Virginia I. Manning


Virginia Irene Manning, 86, of Elgin, died Feb. 28 at her residence. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. March 15 at the Elgin Cemetery. An obituary is forthcoming. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory is handling the arrangements.

Robert F. Hill

Formerly of La Grande & Cove


Robert “Bob” Fee Hill, 84, formerly of La Grande and Cove, died Feb. 12 in Yuma, Arizona, after a short illness. At his request there will not be a service.

Known as Bob, he was born Oct. 10, 1934, in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, to Curtis and Margaret (Brown) Fee. He was the fourth youngest of nine children. His mother died shortly after the birth of her last child, and the children were then placed in an orphanage. Bob was adopted at age 5 by Floyd C. and Margaret Hill. They moved to La Grande, where Floyd was an educator at what is now Eastern Oregon University.

Bob attended La Grande public schools and was active in FFA, football, basketball and track and field. He was honored as the Senior Athlete of the Year his last year of high school. Soon after graduating, Bob purchased and ran a small dairy farm outside Cove.

Bob married Jolita Kay Warnstaff on July 17, 1955. Later the dairy farm was sold and they moved to La Grande. Bob and Jolita had three daughters who were raised in La Grande and later in Cove, where the family lived after purchasing a second farm of 160 acres. They raised hogs and sheep, and Bob farmed by day and worked at the local sawmill at night until his retirement.

After retirement, Bob and Jolita traveled with their fifth-wheel RV throughout the United States and Mexico. They made many lasting friends throughout their travels, eventually settling in Yuma, Arizona, at Country Roads Village. They continued to spend their summers at Wallowa Lake at their cabin and winters in Arizona until the summer of 2018, when they began staying in Yuma full-time.

Bob enjoyed watching sports, fishing, traveling and, after his retirement, golfing. His faith was important to him, and he was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Jolita of Yuma, Arizona; daughters, Vicki Hill Brown and husband, Mike, of Cove, Tracy Davidson and husband, Dan, of La Grande, and Randi DeMeerleer of Cove; and four grandsons.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, T.J. Tally.

Andrew M. Pinard

Formerly of La Grande


Andrew Michael Pinard, 43, of Oxbow and formerly of La Grande, died Feb. 17 at his home. A celebration of his life will be held at 6 p.m. March 15 at Wild Bills in Halfway. A social hour precedes the service, beginning at 5 p.m.

Known as Andy, he was born March 15, 1975, in Portland. He spent his first three years in Gresham before the family moved to Eastern Oklahoma. There Andy spent his younger years running barefoot and shirtless with his brothers through the open fields and wild places surrounding their rural homes.

Throughout his life, Andy was lovable, curious, adventurous and fearless. Those traits would follow him throughout his life and would often land him into trouble. Those who knew him admired the way he addressed adversity: loudly, boisterously and with comical fanfare.

Andy moved to La Grande, where he attended Greenwood Elementary School and La Grande High School. He was active in wrestling, football, choir and musical productions while attending LHS. After graduating high school, Andy attended the Western Culinary Institute. He loved sharing his culinary creations and quickly found that cooking was his gift. After school Andy worked in Portland for a short period. In 2003, he moved to Pine Creek, where for more than a decade he helped run Thompson’s Hells Canyon Inn with his family. Most recently Andy worked for Wild Bills in Halfway.

Andy loved Hell’s Canyon. It was the place he considered home. When not working Andy loved to fish and the thrill of the catch. It was when he was fishing with friends and family that he found his true happiness.

A dedicated uncle, And wore many bruises from play sessions in the backyard with his nieces and nephews. He will be remembered for his sense of humor that knew no boundaries and his genuine, kind, and playful spirit. As many will attest, Andy was a fierce and loyal friend. His loyalty to his friends was rivaled only by his devotion to the Oakland Raiders.

