Obituaries for Nov. 15, 2013

November 19, 2013 07:20 am
Derr, Emerson-Smith, Clarke, Sorenson, Stanton



Norma L. Derr



Norma L. Derr, 93, of Elgin died Thursday at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Arrangements will be announced later by Daniels-Knopp Funeral & Cremation Center.



Roxana May Emerson-Smith

La Grande


A brief prayer will be held at Grandview Cemetery at 2 p.m. Saturday for Roxana May Emerson-Smith, and a celebration of life will immediately  follow at the La Grande Church of the Nazarene, 109 18th St. A reception will follow. Roxana died Sept. 17 in La Grande. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is handling the arrangements.



Virginia B. Clarke

Formerly of La Grande



Virginia B. Clarke, 91, of Phoenix, Ariz., and formerly of La Grande, died Oct. 21. 

Virginia was born May 2, 1922, in Decatur, Ill., the daughter of A. Linn and Agnes (Ritchie) Bear.  She married Gordon W. Clarke in May 1943. They moved to La Grande in 1950 and in 1968 to Monmouth.

She was a graduate of the University of Illinois, active in the American Association of University Women, an amateur radio operator (HAM), retired real estate broker and dedicated wife and mother.

She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Gordon; sons, Doug Clarke of Klamath Falls, Rob Clarke of La Grande and Jeff Clarke of Phoenix; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.



Carl Marion Sorenson

Formerly of La Grande



Carl Marion Sorenson, 87, died peacefully in Bend with his daughters at his side Nov. 6. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Loveland Funeral Chapel. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery in La Grande.

Carl was born Nov. 18, 1925, to David and Ida (Jerrup) Sorenson in Moorehead, Iowa. The family lived in Priest River, Idaho, for many years before settling in New Plymouth, Idaho, to farm.

As a senior in high school, Carl noticed a new girl in town while riding on the bus to school. According to him and his sisters, it was love at first sight. That new girl in town was Josephine Gottsch.

After high school, Carl served for two years in the Army Infantry (1944-1946). He earned a bronze star in combat in Germany.

When Carl returned home from the military, he married his high school sweetheart on June 1, 1947. They lived for a short time in New Plymouth and Prineville before settling in West Richland, Wash., where Carl worked as an operator at Hanford for 13 years. In 1965, the family relocated to La Grande, where Carl and Josephine owned the Western Auto store until 1976. Josephine died from cancer in April 1976.

Not one to be idle, Carl started C&M Putt Putt, a home-based small engine repair shop in 1977 and also took a morning shift at the La Grande post office. He retired in 1986.

Carl was creative and enjoyed puttering around his home and yard. He built three family homes — one in West Richland and two at the foot of Mount Emily in
La Grande. He enjoyed welding, and one year made Christmas ornaments that went on a White House tree. He restored a 1958 Nash Metropolitan and a 1933 Diamond T flatbed truck. He belonged to the Rusty Wheels Vintage Car Club. He enjoyed camping with his Good Sam RV Club. For many years, Carl was a participant and supporter of the Sorority and the Knife and Fork clubs in La Grande.

Carl married Cleo Staker New Year’s Eve 1977. She died in 1999. He married Larena Hallmark in 2001. She died in 2010.

Carl is survived by sisters, Frances Frazitta of Roseville, Calif.; Joyce Springsteen of Union City, Calif.; Bonnie (husband Norm) Merrill of Orange, Calif.; and brother Noel (wife Connie) Sorenson of New Plymouth; five children, Carl (wife Consuelo) Sorenson of Port Orchard, Wash.; Vavene (husband George) Carver of Bend; Rodger Sorenson (wife Mick) Sorenson of Seattle; Tony Sorenson of La Grande; and Shaunda (husband Joe) Haines of LaPine; stepchildren, Kirk Staker of Hillsboro, and Dave (wife Vicky) Hallmark and Nadine Stensgard of La Grande. Carl has 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

He was preceded on death by his brother, Darrel Sorenson, and sister, Faith Wilson.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Community Connection in La Grande in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Gregory ‘Grizz’ Alan Stanton




Gregory “Grizz” Alan Stanton, 57 of Union, died Nov. 10. A celebration of life will be held at noon Saturday at the VFW Hall, 518 N. Main St., Union. After the service, there will be a potluck lunch.

Gregory was born Nov. 14, 1955, in Philadelphia to Robert Charles and Evelyn May (Wright) Stanton. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Hillsboro, where Gregory was raised and graduated from high school. He married Donna Johnson and was later divorced.

Gregory worked for Ricks Custom Fencing & Decking, where he was the general manager for a number of years, and at the Union Market.

Gregory enjoyed fishing, hunting, hiking and creating works of art out of wood. He especially loved riding his Harley and exploring the great outdoors

He is survived by his long-term girlfriend and love of his life, Becky Boettcher of Union; parents, Bob and Evelyn Stanton of North Plains; brothers, Jeff and his spouse, Dana, of Beaverton, and David and his spouse, Judi, of Vernonia; two grandchildren; seven nieces and nephews; and aunts and uncles, Dody Stanton, Renate Stanton, Gary and Kathy Stanton and Dona Sue Stanton. He was preceded in death by uncles Leroy Stanton, Irvan Stanton and Ernest Stanton.

Online condolences to the family may be made at