OBITUARIES: Wednesday, March 5

By Observer Upload March 05, 2014 10:36 am
Kern, Francis, Carpenter, Henderson, Reed, Daniell, Worcester



Josefa T. Kern




Josefa T. Kern, 70, of Cove, died March 1 at her home. She chose to forgo funeral services as she disliked a fuss being made over her.

Josefa was born May 19, 1943, in Bavaria, Germany, in a castle that had been converted into a hospital. Growing up in post-World War II Germany, she was no stranger to hardship. In 1965 she married U.S. Special Forces soldier Richard L. Kern, while he was stationed in Germany, and together they had a son, Richard J. Kern. 

Eventually, Josefa and Richard moved to the U.S. and had a daughter, Naomi M. (Kern) Alldredge. After her husband’s retirement from the military, they moved to Cove in 1981. Josefa also had two stepdaughters, Risa (Kern) Fitzsimmons and Michelle (Kern) Brauer.

Josefa enjoyed making and also collecting beautiful things (“treasure-hunting” as she called it). Rejoicing in color, she loved to grow plants and flowers, especially heirloom roses. In time, however, her real treasure was discovered: Jesus Christ. 

Her German accent, great smile, wit, compassion, generosity and lack of concern for convention touched many lives. From riding a motorcycle-like bicycle she had painted with zebra stripes to loudly blasting and dancing to Handel’s “Messiah,” Josefa was full of life.

Josefa was her kids’ greatest fan. Lacking fireworks one New Year’s Eve, she tried to console her son by banging pots and pans together on their third story balcony. She delighted in sharing her cooking and her love and was prone quoting Scripture.Josefa cherished each of her grandchildren.

Near the end of her life, Josefa said she was “going to flip purzelbaume (somersaults) on the way home (to Heaven).”



Sarah Francis

La Grande



Sarah Marie Francis, 35, of La Grande, died Feb. 25 at her residence. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Loveland Funeral Chapel.

Sarah was born Feb. 7, 1979, to Rick and Teresa (Mitchell) Francis. She grew up in Baker City where she attended Brooklyn Elementary, Baker Middle School and Baker High School.

Sarah lived in Portland from 1997 to 1998 then moved to La Grande. She lived in Union from 2005 to 2012 before making her residence once again in La Grande.

Sarah worked at Subway and the Travelodge before deciding to be a stay-at-home mom.

Survivors include her mother and stepfather, Teresa and David English of Island City; children, Jaydia McQuin, Elijah Francis and Dalaynia Francis; brother, Caleb Francis of Taiwan; stepbrothers and their wives, Dave and Kellie English of Middleton, Idaho, Justin English of La Grande, Tony and Amy English of Molalla, Kenny and Tesia English of Island City and Doug Skillings of Gillette, Wyo.; grandmother, Della Clelland of Baker City; and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Sterling Bank for the memorial fund of Sarah Francis for her three minor children.

Online condolences to the family can be made at



Larry Carpenter

La Grande



Larry Ray Carpenter, 64, of La Grande, died Feb. 28 at his home following a 14-month battle with cancer. A gathering to celebrate his life will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 15 at the La Grande Country Club. A BYOB/potluck wake will follow at the family’s home. Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.

Larry was born May 12, 1949, to Raymond Francis and Helen Frances (Shaw) Carpenter in Baker City. The family moved to La Grande in 1956, and Larry attended La Grande High School.

Larry served with the United States Army during the Vietnam War and worked as a supervisor for Boise Cascade for more than 30 years.

On Sept. 2, 1984, Larry married Barbara McLean. He was a member of the gun club and enjoyed hunting. He was an avid fly fisherman and loved teaching his family how to fish.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Carpenter of La Grande; children, Carmen Kamaunu of Federal Way, Wash., Larry Renn Carpenter of Spokane, Wash., and Kyle Ray Carpenter of La Grande; sister, Sharon Kay Carpenter of Corvallis; three grandchildren and other relatives. 

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to a charity of choice. 



Virginia Henderson

Formerly of North Powder



Virginia Elmina Henderson, 94, of Baker City, died March 2 at Elkhorn Adult Foster Home. A visitation will be held Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel in Baker City. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Anthony Catholic Church in North Powder. Interment will be at the North Powder Cemetery with a reception following at the Wolf Creek Grange.

Virginia was born April 4, 1919, on a farm near North Powder to Joseph Aloysius and Mattie Smith (Nice) Henderson, a descendent of an early pioneer family. She attended school at Wolf Creek Elementary, going to North Powder for high school and later taking some work at Baker Business College.

On Feb. 17, 1936, Virginia married Leonard Lewis Henderson in La Grande. All their married life, they lived on a small place on Wolf Creek that was a part of Virginia’s great-grandparents’ original homestead.

While their children were in school, she was active in all their school affairs. Besides local activities, she also served on the Union County Extension Committee and the Union County Democratic Central Committee and was a charter member of the Blue Mountain Chapter of the Oregon School Food Service. She was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and a member of the Wolf Creek Grange since 1933. 

Virginia was employed at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City for seven years, and for 19 years worked for the North Powder School District as both second cook and head cook. In 1984 she retired.

Later in life, Virginia moved to Baker City, where she lived at Grandview Manor for six years. For the last five years, she resided at Elkhorn Adult Foster Home.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard, in 1997; her parents; sons, Darnold Kent Henderson and Leonard Loren Henderson; and siblings, Charles Nice and Elsie Taylor.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Rodney and Gloria Henderson of Kalispell, Mont., Theron and Lois Henderson of Billings, Mont., Roger Bruce Henderson of North Powder and Junia and Charles Burdon of Yamhill; 12 grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and six stepgreat-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wolf Creek Grange in care of Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City 97814.



Brian Leon Reed

Formerly of Elgin



Brian Leon Reed of Athol, Idaho, formerly of Elgin, died Feb. 19 from a heart disease complication.

Brian was born to Hanford Reed, deceased, and Hazel Bennett Reed Wing on June 2, 1948.

Survivors include his siblings, Patricia Reed of Redmond and Bruce Reed of Olympia, Wash. No service is planned at this time. 



Charles O Daniell



Charles O Daniell, 82, a longtime resident of Union County, died at his home in Union on March 3. Arrangements are under the direction of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home of Halfway. 



Robert Douglas Worcester

La Grande


Robert Douglas Worcester, 57, of La Grande, died March 5 at his residence. A full obituary will be published at a later time. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.