Erney Joe Kohl 1942-2012

Posted on September 19th in Obituaries

Erney Joe Kohl died at his home on Saturday, Sept. 1, with loved ones around him.

Erney was born in Marysville, Calif., on June 29, 1942, to parents Earnest Leo Kohl and Icalone Grace Kohl.

Erney joined the U.S. Army in 1959 and served in Korea for one year.

He was employed with the Bureau of Land Management from 1965 to 1994.

Erney married Rosette Overton in Carson City, Nev., in August 1964. They had one son who was born in Reno, Nev., in November 1964.

The couple divorced in 1967.

Erney married Elizabeth “Liz” Ann Hughes in 1974. Liz died in 1995.

Erney is survived by his son, Ernie Joe Kohl; grandson, Matthew J. Kohl; step-daughters, Sandra and Pamela; sisters, Shirley J. Bush of Lakeview and Helen F. Kohl of Burns; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held Monday, Sept. 10, at the Burns Cemetery.

Contributions in Erney Joe Kohl’s memory can be made to Harney County Humane Society in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.


Bill McCulloch, 86, died Sept. 12, at Pilot Butte Rehab Center in Bend.

Bill was born in Burns on Feb. 21, 1926, to Blanche and Jim McCulloch. Bill attended school in Burns and graduated from Burns Union High School in 1944. He then entered the U.S Army Air Force and served as corporal in the Army 343 Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group in Siebelstadt, Germany, from 1944-46.

When he returned from the Army, he attended Eastern Oregon College in La Grande and the University of Oregon in Eugene. He returned to Burns to work with his father, Jim, at his Chrysler-Dodge car dealership. In the late 1940s, Bill married Beverly Armstrong and was later divorced.

Bill and his brother, Richard “Dick”, operated a fertilizer and cattle supplement feed business. At the same time, they operated the Chuckwagon Café, located next to the Desert Theatre. They were well known for their sourdough pancakes.

In the 1960s, Bill and Dick began a landscaping business in Burns. In 1968, they moved their business to Apache Junction, Ariz., where they resided for four years. While there, they assisted in building the upper green on the Queens Valley Golf Course.

In 1971, Bill moved to Brookings where he and his brother operated a small construction / excavation business until 1991.

In 2002, Bill moved to Bend and enjoyed fishing, playing bingo and, especially, gatherings with family and friends. He is remembered as a gentle and kind-hearted man who was loved by everyone who knew him.

Bill was proud of his Harney County heritage. He and his family enjoyed many hunting, fishing and camping trips to Steens Mountain and Fish Lake over the years. He recalled that one time, as a child, they had 13 flat tires on the trip up and back to Fish Lake.

Bill was a loving uncle, and had many friends in Bend who called him “Uncle Bill.” He enjoyed many family activities with his niece, Jo, her husband, Roger, and the families of their children: Shannon Carroll, Silas Crisafi and Kalei Lucas.

Bill is survived by his nieces, Jo (Roger) Crisafi of Bend, Kathy (Randy) Gillam of Canyon City, and Christine (John) Hodges of Fields; and two cousins, Bob Smith of Bend and Audie Goodman of Pahrump, Nev.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Jim and Blanche McCulloch; brother, Richard; and cousin, Betty (Goodman) Brown.

No memorial service is planned at this time. A family gathering will be arranged in Eastern Oregon at a later date.


L.J. (Bob) McDannel 1927-2012

Posted on September 12th in Obituaries

Longtime resident and businessman, L.J. (Bob) McDannel died Sept. 5 at Ashley Manor in Burns.

Bob was born Dec. 3, 1927, in McCook, Neb. to William and Igaina McDannel. He had two brothers, Jerry McDannel of California and Forrest McDannel of Washington and Idaho.

The family moved to Nampa, Idaho where Bob grew up on the OK Ranch. Bob attended school in Nampa, where he met his longtime love, Evelyn Maxine Baltazor. They both graduated from high school in 1946 and were married in 1947.

Bob was an active businessman for Firestone Tire Store in Nampa from 1948-1960 where he worked as a sales manager. During this time, he received numerous awards for sales and management, including the Firestone President Trophy. While in Nampa, he belonged to the Jaycees of Idaho for 12 years and was awarded the Outstanding Jaycee President of the State of Idaho in 1959.

