Thomas Q. Wharton, 83, passed away Dec. 20 in Coos Bay.

Thomas was born Dec. 19, 1930 in Juntura to Curtis C. and Minnie E. (Boyer) Wharton, one of nine children: five boys and four girls.
Tom met Lois Stump in 1947 at a grange dance in Harper. They dated for three years. When Tom asked for Lois’ hand in marriage, he was told he had to have a job and keep it. They were married Sept. 15, 1950, at Harper. Tom was hired at the Oregon Department of Transportation, where he worked for 35 1/2 years. He started in Burns, took a management job, and transferred to Pistol River. After 14 months, he moved to Bridge and lived there 12 years. His section was phased out, and he moved to North Bend. His family settled in Coos Bay, where they continued to live in the same house for 45 years.

Tom enjoyed mining on Johnson Creek above Powers, where he spent many vacations for more than 50 years. He also enjoyed jackrabbit hunting in Central Oregon, after retiring.

Tom is survived by his wife, Lois Wharton of Coos Bay; son, Jerry Wharton and wife, Laura, of North Bend; daughters, Pennie Walter and husband Lew, and Peggy Porter and husband, Preston, all of Salem, and Jeanie Stafford and husband, Dave, of Gig Harbor, Wash.; two sisters; two brothers; 13 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters; two brothers; granddaughter, Lacey Wharton; and great-grandson, Trevor Bruce Hoffine.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hauser Volunteer Fire Department, 93622 Viking Lane, North Bend, OR 97459.

A funeral service was held Dec. 28 with arrangements under the direction of Coos Bay Chapel.


Tawnie Callaway, 66, of Burns, passed away Dec. 5 in Bend.

No services will be held, per her request.

A full obituary will appear at a later date.

Genevieve Richards 1942 – 2013

Posted on December 27th in Obituaries

Genevieve Richards, 71, passed away at her home on Sunday, Dec. 22.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene. A viewing will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26, at LaFollette’s Chapel.

Genevieve Richards is survived by her children, Shelley Richards, Todd Richards, Jody Richards, Renee Thomas, Vonnie Sam, Theresa Curtis and Rose Curtis.

Contributions in Genevieve Richards’ memory may be made to Harney County Hospice, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

Death notice – Willia Reynolds

Posted on December 18th in Obituaries

Willia Reynolds, 89, passed away Dec. 14 at Harney District Hospital.

Willia is survived by her sister, Mary Frazier, of Hanford, Calif.; son, Ken Reynolds (Linda), of Hines; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer; son, Richard; and granddaughter, Kristy.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at Burns Cemetery.

Donations in Willia Reynolds’ memory may be made to the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

OBIT GoirigolzarriNicholas Jose “Nick” Goirigolzarri, 25, passed away Friday, Nov. 29, after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

Nick was born Feb. 26, 1988, in Bend. Roseburg was where he called home and spent the majority of his first 18 years of life.

He attended Roseburg High School and was involved in sports, leadership, and multiple clubs. He graduated in 2006 in the top 10 percent of his class. His dream of attending the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was realized with an early acceptance, success throughout his four years at the academy, officer commissioning, and graduation in 2010. His love of his high school football days developed into a love of rugby at the United States Air Force Academy, where he played for the USAFA rugby team. With his competitive spirit, athleticism, and disciplined physical preparation, he was selected each year for the United States Air Force National rugby team and their tournaments around the United States.

In his short 25 years, his gifts of humor, quick wit, loyalty, compassion, work ethic, athletic ability, determination, and love of life created a tremendous circle of friends and “Nick” fans. His charismatic smile, spontaneous laugh, and high energy brought such life to any family gathering, rugby competition, fun with his friends and coworkers at Schriever Air Force base in Colorado Springs, where he served. As a first lieutenant, he applied his many gifts to his military career. He quickly moved from satellite operations to executive officer to satellite evaluator.

He was the organizer and a participant of base celebrations, community service, and any athletic competition he could be involved in. His life was cut short while he was working on his masters and captain promotion. He had hopes of being stationed in Washington D.C., working with satellites in his acquisition officer role, and dreams of a family and children someday.

Nick loved his family. Home was where he drew strength and the greatest of support. He embraced life with his love of athletics, rugby, fantasy football, travel, cooking, hunting, fishing, and updating the “investment” house that he had so proudly purchased.

Nick is survived by his father, Javier; mother, Karen; brothers, Ben and Alex; grandmother, Gerri Lum; “Amama,” Luisa Goirigolzarri; as well as uncles, aunts and cousins.

A memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the USAF Academy Chapel, Cadet Chapel at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Disease Research Foundation, the American Leukemia Foundation Inc., or to the Nicholas Goirigolzarri Roseburg High School Scholarship Fund at 400 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg, OR 97470.

