Obituaries for October 23, 2013

By Observer Upload October 23, 2013 10:12 am
Carlton, Williamson, Martin, Clore-Mentgen, Gruis, Ference



Derrick Carlton

La Grande


Derrick Carlton, 28, of La Grande died Saturday night at a Hillsboro care facility.  An obituary and memorial service will be announced later.



Charlene Clair Williamson

La Grande



Charlene Clair Williamson, 80, of La Grande, died Oct. 20 at a local care facility. A celebration of life will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wallowa Senior Center. Pastor Steve Kirkeby of Valley Fellowship will officiate. Burial will follow at the Lostine Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.

Charlene was born on June 27, 1933, to Nels and Helen Jensen. She graduated from Joseph High School in 1948. On Jan. 5, 1950, she married Dallas Gene Williamson, who remained the love of her life for 63 years. They resided in Joseph until 1978. Then they moved to La Grande, when they purchased Meadow Gold Dairies with Cecil and Linda DeLong. 

After the Williamsons retired, they returned to their property on Ski Run Road, where they lived for 16 years. Then in 2006, they moved back to La Grande. She attended Valley Fellowship in La Grande.

Charlene was heralded as one of the best cooks on the planet. She loved family above all else, and her life focus was caring for them.

She is survived by her husband, Dallas; children, Laurel Estes and husband, Larry, Carma Sarrett and husband, Chuck, and Gene Williamson and wife, Tami; sisters, Jeanette Hoffman and Arnette Hunter; brother, Jim Jensen; seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Online condolences to the family may be made at www.lovelandfuneralchapelcom.


Troy Edward Martin

Formerly of La Grande



Troy Martin, formerly of La Grande died Oct. 15 in Shoreline, Wash. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at A Place to Pray (aka Victory Christian Center), 1812 First St., La Grande.

Troy was born in Boise, Idaho, on Feb. 24, 1963, to Robert and Sandy Martin. Troy graduated from La Grande High School with the Class of 1981. He worked for Flying J, Terry Industries and Rain Roofing until he moved to the Seattle area in 1998 in order to be closer to family.

He began working for the University of Washington in 2000 until his death.

Troy enjoyed camping, fishing and spending time with his many friends.

Troy is survived by his mother, Sandy Davis of Marysville, Wash.; brother, Chad Martin, of Old Town, Idaho; sister, Tracy Martin of Edmonds, Wash.; son, Travis Martin of La Grande; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father.


Traci Lynn Clore-Mentgen




Traci Lynn Clore-Mentgen, 52, of Joseph died at her home Oct. 13.  A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the New Life Center in Island City. 

Traci was born Jan. 9, 1961, in Enterprise to Dale W. and Corliss A. (Winters) Boner. She lived in Enterprise, Maupin, Heppner, Pendleton, Bend, La Grande and Joseph. She graduated from high school in Ione.

Traci was married to Kevin W. Clore; he died in 2002. She then married Louis R. Mentgen Jr.

Traci was a foster parent in Bend and in La Grande for Maple Star and Oregon Youth Authority for several years. She enjoyed reading, gardening, crafting, fishing and boating.

She is survived by her spouse, Louis of Joseph; her parents, Dale and Corliss Boner of Enterprise; niece, Michelle Buczynski; and several aunts and uncles.  

Traci was preceded in death by her brother, Brian K. Boner; grandparents, Lyle K. and Sylvia I. Boner; Arthur and Joy Bartmess; and her husband, Kevin W. Clore.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Kevin W. Clore Education Foundation in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of her final arrangements. 


Patricia Rae Gruis

La Grande



Patricia Rae Gruis, 86, of La Grande died at Grande Ronde Hospital Oct. 19. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Island City Cemetery, Island City. Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements

Patricia was born Aug. 5, 1927, to John and Laurel (Doe) McKlin. She lived in La Grande and attended
La Grande High School. She married Robert H. Gruis and raised three children. Patricia enjoyed gardening, bird watching, outdoor activities and spending time with her family.

Patricia is survived by her husband, Robert; sons, Dan and his wife, Sue, of Salem; Robert and his companion, Tonja, of La Grande; and Larry and his wife, Jana, of Elgin; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Laurel, and her brother and sister.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Donald Andrew Ference

La Grande



Donald Andrew Ference, 78, of La Grande, died in the care of family on Oct. 18. Loveland Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements

Donald was born on April 5, 1935, in Pittsburgh to Andrew and Irene (Hriczo) Ference. He grew up in Homestead, Pa., was active with sports and scouting and graduated from Homestead High School in 1954. He joined the United States Air Force in 1954, serving as a medic, and received an honorable discharge in 1958.

After his service in the Air Force, Donald worked as a respiratory therapist at the University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Hospital. He moved to California and worked at UCLA Medical Center as a staff therapist and clinical instructor He also worked at hospitals in Massachusetts and Oregon.

Donald loved being outdoors in nature, hiking, camping or just walking, especially with his beloved dog, Velvet, his companion for 15 years. 

He also enjoyed traveling and spent many happy years with his family in Pennsylvania and Florida.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sister, Dolores; and several nieces and nephews and other family members.

Online condolences to the family may be made at