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Merton David ‘Dave’ Cline




Merton David “Dave” Cline, 82, of Cove, died Sept. 12 after a brief battle with brain cancer. 

He was born March 11, 1931, in Bernice, Okla., to Merton and Vivian Cline. His military career began in 1948 and lasted until August 1971. He was assigned to the 94th fighter interceptor squadron as a radar technician. He retired from the United States Air Force. Some of his duties were in England, Spain and the Korean War. 

His favorite assignment was in Alaska.

He was married to Teckla Burclaw in 1958 in Denver.

Upon retirement in 1971, Dave was in a partnership as owner of Cove Swimming Pool. In 1980, he became sole owner of the establishment with his wife. More than 40 years of memories are held at this special place, the Cove Warm Springs Pool.

Dave served 25 years on the Cove City Council, and numerous organizations. He was a life member of the VFW. He enjoyed his gardening, along with fishing, hunting,  and playing dominoes and cards with friends. RVing was a great pleasure to travel to all states and Mexico. Winters were spent in Arizona. He was a generous man. To those who were his friends he would give the shirt off his back.

Survivors include his wife, “TEK,” and daughter, Sharon and spouse, Michael, of Walla Walla,Wash.

Per his wishes there will be no public service. A private memorial will be held later.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

Friends are invited to leave condolences or share memories at www.loveland