Obituaries for October 16, 2013

By Observer Upload October 16, 2013 09:00 am
Nadeau, Olson, Sparks, Struck, Bell, McKaig Sr., Sparks, Terry


Mandy Nadeau

La Grande


Celebration of life services for Mandy Nadeau will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Faith Center in Island City. Mandy died on Oct. 10 in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.



Vernal ‘Vern’ Olson



Vernal “Vern” Olson, 88, of Alicel, died Oct. 13. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Summerville Cemetery Chapel. A full obituary will be published later by Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.


Ellen M. Sparks

La Grande


Ellen M. Sparks, 92, of La Grande, died Oct. 14, 2013, at Grande Ronde Hospital. Viewing will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande. A graveside mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Hillcrest East Cemetery.



Gordon Struck

La Grande


Gordon Struck, 79, of La Grande, died Oct. 5 in La Grande. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the La Grande Fire Museum. A full obituary was published earlier and can be found at


Joseph Michael Bell

La Grande



Joseph “Joe” Michael Bell, 48, of La Grande, died in Cheyenne County, Colorado, on Oct. 9 during his walk across the United States to educate anti-bullying in memory of his son, Jadin Bell.  

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Gilbert Center at Eastern Oregon University. Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Joe was born on Dec. 6, 1964, in Woodland, Calif., to Robert and Marlene (Waasdorph) Bell. He lived in Anderson, Cottonwood and Redding, Calif., and then La Grande. Joe graduated from Anderson High School in California, where he competed in football and wrestling. Later, he attended Shasta Community College. After moving to La Grande, Joe was employed at Boise Cascade for 17 years, where he was a stock rustler.

Joe was first married to Noreen Kelly and then to Kim Love. Both marriages ended in divorce. He later married Lola Lathrop.

Joe enjoyed many outdoor activities. He especially loved to hunt, fish, boat, camp and go mushrooming. He also spent time writing songs. Joe promoted the foundation called Faces for Change, in memory of his son, Jadin Bell, to bring awareness to bullying. In April 2013, Joe started out on his cross country walk, Joe’s Walk for Change, to encourage anti-bullying and how to prevent it from happening. He lived life passionately.

Joseph is survived by his father and stepmother, Robert and Bonnie Bell of Vinita, Okla.; his wife, Lola Lathrop of La Grande; his children, Amber, Dustin and Joseph Bell; sister, Tina Bell, and her husband, John Cagley, of Imbler; sister, Bobbi Jo Thale, and her husband, Bill, of Vancouver, Wash.; one grandchild and four nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Marlene Jean Waasdorph Bell, and his son, Jadin Bell.

To view the memorial service online, go to and click on the button, “Watch a service.” Enter the memorial ID number 4159.

Online condolences to the family can be made at


Harry J. McKaig Sr.

La Grande



Harry J. McKaig, Sr., 61, of La Grande, died Oct. 9. A celebration of life will be held at 5 p.m. Friday at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St. in La Grande. A potluck dinner will follow at the Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship Hall.

Harry was born Sept. 23, 1952, to Paul and Hilda McKaig in Jersey City, N.J. He attended Edison High School. In 1968, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War. He married his high school sweetheart, Roxanna Deffenbach, in 1972 and later moved to Texas. Harry and Roxanna later returned to New Jersey, where he was the owner of Harox Catering and Harox Deli. 

In 1991, they moved to La Grande. Harry was a manager at the Flying J Truck Stop. Harry thought he would bring a little East Coast to La Grande by opening the Original “Poppy’s Tastee Dogs,” which he owned and operated until his health forced him to sell. Many locals knew him as “Poppy.” Later, he bought the Imbler Cafe. Due to his health, though, he was only able to operate the cafe for a short time.

His love for his wife, Roxanna, and his family was most important to him. He enjoyed the Sumpter Flea Market, Hog Wild Days and all the local craft shows. Harry also enjoyed rides through the country with his wife. He grew to call Oregon his home. Family members said he will truly be missed by all those who knew his soft nature.

Harry is survived by his wife, Roxanna McKaig of La Grande; son, Joe McKaig of La Grande; daughter, Lisa and her husband, Brian Blisard, of Westampton, N.J.; father, Paul McKaig of Edison, N.J.; brother, Paul and his wife, Dyan McKaig, of Summerville; sister, Colleen and her husband, George Haring, of Pen Argyle, Pa.; brother, Patrick and his wife, Irene McKaig, of Edison; sister-in-law, Margaret and her husband, Arthur Bokor, of Robbinsville, N.J.; sister-in-law, Erna and her husband, Michael Luster, of Jackson, N.J.; five grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and other relatives. 

He was preceded in death by his mother, Hilda McKaig of Edison; brother-in-law, Emerson Deffenbach of Browns Mills, N.J.; mother-in-law, Mary Deffenbach of Edison; and niece, Jennifer McKaig of Summerville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation or the GRH Hospice. A fund to help Roxanna is set up at US Bank.

Louis Horten Sparks




Louis Horten Sparks, 85, of Summerville, died at a local care facility Oct. 11. A celebration of life gathering will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Union County 4-H Center. A potluck will follow. For potluck information, contact Lori Koepl at 208-661-0499. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Louis was born on Jan. 15, 1928, in White House, N.J., to Orestes and Anna (Albert) Sparks. He grew up and lived in New Hope, Pa., until he enlisted in the Army in 1951. He served the country in the Korean War as a staff sergeant in the Corps of Engineers. After the war, he moved to Paradise, Calif., where he met and married Rita Mayer in 1956. 

Louis worked in heavy construction and started his own construction business. In 1970, he and his wife moved their family to Summerville, where he continued in the construction business. He particularly enjoyed searching for water and developing springs with his backhoe. Anyone who knew him in the Summerville area knew how he loved to plow snow with his backhoe.

He is survived by his wife and sons, Doug Sparks and his wife, Mary, of Dolores, Colo.; James Sparks and his wife, Jill, of Denver; daughters, Ginger and her husband, Robert Cline, of Boise, Idaho, and Lori and her husband, Steve Koepl, of Post Falls, Idaho; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Memorial contributions may be made to Marian Academy at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at


Pauline Marie Terry

La Grande



Pauline Marie Terry, 92, of La Grande, died at Grande Ronde Retirement Residence on Oct. 14. A celebration of life service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Elgin. Burial will follow at the Elgin Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. To sign the on-line guestbook, visit 

Pauline was born on Oct. 10, 1920, in Enterprise to Andrew and Bessie (Daggett) Stewart. In 1938, she graduated from Joseph High School. She married Clifford Eugene Terry on May 26, 1940. They moved to Elgin and raised five children. Pauline was a bookkeeper and gopher for Terry Logging, Inc., and Terry Ranch, Inc. She was also active in Eastern Star, Pythian Sisters and the United Methodist Church in Elgin. She was well known for singing at many events. She loved to draw, paint, write poetry, read and was especially good at crossword puzzles. She could drive anything except a D8 cat. 

Survivors include her son, Steven Terry and wife, Lillian, of Baker City; daughter, Elaine Calame and husband, Ed, of Pendleton; son, Paul Terry and wife, Jeanne, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; daughter, Edith Whisennand and husband, Charlie, of Plains, Mont.; son, Rodney Terry and wife, Emelda, of Elgin; 18 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and many great-great-grandchildren and step-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, father, mother and brothers, Kenneth and Aaron.