Obituaries for February 3, 2014

By Observer staff February 03, 2014 11:07 am

Audrae Birdell Schreeck

Baker City

Audrae Birdell Schreeck, 94, of Baker City died Friday in La Grande. A funeral service will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel in Baker City. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.



Vernon ‘Dick’ Hammack


Vernon “Dick” Hammack, 84, of Enterprise, died Friday at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. 

No services are planned. A full obituary will be published later.


Lila R. Emmons

Formerly of Wallowa County


Lila R. Emmons, 97, of Milton-Freewater and formerly of Wallowa County, died Jan. 29 in Walla Walla, Wash.

A graveside funeral service, with David Bruce officiating, will take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 8 at Enterprise Cemetery. 

Lila was born in the north woods on Whiskey Creek on Jan. 13, 1917 to Harley and Merle (Knapp) 

Lila was married to Louis Edwin Emmons on Feb. 24, 1940, in Weiser, Idaho. He died on Feb. 6, 1992.

She was a homemaker, a waitress, worked at the telephone company and was the first manager of the Ponderosa Motel.

She belonged to Rebecca’s, the Wrangler drill team, was a 4-H leader and was the president of the Joseph PTA. Her hobbies included horses and gardening.

Survivors include son, Terry (Kathy) Emmons of Oregon City; daughter, Patricia Ann Koch of Milton-Freewater; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.

Dying earlier were three sisters, Mabel Slaughter, Edna Sheets and Marie Cornwell, and three brothers, Carl Whitmore, Clifford Whitmore and Clarance Whitmore.

Arrangements are by Bollman Funeral Home of Enterprise.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Walla Walla, Wash., in care of Bollman Funeral Home, 315 W. Main St., Enterprise OR 97828.


Orby Ramson

La Grande


Orby Ramson, 76, of La Grande, died Jan. 24 at her residence. A private memorial service was held on Jan. 27.

Orby was born on Aug. 27, 1937, in Mississippi. She resided in Salem, and in 1985 came to live in La Grande, where she was employed by New Day Enterprises.

Orby loved to dance, enjoyed all social activities and had many friends. She is survived by many friends at the Lighthouse Church and in the community.

To assist with funeral expenses, checks can be made to Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande, OR 97850.

Online condolences may be made to the family at


Duke McClune

Formerly of Elgin


Duke McClune, 75, formerly of Elgin, died Jan. 31 at his home in Prineville. A graveside service is to be performed at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Summerville Cemetery. Following the services, a dinner will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church in Elgin.

Duke was born Oct. 27, 1938, to Rube and Pearl McClune. 

He served his country between the years of 1960 and 1962 as a soldier of the U.S. Army and was a member of the LDS church. 

Duke prided himself in his horseshoeing career and spending quality time outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and wood cutting. Duke was also an avid horseman, spending hours working with and training his horses.

On Jan. 1, 1975, Duke married Dee Dee Hays in Renton, Wash. 

Together they raised four children. 

Duke is survived by his children: Julia, Jami, J. Tyler, and Jessika; and by his wife, Dee Dee. Other survivors include his son-in-law, Brandt, four grandchildren: Baily, Brandon, Bradin and Graci; and three brothers, Donald, Leslie and Terry.

Elfrida Marie Free

North Powder

Elfrida Marie Free, 82, of North Powder died on Wednesday at her residence with her family by her side. 

She was a breast cancer survivor, had knee replacement surgery and suffered from dementia.   

A graveside service for lfrida was held earlier today. 


Merry Ann Mink-McLean

Formerly of La Grande


Merry Ann Mink-McLean, 57, of Ontario, formerly of
La Grande, died Jan. 31 at her residence.   

A Rosary for Merry will be held at Loveland Funeral Chapel at 7 p.m. Tuesday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Merry was born May 10, 1956, in La Grande to Frederick “Jim” C and Marjorie “Midge” A. Mink. She resided in Astoria, Huntington,
La Grande and Ontario
as well as in Fruitland,

She graduated from
La Grande High School. She met and married Jimmy McLean on November 29, 1975 in Weiser, Idaho.

Merry worked at various jobs. They included waiting tables, selling her art work “River Folke,” at Huntington School District and being a stay-at-home mom. She was a Union County Fair Maid in 1973 and was Miss Union County in 1974. She was a member of the Lions Club and Toys-for-Tots. Merry wrote and received grants for Huntington Park, and her greatest achievements she would have said were her children and grandchildren.

She enjoyed crafts and River Folke. Her most cherished hobbies and activities were spending time with her grandchildren and collecting rocks. She also enjoyed softball and volleyball.

Merry is survived by her husband, Jim of Huntington; son, Lucky McLean and his wife, Breanna, of Ontario; daughters, Joy McLean and Alvie Barton on Ontario, and Melody McLean and Michael Wigley of Ontario; mother, Marjorie “Midge” Mink of La Grande; five grandchildren; aunts and uncles and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her father, Frederick “Jim” Mink; grandmothers, Pear Anderson and Noma Moore; and grandfather, Bill Moore and Ruth Willey.

Memorial donations may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Society or a charity of choice, in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St.,
La Grande OR 97850.

Online condolences may be made to the family at


Pauline ‘Nannie’ Myrtle Bell Holland


Pauline “Nannie” Myrtle Bell Holland, 87, died Feb. 1 in her Union home. She was surrounded by her loving family and friends as well as her priest, Father Christopher. 

A visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Union. There will be a recitation of the Rosary at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 340 S.W. 10th Union. A reception will follow at the church parish hall. A brief graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Sunday at Canyon City Cemetery, Canyon City.

The family encourages people who can attend the service to wear the colors of the Green Bay Packers in honor of Pauline’s love of her favorite football team.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Union Food Bank or the Grant County Food Bank through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500
Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.


Ola ‘Lorene’ Malone

La Grande


Ola “Lorene” Malone, age 84, of La Grande, died Jan. 26 at the Grande Ronde Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the First Christian Church in La Grande.

Lorene was born on March 30, 1929, the daughter of John Alfred and Ola Elsie (Ashcraft) Ewing in Clarendon, Texas. 

The family moved to Oregon and Lorene attended school in La Grande from the second grade through high school. On Aug. 16, 1946, she married Orlan C. “Tiny” Malone in the First Baptist Church. 

She enjoyed sports in high school and attended games for their sons and grandchildren. She loved reading and gaining knowledge. In her younger years, picking huckleberries, hunting mushrooms and fishing were favorite things to do. 

She enjoyed going to the Oregon coast to the art galleries and the beach. 

She was always ready
with a helping hand when needed. 

Her career as a telephone operator began in La Grande with Northwest Bell for many years and then continued with Pacific Bell after moving to Pendleton. 

Tiny and Lorene returned to La Grande in 1976. She was a member of a Bunco Club for many years. 

She enjoyed rides around the valley and watching the wildlife. She treasured feeding her large covey of quail in her backyard.

She is survived by two sons; Steve in La Grande and Greg in Tigard; sister, Betty Jacques in Milton-Freewater; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter and numerous nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, mother, father, stepfather and daughter-in-law.