Benjamin M. Boswell

Formerly of Joseph


Benjamin Mack Boswell, 72, formerly of Joseph, died Feb. 23 in Spokane, Washington. A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. March 9 at the high school gym in Joseph, followed by a potluck social in the cafeteria. Friends are asked to bring finger foods and memories of Ben to share.

Ben was born Jan. 24, 1947, in Boise, Idaho, the only child of Gene Corwin and Mary Elizabeth (Dawson) Boswell. He was raised in Joseph and was an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Joseph High School as valedictorian of the class of 1965.

Ben attended Willamette University and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1970 with a BA. He married his lifelong friend and college sweetheart, Claudia Lynn Wilson, on Aug. 2, 1969. Ben taught junior high and high school math and science in Long Creek, Madras and Joseph for a total of 20 years.

In 1992, Ben began the first of four terms as Wallowa County Commissioner. During his third term, he served as president of the Oregon Association of Counties. Always active in the community, Ben rose to local and state leadership roles in the United Methodist Church, the Grange and the Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and the Order of Eastern Star.

Ben was raised in a musical family and, with Claudia, played in school and community bands and sang in school, church and community choirs wherever they lived. He also participated in school and community theater productions.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Claudia; children and spouses, Cory and Kelly Boswell of Bozeman, Montana, and Candy and David Casteal of Spokane, Washington; and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ben Boswell Memorial Fund at

Charles N. Hewitt

Island City

Charles Nelson Hewitt, 83, of Island City, died Feb. 27 at Grande Ronde Hospital. No services are planned at this time. An obituary is forthcoming. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the

An obituary is forthcoming.

Floyd A. Knight

La Grande

Floyd Arlen Knight, 88, of La Grande, died March 4 at a local care facility. An obituary is forthcoming. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.

Darleen L. (Young) Hendon

La Grande


Darleen Lou Hendon, 71, of La Grande, died March 1 at a local care facility. A viewing will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 7 at Loveland Funeral Chapel. A funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. March 8 at the La Grande First Christian Church. A short graveside service will follow, after which a meal will be held at the First Christian Church.

Darleen was born March 7, 1947, in Grand Junction, Colorado, to Lawrence and Evelyn (Gardiner) Young. In junior high school, Darleen moved with her family to Afton, Wyoming, where she graduated from Star Valley High School. After marrying George Hendon on Jan. 6, 1969, they moved to Graysville, Tennessee, for about one year. The couple returned to Afton, Wyoming, for a short period before moving to the Grande Ronde Valley in 1971, eventually settling in La Grande in 1976.

Darleen was employed along the way at the Star Valley Hospital in Wyoming, Rhea County Memorial Hospital in Tennessee and ultimately the La Grande Observer, from which she retired. She also volunteered with the Santa Mall, local 4-H clubs and for countless activities involving her children and grandchildren.

Darleen was an avid yard saler and attended and assisted with local auctions. She enjoyed playing bingo and followed the Portland Trail blazers, Oregon Ducks and Atlanta Braves.

Survivors include her children and their spouses, Clay and Kathy Hendon of Kennewick, Washington, Roxanne and Butch
Stephens of La Grande, Miles and Trudy Hendon of
La Grande, and Jeremy Hendon of Washington, D.C.; sisters and brothers-in-law, Colleen and Jim Jenson of Goodyear, Arizona, and Eileen and Alan Boss of Grand Junction, Colorado; brother and sister-in-law, Clark and Maureen Young of Cheyenne, Wyoming; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and 26 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George; parents, Lawrence and Evelyn; and brother, Derald Young.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

George ‘Sherman’ VanCleave Jr.

Baker City

George “Sherman” VanCleave Jr., 76, of Baker City, died Feb. 19 near Unity. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. April 13 at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. Arrangements are under the direction of Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel of Baker City. To light a candle in memory of Sherman, or to leave a condolence for the family, visit

An obituary is forthcoming.

Robert C. Shelton



Robert Chesley Shelton, 94, of Union, died Feb. 28. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. March 11 at the Union Methodist Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center.

Known as Bob, he was born in 1924 in Wallowa. Sports were a big part of his early life. He met Averil Jean Harris from Cove at the Wallowa Lake skating rink when she was a sophomore and he was a junior in high school. Bob commuted the distance from Wallowa to Cove during their courtship, and they were married Dec. 27, 1942.

Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army. After
basic training in Texas, he landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy. He drove a supply truck and barely escaped a fire. After the war, Bob and Averil bought a farm in Union, which they owned and farmed until 1958. In order to support his family, Bob also worked in lumber. In 1958, they built a home in Union, where they lived until Averil passed in 2011. Bob spent his last years in Jodi George’s foster care.

Bob was a longtime volunteer at the Union Methodist Church, helping with repairs like putting on a new roof and distributing food to the needy. He especially enjoyed meal gatherings at the church and would make sure to get large helpings of whatever dish Averil prepared.

Bob was known for his love of the outdoors and he enjoyed fishing, hunting, gathering wood and camping. Although Bob and Averil only had high school educations, they valued education and prioritized college degrees for their children. Bob’s life lessons and legacy were that your word is your bond and to respect others’ property.

Survivors include his children and their spouses, Ken and Rhonda Shelton of La Grande and Connie and Lloyd Weaver of West Lafayette, Indiana; six grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Averil.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bobcat Foundation.

Tanna J. Williams


Tanna Jean Williams, 69, of Union, died March 3 at her residence. A viewing will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. March 9 at Loveland Funeral Chapel in La Grande, followed by a graveside service at 11 a.m. at the Victorian Cemetery in Union. The family prefers casual dress. A reception and meal will be held after the graveside service at the Union VFW Hall. An obituary is forthcoming. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is handling the arrangements.

Andrew Pinard

Formerly of La Grande

Andrew “Andy” Pinard, 43, of Oxbow, died
Feb. 17. A memorial gathering will be held March 15 at Wild Bills in Halfway, with a social hour at 5 p.m. and a celebration of his life at 6 p.m. Arrangements are entrusted to Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Halfway.

An obituary is forthcoming.