OBIT Libbey WEBGertrude Lorna Libbey, 101, passed away Aug. 11 at Harney District Hospital.

She was born to Charles and Jenny Bown on Dec. 23, 1913, in Rancagua, Chile. She lived in Chile until 1970 when her husband, Rainey, retired from Anaconda Copper Mining Co. and they moved to Tucson, Ariz. Rainey passed away in 1996, and in 2008, Gertrude came to live in Burns with her daughter, Lorna Cagle, and husband, Charlie.

She is survived by her daughter, Lorna (Charlie) of Burns; daughter, Ellen (Rico) of Port Townsend, Wash.; sister, Ruth Bates of Tucson, Ariz.; grandsons, Jason (Krista) of Washougal, Wash. and Bryan (Leslie) of Eugene; great-grandchildren, Aidan, Addy, Laila, Bailey, and Aaron; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers; her husband, Rainey; and her son, John.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal/Peace Lutheran Church in Burns. Burial will be at Evergreen Mortuary in Tucson, Ariz., at a later date.

Donations may be made to Gallery 15 at P.O. Box 695, Burns, OR 97720, or to a charity of one’s choice.


OBIT Averill WEBHerbert “Rusty” Averill, 88, passed away July 23 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Rusty was born July 21, 1927 to Herbert and Wilhelmina Averill in Philadelphia, Pa. At the age of 17, Rusty enlisted in the Navy where he did several tours that took him around the world. During his time in the Navy, he and his crew were sent to the Bikini Atoll Islands where they endured the nuclear testing in the 1940s.

Rusty loved being out on the ocean so much that after his time in the Navy ended, he joined ranks with the Merchant Marines. After a failed first marriage, he wed Tiffany Joann (Morning Star) Zimmerman in 1950. Rusty had a son from his first marriage and three sons and five daughters with Tiffany. After the Merchant Marines, he and Tiffany settled down in Upper Darby, Pa. They later relocated to Delaware, where Rusty became a long-haul truck driver, which later led to him hauling large boats. He loved this type of work, but the long hours of driving eventually took their toll on his back. He retired from truck driving after having back surgery.

Rusty went on to work for a lock and key company. In 1978, Rusty and Tiffany decided to leave Delaware and head out West. They ended up settling in Las Vegas, Nev., where Rusty had his own locksmith company for a while. He then decided to do some security work, and this change in careers landed him a job as Deputy Constable with the Constable’s Office in Clark County, North Las Vegas. In a few years’ time, he was promoted to Chief Deputy Constable, which is where he worked until a botched back surgery in 1997 left him no alternative but to retire from the profession he loved.

Rusty and Tiffany continued to live in Las Vegas. They bought their first home together in 1998. Sadly, it was in this very home that Tiffany was murdered in 2001 during a home invasion robbery. However, Rusty decided to continue living there because, “It was the first home he and his wife had ever purchased together.”

From the time of his wife’s murder up until March 2015, Rusty was robbed in his home four more times, with the last time resulting in him being hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his leg. His family had tried several times to encourage him to move, but he loved Las Vegas and didn’t want to leave a place that had become such a big part of his life. It was late 2014 to early 2015 that he actually started considering moving up to Harney County to live with his daughter and her husband (Cheryl and Glenn Jakubowski of Burns). While Rusty was in the hospital after the last robbery, with the help of his youngest daughter and her spouse, Pamela West and Judy Rhodes, of Coventry, Conn., Cheryl Jakubowski made the trip to Las Vegas to pack up his belongings and move him to Burns. Rusty remained in the hospital at the time of Cheryl’s departure from Las Vegas because he was in no shape at that time to make the long drive.

After being bounced around from the hospital to skilled nursing facilities, Rusty’s health began to rapidly decline. With the help of her best friend, Amzel Prokop, Cheryl made another trip down to Las Vegas in a rented van with a hospital bed in the back with the intention of transporting Rusty up to Harney District Hospital. However, after battling back and forth with the hospital staff about whether or not he would be able to endure the trip, the hospital made the decision that Rusty’s health was too serious for him to be moved, especially for a 12- to 14-hour drive. The hospital staff felt that Rusty’s time was short, so they made the decision to place him in a hospice facility. He passed away less than a week later, just two days after his 88th birthday.

Throughout his life, Rusty enjoyed many hobbies, including model trains, building model ships, and spending precious time with his family. He was always the jokester and loved making people laugh.

Rusty is survived by his son, John Averill and wife, Joyce, of Indianola, Iowa; son, Bruce Averill of Las Vegas, Nev.; daughter, Tiffany Bartolomei and husband, Tony of Smyrna, Del.; son, Ronald Averill of Townsend, Del.; daughter, Susan Durnan of Middletown, Del.; daughter, Cheryl Jakubowski and husband, Glenn, of Burns; daughter, Pamela West and spouse, Judy Rhodes of Coventry, Conn.; grandson, Wayne R. Averill of Delaware;  granddaughter, Erin Berglund-Burns of Louisiana; granddaughter, Amy George of Maryland; granddaughter, Christine Colvin-Chun of Hawaii; grandson, Corey Wainikainen of Florida; grandson, Sean Averill of Delaware; granddaughter, Jennifer Averill of Delaware; grandson, Sean Averill of Iowa; and granddaughter, Susan Averill of Iowa; as well as numerous great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Tiffany Joann (Morning Star) Zimmerman Averill; son, Brett Averill; and daughter, Beverly “Jan” Averill.

For those wishing to make a donation in Rusty’s name, an account has been set up at Umpqua Bank to help the family with final expenses.


