Obituaries for February 28, 2014

By Observer Upload February 28, 2014 11:21 am
Francis, Lindsay, Gruis, Depew, Gorham, Soles



Sarah M. Francis

La Grande

Sarah M. Francis, 35, of La Grande, died Tuesday at her residence. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Gordon Lindsay

La Grande

Gordon Lindsay, 88, 

La Grande, died Thursday at a local care facility. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Robert ‘Bob’ Herman Gruis

La Grande


Robert “Bob” Herman Gruis, 87, of La Grande, died Feb. 26 at his residence. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Island City Cemetery.

Bob was born June 6, 1926, in La Grande to Ed and Sylvia “Sophia” (Dornkamp) Gruis. Bob was raised in La Grande, completed 10th grade and went into the Army in 1944. Prior to going into the Army, he married his childhood sweetheart, Patricia Rae McKlin, who died earlier.

Bob was employed as the terminal manager for Sites Silver Wheel Freight Lines and was co-owner and later owner of 

La Grande Disposal, retiring in the mid-1970s. Bob was a successful businessman and raised three sons. Bob served the country while in the Army in 1944. He drove amphibious tanks and rose to the rank of sergeant. 

Bob enjoyed hunting, gardening, going to his cabin, raising beef and picking huckleberries. He loved to be in the mountains. Bob was an accomplished carpenter and built the house he and Patricia lived in for 50 years.

Bob is survived by his three sons, Dan and his wife, Sue, of Salem, Robert Gruis and his companion, Tonja, of La Grande, and Larry and his wife, Jana, of Elgin; his brother, Arthur Gruis of Portland; nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Rae Gruis; his parents, Ed and Sophia Gruis; three brothers and three sisters.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Society, in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.

Online condolences may be made to the family at



Carmon Lee Depew

La Grande


Carmon Lee Depew, 89, of La Grande, died Feb. 25 at a local care facility. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center. To sign the online guest book visit Those who wish may make contributions in his memory to the American Legion Building Fund.

Carmon was born April 25, 1924, the son of Harry and Estelle Depew in Baker. He was educated at Pilot Rock. He served in the U.S. Army. In 1946, he married Cressie Blanchet. They lived in Pendleton, Pilot Rock and Union before moving to La Grande in 1960. He worked as a logger in Eastern Oregon. In his younger years, he worked on ranches and competed in saddle bronc at the Pendleton Round-Up. He enjoyed fishing and hunting and was a member of the American Legion. 

Survivors include his daughters, Toni Crites and Sharon Haefer; sister, Earlene Little; one grandson; and other relatives. 

He was preceded in death by his wife; son, Dan Depew; and siblings, Lloyd and Kenneth Depew and Mable Cable.



Robert (Bob) Owen Gorham

Formerly of La Grande


Robert (Bob) Owen Gorham 63, of Forest Grove died Feb. 18 at the Veterans Hospital in Portland.  

A celebration of life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday at the VFW in Pendleton. A potluck and sharing time will follow. The public is invited. 

Memorial contributions to assist with final expenses can be sent to Suzanne, 1637 Gales Court, Forest Grove OR 97116.

Robert was born July 30, 1950, in La Grande, to Gordon and Edith (Turner) Gorham. He attended North Powder schools, plus one year of high school at Halfway before returning to North Powder, graduating in 1968.

After graduation, he moved to Stanfield, working at Northrup Steel in Hermiston before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1969 and serving four years at San Diego. He married Rose Garrett of Richland on Nov. 28, 1971. He later worked at the Umatilla Army Depot before returning to North Powder, where they had two children, Angela and Ben. Robert worked on the family farm and then for the City of North Powder. He and Rose later divorced, and he returned to Stanfield to raise his children. There, he worked for Norpa Construction Co. of Hermiston. 

While working in Pendleton, he met and married Suzanne (Esterly) Pulse on Dec. 12, 1978, adding a son, Chris Pulse, a brother to Angela and Ben. He then worked for the City of Echo before he changed vocations due to physical injuries. He attended school at Blue Mountain Community College, taking computer science. Upon graduation, he was hired by Tektronix of Beaverton, and the family moved to Forest Grove, where the children grew up. 

In 1984, Robert was diagnosed with a genetic condition, Huntington’s disease. 

Robert is survived by his wife, Suzanne of Forest Grove; daughter, Angela Nelson (Craig) of La Grande; sons, Ben (Lisa) of Vernonia and Chris of Forest Grove; five grandchildren; his little sister, Kathy Mendoza of Irrigon; stepmother Lucille Gorham of La Grande; and numerous other relatives.  



Lois Luella Soles



Lois Luella Soles, 82, of Union, died Feb. 20 at her home. There will be no public services at this time, but those who wish may sign the on-line guestbook at Contributions may be made to the Salvation Army in her memory.

Lois was born on June 18, 1931, one of 11 children born to Buster Ernest and Mildred (Olmsted) Crawford in Worley, Idaho. In 1948, she married Harold Soles in Crouch, Idaho. They moved to Union in 1960. She enjoyed watching television, fishing and hunting. She made dolls, crocheted and collected rocks.

Survivors include her children, William Soles of Weippe, Idaho, Luella “Susie” Michaels of North Powder and Jesse Soles of La Grande; six grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Clifford Crawford, Allen Crawford, Diann Winters and Marykay Hills; and other relatives. 

She was preceded in death by two sons and siblings, Wanda Buster, Alonzo Crawford, Arnold Crawford, Roy Crawford, Abbie Crawford and Darlene Crawford.