Obituaries for October 11, 2013

By Observer Upload October 11, 2013 10:44 am
Bell, McKaig, Pratt-Friend, Pratt-Friend, Struck, Umpleby 

Joseph ‘Joe’ M. Bell

La Grande

Joseph “Joe” M. Bell, 48, of La Grande, died due to an accident on Wednesday near Kit Carson, Colo. A celebration of life service will be held at 

2 p.m. Thursday at the Gilbert Center, formally known as the Ackerman Gym, located on the campus of Eastern Oregon University. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.

 Harry McKaig

Island City

Harry McKaig, 61, of Island City, died Wednesday morning. Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.

 David Charles Pratt-Friend

Formerly of Union


David Charles Pratt-Friend, 59, of Portland, formerly of Union, died Sept. 22 in Portland, after his battle with cancer, and nine days after his brother, Richard, of La Grande, died Sept. 13.

Celebration of life services for Richard and David Friend will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Damascus Road Church, 905 C Ave.,
La Grande.

Dave was born on March 11, 1953, in San Diego to Charles Grady and Diane (Cox) Pratt. His family moved to Portland, and he attended Gresham High School. He moved to Union before returning to the Portland area. Dave was married to Karen Burns. They were later divorced.

Dave was employed with B&K Auto Salvage and various other mechanic jobs. He also worked as a commercial fisherman with his father. Dave enjoyed working on cars. He loved hunting and fishing with his stepfather, William Friend, and enjoyed watching NASCAR.

Dave is survived by his mother, Diane Friend of
La Grande; three siblings, Bill Friend and Michael Friend of La Grande and Mary Myers of Union; and nine nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his stepfather, William Friend; his father, Charles Grady Pratt; and two brothers, Robert and Richard Friend.

Online condolences to the family may be made at

 Richard Sinclair Pratt-Friend

La Grande


Richard Sinclair Pratt-Friend, 57, of La Grande, died at a local care facility, after his battle with cancer, on Sept. 13.

Richard was born Oct. 25, 1955, in Oakland, Calif., to Charles Grady-Pratt and Diane Cox. He lived in Oakland, Portland, Union and La Grande. He attended Jefferson High School in Portland. Richard was married to Candy Mabon. They were later divorced.

Richard was employed at Fleetwood Trailers and did other manual labor jobs. He also was an electrician and worked as a commercial fisherman with his father. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his stepfather, William Friend. 

Richard is survived by his sons, Jason and his wife, Stephanie, of Vancouver, Wash., and Chris and his wife, Rochelle, of Portland; three grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Grady Pratt; stepfather, William Friend; and brother, Robert Friend. His brother, David Friend, died nine days after Richard.

Celebration of life services for Richard and
David Friend will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Damascus Road Church, 905 C Ave.,
La Grande.

Online condolences to the family may be made to

 Gordon Keith Struck

La Grande


Surrounded by his family, Gordon Keith Struck, 79, died in La Grande on Oct. 5. 

A celebration of Gordon’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 19 at the La Grande Fire Department Museum, Washington Avenue and Elm Street.

Gordon was born in La Grande on April 29, 1934. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1952. While in school, Gordon excelled as an athlete, including in football and wrestling. 

Gordon and Connie Jo Shorb were married in La Grande on Sept. 12, 1953. 

Gordon attended Oregon Institute of Technology and served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant from 1955 to 1957, stationed at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. He was a radar radio operator. 

After discharge, he was in the Army Reserve. Gordon and Connie returned to
La Grande, where they raised their family and where he remained a resident for the rest of his life. In the years that followed, Gordon worked for his father-in-law at the Eastern Oregon Review newspaper, and as a
La Grande firefighter until 1965. He retired in 1993 following a long career as an installer and maintenance worker with La Grande’s cable television provider.

Gordon loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and camping and especially teaching his children and grandchildren to water-ski, ride a motorcycle, fish and target shoot. He always had a car that he was restoring. He enjoyed attending the many activities that his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews were involved in.

Gordon is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Connie. Gordon is also lovingly remembered by his four children, Cynthia Morman, Barbara MunroeStruck, Rodney Struck, Jeryl Struck and their spouses. Each of his nine grandchildren treasure many fond memories of good times with their grandfather. Gordon was also blessed with four beautiful great-grandchildren. Gordon is also survived by his brother, Monte Struck of Portland. Gordon leaves behind many other relatives and friends who also mourn his passing. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation at 1650 N.W. Naito Parkway, Suite 190, Portland, OR 97209; the Blue Mountain Humane Association; or the charity of one’s choice.

 Edna Bernice (Rishell) Umpleby

Baker City


Edna Bernice (Rishell) Umpleby, 102, of Baker City, died peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 4 at St. Alphonsus Care Center-Baker City with family members by her side.

A memorial service will begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Calvary Baptist Church in Cove. Interment was in the Cove Cemetery, beside her late husband, Harold.

Edna was born Sept. 17, 1911, on a farm near Anthony, Kan., to John and Emma Rishell. She attended a rural school until high school; then she boarded in Anthony and graduated from Anthony High School.

She and Harold were married in Wilmore, Kan., on June 15, 1930, and began farming with family. Edna was always an active partner in all the farming operations. They were grain farmers in Harper County, Kan. (except for a brief time in western Kansas during the Depression) until moving to the Willamette Valley in Oregon in 1947. Their four daughters (Linda, Lorna, Lila and Lois) were born in Kansas.

During their years near Junction City, they owned two farms, growing mostly cannery vegetables and strawberries. They also operated a dairy. Their son, Lyle, was born in Eugene.

Edna enjoyed many hobbies and was always busy. She excelled at sewing and made most of the girls’ clothes. She created lots of doll clothes for Christmas presents. She enjoyed reading to her family. 

The family moved to North Powder in the early summer of 1958. Edna actively worked on the farm, where the major crops included grain, cattle and hogs. While in her 70s, she continued to enjoy running the combine.

Throughout her life, Edna faithfully attended church. She made sure the children were able to be involved in many church activities and summer camps.

Harold and Edna moved to Cove after the ranch was sold. She enjoyed many years attending the Baptist Church in Cove and driving her friends to La Grande for appointments or shopping. During her years in Cove, she crocheted many afghans and gave them to family and friends. She also loved working outside with her flowers and garden.

When her health began to fail, Edna moved to Baker City to be cared for by her daughters. After her 100th birthday, she fell and broke her pelvis and had to be moved into a care center.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Emma Rishell; her two brothers, Lloyd and Vern Rishell; and two sons-in-law, Robert VanOrden and Ronald Tonack.

Survivors include her five children: Linda Umpleby VanOrden; Lorna Umpleby Tonack; Lila Umpleby Shumway and her husband, Lynn; Lois Umpleby Breckler and her husband, Randy; Lyle and his wife, Sharon; and 12 grandchildren. 

She is also survived by nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Radio Bible Class Ministries in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at