Obituaries for December 20, 2013

By Observer Upload December 20, 2013 10:25 am
Fowler, Lloyd, Bailey, Roderick, Bethel, Gilson, Johnson



Larry H. Fowler

La Grande


Larry H. Fowler, 72, of La Grande, died Wednesday at Grande Ronde Hospital. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Mildred Lloyd



Mildred Lloyd, 87, of Summerville, died Thursday at her home. A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 27 at the Summerville Cemetery Chapel. A full obituary will be published later by Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.



Willis Edward Bailey




Willis Edward Bailey, 89, of Joseph died Dec. 16 at Suttle Care Retirement in Pendleton. 

Funeral services were held Dec. 20 at Bollman Funeral Home in Enterprise. Burial followed at the Enterprise Cemetery.

Willis was born March 7, 1924, in Enterprise to Otis and Reita (Eads) Bailey. He was the first of two children. He was raised on Alder Slope and graduated from Enterprise High School in 1942. Willis was involved with the Enterprise FFA chapter as a chapter officer and later as a state officer while earning his State Farmer Degree. He won many awards showing beef, sheep and swine projects at shows throughout the state while in FFA.

Willis married Barbara Jean Nelson on June 4, 1944. They farmed and ranched on Alder Slope, Hurricane Creek and Swamp Creek, but their favorite was the ranch on Swamp Creek. Willis and Barbara raised cattle and quarter horses on the Swamp Creek ranch and took many of their horses to shows throughout the region.

He was a rancher and later a lender for Production Credit Association for 20 years.

Willis was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, family members said. For many years, he was a member of the Wranglers riding club and often talked about the trips and events associated with the

He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting and looking at good horses. He was an avid fisherman and had a knack for catching his limit in Prairie Creek while his fishing partners were getting skunked.

Willis also enjoyed watching his grandkids’ sporting events.

He is survived by daughter, Judy Johnson, and son-in-law Bob of Eugene; daughter-in-law, Nancy Bailey of Baker City; son, John Bailey and daughter-in-law Cindy of Joseph; son, Jeff Bailey and daughter-in-law Chris of Heppner; sister, Lois Blankinship of Enterprise; brother-in-law, Bob Nelson of Enterprise; sister-in-law, Lois Thompson and husband, Jack, of Kennewick, Wash.; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Barbara, son Jerry Bailey and grandson Bart Bailey.

Memorial donations may be made to the Friends of the Wallowa County Museum.



Lillian Claire Roderick




Lillian Claire Roderick, 88, of Union died Dec. 15.

No services are planned at this time.

Lillian was born on March 26, 1925, to Almanzar and Lucie (Therox) Doucette in East Greenwich, R.I.

Lillian was a loving and devoted mother and homemaker, family members said. Lillian enjoyed family and friends, watching classic movies, especially her “Gene Autry Cowboys” and reading. Lillian was predeceased by her adoring husband of 51 years, James John Roderick. She was also predeceased by her sisters, Rita Langerin and Pauline Bent, and her brother, Norman Doucette.  

Lillian is survived by her children, James Roderick Jr. and his wife, Vicki; Pauline Cutshall and her husband, Colvin; Norman David Roderick and Lorraine Yates.  

She is also survived by seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Her daughter, Pauline Cutshall, lovingly cared for her the last nine years of her life. The family gives her and everyone else who cared for Lillian their greatest gratitude. Lillian will be interred with her husband, James. at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Riverside, Calif.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Betty Jean Bethel

La Grande



Betty Jean Bethel, 86, of La Grande, died Dec. 2 in Boise, Idaho. A celebration of life will be planned later in 2014.

Betty was born on May 15, 1927, in La Grande to Clement Floyd and Lillian Lorraine (Wilson) Wallace. She has lived in Florida; Benton City and Kennewick, Wash.; Cascade, Idaho; and Umatilla, Florence, Roseburg, Lostine and Wallowa. 

Betty was raised in La Grande and graduated from La Grande High School, where she was a member of many clubs and participated in softball and track. She was a very good bowler, bowled in several leagues and gave many of her trophies to charity. She enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with friends and family.

Her husband of 54 years, Jack S. Bethel, died Dec. 20, 2000. She is survived by her children: sons; Gerald Bethel of Elgin and Lynn Bethel (wife Minerva) of Hermiston; and daughter, Susan Hurd (husband Ron) of Lincoln City; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Online condolences to the family can be made at



Rosemary A. Gilson

Formerly of La Grande



Rosemary A. Gilson, 95, formerly of La Grande, died Dec. 9.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 6 at Glenwood Community Church, Vancouver, Wash.

She was born to Sabin and Mary Etta Alexander on Aug. 11, 1918, in Sumas, Wash. The family moved to La Grande in 1924, and she was a graduate of La Grande High School and Draper’s School of Commerce. While in La Grande, she was active in the Hendrix Methodist Church.

Rosemary was married to Eldon Gilson on Sept. 20, 1944, in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was stationed with the U.S. Navy. After his discharge, they returned to La Grande. On Jan. 1, 1947, they moved to Holtville, Calif., where Eldon was employed.

In Holtville, Rosemary worked as a secretary for an insurance company. She was also a member of the Young Women’s Republican Party.

She and her husband moved to Vancouver, Wash., in 1987. She was an active member of Glenwood Community Church and Child Evangelism Fellowship. She loved Bible study and reading her Bible.

Rosemary is survived by their son, Stanley Gilson and wife, Phyllis; sister-in-law, Rosalie Gilson of Woodburn, and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Gideons International, P.O. Box 6202, Vancouver WA 98668 or a charity of choice. 



Jerry Johnson

La Grande



Jerry Johnson, 80, of La Grande, died at his brother’s home on Dec. 13. A service will be planned later in 2014.

Jerry was born on March 25, 1933, in Tulsa, Okla., to Alfred James and Alice (Earnest) Johnson. Jerry lived in Tulsa; Arvin and Gridley, Calif.; Morton, Wash.; and Estacada, Sweet Home and La Grande. He attended grade schools in Rio Bonito, Gridley and Oroville, Calif., and Estacada. He served the country while in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958, serving in Korea in the Mortar Battery Second Battalion Group Fourth Cavalry.

Jerry met and married the love of his life, Roberta Una Skates, on June 22, 1959, in Stevenson, Wash. Jerry was employed as a heavy equipment operator and enjoyed fishing and prospecting in his spare time.

Jerry is survived by his sisters, Loraine Nealson of Yuba City, Calif., and Fran Buck of Portland; and brothers, Dale Johnson of Salem and James Johnson of La Grande. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Roberta, in 2005; his parents; sisters, Freda Keifl, Maxine Jordan and Violet Cook; and brothers, Burl Johnson and J.R. Johnson.

Online condolences to the family may be made at