OBIT Petersen webPhilip Charles Petersen, 73, a lifelong resident of Riley, passed away at his home July 9, with his sons by his side.

Philip was born Nov. 7, 1942, in the old stone hospital in Burns.

Phil was raised on the Upper Valley Ranch near Riley, where he attended grades 1 through 8 at the two-room Suntex grade school. His parents drove him and his three brothers the 13 miles each way to school on unimproved dirt roads. His four brothers and he were an integral part of the family operation. Phil started running machinery when he was 9 years old. None of the four sons were ever allowed to drive teams, although all of them did gather cattle and brand calves at a young age.

Phil attended Burns Union High School (BUHS) and lived in the boarder house the first two years, and then his mother moved to town during the school year. He participated in wrestling and football in high school. As a graduate in 1960, he was part of the first class to graduate from the then new high school. Phil would tell stories of his memories growing up. One of his favorite stories was how, during his junior year, the sloughs down through the valley froze, and he and his brothers spent evenings skating on the ice and burning old tires to stay warm.

During his senior year in high school, he along with four friends, Dennis Lesser, Orville Cheek, Dan Jordan and Claude Usery, joined the Army National Guard (ANG) and spent the rest of 1960 training at Fort Ord and Fort Bliss. They all committed to staying together the entire time through training; this was their first venture into the real world and these experiences generated a lot great memories that were talked about at class reunions.  Phil retired from the ANG in 1987, with 20 years of service.

In 1961, Phil began attending Oregon State University, majoring in industrial arts education. In mid-year of 1965, he finished his course work with his bachelor’s. In January, his first teaching job was at Calapooya Junior High School in Albany.  Two and a half years later, an old classmate from college called and asked if he would be interested in a job at Reynolds High School, and he spent one year at Reynolds. In the fall of 1970, he applied for a job opening at Burns Union High School, and spent the rest of his teaching career at BUHS, and later at Lincoln Junior High. He was awarded the 1982 Harney Co. Jaycees Educator of the year and the 1985 American Industrial Arts Teacher of the Year.

He spent his life working with cattle. In 1976, his brother, Jon, and he formed a partnership and leased their uncle Herb’s ranch on Soldier Creek.  They ran cattle there until 1982. In 1982, they leased the Whither’s ranch at Harney. After six years of running cattle on Uncle Herb’s ranch on Soldier Creek, in 1988, they moved their operation back to the Upper Valley Ranch. Then, in the spring of 1991, Phil and his brother, Jon, dissolved the partnership and divided the cattle. Phil continued to run the ranch until 1998, when he developed liver disease and had to sell most of his cattle. In 1998, Phil moved to what is known as the Peck Field with his remaining cattle. In 2004, he had a liver transplant, which was better than he had dared to hope for.

Velda Pace McEldowney and he were married in 1967. He and Velda’s two sons, Steven and Terry, were joined in the family in 1972 by Matthew. The cattle operation was always a family affair, which meant the kids spent most of their free time and vacation time doing ranch related work; even as the boys got older, Phil and Velda could always count on them for help. All three of the boys were raised the same, and Phil and Velda always wanted them to know that they proved themselves to be a great blessing. One of Phil’s and the boys’ special memories together  was to go fishing on Silver Creek every Memorial Day. Even though they never caught many fish,  the boys were always excited to do this, and continue this tradition with their own families today.

Phil is survived by his wife, Velda Petersen; sons, Steven, Terry and Matthew; nine grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; brothers, George, Daryl and Jon; as well as many nephews, nieces, friends and colleagues, all of whom held great respect and love for him and will forever hold his memory dear.

A ceremonial service to honor his life will be held Saturday, July 25, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Burns Elks Lodge, 118 N Broadway Ave. in Burns. Family and friends are encouraged to join to share their own account and reflection of their memories.


OBIT Van Cleave webJody Paul Van Cleave, 51, passed away July 14 at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

Jody was born Dec. 24, 1963, in Astoria to Duane and Laura Van Cleave. Jody spent most of his adult life working on various ranches and building fences in Idaho.

He is survived by his parents, Duane and Laura of Burns; sister and brother-in-law, Lari and Todd Higgins of Burns; and two sons, Cody and Kelsey Van Cleave of California. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and brother, Ryan.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, July 25, at 11 a.m. at the Burns Cemetery.

