Obituaries for January 8, 2014

By Observer Upload January 08, 2014 09:27 am
Carper, Mercer, Red, Coles



Kathleen Faye Carper




Kathleen Faye Carper, 58, of Union, died Jan. 2 at a Boise hospital. No services are planned at this time.

Kathleen was born Oct. 5, 1955, in Santa Cruz, Calif., to Kenneth Duane and Leona Ernestine (Wyatt) Davis. She had lived in Union since 1999.

Kathleen was easygoing and kindhearted. Her biggest loves were reading and music.

Kathleen is survived by her sisters, Colleen Pebley of Union, Kimberly Fuglee of Union and Valerie Luttrell of John Day; four nephews, two nieces, four great-nephews and three great-nieces.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Dianna Maurine Mercer

Formerly of La Grande



Dianna Maurine Mercer  died Dec. 31 in Bend.

A celebration of Dianna’s life will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Redmond Assembly of God church.

Dianna was born Jan. 1, 1947, to Al and Barbara Clark in San Pedro, Calif., and was one of three children. She graduated from Monrovia High School in 1964, at which point she moved to a ranch in Oregon. This is when she met the love of her life. Dianna and Brian were married on May 22, 1966. Married for 47 years, Brian and Dianna served side by side in the ministry as pastors and friends to many people. 

Dianna is survived by her husband, Brian Mercer; her sons, Richard and Russell Mercer; two brothers, Trenton and Eric Clark, and nine grandchildren, as well as a niece and nephew. She was preceded in death by her
parents, Al and Barbara Clark, and her son, Chad Mercer.

From 1976 to 1986, Brian and Dianna were pastors at the Assembly of God church in La Grande. They lived beside the church in the huge farmhouse along with their four children. 

During that time, they opened their home to many missionaries. Everyone knew the coffee pot was always on, and Dianna was known for her wonderful homecooked dinners and desserts. She loved company and always made everyone feel welcome. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh.

To read Dianna’s full obituary and share a memory or condolence with her family, visit



Robert Earl Red

Formerly of La Grande



Longtime Hermiston resident Robert Earl Red, 84, died peacefully in his sleep Nov. 21 at the Sun Terrace Assisted Living Facility in Hermiston. 

Disposition was by cremation. A memorial graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. April 5 at the Island City Cemetery. 

Robert was born Jan. 11, 1929, and raised in La Grande. In 1947, he began his 42-year career with Union Pacific Railroad, retiring as supervisor for the bridge and building division. During his career, he lived in La Grande, Portland and, finally, Hermiston, where he spent his remaining years. 

Robert was an avid outdoorsman. He looked forward to the family hunting excursions in the Blue Mountains and camping trips that spanned from Wallowa Lake to the Oregon Coast. His passion for the rod and reel led him to his secret fly-fishing hole on the Grande Ronde River and trolling for salmon on the Columbia River. 

His other pastimes included collecting model trains and cars, gardening, carpentry, traveling and reading. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.

Robert married twice in his life. His first wife was Betty Lamkin. He later married Betty Hensley.

Robert is survived by his sons, Clayton Love and Wayne (Marlene) Love of Juneau, Alaska; daughters, La Dona (Keippie) May of Terrebonne, LeAnna (Lyman) Branson of Hermiston, Becky (Enoch) Sparks of Heppner, Diana Denby, Linda Harper and Debbie Johnson all of Spokane, Wash.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Larry (Darlene) Red of
La Grande, and sister, Sharon (Bill) Slyter of Moses Lake, Wash.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, James T. Red and Zelma Evans (Knight) and stepfather, George Knight; brothers, James, Clarence and Eugene; sister, Donna Banzer; son, Daniel Colton, and grandson, Paul May.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.

People can sign the condolence book at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of the arrangements.



Dale A. Coles

Formerly of Elgin



Dale A. Coles, 74, of Dallesport, Wash., died Jan. 6 in Moro.

A celebration of Dale’s life is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Sherman County Junior/Senior High School.

He was born March 8, 1939, in Baker. Dale graduated from Elgin High School and liked to attend reunions there every year. He went on to Eastern Oregon University, where he earned his teaching degree and later obtained his master’s degree through the University of Oregon.

Dale taught school at Dry Hollow and in the Sherman County School District. He was the principal and superintendent for schools in Sherman County and Gilliam County. He was also the superintendent of the Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties’ Educational Services District.

Dale was appointed by Gov. Vic Atiyeh to the State Teachers Standards & Practices Commission. Dale also served on the Oregon School Counselors Association, and as a city councilman, he helped design the picture retaining wall located in the Moro City Park.

Dale was an active member of the Mid-Columbia Car Club. His passion was to watch his kids and grandkids participate in activities and showing his classic cars.

Dale is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joan Coles; sister, Darlene Gilstrap of Walla Walla, Wash.; son, Todd Coles and his wife, España, of Biggs, and their children, Isaiah, Keenan, Marilyn and Alejandro; son, Mark Coles and his wife, Becky, of Moro, and their children, Nick, Sabella, Patty and Alexis, as well as a great-grandson, Aiden.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sherman County Scholarship Association.