Obituaries for January 10, 2014

By Observer Upload January 10, 2014 09:54 am
Lewis, Gustason, Robbins



Michael Thomas Lewis



Michael Thomas Lewis, 54, Elgin, died at his residence Wednesday. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel and Crematory will be in charge of his care and arrangements.



Gay Elizabeth Gustason

La Grande



Gay Elizabeth Gustason, 92, known to her many friends as “Beth,” died Dec. 28 in La Grande. No services are planned at this time.

Beth was born on May 8, 1921, in Baker City, to Ray S. and Elizabeth (Irby) Lamoreaux. Her grade school years were spent in the Portland area. Then her family relocated to California and she graduated from Hollywood High School. At the age of 19, she became a model for “The Ester Williams” modeling agency.

In 1960, Beth worked for Liton’s Savings and Loan in Palo Alto, Calif. Later, she was employed by Ray-Chem Industries in Menlo Park, Calif. 

In 1964, she married Robert Benson in Redwood City, Calif., and along with Mr. Benson came his 13-year-old son Bobby. Bobby has the highest regards for his stepmother, Beth, and is grateful for her influence on his life, family members said. 

In 1980, Beth met and married John Gustason from San Carlos, Calif., and along with John came his delightful 13-year-old daughter Kaye, who is grateful for the love they shared, family members said. 

The family lived in San Mateo, Calif., until 1985, when they moved to Henderson, Nev. John and Beth enjoyed traveling and entertaining their many friends.

After John’s death, Beth continued living in Henderson until 2011, at which time, she moved into the La Grande Retirement Center, where she had excellent care and made many more friends.

Beth is survived by three stepchildren, Bobby Benson of Belmont, Calif., John Gustason II, of Sacramento, Calif., and Kaye Gustason-Saxberg of San Mateo. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Elizabeth (Bess) Lamoreaux, her brother, Irby Lamoreaux, and her husband, John.

Beth enjoyed a full and wonderful life and will be missed by all who knew her, the family said.

Online condolences to the family may be made at



Lois Lavell Robbins

La Grande



Lois Lavell Robbins, 80, of La Grande, died after an extended illness on Jan. 6 at a local care facility. 

No services are planned at this time.

Lois was born March 28, 1933, in Ft. Washakie, Wyo., to Lewis and Alverra (Lahoe) Meeks.

She lived in Wyoming and Amity, Salem and La Grande. She married Samuel Gene Robbins, who died earlier.

Lois is survived by her daughter, Cheryl Venutolo of La Grande, and her son, Paul Berkey of Wichita, Kan.; eight grandchildren, Dane Berkey, Leif Berkey, Cade Berkey, Rees Berkey, Kira Berkey, Stephanie Lassley, Jesse Hale and Alex Venutolo; and three great-grandchildren.  

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene; her parents and her daughter, Leah Lassley.

Online condolences to the family may be made at