Bob, Evelyn and family moved to Burns in 1960, where he purchased The Union 76 “Burns One Stop Service Station.” He was proprietor of that business for 30 years. Bob was a member of the Burns Lions Club for 32 years. He served as club president and was awarded Outstanding Lion in 1965-1966. He was a member of Burns Elks Lodge No. 1680 from 1951-present.

Bob’s true passion was golf. He shared his love for golf with friends and family at the Valley Golf Club (VGC). Bob served as president and a board member at the VGC for many years. He was instrumental in building the first set of golf sheds and the water system that is present today. He enjoyed organizing and playing in golf tournaments. His other hobbies included playing cards and hunting with family and friends.

Bob is survived by his wife of 66 years, Evelyn McDannel; daughter Cynda and husband Rick Hensley of Lake Oswego; son R.J. and wife Sonja McDannel of Burns; son Lee and wife Bonita McDannel of Ontario; seven granddaughters; nine great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren; sister-in-law Lorraine Purdum and husband Dick; sister-in-law Lucille Baltazor and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents William Bryan and Igaina McDannel; brothers Jerry and Forrest McDannel and brother-in-law Ray Baltazor.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Burns Presbyterian Church.

Contributions in L.J. (Bob) McDannel’s memory can be made to the Valley Golf Club, Burns Presbyterian Church and/or the Burns Lions Club in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488 Burns, OR 97720.


James (Jim) Arthur Allen 1940-2012

Posted on September 12th in Obituaries

James (Jim) Arthur Allen was born on Aug. 7, 1940, in Weiser, Idaho. He was the youngest of eight children born to Loran and Margret Allen.

The family moved to Burns in 1942. Jim graduated from Burns Union High School in 1958. He attended Oregon State University from 1958-1960 for general science.

Jim was drafted into the United States Army in 1960. He started as a private, but became a second lieutenant of combat infantry after applying to Officers’ Training Corps. He was discharged from active duty in 1962 and returned to Burns to serve his reserve time.

In 1962, Jim worked for John Wooster as a block mason. He helped build most of the Les Schwab tire stores and warehouses throughout the Northwest. In 1971, Jim married Susan Andrews of Drewsey.

His son, Samuel Jacob Allen, was born in 1976. Jim continued to live in Burns until 1994 when he moved to Boise, Idaho with his son.

While living in Burns, Jim was an avid fisherman and hunter. He had a love for local history and worked as an independent contractor.

After moving to Boise, Jim continued working as a contractor, remodeling several homes in the area. He lived in Boise for 18 years.

Jim moved back to Burns to be closer to loved ones after he was diagnosed with cancer in March 2012. He died Sept. 1, 2012.

He is survived by his son Samuel J. Allen; daughter-in-law Rebecca R. Allen; brothers Otis, Bill, Tom and Dan Allen; sisters Lorna Spain and Dean Demackiewicz; numerous nieces and nephews, extended family members and friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents Loran and Margret Allen and sister Edith Lawrence.

Family said Jim will be remembered for his quick wit and work ethic.


Lynn L. Comegys 1929-2012

Posted on September 12th in Obituaries

Lynn Lestle Comegys, 82, of Erskine, Minn., formerly of Blackduck, Minn., died Aug. 15 at the Pioneer Health Center in Erskine.

Lynn was born on Oct. 23, 1929, in Crane, the son of August and Ella Mae (Steele) Comegys.

He attended grade school in The Narrows, Happy Valley and Diamond. He attended Crane Union High School and graduated in 1947.

After graduation, he worked for Bill Catterson driving the U.S. mail truck from Burns to Ontario and back six days a week. He worked for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from 1948 to 1951 as a dragline oiler and learning to operate it.

On Oct. 2, 1949, he married Wilma Ash. They resided in Frenchglen and Diamond, moving to Burns in 1952 where he was employed at Edward Hines Lumber Company. He worked several different positions there, the last two being debarker operator and relief and spare sawyer.

