OBIT ThreadgillBeverly June Threadgill passed away Nov. 8 at Harney District Hospital.

Beverly June Sevey was born Jan. 30, 1940, at Holy Rosary Hospital in Ontario to Harold Frank and Nell (Whitley) Sevey.

Beverly loved to tell stories of her growing up, and the fact that her father helped make the broadbreasted turkey when he was employed with Fish and Game.

Sadly, Bev’s beloved daddy died when she was 11.

The family moved to Burns/Hines in 1952.

Beverly later joined the Army, and received an honorable discharge in 1960.

On June 19, 1961, Beverly married the love of her life, Ronald Threadgill, becoming a wife, and a mother to Ronny, Ron’s son. They soon added to the family, with Don in 1962, Gereldine “DeDe” in 1963, Gary in 1964, and Jon in 1965.

Beverly worked at Boeing until her retirement in 2002.

Beverly loved her family and had a deep faith in God. She also loved volunteering at the Harney County Senior Center until her health no longer allowed it.

She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Ron Threadgill; sons, Ronny (Kathy), Don (Tina), and Jon (Tonia); daughter, DeDe (Scott Malin); brothers, Don (Mary), Gene (Lynn), Loren and Tom; sister, Joanie (Earl Hofman); many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Beverly was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Nell Sevey; brother, Lloyd; sister, Ellen; and her son, Gary.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.


Norman Byron McRae 1921-2014

Posted on December 17th in Obituaries

Norman Byron McRae, 93, passed away Dec. 9.

He was born on May 3, 1921, in Portland to Forbes William and Marte Else (German) McRae I, the second of three sons.

The family moved from Portland to the hinterlands of Southeastern Oregon and settled in the Harney County seat, Burns. He always thought of this part of the world as his home, having spent countless hours hunting and fishing with his brothers, his father, and lifelong friends, the Clarks, in the area. He graduated from Burns Union High School, then attended Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, where he was the first chair trumpet in the university symphony and also played in the marching band, concurrent with being the fourth-string center on the football team. The only time he ever got called in to play football, rather than his trumpet, he was back in Harney County hunting elk. While at OSU, he pledged the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, going through an initiation ritual that caused his lifelong disdain for liver and onions.

When the attack came on Pearl Harbor, Norman enlisted in the Navy, leaving his college education for a higher duty. While stationed in California, he met Selma Joy Banther and proposed before he was shipped out to the Pacific. He served as a radio operator and was thinking he’d be safe on the battleship Richard B. Anderson, but was sent in on the second wave at Bougainville. It was during his time in the Pacific that he gained an abhorrence for curry in all forms, since it was used to disguise spoiled meats.  Despite his problems with liver and curry, Norman was a gourmet chef, attending many James Beard cooking classes, and going on to prepare meals, not only for hunting camps and harvest camps at the Clark ranch in Drewsey, but also for meals at Kennewick First Presbyterian.

After the war, he was honorably discharged and returned stateside where he married Selma on Dec. 16, 1945. He and his new bride went to Eugene, where he finished his education, graduating with a degree in accounting. They then moved to Burns, where he managed the family lumberyard, and where two daughters, Martha and Kristine, were born. Norman so hoped for a son, someone to go hunting and fishing with him, but he settled for the poor substitutes he was given. While in Burns, he was active in many civic and veterans’ organizations, served as a volunteer ambulance driver, and played taps at sunset in the town cemetery on his Boy Scout bugle. In 1960, the family moved to Pasco, Wash., where he managed a lumberyard, then later worked for Ashgrove Cement until retirement. His lifelong passion for hunting and fishing led to many interesting family “vacations.” Most destinations were centered around lakes, streams, or oceans, where nature’s bounty could be caught and enjoyed. His two daughters learned that when camping, you should never forget the tent poles, especially if it’s raining; never, ever plan a fishing vacation around a place called “Mosquito Lake,” even if it did feature golden trout; that when on a logging road in the Olympic forest, one can, indeed, use baling wire and gum to reattach the gas tank to a Ford station wagon; and that family vacations always had the aroma of their dad’s Doublemint gum and mother’s black coffee, and they always featured whistling.

Norman’s whistling was his hallmark; those who spent time with him learned to tell his moods by the tune he featured. Yellow Rose of Texas meant that he was in a jolly mood, and nearly every phone call would end with him starting up the whistle before he hung up the receiver. When he was peeved, especially with Mother, the song would be It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie. Music was a big part of his life, although it usually manifested itself in his whistling. He finally took up square dancing in his later years, although Mother claimed he knew only one step, the Harney County Cement Leg Stomp.

