OBITUARIES: Friday, March 21

By Observer Upload March 21, 2014 09:46 am
Hulden, Chandler, Combes, Vanderwall, 



Trevah Hulden


Trevah Hulden, 92, of Union, died Thursday in Union. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Yvonne ‘Bonnie’ P. Chandler

La Grande

Yvonne “Bonnie” P. Chandler, 77, of La Grande, formerly of Elgin, died Wednesday at a care facility. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Raymond Henry Combes



Raymond Henry Combes, 86, of Joseph, died March 15 at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Joseph United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Wallowa Valley Health Care Foundation or the Joseph United Methodist Church Memorial Fund.

Ray was born Jan. 21, 1928, on a farm near Nemaha, Iowa, to Merle and Edna (Hellman) Combes.

On March 7, 1949, he married Patricia Ruth Cook. They recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.

Ray grew up on a farm during the Great Depression. From eighth grade through his senior year, he was the catcher on the high school varsity baseball team, going to the Iowa state baseball tournament several times and winning the state title once. He graduated from Delaware Township High School in 1946.

After high school, he continued to play baseball, receiving $25 per game as a catcher on local town teams.

He farmed at Nemaha until 1956, when he moved his family to Carnation, Wash., where he was employed by Carnation Farms. In 1961, the family moved to Oak Grove near Portland. In 1970, he and Pat purchased Benson’s Log Cabins at Wallowa Lake and moved to Wallowa County, renaming the business Eagle Cap Chalets. They operated the resort for 20 years, retiring to Joseph after selling the business.

In retirement, Ray and Pat traveled frequently, visiting family and friends around the United States. They spent 14 years wintering at Big River, Calif., and Golden Shores, Ariz. Ray loved working in his shop building, repairing and welding anything, especially treasures he found at yard sales. He was always ready to share a cup of coffee or a game of cards. He was a great tease and jokester, always getting a laugh.

Ray was a founding member and treasurer of the Wallowa Lake Tourist Committee. He served on the Wallowa County Museum board for 20 years. He was a member of BPOE No. 1829 for 44 years and was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church.

He is survived by a daughter, Colleen Stransky and her husband, Dr. Jerry Stransky; son, Steve Combes and wife, Susie; daughter, Bev Hayward and husband, Mike; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his sister, Norma Erickson (Larry) of Albert City, Iowa, many nieces and nephews and special “adopted” family members, Peter Sands of Australia and Isabelle Wolfsgruber of Austria.

His parents and brother, Keith, died earlier. 



Bert W. Vanderwall



On March 13, surrounded by his family, one of the true pioneers of skiing, Bert W. Vanderwall, 86, died.

A viewing will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City. A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Baker City Church of the Nazarene, 1250 Hughes Lane, Baker City, with a graveside service following at the Haines Cemetery. 

Bert was born Feb. 8, 1928, to Roy and Loddie Hornbeck Vanderwall in Haines. He joined a brother, Royal, and was preceded in death by a brother, Garrett.

Bert attended Muddy Creek School and graduated with the last graduating class from Muddy Creek High School in 1947, riding his horse to school all year long. Bert’s passion was skiing. He made many trips to the Little Alps and Anthony Lakes prior to the ski area being active, by hiking to the top. This was often a nine-hour day for only a couple of trips off the mountain for pleasure. Bert and his dad were instrumental in helping to create and open the ski area as we know it today.

Bert married his high school sweetheart, Betty Cox, on Aug. 6, 1948, and they had three daughters — Rhea, Hilda and Roberta. 

Bert briefly attended Oregon State University but returned to work on the Muddy Creek farm when his dad was injured in an accident. Bert quit farming when he and Betty bought Anthony Lakes Summer Resort. Bert drove logging truck and then worked construction for more than 35 years. His favorite machine was a Cat 235 Excavator.

Bert was a ski instructor for more than 50 years, and on the Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol. All three of his daughters followed in his footsteps and became members of the ALSP. All of his kids and grandkids have followed the family tradition and become skiers. Bert was a legend at Anthony and for many he really was “Anthony Lakes.” If you ever skied on the mountain, undoubtedly you knew Bert or at least skied Bert’s Run. Bert was mountain manager and ski host for years. In 2012, Bert received the Gemutlichkeit Award given out by Oregon Ski Magazine. This award is given to those who are known for their “comfortable ambience, friendliness, informality, coziness, snugness, good nature, pleasantness, approachability, easy-going nature, warm, amicability.” This was Bert.

Bert loved to sing and play songs. He was often up at Anthony Lakes to lead the Easter Sunrise service with his music. He was an active member of the Haines Baptist Church and in the choir, and enjoyed his time spent volunteering and spiritually mentoring inmates.

After retiring, Bert became involved with the Small Woodlands Association, serving on its board of directors, earning the distinction of first Runner Up for Tree Farmer of the Year. He was often found using his sawmill to help build fencing rails, or whatever anyone wanted. He loved spending time out tinkering with wood in his shop, using wood that he got for himself in the mountains. He made numerous small tables and figurines.

Bert is survived by his wife, Betty; his three daughters, Rhea Patton (Jim), Hilda Knight (Bill) and Roberta Vanderwall. He is also survived by six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol or the Haines First Baptist Church.