John Patton, 79, passed away Sunday, Aug. 17, at his home in Hines.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal/Peace Lutheran Church at the corner of Diamond and A streets in Burns. A graveside service will follow.

 


Michael “Mike Banks” Gagnebin, 58, passed away suddenly on Monday, July 28.

At Mike’s request, no funeral services will be held. However, a Celebration of Life will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Burns Elks Lodge No. 1680.

 

 


Conly Marshall, 87, passed away Aug. 6.

A memorial service will be held in September. LaFollette’s Chapel is in charge of arrangements


OBIT DemingRichard “Dick” Roscoe Deming, 73, passed away July 22 from a blood clot in the heart while vacationing in Fairview, Mont. and Dickinson, N.D.

Dick was born to Hazel Dolores Brandt Deming and Victor Roscoe Deming July 27, 1940, at the Broadhead Home in Fairview, Mont. Dick grew up on a farm three miles from Fairview.

Dick joined the Boy Scouts at a young age. Dick remembers when it came time to stand in line for chow time, he would remain in his tent and read his book until the line was almost done, then he would join the line of kids. He could see no reason to “just stand there.”

The love for reading books continued throughout his lifetime. The library in Burns stated that Dick was their best customer.

Roscoe had a love for horses and passed that love on to Dick. Chickens and geese were also raised. Dick raised two horses from money he earned doing odd jobs or chores for his father. He had Chico, the stallion, and Cyclone, the mare.

Dick was one of 28 students who graduated from Fairview High School in the spring of 1958. While he was in high school, he enjoyed chemistry. He thought he would like to work in this field when he got out of school. Dick boarded the Empire Builder (train) headed for Syracuse, N.Y., to attend an on-the-job and school program at General Electric to be a mad scientist. He passed all entrance exams with flying colors. He was turned down however, on the physical part of the exam due to curvature of the spine. He returned home.

Upon returning home, Dick went to work on the Allyn Watts farm for the summer. That fall, he attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., with chemistry as his major.

During the summer after school was out, he worked on the Wilson Ranch at Nohly, Mont. He went back to school for the fall quarter in 1959, but had to leave after that quarter because of a lack of funds.

Dick worked at odd jobs until the spring of 1960, when he went to work at the Applegren Ranch at Wolf Point, Mont., where he worked until September. He then left that job to join the Air Force, but was rejected because of his back condition.

Dick went to work for Lew Chevrolet in Billings, Mont., for a while, then went to work as a Fuller Brush salesman in the Fairview-Sidney area during the winter of 1960-61. That spring, he got tired of door-to-door selling and went back to the Applegren Ranch. He also tried selling cars for Rex Dougherty Ford Company in Fairview during the first of the year until March 1962, but that didn’t work out any better than the Fuller Brush business.

Dick took a fool notion, that summer, and decided he could make good money hoeing beets for a local farmer, Soren Jacobson, in Nohly. That did not work out either.

In October 1962, he went to work at Central Standard gas station in Sidney, Mont. He worked there until April 1963, when he went to work at the Sidney Herald newspaper company for two years as a pressman and an ad compositor with hot type slugs. While working at the Sidney Herald, Dick became involved with a group called Young Americans For Freedom. The year was 1964. Barry Goldwater was running for president of the United States on the republican ticket. Dick had the chance to go with the group to San Francisco, Calif., where the convention of the republican party was to be held for Mr. Goldwater. It was held in the Cow Palace.

On the Aug. 21, 1965, Dick married Norma Storvik from Nohly. Right after the honeymoon to the Black Hills of South Dakota, they moved to Williston, N.D., and  Dick went to work for the Williston Herald as an offset pressman in the commercial department. Linus Eder was the commercial department’s boss. Dick ran the Chief 22 and the Multilith. He was trained to work the handfed press also. Hot metal type was on its way out when he started there, and so all new equipment was put in, and it was then called “cold type.” The oldtime linotypes went out the door and buckets of metal type were thrown away. Even the old newspaper press was taken out and a new four-unit web press was put in its place. Instead of lead, it was now black and white film.

On Oct. 31, 1968, a girl, Laura Jean, was born.

On April 20, 1970, a second daughter was born, Rebecca Kay.

Dick had a want of something better, and more understanding of the four-color presses, and he went to work for the News Review Publishing Company, also known as The Daily Idahonian in Moscow, Idaho. He accepted the position as head stripper at the Idahonian in August 1970. In the seven years he was there, he learned the steps of four-color process. He earned the Master Printer of America award. He started out as a darkroom technician and was promoted to shop foreman in charge of composition, darkroom, newspaper pressroom, commercial pressroom and job pricing.