Norman was a lifetime member of many organizations, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Safari Club, Transportation Club, the Elks (Exalted Ruler of his lodge) and the Masons.  He supported wildlife conservation through Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and returned annually to his beloved Harney County and the Clark  ranch for elk and deer seasons well into his 80s. In his early 80s, he also fulfilled a lifelong dream to go on an African safari with his good friend, Louis, and brought back kudu and impala trophies.

He is survived by his daughters, Martha and Kristine McRae; his grandson, Sam McRae-Skinner (Melissa); his granddaughter, Margaret McRae-Skinner; his two sisters-in-law, Ruth (Bud) McRae and Barbara (Milt) McRae; his first cousin, Chet Gardner (Barbara); and two nieces and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Selma; his older brother, Forbes William “Bud” or “Mac” McRae II; his younger brother, Milton Alexander “Milt” McRae; a sister who died in infancy; his first cousins, Florence and Mary; and the two best hunting dogs a man could have, his beloved Patches and Dutch.

In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that you donate to Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, HonorFlights for WWII vets, The Humane Society, or a charity of your choosing in Norman’s name.

The family invites you to sign their online guest book at www.muellersfuneralhomes.com.


Robert W. Barber, 81, passed away Saturday, Dec. 13, at his home.

A funeral service will be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, with a graveside service to follow.

Contributions in Robert Barber’s memory may be made to the First Evangelical Church, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, Oregon 97720. You can sign the online guestbook at www.lafolletteschapel.com


A memorial service for Mary Emily Newcomb Lawrence will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center, 17 S. Alder Ave., in Burns.

Contributions or flowers in Lawrence’s memory may be sent to The Aspens.


Wesley Wilson 1931-2014

Posted on December 10th in Obituaries

Wesley Wilson, 83, passed away Dec. 2 in Burns.

He was born in Roseburg Nov. 2, 1931, the seventh child of Achsa Hazel Davenport and Harry George Wilson.

He was raised on a small farm. Perhaps that is why he loved gardening and animals. As a teenager, Wesley, his brothers, Wallace and Warren, and friend, Merle Wilson, participated as bronco, bareback riders.  The announcer would get mixed up and say it’s just one of those Wilson boys.

Wes left home at an early age. He started working on ranches, eventually ending up in Montana. Wesley was 19 when he was on a trip to Idaho. He saw this young girl and made the comment that he was going to marry her. His friend said he was crazy. However, eight months later, Wesley married Sadie Lamona Cloward on July 5, 1952. He always considered that was the best choice he ever made. Sixty-two years later, he was still madly in love with Lamona.

They made their first home in Bend, where he worked as a pole lineman.  He was drafted into the Army in January 1953, after just a few months of married life. He served for 14 months as a pole lineman in Korea. When he returned, he went to work for a ranch in Mitchell, and spent the next 39 years there. During that time, he worked on ranches, and in the woods, thinning and logging.

In October 1956, Wes and Lamona had a daughter, Achsa Virginia. In 1957, a son was born, Sterling Lee. Then, in July 1960, a son, Kenneth Dean was born. Also born to them, another son, Cody Wayne, in August 1961. Later, they became involved in foster care and adopted their fifth child, William Wesley Wilson.

They moved to Harney County in 1994, where they spent the remainder of Wesley’s life.

Wesley was a hard worker, fixed anything that needed fixed, never knew a stranger, and helped everyone he saw. He was a kind loving man to all, and his word was his bond.

Wesley is survived by his loving wife, Sadie Lamona Wilson; five children,  Virginia and Alan Davis of Surprise, Ariz., Lee and Pam Wilson of Burns, Kenneth Wilson of Cave Junction, Cody and Adele Wilson of Canyon City, and William Wilson of Burns; brother, Wallace Wilson; sister; Helen Rowell; sister-in-law, Isa Larkin and husband, Bob; 16 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, Jessie Lee Marcy.

Wesley was preceded in death by his brothers, Walter and Warren Wilson; sisters, Hilda and Hazel; and daughter-in-law, Felicia Wilson.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Contributions in Wesley Wilson’s memory may be made to the Latter-day Saints Missionary Program in care of LaFollette’s Chapel. P.O. Box 488, Burns OR 97720.


OBIT Lawrence WebMary Emily Newcomb Lawrence, 90, passed away Dec. 7 at The Aspens following a long battle with cancer.

