Leland Pat Miller 1928-2015

Posted on February 11th in Obituaries

OBITMillerLeland Pat Miller, 86, passed away peacefully at his home Feb. 4, with his family at his side.

Pat was born June 10, 1928, in Prineville to Lyle and May (McCullough) Miller of Paulina. Pat attended schools in Paulina, Maury, and Prineville. He married Naida Louise Evans Jan. 17, 1951. Pat and Naida had four daughters, and were married 64 years.  Pat ranched in Paulina and Powell Butte the rest of his life.

He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56.  He had fond memories of his fellow servicemen that he met while serving in Germany. Pat was a founding member of the Paulina Rodeo Club, a 50-plus year member of the Prineville Elks Club, and a long-time supporter of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

He greatly enjoyed political debates and all politics. He enjoyed watching all sports, especially football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball. Pat was an avid rodeo fan, with saddle bronc riding as his favorite event.

Pat is survived by his wife, Naida of Paulina; daughters, Dana (Gary Millin) of Powell Butte, Patti (Mike Sturza) of Paulina, Toni (Jim Lewis) of Prineville, and Lisa (Rob McLean) of Paulina; grandchildren, Kaki McLean Morehead, Chance Millin, Rylee Lewis, Jace Lewis, Kade McLean, and Presley Smith; and four great-grandchildren, Crae Millin, Jaide Campbell, Brymlee Morehead, and Cy Millin.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lyle and May Miller; sister, Bette Valley; and son-in-law, Mike Sturza.

No services will be held at Pat’s request.

Because education was so important to Pat, memorial contributions may be sent to the Pat Miller Educational Scholarship Fund, in care of Dana Millin, 14221 SW Miller Trail, Powell Butte, OR 97753.  Friends may send a card with a short story or memory to Naida Miller, 8023 SE Wolf Creek Rd, Paulina, OR 97751.

Juniper Ridge Funeral Home is in charge of these arrangements.


Joseph Toelle, 30, passed away suddenly Feb. 5.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Harney County Fairgrounds Memorial Building. A private family burial will be held on Friday.

Contributions in Joe Toelle’s memory may be made to the Toelle boys’ college fund, checks can be made out to Autumn Toelle, and sent to LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720. Please visit www.lafolletteschapel.com to sign the online guestbook. LaFollette’s Chapel is in charge of funeral arrangements.


Death notice – Dale White

Posted on February 11th in Obituaries

Dale White, former Harney County judge, 83, passed away Feb. 7.

Funeral services are pending, and will be announced at a later date. A full obituary will follow.


Michael Schnitker 1956 – 2015

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

OBIT SchnitkerWORKEDMichael Lynn Schnitker was born March 15, 1956, in Seattle, Wash. He was the first born of Darrell and Billee (Jacoby), and was the life of the party from that point on. As a young boy, Mike moved a bit because his dad was in the military, but eventually, the family settled in Gooding, Idaho. Mike became a big brother and fulfilled the role with gusto. Holly and Julie took equal parts of love and torment.

Mike was an animal lover from the start. He would recount numerous stories of being on his grandfather’s ranch in Twin Falls, Idaho. Great Grandpa Schnitker took Mike under his wing and fostered a love of cattle, horses, and anything else cowboy. Mike excelled in FFA, and soon learned he had a knack for dogs, especially Australian Shepherds.

Mike met and married Donna (Morris) in 1975 on Dec. 27. The two had only been dating for three months, but he knew he found the one. Soon after, they welcomed Katy and Justin. Not long after becoming a family of four, Mike got a call to manage a ranch in Burns and the family relocated.

Burns quickly burrowed deep in Mike’s blood. He put his heart and soul into ministry at the Nazarene Church and many were blessed by his guitar playing and his big laughter.   As his roots grew deeper, Mike expanded his ministry and found himself pastoring the Crane Fellowship. In fact, the building of the church was one of Mike’s greatest joys. His kids often recount that every conversation included a report on church happenings from Pastor Mike.

If you knew Mike, you knew he also loved dogs and cows. His small herd of Charolais was something that he was very proud of, and he loved to watch the babies being born each year. He also never traveled anywhere without one of his Aussies.  The dogs were his constant companions and it was not uncommon to see his favorite curled up at his feet at night.