Dick had always dreamed of owning his own print shop. An opportunity came when he was on the Moscow Nazarene Church board and they had a retreat at Pinelow Church Camp near Spokane, Wash. The guest speaker was Rev. Kenn Coil from Burns. He told of how the church had bought a press and no one knew how to fix or run the press as there was no print shop in town. The Burns Times-Herald had been doing commercial work in Burns, but had elected to sell that part of the company out and do newspapers only.

Dick went to Burns, to check it out and fell in love with the community. It reminded him of his home town of Fairview. Dick gave his notice, sold his home in three days, packed up and moved to Burns in February 1977. The new print shop was named Desert Graphics, and was set up in a few days. The location was in the Brown Building on North Broadway, which is now the Broadway Deli.

The second address for Desert Graphics was 341 North Broadway. Half was print shop and the other half held the stationery part. The stationery part was growing by leaps and bounds. The print shop needed to move.

The third address for the shop was now at 430 North Broadway. But it was only large enough to house the presses, not all the paper that comes with a print shop. He had out-grown the room and needed a building that would house all the presses and all the paper. Desert Graphics was moved the fourth th time to 506 North Broadway, one door down from the original door that it was started out in. Dick thought he should buy this building. To help pay the expense of buying this building, Dick turned it into a mini-mall which housed five different stores: a used tot clothing store, called The Tot Shop, a tape and T-shirt shop, called T’s “n” Tapes, a bookkeeping and tax man, called Sam’s Bookkeeping Service, and a small gift shop, owned by Chris Wagner.

The print shop took up three quarters of the building, and it became a seven-person shop.

Dick was asked to join the Rotary Club. He later went on to be its president on two different occasions. Dick went on to join several organizations, such as library board, budget committee, Harney County Chamber of Commerce, of which he served two different terms as president, 1988 and 1995. He joined the Merchants Committee, the Balloon Rally team, and he became the pistol shooter for the downtown bed races. Dick joined the Harney County Chamber Music Society where he played his French horn. Dick later became the president to the Chamber Music Society. He was honored with an engraved silver tray for his support and printing of their programs and news letters.

Dick enjoyed bowling. For a number of years, he bowled on the Thursday night men’s team.

In 1995, Dick went to Reno, Nev., and bowled in the Nationals. He got to bowl in a brand new National Bowling stadium. He also bowled in many state tournaments. On two occasions, he got to meet a distant relative, one on the Deming side of the family, and one on the Boles side of the family.

Dick continued to be active in the Nazarene Church. He served on the church board. He continued to be “jack-of-all-trades” in helping to maintain a smooth running church.

He enjoyed being the Sunday School teacher and Sunday School Superintendent for a number of years. He encouraged 25 people to go to a Sunday School conference in Nampa, Idaho. He brought the most people to the meeting, outnumbering the other churches there.

Dick enjoyed watching his favorite baseball team, the Dodgers. The Minnesota Vikings were his favorite football team.

Dick kept up with the Portland Trailblazers, but the Boston Celtics were his first love.

Dick is survived by his wife of 49 years, Norma; daughters Laura Boggs of Florence, and Becky Needham of Burns; extended daughter, Schelly Daugherty of Burns; grandchildren, Mitchell Boggs, Kristin Swift, Nicole Boggs, Colman Brown, Jake Needham, and extended grandson, Jordan Daugherty; great grandchild, Kenzie Ray Boggs,  due at the end of the month; brothers; Dean Deming, John Deming, Mark Deming, Clyde Deming; sister, Marilyn Bakken; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Roscoe and Hazel; brother, Jay; sister, Ruth; and twin grandsons, Kerry and Taylor.


OBIT MillerDavid “Rosko” Miller lost his long battle with cancer on July 25.

He was born Jan. 1, 1959, in Mountain Home, Idaho, and lived in places such as Burns; Sitka, Alaska; Pullman and Seattle, Wash.; and finally, in Louisiana.

David joined the United States Marines, where he served from October 1979 to May 1985. After his service to his country, he went on to get his certification as a diving technician and became a commercial diver. In his endeavors as a commercial diver, he adopted the nickname “Rosko.” That’s the name people came to know him by.