Mary was born Nov. 3, 1924, in Marble, Colo. Her parents were Sue Bowland and Albert Webister Newcomb. Mary grew up in the Crystal River Valley in Colorado. At age 21, Mary married Dorman Lawrence. Their families had known each other a long time. Mary dated Dorman twice, and in those days, driving 50 miles to date someone was unheard of. So, after a short courtship, they were married. On the way to Burns, they had a honeymoon in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dorman’s sister lived in Burns, and her husband worked for Edward Hines Lumber Company. Dorman got a job at Edward Hines Lumber Company, and he worked in Hines for 42 years. In that time, they had two boys, Dorman Edward (Eddy), and seven-and-a-half years later, Raymond Walter.

Mary was a homemaker and mother all her married life. She was involved in anything that had to do with flowers. She joined the Sunrise Garden Club, and held the offices of president and vice president in the early years. Mary enjoyed sewing for her family for many years. She made a dress for herself, and it fit better than any dress she ever bought. Her hobbies consisted of crocheting and making different items, such as pillow cases, tatting clothes, pictures and pillows. She canned all kinds of home-grown vegetables and fruit.

Dorman built their home in Hines at 203 South Quincy, and they lived there until Dorman died. Mary moved to Aspen Grove apartments, and lived there and enjoyed life for several years. She then moved into The Aspens.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and son, Eddy.

Services for Mary Emily Newcomb Lawrence are pending.


David Alan Rohde 1960-2014

Posted on December 10th in Obituaries

OBIT Rohde WebDavid Alan Rohde, 54, passed away Dec. 3 at his home in Helix.

David was born Aug. 21, 1960, to Charles R. and Edith B. (Emmert) Rohde in Pendleton, where he was raised. He attended grade school in Adams, then schools in Pendleton, graduating from Pendleton High School in 1979. He moved to Estacada in 1983. On July 19, 1986, he married Staci Leathers in Welches. The couple had two sons. They moved to Burns in 1993, where he ran a family ranch, returning to the Pendleton area in 2001. He farmed hay and wheat, and was a very dedicated worker. He enjoyed being outdoors hunting, fishing and woodcutting.  He often went hunting with family friend, Vern Freed.  He loved spending time with his wife and boys.   He was a member of the Peace Lutheran Church.

David is survived by his wife, Staci of Helix; sons, Levi Rohde of Helix, and Justin Rohde and daughter-in-law, Gailen (Phillips) Rohde of Helix; brothers, Jim Rohde of Adams, and Rick Rohde of Pendleton; sisters, Linda Crocker of Camden, N.C., and Beth Naughton of Pendleton; granddaughter, Kimber Rohde of Helix; step-grandchildren, Cody, Justin and Sean Phillips; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec.12, at the Peace Lutheran Church in Pendleton. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of David Rohde may be made to St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Clinic, and may be sent in care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, P.O. Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801. Sign the online condolence book at www.burnsmortuary.com. Arrangements are with Burns Mortuary of Pendleton.


Ernest Botefur

Posted on December 10th in Obituaries

OBIT Botefur WebErnest Botefur passed away Nov. 29.

He was born in Del Norte Colo., to Ernest and Jewell Botefur.

He served two tours of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War.

He worked most of his life as a heavy equipment operator. He loved to hunt and fly fish.

Ernest is survived by his wife of 68 years, Peggy; sons, Ernest of Burns and David of Washington; daughter, Jewell Shreeve of Hines; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; two brothers and two sisters.

At his request, there will be no service. A private family gathering will be held at a later date.

LaFollette’s Chapel is in charge of arrangements.


Jerry Ray Needham 1946-2014

Posted on December 3rd in Obituaries

OBIT Needham webJerry Ray Needham, 67, passed away Dec. 1.

Jerry was born Dec. 15, 1946, in La Grande to Clifford (Bill) and Bettie Needham of Cove. He grew up and attended all 12 years of school in Cove.

Jerry married Marsha Carly in Union, and had two sons, Brian James and Bradley (Brad) Ray.

He married the love of his life, Darlene Ann Lissman, after a planned date set up by his sister, Joyce, and they married after dating for four months on July 3, 1976, in Burns. He had a logging accident 10 days before they were to get married, and so Darlene had to do all the driving during their honeymoon. He tried to talk Darlene out of marrying him after the accident, but was told he wasn’t getting out of it so easy. Jerry was unable to work after the logging accident.

Jerry and Darlene had two children, Kimberly Dawn Needham/Jones/Male and Bill Earl Needham. That same year, the two older boys came to Burns to live with them, and that was a great joy for Jerry to have his family together.