OBIT Donovan WEBBetty Powell Donovan, 92, passed away at home on July 23, with her family by her side.

Betty was born Oct. 18, 1922 in Denver, Colo., to Lawrence and Jeanne Gauthier. She graduated from Wheatridge High School in Colorado in 1941. Betty was an accomplished artist, dancer, bartender, 18-wheeler truck driver and rancher. She also was the postmaster in Black Hawk, Colo., for several years. She moved to Burns in 1973, where she ranched and worked for Oard’s Gallery and Indian Art Museum for many years.

Betty is survived by her daughters, Shirley Holloway Blanchfield, Donna Marshall Wheeler (Dennis), Kathleen Parks (Jim); son, Cuthbert Powell (Mary); grandchildren, Christopher Orblom, Lauren Orblom Frack, Shae Haley Williams (Ben), Jennifer Powell Van Zeipel (Patrick), and Amanda Marshall; great-grandchildren, Andrew, Hayley, Alycia and Sadie; nieces, Julie Simones, LariLee Lincoln, Ed Downs (Michelle); and one grand-nephew, Lee Lincoln Simones.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Donovan; son, Jim Donovan; and sister, Shoo Downs.


Patricia A. Couzens, 83, passed away peacefully in her sleep July 14.

She was born May 29, 1932, in Baker City to Glenn and Edna O’Neil.  Pat spent most of her childhood in La Grande. She graduated from La Grande High School in 1950.

Soon after graduation, she married John F. Couzens.

They lived in La Grande until 1956. They then moved to Hines, living there from 1956 to 1971. From Hines, they moved to Glendale, and lived there from 1971 to 1986.  In 1986, they moved to the Portland area.

Pat is survived by her daughters, Susan Defebaugh of Gresham, Lynda Fine of Burns, and Lisa Blackmun of Forest Grove;  five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Glenn and Edna O’Neil; brother, Thomas; and husband, John F. Couzens.

The family suggests remembrances to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

OBIT Tropf WEBDoris Fae (Breach) Tropf, 74, passed away July 20.

She was born Aug. 19, 1930, to John and Louise Breach, near the Great Divide, near Craig, Colo. John and Louise and their seven children, Mildred, Glen, Wilma, Doris, Margaret, Wanda and Lawrence, lived at their homestead in Colorado until 1940, when they moved to Greenleaf, Idaho.

In 1968, Doris married Arno “Ike” Tropf, and in 1970, the family moved from Caldwell, Idaho, to Burns. Ike and Doris owned the Jiffy Mart for 20 years. They enjoyed doing business in the community, seeing their many friends and meeting new friends.

Family time and little children were the things Doris loved most. Her children, Earlene, Dean, Cindy and Rex, and all the grandchildren were the most important things in the world to her, and she loved visits and big family gatherings. She also loved visiting with all of her friends.

Doris is survived by her four children, Earlene (Larry) Anderson of Burns, Dean (Susan) Draper of Burns, Cindy Schab of Benton City, Wash., and Rex (Laurie) Draper of Hines; sister, Margaret Crill; brother, Lawrence Breach; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

Doris was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Arno “Ike” Tropf; siblings, Mildred Ivie, Glen Breach, Wilma Taulbee and Wanda Breach; and son-in-law Don Schab.

A potluck Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Aug. 1 at noon at the home of Dean Draper, 620 East E Street in Burns.

Memorials may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Harney County or Harney County Senior and Community Services Center, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.


OBIT Dalglliesh WEBJessie Joanne Anzini Dalglliesh passed away June 20 in Burns.

Jessie was born April 7, 1947, in Scotia, Calif. She filled the hearts of those who knew her with love – she was always positive, always smiling, and always hopeful. From the very beginning of her life, she was a pure joy to be around, and was loved by all. Jessie will be missed by many, but rejoice with many in the new system awaiting us all.

A memorial will be held Saturday, Aug. 1, at 3 p.m. at the Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, 592 W. Madison in Burns.

Jo Ann Rose 1933-2015

Posted on July 29th in Obituaries


OBIT Rose WEBJo Ann Rose, 82, of Payette, Idaho, passed away at her home June 11.

Jo Ann was born March 18, 1933, in Burns, living there until 1957. She graduated from Burns High School. On Memorial Day in 1951, she married Glen Rose; six years and three sons later they moved to Prineville, one of her many moves being married to a government man.

Jo Ann worked her entire life, mostly in banking and some real estate. She semi-retired when Glen retired from the Bureau of Land Management, working a few more years at the US Bank in Ontario.

She enjoyed fishing, camping, traveling, with her most treasured trip being the three weeks spent in Australia and New Zealand, and for the last several years, playing bridge with lots of her friends.

Jo Ann is survived by her sons, Rick, Mike and Mac; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Jo Ann’s life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Four Rivers Cultural Center, 676 SW 5th Ave. in Ontario. Cremation was under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel in Payette. Condolences may be made to Jo Ann’s family at

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity to honor Jo Ann’s memory

Friends of the late Mary Pengelly are invited to meet at Figaro’s Pizza at 6 pm. Thursday, Aug. 13, to share memories of the former Burns resident with her daughter, Aubra Pengelly-Pollack of Cheney, Wash.

Pengelly taught school in the Burns area schools for many years, and was active in the Harney County Historical Society, Desert Trail Association, Pioneer Presbyterian Church, Chamber Music Society and more before moving back to Klamath Falls in 1994 after the death of her husband, Russell Pengelly. Pengelly lived at Cheney, near her daughter, during the last years of her life. She passed away Jan. 9, 2015, in Cheney, and will be interred in August in Klamath Falls, where she grew up.


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.

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