Pamela S. Kohl 1964-2015

Posted on July 22nd in Obituaries


OBIT Kohl webPamela S. Kohl, 50, passed away July 5 at Harney District Hospital.

Pam was born Nov. 23, 1964, in Klamath Fall, the youngest of three children born to Elsie Armstrong and Nate Young.

She grew up in Burns, where she attended grades 1-12. Pam’s passion for singing led to her winning the Miss High Desert in 1982. Pam also sang at various weddings and funerals in Harney County,

Pam married the love of her life, Joe Kohl, March 22, 1986. She gave birth to three beautiful children, Nick, Maggie and Matthew.

Her love of taking care of people led her to getting her CNA/CMA license. Through her career, she worked for Harney District Hospital, High Desert Medical. Toni Feist and Melanie Arntz. She loved nothing more than going camping and being with her family. She was a well-loved person throughout the whole community, not just for her caring touch as a nurse, but a No. 1 fan to her children.

Pam is survived by her brother, Gary Young; sister-in-law, Sherie Young; sister, Tina Young; mother-in-law, Rose Carracaburu; uncles, Ron Carroll, Al Altnow and John Bush; aunts, Cathy Altnow, Mary Smith, Tammy Carroll and Shirley Bush; and grandchild, Brayson Kohl.

She was preceded in death by her father, Nate Young; grandfather, George Carroll; grandmother, Lorene Carroll; and uncle, Don Carroll.

A funeral service was held Friday, July 10, at Pioneer Presbyterian Church.

Aida “Ida” Julia Stampke-Rico passed away June 17 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Aida was born  in Burns Aug. 8, 1967, to Neil Stampke and Guillermina Stampke-Wolfe.

Aida was always an excellent student and athlete.  She graduated from Burns High School in 1985. She graduated from the University of Oregon and was a 1997 graduate of Lewis and Clark College, majoring in law.

After graduation, Aida immediately started her own firm in Phoenix, Ariz., specializing in workers’ compensation. She became very successful in a short period of time and decided to begin another career as a mother.

Aida is survived by her daughters, Isabella Nichole Rico, 14, Anna Mikayla Rico, 13, and Sofia Julia Rico, 10;  mother, Guillermina Stampke-Wolfe of Gooding, Idaho; brother, Albert and his wife, Traci Stampke of Fairfield, Idaho; sister, Hilda Allison and husband, Michael Allison of Hines; nieces, Megan and Nicole Stampke of Fairfield, Idaho, and Rachael Allison of Hines; nephew, Patrick Allison of Hines; and ex-husband, Javier Rico of California.

She was preceded in death by her father, Neil Stampke; brother, Oscar Stampke; and niece, Lauren Julian Allison.

A graveside service was held at the Burns Cemetery on July 18.

Contributions in Aida’s memory may be made in Aida Rico’s memory and mailed to LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720 to establish a college fund for her daughters.


OBIT Hoffman webJohn Jacob “Hooter” Hoffman, 52, passed away July 7 at his home in Burns.

Hooter was born Aug. 22, 1962, in Burns, where he was raised by his parents, Jack Hoffman and Betty (Baker) Cheek. Growing up, he loved the outdoors and taking family vacations to the lake to camp, fish and water ski. He enjoyed the beach and going to amusement parks for the roller coasters. After high school, he did some traveling and made many friends along the way.

Hooter worked various jobs throughout his life, including being a ranch hand, building fences, working retail at King’s, and maintenance at America’s Best Value Inn motel. He was such a “John of all trades,” and was so eager to help anyone at any time.

Hooter is survived by his son, Cory Reasoner; daughter, Kyeleigh Reasoner; sisters, Linda (Jack) Gideon, Rozann (Gale) Hoffman, and Jeanie (Bill) Harris Molt; nieces and nephews, Brian (Leeanna) Beausoleil, Damon (Savana) Stevens, Levi Long, Briann (Zyna) Lancaster, Dakota (Ka’anoi) Stockwell, Missy Collette, Robert (Kristina) Gideon, Darcy (Jeff) Stewart, Christy Fobi, Joe (Lindsey) Robertson, and Jesse Dressler; 14 great-nephews and nieces, including Jermaine, Trinity, Li’l Damon, Kendall, Emily and Jaxson; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his birth mother, Marla Muller; parents, Jack Hoffman, Betty Cheek and Orville Cheek; sister, Becky Griffin; niece, Becky Gideon Weiller; and his grandparents.