Retiring from the mill in 1972, the family moved to Blackduck, Minn., where he was a dairy and beef farmer until failing health forced his retirement in 2006. He moved to Erskine in 2009 due to his health.

Lynn enjoyed hunting, fishing, watching his grandchildren in their sports, Rams football and watching the L.A. Lakers basketball.

He is survived by his wife, Wilma Comegys of Blackduck; daughters, Glenda (Donald) Peasley and Sandra (Richard) Lien, both of Blackduck; son, Glenn (Nancy) Comegys of Casselton, N.D.; sister, Norine Floras of Meridian, Idaho; grandchildren Melinda (Niel) McLien, Shelia (David) Bjerkness, Kimberly (MJ) Connell, Jeff (Tami) Comegys, Jared Comegys, Jacob Lien and Kelsea Lien; great-grandchildren, Mariah, Brandan, Emily, Hunter and Noah; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, August Comegys and Ella Mae Smyth; brother, Glenn Aaron Comegys; infant son, Marshall Lynn Comegys; and many uncles and aunts.


Terry Warren Bates, 51, of McDermitt, Nev., died Sept. 1 at home.

Services are pending with Lienkaemper Chapel in Nyssa.


Mary (Mimy) C. Wooldridge, who was born Nov. 21, 1925, died Aug. 29.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Sept. 22 at Holy Family Catholic Church.

Rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Holy Family Catholic Church.


Charley Otley 1921-2012

Posted on September 5th in Obituaries

Life-time rancher Charley Otley, 91, died on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Harney District Hospital.

Charley was born on Aug. 3, 1921, to Henry and Mary Otley. He had two brothers, Howard and Harold. They lived in Lawen until 1934.

In 1928 when he was just 7 years old, his father, Henry, had the contract to build a railroad track between Burns and Seneca. Charley had lots of fun playing with Howard and Harold. In 1934 the family moved to Drewsey because of the drought. They lived there until 1944 when the family bought a ranch from Fred Smyth in Diamond. They called this ranch Otley Brothers, and Charley, Howard and Harold ran it with their father and his brother Charlie.

He met Maryanna Brown at a Diamond dance while she was staying with her aunt and uncle, Walt and Opal Cooley. They married on Jan. 28, 1950. In 1951 Maryanna was diagnosed with diabetes. Charley, Maryanna and Dr. John Weare drove to Ontario where they took the train to Portland to learn more about the disease. At that time, Dr. Holcomb said that Charley knew as much about diabetes as most doctors. Their son Bill was born Aug. 6, 1953.

Charley was very active in the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association in the 1960s and 1970s. From 1972 to 1973 he served as president of the OCA. In 1984 Otley Brothers was divided into three different ranches, with Charley’s ranch being the Diamond Valley Ranch.

No one ever has put a “slow moving vehicle” sign on any of the cars he drove, and you could usually find peanut M&M’s in the glove box or inside the door. He enjoyed playing cards very much. He, Howard, Rye and Norma Smyth used to play pinochle a lot. He loved playing pitch with Delmer Clemens and the gang, and his last partner was Bill Cheek. He always had a game of solitare going at the table. A few years ago he and Maryanna moved to Burns. Breakfasts with Bob and the rest of the coffee shop crew was a highlight of every day.

Charley is survived by his wife of 62 years, Maryanna Otley; son, Bill Otley and wife Rita; granddaughter, Kristie Otley; sister-in-law, Mary Otley; nephews, Bob Otley, Harry and wife Mary Otley and Fred and wife Debbi Otley; nieces, Shirley and husband Earl Carson and Sherry and husband Doug Stott; and numerous great-nephews, great-nieces, and great-great-nephews and nieces, along with many wonderful friends.

Charley was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Mary Otley; brothers, Howard and wife Genie Otley and Harold Otley; and his father- and mother-in-law, Glenn and Violet Brown.

A funeral service was held on Monday, Sept. 3 at the Burns Elks Lodge #1680 with interment at the Burns Cemetery.

Contributions in Charley Otley’s memory can be made to the Shriner’s Hospital in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720. LaFollette’s Chapel was in charge of funeral arrangements. Send your condolences to the family at:
www.lafolletteschapel.com


Charley Otley 1921-2012

Posted on August 29th in Obituaries

Charley Otley, 91, of Diamond Valley died on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3, at Burns Elks Lodge #1680.

