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She was born July 21, 1926, in Burns. Her parents were Harry Howell (b.1880) and Velma Kelley Howell (b.1903).
Young Ima attended school in Burns, and graduated from Burns High School in 1944. At the age of 19, on January 21, 1945, Ima married Tom Choate, also from Burns, and the son of John T. (Jack) Choate and Itha Naomi Garrett Choate of Burns. Tom was serving in the United States Army Air Force. They were married in Great Falls, Mont. When Tom was honorably discharged in October 1945 from Great Falls Army Air Base, Mont., the newlyweds immediately moved back to Burns.
Ima and Tom created a beautiful family together, having four boys and one girl. From their five children, Tom and Ima came to have 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
Ima Choate is survived by her children, John T. (Tommy) Choate Jr. and wife, Barbara, of Hines, Gordon Choate of Redmond, Jerry Choate and wife, Katherine, of Sidney, Mont., and Sharyn Ochoa and husband, Philip, of Santa Rosa Valley, Calif. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Dena Vinzant, Tom Choate, Mike Choate, Debbie George, Dawn Wilson, Becky Winters, Melissa Church, Jerri Lyn Clelland, Lorie Smith, Amanda Sherrill, and Matt Cooper; 16 great-grandchildren, Jonathan Vinzant, Jessie Vinzant, Jacob Ray, Felicia Choate, Marissa Choate, Alicia Plechaty, Tyler George, Hannah George, Nicole Morgan, Brooks Morgan, Austin Wilson, Bree Porfily, Logan Porfily, Lucas Roberts, Gauge Smith, Blake Sherrill; and four great-great-grandchildren, Jaydon Vinzant, Bentley Vinzant, Corbin Vinzant and Dakota Morgan.
Ima was preceded in death by her parents, Harry Howell and Velma Howell; siblings, Ruth Howell Armstrong of Vale, and Denise (DeeDee) Howell of Burns; her beloved husband of 65 years, Tom Choate (d.2010); and her son, Gary Choate of Burns (d.2012).
Services were held at LaFollette’s Chapel on Tuesday, June 17, with eulogy given by son-in-law Philip Ochoa. Graveside services followed.
Donations in Mrs. Choate’s memory may be made to the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center directly, or in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.