A Celebration of Life will be held at noon Saturday, July 25, at the Jeanie and Bill Molt residence, 33710 Rye Grass Lane.


OBIT Robertson webJohn William “Bill” Robertson, a longtime resident of Harney and Malheur counties, passed away peacefully on the evening of June 28 at the Presbyterian Community Care Center in Ontario.

Bill was born on Nov. 15, 1926, the only child of Russell and Vivian Robertson. He grew up in Juntura, and attended grade school and part of high school there. He finished high school in Vale, graduating in 1944.

After graduation, Bill went into partnership with his father at the Robertson Ranch in Otis Valley. On June 1, 1948, he married Carol Payne in Winnemucca, Nev. Together, Bill and Carol continued to operate the ranch and were blessed with four healthy sons.

In 1954, Bill fulfilled his childhood dream and purchased his grandfather’s ranch. Bill worked continually to modernize and improve the operation. He took great pride in his cattle and − with the help of his two oldest sons, Rex and Rod − was able to increase his holdings and build a reputation herd. He was a truly remarkable cattleman.

In 1991, he and Carol semiretired to Ontario, where he planted an orchard and a large garden, the yields of which he enjoyed sharing with his friends in Drewsey. Bill remained involved with the ranch operations until 2007, when he sold.

Bill is survived by his wife and partner of 67 years, Carol; their four sons, Rex Robertson (Georgie) of Drewsey, Rod Robertson (Debbie) of Drewsey, Ralph Robertson (Deb) of Astoria,  and Randy Robertson (Lolly) of Naknek, Alaska; nine exceptional grandchildren, 17 amazing great-grandchildren and one very special great-great-grandson. He is also survived by a host of good friends.

There will be no funeral. There will be a memorial in Drewsey, when the work is done this fall.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Pamela S. Kohl, 50, passed away July 5 at Harney District Hospital.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, July 10, at Pioneer Presbyterian Church. A committal service will follow in the Burns Cemetery.

A potluck will be held at Burns Elks Lodge after the service.

Contributions in Pamela’s memory may be made to Harney County Hospice or to Pioneer Presbyterian Church in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

Aida “Ida” Julia Stampke-Rico, 47, passed away June 17 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Ida was born Aug. 8, 1967 in Burns.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 18, at the Burns Cemetery.

Contributions in Aida’s memory may be made to LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720 to establish a college fund for her surviving children.

A Celebration of Life for Joe Enneberg will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at the Enneberg home at 505 N. Highway 20 in Hines.

There will be a short memorial service, a hamburger and hot dog barbecue, followed by an afternoon and evening of music and stories. Take along a lawn chair, stories and a dish to share.


WEB - OBIT FowlerJean Fowler, 89, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly June 16 at the Prineville Hospital in Prineville, in the presence of her closest and dearest friend, Jeanie Talbot.

Jean was born Feb. 17, 1926, in Winnemucca, Nev., the sixth child of Doss and Mable McNinch. She was raised in Winnemucca, and attended local schools. She made her home for many years at the CS Ranch where her husband, Jay, was superintendent of the Bullhead Cattle Company. She was active in the CowBelles and numerous other civic organizations.

Her family, many friends, horses, cooking, pottery and jewelry combined to make her a beautiful and happy life. She was well known for her cooking and her horsemanship, as well as her smile and outspokenness.

After semi-retirement, she moved to Hines, where she made many new friends and worked at Oard’s. She later purchased a home in Prineville, where she was living at the time of her death.

Jean is survived by her children, Dan Fowler of Burns and Wilma Norsby of Townsend, Mont.; sisters, Grace McErquiaga of Orovada, Nev., Doris Eyheralde of Reno, Nev., and Dorothy Hammond of Burns; brother, Henry (Hank) McNinch of Stockton, Calif.; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

As requested, her ashes will be scattered over Snowstorm Mountain, where she spent many a day buckarooing.

A service is planned for July 18 in the Memorial Building at the Harney County Fairgrounds.

Whaddya Think?

Which is your favorite fruit?

Loading ... Loading ...

Destination Harney County

Destination Harney County 2012


Litehouse Technology

Litehouse Logo

Ruthie's In His Image Photography

Ruthies In His Image Photography

Map of Burns