Mike loved people and he loved his family. His tough exterior instantly melted as soon as he was around any of his grandchildren. He was “Noosh” to Gracie and Finnley Turpen and “Pappy” to Ayden and Jaxstin Schnitker. Regardless of who was calling him, he adored the role of grandpa and loved taking the kids for ranger and tractor rides.

Mike was known for being bigger than life, and he will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his mother, Billee Schnitker; sister, Holly (Mark) Sabala; wife, Donna Schnitker; children, Katy (Kyle) Turpen and Justin (Kierra) Schnitker; and his grandchildren, Ayden, Jaxstin, Gracie and Finnley.

He was preceded in death by his father, Darrell Schnitker; and sister, Julie Coates.

To honor Mike, donations may be made to Crane Fellowship or Adventure in Life Ministries: http://www.ailministry.org/


Curtis E. Denny

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

OBIT C. DennyWORKEDCurtis E. Denny, 57, passed away Jan. 16 in Salem.

He was a legendary Hilander, called to make the last touchdown, the final field goal.

Curt graduated from Burns Union High School in 1975, where he was a stand-out athlete in football, basketball and track. In 1975, he set a new state record in the shot put, 64’ 9”, breaking his own record form the previous year. That record stood for more than 20 years.

He was a good brother and even better son, and after often wondering where to lay him to rest, it always came back to Burns. He never married, had no children, though he coached many to victory on the field, for the love of football and track. He had a rough way about him, but on the inside, a soft and gentle heart.

He is survived by sisters, Ruthanne B., Alexis C., Grace L., and Shirley; numerous nieces and nephews; and last, but not least, Janene P. and Chelle T .

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held Feb. 24 in Burns at the old football field off of Foley Drive.


Leonard E. Oster 1937-2014

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

Leonard E. Oster, 77, passed away Jan. 8, at Park Forest Care Center in Portland.

Leonard was the youngest son of L.E. “Red” and Fannie Oster, born May 16, 1937, in Madras.

He attended school at the one-room school in Frenchglen. He spent his younger years in the Burns area before the family relocated to the Dayville area, where he graduated from Dayville High School. It is there he met and married his high school sweetheart, Kathleen Cant.

Leonard and Kathy lived in the John Day area for many years, during which time they had two daughters. The young family relocated to Baker City and raised their family. Leonard was proud of his family, and especially so of the professional careers both daughters achieved.

Leonard retired from Ellingson Timber Co. after supervising the construction of miles of logging roads. He also had a saddle shop for more than 35 years, catering to the working cowboy with saddles in many states and Australia.

Leonard is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughters, Luann (Ed) Cook, and Linda (Brian) Oster-Bainnson; granddaughters, Brynne and Elyah Oster-Bainnson, all of Portland; brother, Clarence Oster of Richland, Wash.; and is also survived by many brothers- and sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Arlie and Jess.

No services will be held, and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Grant County Ranch and Rodeo Museum, 241 E. Main Street., John Day, OR 97845.


Wayne Perry Lowe 1937-2015

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

OBIT LoweWORKEDWayne Perry Lowe, 77, of Seabeck, Wash., passed away Jan. 26 following complications from cancer.

Wayne was born July 19, 1937, in Hines. He graduated from Burns Union High School June 1, 1956. Wayne served our country in the Air Force from May 1957 to May 1961. He enjoyed a long career as a computer repair/service technician.

The joy of his life was spending time with his family, friends, and especially his grandchildren. Wayne was very talented in areas of wood working, electrical, and so much more.

Wayne enjoyed being in the outdoors with his family, and loved having a camera in hand. Camping, fishing and traveling were some of his most very favorite pastimes.

Wayne’s greatest attribute was his loving, caring and dedication to his family and friends.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Marilyn Lowe; son, Derek Wayne Lowe; daughter, Sabrina Dawn Dikeman; step-daughter, Terry Crawford; along with many beautiful grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in Burns.


Death notice — West D. Martin

Posted on February 4th in Obituaries

West D. Martin, 53, passed away Jan. 27 at his home in Madras. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.


Standley Lee Ausmus 1930-2015

Posted on January 28th in Obituaries

Standley Lee AusmusStandley Lee Ausmus, 84, passed away peacefully Jan. 16 in his residence at Somerset Assisted Living in Gladstone.

Standley, the son of Standley and Elsie Ausmus, was born Aug. 19, 1930, in Burns.

Stan and his older sister, Mary, grew up in the Lawen area of Harney County during the dry years of the 1930s, and his family was among those farming and ranching on the dry lake bed. He attended school in Lawen, Crane, and Burns.