Mark Louis Smith 1948 – 2013

Posted on December 11th in Obituaries

OBIT Smith workedMark Louis Smith passed away Dec. 1 in Bend, surrounded by family. Born in Oakland, Calif. to Kenneth O. Smith Jr. and Claudia A. Smith on June 11, 1948, Mark was raised in the hills above Willits, Calif., where he developed a lifelong love of the natural world, especially cattle ranching.

After graduating from Willits High School in 1966 and Cal Poly San Louis Obispo in 1972, Mark worked for Production Credit Association (PCA) in California, Hawaii and Nevada. During a break from agricultural banking, he was ranch foreman for a large cattle operation above Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, and it was there that he met and married his love, Deborah.

With the responsibility of a new family, Mark gladly accepted an offer to open a new PCA office in Burns. Although the PCA organization folded soon after Mark and his family arrived in Burns, they stayed. In the broad, high desert country of Eastern Oregon, he knew he was truly home.

Mark and Deborah happily blended into the community and built their home on a hill overlooking the alfalfa fields and cattle ranches in the distance. Mark’s experience in ranching and finance allowed him to always find ways to make a good living in Harney County.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah; his daughters, Sebrina Grillo of Santa Rosa, Calif., Gena Anderson and her husband, Kenny, of Twin Falls, Idaho; and his son, Chris Grillo of Santa Rosa, Calif. He also leaves his mother, Claudia Smith of Willits, Calif.; his brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Rose Smith of Willits, Calif.; and his grandsons, Wacey and Brenden Anderson.

Mark was preceded in death by his father and his sister, Margaret.

A big man with an even bigger heart, there is a sad and vacant place where he once stood in our family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Burns High School Athletic Fund to be used toward new football goal posts in memory of Mark.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, at Big Bear Lodge, 171 Hines Logging Road, in Hines.

Wilma R. Andrews 1920 – 2013

Posted on December 11th in Obituaries

Former Burns resident Wilma R. Andrews, 93, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 3, in Seaside.

Born January 1920 in Durango, Colo., the oldest child of William C. and Vadis Morgan, her childhood was spent in Durango and Silverton, Colo.

Wilma relocated to Oregon in the 1950s, and retired in 1983 after 28 years of teaching first grade in Burns.

She is survived by her sister, Edythrose (Morgan) Tincombe; daughters, Georganne Wood, Sharolyn (Bob) Johnson, Carole (Gene) Whitlock, and Jeanette (Bill) Harman; 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by brother, William P. Morgan, and youngest daughter, Jenifer Andrews.

A private service will be held. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Tomas M. Madarieta, 68, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 26, at his son’s home in Hillsboro, where he was surrounded by his family.

Tom was born March 2, 1945 in Burns. He was the third child born to Jose and Venna Madarieta. Tom graduated from Burns Union High School in 1963. He played football in high school and at Portland State University. Tom joined the U. S. Air Force (May 1965-May 1969) as a military police officer, and his travels took him to Okinawa, Japan, Italy, and parts of Europe. He returned to Burns, and began working at Edward Hines Lumber Company. In 1973, Tom married the love of his life, Renee Sawser. Tom and Renee raised their family in Burns through 1983, when they relocated to Hillsboro, where Tom worked at Master Brand Cabinets, until retiring in 2007.

Tom is survived by his wife, Renee; daughter, Anna; son, Jon, and his wife, Michelle; granddaughter, Payton; brother, Joe, and his wife, Hazel; as well as many other extended family members.

Tom was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. “It’s not the length of life, but the depth of life.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice in Tom’s honor.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Big Bear Lodge, 171 Hines Logging Road, in Hines. A private family burial will be held in Burns.

OBIT Graham webMichael John Graham, 67, passed away Nov. 27 at his home in Coos Bay.

Mike was born Dec. 21, 1945, in Portland to John Arthur Graham and Itha Myrtle (Clinton) Graham.

Mike enlisted in the Navy in 1964 and rose to the rank of petty officer second class before retiring due to medical issues. He served in the Vietnam War as a photographer for Stars and Stripes magazine. Following his discharge from the Navy, Mike worked in the construction trades throughout the Northwest region until his retirement. During his retirement, Mike pursued his two main interests, gardening and the local theatre. He enjoyed growing vegetables and spending time with his family.

Mike is survived by daughter, Michaela Vonderohe, of Coos Bay; daughter, Destiny Corean of Boise, Idaho; daughter, Kindra Kirchner, of Coos Bay; and grandchildren, Terence, Donovan, Paige, Ethan and Alayna.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, John and Itha Graham; and sister, Cynthia Miller.

At his request, no public services will be held. Private cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay, with a private inurnment to be held at Roseburg National Cemetery. A burial ceremony at sea will also take place later in the spring.

Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at and


Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.

Brett Kelton Clark 1963–2013

Posted on November 27th in Obituaries

OBIT Clark webBrett Kelton Clark, 50, passed away peacefully Nov. 11, at his home in Boise, Idaho, after a six-year battle with cancer.  Brett was being visited and comforted by members of his family at the time of his passing.