A complete obituary will follow at a later date.


Edith Lawrence, 80, died Aug. 20 of cancer.

Edith was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on Sept. 24, 1931, to Loran and Margaret (Zurn) Allen.

She was the third child and first daughter born into this union.  Her parents were married in 1927 and left Minnesota for the dream of a wheat farm in Canada where they raised lots of wheat and eight children.  The family returned to the U.S. driving a 1931 Model A Ford truck in 1940 due to the political climate at that time. (Canada was conscripting young men for the war in England), and low wheat prices.  This adventure eventually brought them to the Humbolt gold mine above Huntington, where the family was snowed in for the winter.  Loran caught a ride with the mail man and traded gold nuggets, which he panned from open streams, for groceries and brought them back by sled, while wearing snow-shoes.  Neighbors assisted with food when possible but it was an emaciated family of 10 who traveled to Vale when the snow finally melted.  Many in the family were like Scarlet in “Gone with the Wind,” vowing never to be hungry again.

This adventure included a stint of 10 people in a tent living along the Malheur River in Vale where they were afforded the luxury of thermal hot water privileges on the edge of this magnificent river.

The availability of food was plentiful. The next stop on this journey was the trek to the high desert of Harney County, the beloved Steens Mountain and Burns, where the family put down roots.

Edith was married to Alfred F. Lawrence on Feb. 26, 1949, and to this union three children were born:  Jean Ellen Cassel in 1950 (deceased 1997),  Laura J. in 1952 and Les Alfred in 1954. Edith began working at the police department in Burns in 1968.

Edith graduated from Burns Union High School in 1950.  She also spent a year and a half of study at Eastern Oregon College after she and Alfred moved their family to La Grande where she joined the La Grande Police Department in 1970 and retired in 1993.

Edith held many positions with the department administration even working with Bill Byrd, an investigator.  She loved that challenge.  In the early 1980s Edith became the 9-1-1 communications manager for the department, coordinating 23 local agencies and was instrumental in setting up the original 9-1-1 system in Union County.  She played a pivotal role in the formation of the whole county with her communication skills and winning ways with people in the struggle of change. Edith felt privileged to be a part of this successful endeavor in this capacity.

Edith loved life in all of its various forms such as the sun rising, clouds, rock formations, classical music, family and friends.   Edith had an amazing ability to perceive optimism in the light of any situation. As a young child, she was always the family teller of stories, fact or fictional.  She would hold an audience of children spellbound with her imagination.  Add a touch of her special humor and a great story was born.  Her connection and bond to each grandchild was the source of strength and joy she relied on for each day, which she further extended outwardly to family and friends.

Edith was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Lawrence; daughter, Jean Ellen Cassel; and parents, Loran and Margaret Allen.

Edith is survived by her children, Laura McRoberts of La Grande and Les Lawrence of Ketchikan, AK.;  grandchildren, Alicia McRoberts of La Grande, Mat Cassel of Portland, Marc Cassel of La Grande, Mike (Dana), McKayla and Tanner Cassel, and Diedra, Ava, and Devin Powsey of Baker City, Jared (Dawn) McKaylyn and Trenton Lawrence of Ketchikan, Ak., Christina (Ken) and Ian Smestad of Portland and Christen (Carolyn)  Lucas and Annabelle McRoberts of Jerome, Idaho; siblings, Otis Allen of  Memphis, Tenn., Bill (Ulaberl) Allen of Burns, Lorna Spain of La Grande, Tom (Ruby) Allen of Norman, Okla., Dan Allen of Boise, Idaho, Shirley Dean Demackiewicz of Lake Tapps, Wash., and Jim Allen of Boise, Idaho; and many nieces and nephews.

Donations in Edith’s memory may be made to The Grande Ronde Symphony, PO Box 824, La Grande, OR  97850. Online condolences to the family may be made at: www.lovelandfuneralchapel.com

Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian Friendship Center Aug. 25.  Disposal of remains will be by cremation and burial to be at a private family gathering at the gravesite of her daughter at Hillcrest East cemetery.


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