Obituaries for Oct. 21, 2013

By Chris Baxter, The Observer October 21, 2013 11:31 am
Ference, Gibbs, Bartholomew, Kennedy, Williamson, Paul

Donald Andrew Ference

La Grande

Donald Andrew Ference, 78, of La Grande, died at a local care facility on Friday. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.

Delmont Gibbs

La Grande

Delmont Gibbs, 99, of La Grande, died on Sunday at a local care facility. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.

 John A. Bartholomew

Formerly of Union


John A. Bartholomew, 87, who taught in the Union School District for many years and was a retired Nogales (Ariz.) High School educator, died at his home in Green Valley, Ariz., on Sept. 30, 2013. 

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Caada Drive, Sahuarita, Ariz., with Pastor Randy Mayer officiating. 

John began teaching industrial arts classes in Oregon. He moved to Nogales in 1967, where he taught in the high school until his retirement in 1987. He was a member of Grande Ronde Valley No. 56 Masonic Lodge in Union.

John was born on June 25, 1926, in Lebanon, Neb., to Urban B. and Hannah M. (Kaiser) Bartholomew. After his graduation from Lebanon High School in 1944, he joined the U. S. Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II on board the USS Casablanca. He received an honorable discharge in June 1946. After his Navy service, John attended the University of Nebraska and later completed his bachelor of education in industrial arts at Kearney (Neb.) State Teacher’s College in 1952. He later received his master of education at Oregon State University in 1956.

While at the University of Nebraska, John met and fell in love with Helen L. Lehmkuhl, and they married on May 28, 1950. To this union were born two sons, Mike and Donald, and a daughter, Carol.

After his retirement in 1987, John and Helen loved traveling the U.S. and Canada with their fifth-wheel trailer, visiting family and friends. In 1993, they moved from Nogales to Green Valley to fully retire. John was involved with his church, including building all the altar pieces for the new building. He was also a Freemason and active in the Order of the Eastern Star. John volunteered at the White Elephant thrift store in Green Valley, repairing toys and small electronics. In August 2013, he was recognized for his 20 years of service at the White Elephant.

In the late 1990s, his wife, Helen, was diagnosed with cancer and John was her devoted caregiver until her passing on June 30, 2002, after more than 52 years together.

John later met and fell in love with Mary Schober, and they were married in Green Valley on July 14, 2007. John and Mary shared a loving life together until the very end, family members said.

In addition to his wife, Mary, John is survived by his children, Mike (Donalee) of Las Cruces, N.M., Don (Brenda) of Augusta, Ga., and Carol of Chinle, Ariz. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, three nephews, two nieces and many more family.

John was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and his first wife, Helen. 

The family recommends memorial gifts be given to the Arizona Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association or the Good Shepherd.

 Charlotte ‘Bunny’ Kennedy

Formerly of Elgin


Charlotte W. Kennedy, 92, formerly of Elgin, died Sept. 21 at the Cheney Care Center in Cheney, Wash. A memorial service will be held at 

1 p.m. Saturday at the Elgin Community Center. Cheney Funeral Chapel is in charge of cremation.

Known as Bunny, she was born March 11, 1921, in Pomeroy, Wash., to Dennis and Hulda (Nelson) Porter. She was the second youngest of nine children.

On Feb. 3, 1936, Bunny married Russell T. Kennedy in Asotin, Wash. They spent most of their married life in the Elgin area. Bunny was a cook at many of Elgin’s restaurants, notably Odie’s. She and Russ enjoyed hunting together, fishing together and attending local dances. She took great pride in her three sons, Bob, Ted and Gary.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Russ; son, Ted; parents and siblings.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Karen Kennedy of Okanogan, Wash.; son, Gary Kennedy of Kennewick, Wash.; many nieces and nephews; six grandchildren and two step-grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 4380 S.W. Macadam Ave., No. 210, Portland, 97239, or to a charity of choice.

Charlene C. Williamson

La Grande

Charlene C. Williamson, 80, La Grande, died Sunday at La Grande Post Acute Rehab. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.

 Harry D. Paul

La Grande

Harry D. Paul, 95, of La Grande died Saturday at a local care facility. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.