On July 8, 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Lois June Vining.  Four children were born to them in the space of three years.

After the death of his wife, Lois, Standley married the second love of his life, Donna Lee Ausmus, on Dec. 31, 1970. Donna had two children of her own, increasing the family to two adults and six teenagers.

Standley was a people person, and was loved, admired, and respected by countless people. After serving in the Army, he earned a degree in biology from Pacific Union College and went on to pursue a variety of careers. His careers included: research chemist/metallurgist for the Bureau of Mines, and managing dispensation and stockpiling of strategic metals for the General Services Administration. He spent time farming and managing a walnut orchard. In addition, he worked for the state of Oregon managing the surface mine reclamation program.  His final career, working alongside his wife, Donna, was with Hawthorn (previously Holiday) Retirement. Through his work in management and training there, he was able to inspire others with his philosophy of love, respect, and service to others. Even after retiring, he continued developing the company training and philosophy guidelines.

Standley enjoyed hiking, fishing, hunting, barbecuing, and making sourdough pancakes. For the last half of his life, he had a great love for, and faith in, God.  He invested countless hours teaching Sabbath School, holding church offices, and working with kids as a Pathfinder leader.

After the death of Donna, Standley began struggling with failing health.

Standley is survived by his children and their spouses, Dwight and Debbie Ausmus of Burns, Andrea Teal of Puyallup, Wash., Douglas and Penny Ausmus of Newberg, Patti and Randy Sandvik of Puyallup, Wash., Pamela and Robert Stephan of Graham, Wash., and Vicki and Jeff Sargeant of Woodland, Wash.; 13 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. In addition, Stan is survived by numerous cousins, of which the following currently reside in Harney County: Louise and Elmer Watts, Pauline and Allan Braymen, Eileen and Gene McVicker, Jim and Mary Ausmus, Wesley, Lily, Joe, and Joanne Trainer, and Janet Braymen.

Standley was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Lois; his second wife, Donna; sister, Mary Murphy; his adopted brother, Daniel (Dale) Ausmus; and his step-son, Norman (Duane) Teal.


OBIT BurwellGladys Katherine Boswell, 92, passed away Nov. 4 in Burien, Wash.

Gladys was born Sept. 18, 1922, in Columbus, Ky., to William and Virginia (Dodge) Bone. She was the only girl out of six children. Being children of share croppers had its hardships and hard work. Attending school and work on the farm was very difficult, yet she was still able to complete up to the eleventh grade.

Gladys married Carl Travis Boswell Oct. 19, 1940, in East Prairie, Mo. They began their life together working on the Boswell family farm, near the Mississippi River. Their first home was one that had settled on the farm from a recent flood. In 1946, they moved to Silvies/Seneca, and then to Burns, where Carl worked as a logger. They enjoyed raising their children in the small town community, getting together with neighbors and friends, and attending the local Nazarene Church. In 1961, they moved to Burbank, Wash., for a short time, and then settled in Seattle, Wash. in 1962. Gladys and Carl loved to volunteer at the Peniel Mission in downtown Seattle on a regular basis, and she continued to do so after Carl’s passing in 1982. They enjoyed 42 years of marriage.

Gladys was active in several senior ministry programs, including the White Center YMCA senior program, the Prison Ministries outreach at Purdy, Wash. women’s facility, and the Highland Park Nazarene Church. She also volunteered to be an adult sponsor on many mission trips with their son, Dave, and his youth groups. The teenagers loved having her on the trips. She was their grandma during the two weeks, loving every minute.

Gladys is survived by her daughters, Carolyn Judith Nolan, and her husband, Craig of Cleveland, Ohio, Phyllis Ann Harris of Vancouver, Wash., and Connie Sue Foster and her husband, Len, of Morgantown, N.C.; sons, Gary Travis Boswell, and his wife, Judy, of Seattle, and David Allen Boswell, and his wife, Diana,  of Vancouver, Wash.; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Travis Boswell; her parents; brothers, James Carl (Pete) Bone, William Clifford Bone, Paul Edward Bone, Charles Bone Jr., and Elvis Eugene Bone; grandson, Travis Nolan; and great-grandson, Joshua Harris.

A service was held Nov. 22, 2014, at Burien Evangelical Church in Burien, Wash. Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home was in charge of funeral arrangements. Share your memories of Gladys at the online guest book at: www.howdenkennedy.com


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