Brett Clark was born in Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 14, 1963. He was the seventh child, and the second son, of Vivian Jean and John Stacy Clark Sr.

Brett graduated from Laveen Elementary School in Laveen, Ariz. in 1977, and Burns Union High School in Burns, in 1981.

Brett married his high school sweetheart, Sandy Tiller, on Jan. 28, 1984, in Burns; they were married for more than 29 years.  During that time, he was blessed with three beautiful children, Lindsay, Ashlea, and Stacy, who instantly became his greatest joy beyond all compare.

Brett worked at the United States Postal Service in Reno, Nev., for nearly 15 years before beginning his own business, Emerald Lawn and Landscape, which he owned and operated for 14 years. Having his own business afforded Brett many opportunities to help out his family and friends, which was important to him.

Brett very much enjoyed being with his family.  He enjoyed watching, playing and coaching basketball, and being outdoors, where he could golf, fish and hunt. He also enjoyed cooking and reading, but most importantly, spending time with his family.

In fact, any opportunity Brett could find to take his family out to see the beauty of the world and God’s great creation, he jumped on. He loved to go to Twin Lakes, Eagle Lake, Pyramid Lake, Antelope Lake, and Frenchman’s, to name just a few of his favorite places.   But as much as he loved to travel, he was probably happiest at home.

Home is where his heart was. It’s where he sat and dreamed with Sandy, watched his children grow up, and was able to have long talks with his dad. Providing for his father for the last 20-plus years of his life brought such great pleasure to Brett, Sandy and his grandchildren. As Lindsay said, “My dad has always been blessed with such a sense of self-sacrificing compassion.”

As a young boy, Brett could often be found outside, in the heat of the Arizona sun, shooting free throws or counting down from 10 so he could make the game-winning shot. Even after his high school playing days were over, Brett continued to play, joining city leagues and taking that final shot in the game. As he grew older, his love of the game never dwindled, and another one of his dreams was realized. He and his friend, Pete, coached middle school basketball at Depoali Middle School in Reno, Nev. Working with the kids was something he often talked about to his friends and family, and when he did, his face would beam with pride.

At home, Brett was usually found somewhere between his backyard garden, the kitchen stove, and his grill. Whether growing over-sized pumpkins, the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes, or fresh herbs for his dishes, Brett could turn any simple vegetable into a delicious, savory dish. He loved feeding his family!

Brett was an amazing man with a huge heart.  Brett loved volunteering his time and energy to both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, various soccer teams and AWANA’s, organizations his children were highly involved in. Brett also led the charge with his family in providing holiday meals for the homeless at Tent City in Reno.

An avid reader, in 2012, Brett vowed to read 50 books in a single year, which he easily achieved.  No matter how many books he read, no book was more precious to him than his own Bible.

In later days, when taking time for himself, Brett enjoyed beginning his days by sitting in the sun and reading his Bible, often ending them by falling asleep while listening to audio-taped versions. The next day, Stacy was frequently asked, “Where did we leave off?”

Brett was not interested in reading the Bible from cover to cover, which he had already done. He wanted to understand and truly experience what it is like to have a real relationship with the Lord. In the last few years, he not only created a relationship with Him, but he has been instrumental in doing God’s work by bringing others to Christ, as well.

Brett was preceded in death by his father, John Stacy Clark Sr.; his nephew, Anthony (Tony) Harris; his niece, Courtney Brooks; and his faithful pets, Bailey and Speedy.

Brett is survived by his wife, Sandy Clark;  daughter and her husband, Lindsay and Ben Wheatley; daughter, Ashlea Clark; son, Stacy Clark; mother, Vivian Clark; sisters, Diana Crider, Stacia Brooks, and Terese Clark; brother, John Stacy Clark Jr.; sisters, Sandra Davis, Cindy McKnight, Paula Harris, and Jeana Clark and their spouses, children and grandchildren; and Brett’s many friends.

The immediate family of Brett Clark also wishes to express a special thank you to his personal caregivers over these past few years: to Danny Clark, his cousin; Cassie Jo Yriarte, fondly referred to by Brett as Nurse Niece; and to John Stacy Clark Jr., his beloved brother, who never left his side, — thank you for the great compassion shown to Brett during this time.

And from Brett’s huge extended family, who knows there was no one that Brett loved more, thank you to Sandy.  Thank you for always opening your door to us, thank you for providing such peace to him, and thank you for all the love you have shown.

A Celebration of Life was held at Twenty-Six Eight Church, 50 W. Spicewood, Meridian, Idaho, with Pastor David Snyder officiating. A time of remembrance took place at Brett and Sandy’s home following the Celebration. Donations may be made in Brett’s name to Twenty-Six Eight Church, P.O. Box 1229, Meridian, ID  83680.

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