David had a passion for riding Harleys and was the road captain for the motorcycle club, Hole-N-Da-Wall chapter in Lafayette, La. He had many adventures in his life, including his time in Key West, Fla., overseas, and of course, his time in the Northwest, where most of his family resided.

Although David never had children or family of his own, he had a strong sense of family and came to the Northwest for regular visits.

He is survived by his mother, MaryAnn Gohl; his girlfriend, Susan Herbert; brothers, Bruce Miller and wife, Valerie, Robert Gohl and wife, Tricia; sisters, Debbie Miller and husband, Bing, Tammy Downing and husband, Chris; several nieces and nephews, including Crystal Miller and Alisha Bender; one great-nephew and one great-niece, who nicknamed him “Uncle Pirate.”

He was preceded in death by his father, Archie Jackson Miller.

David will be laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash.


OBIT James SmithJim Smith, 83, passed away peacefully July 22 at his home in Canon City, Colo., surrounded by family.

James Maurice Smith was born in Chehalis, Wash., Feb. 24, 1931, to Maurice James Smith and Clara (Taylor) Smith. His parents lived their whole lives in the small town of Chehalis. His dad was a railroad engineer, carrying lumber down from the mountains, and his mother was a faithful wife, mother of four boys, and kept a beautiful large garden even to the very end of her life.

Jim went to school in Chehalis, and then attended Northwest Christian College in Eugene. There he met his first wife, LaDonna Mariam Ross. Being very tall, he played basketball, got his degree in theology and was married to LaDonna June 14, 1953, in Hood River by her father, the Reverend Donald Ross. Feeling the need for discipline in his life, he enlisted in the Air Force on Oct. 5, 1955.

Jim and LaDonna were first stationed at Tyndall AFB in Florida, where they had two sons, Michael on March 29, 1957, and David (Mark) on Dec.13, 1959.  Jim was then stationed in Greenland for a year while his family lived in Chehalis. Their third son, John, was born April 17, 1961.  In 1961, they moved, and were stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo., for two years. In 1963, they moved to Alva, Okla., where Jim was in the reserves, completed his seminary studies at Phillips University in Enid, Okla., and was the youth pastor at the First Christian Church.

In 1965, they moved to Hoxie, Kan., their things carried in wheat trucks with the help of the farmers there. In this small town, Jim pastored his first church (First Christian Church) for 10 years. He faithfully labored there in the church, drove school bus, raised his family and was well loved and respected by the community.

In 1975, their oldest son, Michael, attended Northwest Christian College in Eugene. In a desire to be closer to their family in Washington and Oregon, Jim and LaDonna moved again to a small town, Burns, where Jim pastored his second church (Burns Christian Church). (David) Mark and John completed high school there, and moved away as Jim and LaDonna continued to serve the community and church there.

After her third bout with cancer, Jim’s first wife, LaDonna, passed away Dec. 16, 1997, in Burns.

In 1998, while still ministering in Burns to Son Rise Christian Church, Jim was introduced to Margaret Gard of Colorado Springs.  They were married on June 28, 1998, in Green Mountain Falls, Colo. After Jim retired, the Smiths moved to Springville, Calif., for one year. They were active in the Lindsay Christian Church in Lindsay, Calif. They then purchased a home in Strathmore. Jim took a position as pastor of the Community Church in Camp Nelson, Calif., for a few months. After retiring once again in 2005, the Smiths moved to Delta, Colo. The family enjoyed the fellowship of Delta Christian Church.

In 2010, a move was made to Canon City, Colo. to be close to family. For a short while, he led Bible study for a small group and a Sunday afternoon Bible study at Canon Lodge Nursing Home. Jim and his wife, Margaret, were members of Grandview Christian Church

Jim was a faithful pastor, a faithful husband and a faithful father. He had a quiet sense of humor, and to the end of his days, thought of the needs of others before himself.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Gard Smith of Canon City; eight step children, Gail Gard of Canon City, Tiffany Gard of Canon City, Patrick Gard (and Susan) of Cedar, Minn., Beth Hamilton (Mark) of Canon City, Joyce Whitzel of Burlington, Colo., and Guy Gard (Rhonda) of Montrose, Colo.; and extended family, Sherl von Dohren (John) of Omaha, Neb., and Susie Waldrop of Herrin, Ill.; as well as many family members and friends. He is also survived by his brother, Chuck Smith; and his three sons, Michael Lawrence Smith, Fr. (David) Mark Smith and John Maurice Smith, all now living in Washington and Vancouver, B.C.; 29 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held July 26. Interment will be held in Burns, with a memorial service at Burns Christian Church.