Survivors include his mother, Lynne Thompson; father, William Pinard and his wife, Bonnie; brothers Graham Pinard and Nathan Pinard; sister, Stacy Campbell; five nieces and nephews and uncles, Joe Langella and Bob Turk.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Theresa Langella and Ruth Pinard; stepfather, Stan Thompson; and brother, Mitchell Thompson.

Memorial donations may be made to help defray service expense in care of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home & Cremation Services, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.

Online condolences may be shared at

Tanna J. (Griffin) 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 the Union Victorian Cemetery at 11 a.m. The family prefers casual dress. A reception and meal will be held after the graveside service at the Union VFW Hall.

Tanna was born May 19, 1949, in Pendleton, to Earl and Mary Helen (Ryason) Griffin. She resided in Hermiston, Pendleton, La Grande, Portland and Union. She graduated from Hermiston High School and later from Blue Mountain Community College. She married Edward L. Williams on July 17, 1971.

Tanna was employed with collection agencies. She enjoyed camping, fishing, gardening, ceramics, painting, picking huckleberries, sewing, bowling, riding horses and spending time with her family at home and on vacations.

Survivors include her husband, Edward; children and their spouses, Jeffrey and Meriah Williams of Prineville and Sheryl and Justin Nash of Echo; sister and brother-in-law, Vickie and Michael Montgomery of Greenleaf, Idaho; three grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Mary Helen.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made to the family 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.

Charles was born June 5, 1935, in Glasgow, Montana, to Clifford and Bertha (Pischke) Hewitt. He moved around the Pacific Northwest before settling in Richland to raise his family, and he spent his retirement years in La Grande. He married Dolores Vessel on April 12, 1969, in Springfield.

Charles served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea for the clean-up after the Korean War, from 1958 to 1960. As a civilian, he had various jobs before finding a career truck driving. He drove for a redimix company and long haul before retiring. Charles had a pilot’s license and owned his own airplane for numerous years. He collected Corvair automobiles.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores; daughter and son-in-law, Melonie and Craig Towell of Terrebonne; stepchildren and spouses, Tim Vessel of La Grande, Rebecca and Jim Butler of Baker City, Leila and Fred Bashans of Port Orchard, Washington, and Scott Vessel of Moses Lake, Washington; sisters and spouses, Mary Stone of Reedsport, Ellie and Dick Hawksworth of Boise, Idaho, Bertha “Sundae” Casey of Boise, Idaho, and Stella and Allen Kash of Oregon City; brother and spouse, Ray and Janet Hewitt of Corvallis; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and seven nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Bertha, and brother, Clarence Hewitt.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, 2802 Adams Ave., La Grande OR 97850.

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.

Known as Sherman, he was born March 19, 1942, in Salem, to George Sherman VanCleave and Doris Winifred (Fox) Ricketts. He attended and graduated from Salem High School. On Dec. 13, 1975, Sherman married Vicki McNulty in Powell Butte.

Sherman worked for more than 35 years as an office equipment sales manager. He worked for Xerox and 3M corporations and was an office equipment sales business owner with his wife, Vicki. He also worked for a time at AL-KO Kober Manufacturing in La Grande.

Sherman enjoyed camping, hunting, being out in nature and riding ATVs with his family and friends. He spent more than 10 years as a Deschutes County Fair Director, working with commercial vendors. Sherman was always eager to help family and friends and could be counted on when needed.

Survivors include his wife, Vicki VanCleave of La Grande; daughters, Tara VanCleave Hett of La Grande and Jennifer Cunnington and husband, Brian, of Tri-Cities, Washington; daughter-in-law, Amy Michelle VanCleave; five grandchildren; brothers, Donald VanCleave and Duane VanCleave; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George VanCleave and Doris Ricketts; infant son, Darin Dale VanCleave; son, Tyler Sherman VanCleave; granddaughter, Calli Renae Federico; and siblings, Sharon Ransom and Kenneth VanCleave.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Tyler VanCleave Memorial Scholarship Fund through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City OR 97814.

To light a candle in memory of Sherman, or to leave a condolence for the family, visit