He always enjoyed all the sporting games, teaching hunter safety, and coaching baseball. He also enjoyed going hunting, fishing and camping with his family. He never knew a stranger, and always had family, nephews, and anybody else that wanted to go was always welcome to go along with him or his family. His favorite place to go camping and hunting was the Cove and Ladd Canyon area. He enjoyed the great outdoors. He always said he had nine lives and that he had used up 13 of them.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 37 years, Darlene A. Needham of Burns; sons, Brian, and wife, Kim, of Hines, Brad, and wife, Becky, of Mill City, Bill, and ex-wife, Becky; daughter, Kim Jones/Male, and significant other, Matt; grandchildren, Brianna, Jake, R.J., Sarah and J.J.; great-grandson, Maddox; sisters, Joyce Olsen, and husband, Ron, Judy Foster, and husband, Kevin; many nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and many friends, including Darlene’s family: father, Ray; sisters, Nila Rae, Carolyn, Sylvia; brothers-in-law, Bill Gubser and Jerry Wilcox; and brother, Dan Lissman.

He was preceded in death by his father, Bill; mother, Bettie, brother-in-law, Kris Lissman; mother-in-law, Nadine Lissman; a set of twin grandchildren, and many uncles and aunts.

There will be no service at his request.

Contributions in his memory may be made at LaFollette’s Chapel to help with cremation and other expenses.


Al Bonson 1957-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

OBIT Bonson webAl Bonson of Burns  passed away Nov. 2

Al had a great love of stories, whether reliving the events in one of his tall tales or listening to adventures told by family and friends. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. Like all true fisherman and storytellers, the facts might be slightly exaggerated and bent over time, but they were real and were a doorway into the man we knew and loved.

Al was born September 1957, in San Diego, Calif., the second son to Norman and Donna. This is where his journey began. Not all chapters in life begin and end in the way we foresee them, so Donna was soon caring for her young family and looking to the future.

Donna met and married Larry Root in 1961, and soon settled in Idanha. An idyllic time and place with boundless opportunity for a growing family of young boys looking for adventure. It was a like a page from Tom Sawyer for Al and his brothers, Norm, Craig, Andy and Hoot. Fishing and playing on the river banks and in the woods were some of Al’s fondest memories as a young boy. Al always had a close relationship with all of his brothers and family.

A change of jobs in 1970 meant a move to Burns for the family, and a new set of friends for Al. Many of these friendships from elementary and high school became life-long relationships. Al was a loyal friend, quick to tease and just as quick to help you when you were down.

After graduating, Al worked several jobs, including one at Edward Hines Lumber Mill. In 1986, Al began working for his brother, Andy, alongside his father, Larry, brother, Hoot and Uncle Dave, at Andy’s new company, Andy’s Custom Work. Hard work and long hours spent haying and farming in Burns and Christmas Valley were just fine with Al, but helping teach his nieces and nephews along the way were the times he treasured most. Al was great with kids; he was tough, but always loving.

Around this time, The Powerhouse Restaurant hired a new waitress; a new girl in town with red hair and an outlandish laugh. It was there that Al and Steph met for the first time. They began dating in 1989, sharing many passions, including family, travel, music and Oregon Duck football. Ten short years later, they realized they were perfect for each other. They married in the spring of 1999.

Al and Steph traveled throughout their marriage. Family and friends joined them on trips from the Costa Rican jungle to the Caribbean seas. He lived for adventure, grabbing life with both hands and squeezing everything he could out of it. And he encouraged others to do the same. Oregon Duck football was a venue for sharing time with others. He and Steph loved tailgating at Autzen Stadium with family and friends. A mention of Oregon could cause you to lose hours debating the merits of his favorite team.

As much as both Al and Steph loved to travel, they equally loved living in Harney County. The people and the country are amazingly beautiful. The sense of community and fellowship here is a true blessing.

When Al faced the illness that threatened his health and future, he battled it like a warrior poet. Against incredible odds, he chose to hope and live each moment. He spent this time as he did his life, having adventures and spreading love. While he lost his battle with the illness in the end, his life came full circle. Those people whom he loved so much stepped forward to be at his side, with hearts as large as his and encouragement along the way.

Al was preceded in death by his dad, Larry Root; nephew, Brandon Bonson; and many cherished family and friends.

Al is survived by his wife, Steph Bonson; mother, Donna Root; brothers, Norm Bonson, Craig Bonson, Andy Root and Larry Root; sisters-in-law, Mary Bonson, Teri Bonson, Jana Root and Dawn Root; 16 nephews and nieces; 16 grand-nephews and nieces; many uncles, aunts and cousins; as well as friends who are loved like family.


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