 


OBIT SmithHilda Marie Smith, 75, of Burns passed away July 9 at her home, surrounded by family. Her death followed a six-year battle with cancer.

Marie, as she was known to most, was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Emmett, Idaho, to Paul and Virginia Mannen.

Marie’s family moved to Hines when she was in the fifth grade after her father got a job at Edward Hines Lumber Co. She was active in 4-H, band and many church activities. She graduated from Burns High School June 1, 1956, and two days later she married the love of her life, Keith Smith. They had only been married one month when Keith was drafted into the army and was gone for the next two years. While Keith was gone, Marie filled her time helping her parents and working at the local electric company, Cal-Pac.

In September 1960, they welcomed their first daughter, Nancy. The family quickly grew over the next few years, with the arrival of Laura, Randy, Steve, George and Ron. The family spent some time in Nyssa, and five years in Crane, as Marie’s husband worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. In the summer of ‘73, the family moved back to Burns.

Marie spent most of her life as a homemaker and stay-at-home mom, and felt that was her most important job. But she also enjoyed her time as a cook at Burns High School and a reading assistant and tutor at Pioneer School in Ontario, where she worked following the move the family had to make in 1984 after the railroad was flooded out in Harney County.

Marie also loved sewing, crocheting, cooking, canning, flowers and camping, but her involvement in her church was of most importance to her. Her earlier years were spent at the Baptist Church in Hines, which then became Faith Baptist Church, and the last 28 years at Bible Baptist in Payette, Idaho. She was most known for her sweet smile and love for others, and her strong faith in God.

In September 2013, Marie moved back to Burns to be closer to her daughters.

Marie is survived by her six children: daughters, Nancy, and husband, Roger Stampke, Laura, and husband, Duane Neuschwander; sons, Randy, Steve and Ron Smith, and George, and wife, Kerri Smith; 13 grandchildren, Nathan, and wife, Amie Stampke, Chris, Patrick and Nolan Stampke, Karla, Julie and Peter Neuschwander, Trevor, Ryan, Josie and Eli Smith, Allyson Smith and Adam Smith; two great-grandchildren, Ethan and Carter Stampke; brothers, Tom, and wife, Merilee Mannen, Ben Mannen, Dan and wife, Laurel Mannen, John and wife, Erica Mannen, George and wife, Sylvia Mannen, and Bob and wife, Pat Mannen; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Keith Smith, and parents, Paul and Virginia Mannen.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Aug. 1, at 2 p.m. at Faith Baptist Church.

Contributions in Marie’s memory may be made to Payette Bible Baptist Church or Faith Baptist Church for missions, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.lafolletteschapel.com.

 


Richard (Dick) Roscoe Deming passed away Tuesday, July 22, in Dickinson, N.D.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene.

A full obituary will appear at a later date.


OBIT SwisherbwDolores “Dee” Swisher passed away July 7 in La Grande. She was 80 years old.

Dee was born Aug. 22, 1933, in Ogden, Utah  to Condido and Cecilia (Alzola) Acurio. The family moved to Winnemucca, Nev., when Dee was 5 years old.

Her father died when she was 7 years old. Her mother later married her stepfather, Joe Churruca, who purchased a cattle ranch in Paradise Valley, Nev., where Dee spent the remainder of her childhood.

Many of her favorite stories were from her days in Paradise Valley and the lifelong friendships she made there.

It was at the “fish pond” in Paradise Valley that she met her future husband, Bill Swisher.

After high school in Winnemucca, Nev.,  Dee attended St. Alphonsus Nursing School in Boise, Idaho. During this time, Bill was drafted into the Korean War and sent to Fort Smith, Ark. They married in 1952, and Dee joined Bill in Arkansas.

Bill was discharged from the army in 1954, and the couple returned to Nevada and a job on the Lucky Seven Ranch in McDermitt. They moved to Harney County in 1956 to work for Walt McEwen.

For many years, they were hired as a couple. Bill managing the buckaroos and cattle operations and Dee cooking for the ranch and hay crews.

Their last 10 years in the ranch management business was spent in the Riley area with Silver Creek Ranches.

When Silver Creek sold in 1978, Dee went to work for the Harney County Clerk’s office. She worked as deputy clerk for 10 years, and then became clerk in 1989. She held that office for two terms until she retired in 1999. During this time, the office saw many changes, including implementing elections by mail and automatic ballot counters.

Dee was known for her ready smile and fun attitude. She was a joy to be around and expressed an uncanny interest in many things. She loved family gatherings, having company over, sharing something good to eat and a good story. She had many, many friends and was always eager to meet new people and make more!

She was an author, self-publishing a book, The Good Old Days?, a collection of true stories from her life of pioneer cattlemen, buckaroos and cowboys she had known.

Dee was quick to volunteer and involved with the community serving on school boards, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Business and Professional Women’s Club and Harney County Democratic Society to name a few.

She was also an artist, illustrating her book with drawings. She was a gifted painter and seamstress. She enjoyed gardening, antiques and needlework.

Dee was especially proud of her grandchildren and often boasted of their obvious (to her) superior looks and intelligence, often saying, “There isn’t a bad one in the bunch!”

Dee is survived by her son, Cam Swisher (wife Kathy) of Burns; daughters, Martha Rogers (husband Ross) of Bend, and Cecelia Gerlach (husband Mike) of La Grande; grandchildren, Savannah and Garrett Swisher and  Mathew Tiller.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, in 2007.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Riverside Adult Foster Home in La Grande where owner Bob Kennon helped make Dee’s last two years happy and comfortable.

At Dee’s request, there will be no formal service. Contributions in her memory may be made to Harney County Library in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 4th Street, La Grande, OR 97850.

Online condolences to the family may be made at www.lovelandfuneralchapel.com.

 


OBIT MeditzbwRoberta Joyce Meditz passed away at her home Tuesday, July 8.

She was born Dec. 31, 1940, in San Diego, Calif., two years after the fall of Wall Street, and began a lifetime of traveling.

Her parents, Bob Cooper and Bertha (Mosier) Whittier, bought a house on the side of a canyon, which was later rented out as they finally bought a trailer to chase jobs. Her father, an iron worker/welder, found work in Washington on a dam being built there, and so, after visiting her mother’s relatives in Portland and Seattle, the trailer became one of a caravan of other ironworkers. Roberta talked of nights around a bonfire where she learned to play a violin as the families sang and talked. Her father would later brag,“his girls (Roberta had a younger sibling by then) had been in every state west of the Mississippi, with the exception of three.”

Every Sunday, Roberta’s mother would take the girls to whatever Christian church was near, and when they got to Sandy, Utah, she bought another house. The ironworkers had found jobs in Provo, and each day and night, would drive back and forth in a 1940 Hudson. Roberta talked about their coal stove in Sandy, and the milk frozen on the doorstep after delivery.

After the family left Utah, they returned to San Diego when Roberta was in the fifth grade, by way of Brawley, Calif. Living in their San Diego home, Roberta and her sister graduated from high school. Roberta started junior college there, working at a child care facility in the afternoons and going to nurse’s aide classes at night.

She soon got a job at Scrips Memorial Hospital as a nurse’s aide when an RN class was advertised in Modesto, where her parents were living. At her mother’s urging, she applied and was accepted for the first class of the school. She now had two children, but lived close enough to the school to go home for lunch and return for afternoon classes. Her mother now had foster children and at one time, there were seven children under the age of 7, with five cribs set up in the house. Lunch time could be very busy.

After graduation from nursing school, Roberta got a job in Martinez, Calif., at the VA hospital. There, she met and married Jeanie Lewis, and had her daughter. They bought a home in Pittsburg, Calif., where the older boys started school. Three years later they moved to Southern California, and divorcing Jeanie, bought a home in Compton. Later, they moved to Torrence, then Long Beach, and then returned to Compton while working at Kaiser in bellflower.

Roberta worked at the Kaiser emergency room in Oakland, and living in San Leandro, when she met and married Dave Meditz. Dave owned some land in Harney County and wanted to “make a go of it,” so he started on the 40 acres in a pickup with a cabover camper. Meanwhile, Roberta would drive back and forth every two weeks until she finally quit Kaiser in Oakland and moved to the land in Harney County.

It didn’t take long before Roberta was taking traveling jobs under contract for six weeks to nine months, traveling home at one to two week intervals. Finally, Roberta retired at the age of 72.

She is survived by her husband, David; sister, Bonnie Sue; and sons, Nick and Phillip.

She was preceded in passing by her parents and daughter.

Donations in her memory may be made to Harney County Hospice.

A private service will be held.

 


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