Wesley Wilson 1931-2014

Posted on December 10th in Obituaries

Wesley Wilson, 83, passed away Dec. 2 in Burns.

He was born in Roseburg Nov. 2, 1931, the seventh child of Achsa Hazel Davenport and Harry George Wilson.

He was raised on a small farm. Perhaps that is why he loved gardening and animals. As a teenager, Wesley, his brothers, Wallace and Warren, and friend, Merle Wilson, participated as bronco, bareback riders.  The announcer would get mixed up and say it’s just one of those Wilson boys.

Wes left home at an early age. He started working on ranches, eventually ending up in Montana. Wesley was 19 when he was on a trip to Idaho. He saw this young girl and made the comment that he was going to marry her. His friend said he was crazy. However, eight months later, Wesley married Sadie Lamona Cloward on July 5, 1952. He always considered that was the best choice he ever made. Sixty-two years later, he was still madly in love with Lamona.

They made their first home in Bend, where he worked as a pole lineman.  He was drafted into the Army in January 1953, after just a few months of married life. He served for 14 months as a pole lineman in Korea. When he returned, he went to work for a ranch in Mitchell, and spent the next 39 years there. During that time, he worked on ranches, and in the woods, thinning and logging.

In October 1956, Wes and Lamona had a daughter, Achsa Virginia. In 1957, a son was born, Sterling Lee. Then, in July 1960, a son, Kenneth Dean was born. Also born to them, another son, Cody Wayne, in August 1961. Later, they became involved in foster care and adopted their fifth child, William Wesley Wilson.

They moved to Harney County in 1994, where they spent the remainder of Wesley’s life.

Wesley was a hard worker, fixed anything that needed fixed, never knew a stranger, and helped everyone he saw. He was a kind loving man to all, and his word was his bond.

Wesley is survived by his loving wife, Sadie Lamona Wilson; five children,  Virginia and Alan Davis of Surprise, Ariz., Lee and Pam Wilson of Burns, Kenneth Wilson of Cave Junction, Cody and Adele Wilson of Canyon City, and William Wilson of Burns; brother, Wallace Wilson; sister; Helen Rowell; sister-in-law, Isa Larkin and husband, Bob; 16 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, Jessie Lee Marcy.

Wesley was preceded in death by his brothers, Walter and Warren Wilson; sisters, Hilda and Hazel; and daughter-in-law, Felicia Wilson.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Contributions in Wesley Wilson’s memory may be made to the Latter-day Saints Missionary Program in care of LaFollette’s Chapel. P.O. Box 488, Burns OR 97720.

OBIT Lawrence WebMary Emily Newcomb Lawrence, 90, passed away Dec. 7 at The Aspens following a long battle with cancer.

Mary was born Nov. 3, 1924, in Marble, Colo. Her parents were Sue Bowland and Albert Webister Newcomb. Mary grew up in the Crystal River Valley in Colorado. At age 21, Mary married Dorman Lawrence. Their families had known each other a long time. Mary dated Dorman twice, and in those days, driving 50 miles to date someone was unheard of. So, after a short courtship, they were married. On the way to Burns, they had a honeymoon in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dorman’s sister lived in Burns, and her husband worked for Edward Hines Lumber Company. Dorman got a job at Edward Hines Lumber Company, and he worked in Hines for 42 years. In that time, they had two boys, Dorman Edward (Eddy), and seven-and-a-half years later, Raymond Walter.

Mary was a homemaker and mother all her married life. She was involved in anything that had to do with flowers. She joined the Sunrise Garden Club, and held the offices of president and vice president in the early years. Mary enjoyed sewing for her family for many years. She made a dress for herself, and it fit better than any dress she ever bought. Her hobbies consisted of crocheting and making different items, such as pillow cases, tatting clothes, pictures and pillows. She canned all kinds of home-grown vegetables and fruit.

Dorman built their home in Hines at 203 South Quincy, and they lived there until Dorman died. Mary moved to Aspen Grove apartments, and lived there and enjoyed life for several years. She then moved into The Aspens.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and son, Eddy.

Services for Mary Emily Newcomb Lawrence are pending.

David Alan Rohde 1960-2014

Posted on December 10th in Obituaries

OBIT Rohde WebDavid Alan Rohde, 54, passed away Dec. 3 at his home in Helix.

David was born Aug. 21, 1960, to Charles R. and Edith B. (Emmert) Rohde in Pendleton, where he was raised. He attended grade school in Adams, then schools in Pendleton, graduating from Pendleton High School in 1979. He moved to Estacada in 1983. On July 19, 1986, he married Staci Leathers in Welches. The couple had two sons. They moved to Burns in 1993, where he ran a family ranch, returning to the Pendleton area in 2001. He farmed hay and wheat, and was a very dedicated worker. He enjoyed being outdoors hunting, fishing and woodcutting.  He often went hunting with family friend, Vern Freed.  He loved spending time with his wife and boys.   He was a member of the Peace Lutheran Church.

David is survived by his wife, Staci of Helix; sons, Levi Rohde of Helix, and Justin Rohde and daughter-in-law, Gailen (Phillips) Rohde of Helix; brothers, Jim Rohde of Adams, and Rick Rohde of Pendleton; sisters, Linda Crocker of Camden, N.C., and Beth Naughton of Pendleton; granddaughter, Kimber Rohde of Helix; step-grandchildren, Cody, Justin and Sean Phillips; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec.12, at the Peace Lutheran Church in Pendleton. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of David Rohde may be made to St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Clinic, and may be sent in care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, P.O. Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801. Sign the online condolence book at www.burnsmortuary.com. Arrangements are with Burns Mortuary of Pendleton.

Ernest Botefur

Posted on December 10th in Obituaries

OBIT Botefur WebErnest Botefur passed away Nov. 29.

He was born in Del Norte Colo., to Ernest and Jewell Botefur.

He served two tours of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War.

He worked most of his life as a heavy equipment operator. He loved to hunt and fly fish.

Ernest is survived by his wife of 68 years, Peggy; sons, Ernest of Burns and David of Washington; daughter, Jewell Shreeve of Hines; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; two brothers and two sisters.

At his request, there will be no service. A private family gathering will be held at a later date.

LaFollette’s Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Jerry Ray Needham 1946-2014

Posted on December 3rd in Obituaries

OBIT Needham webJerry Ray Needham, 67, passed away Dec. 1.

Jerry was born Dec. 15, 1946, in La Grande to Clifford (Bill) and Bettie Needham of Cove. He grew up and attended all 12 years of school in Cove.

Jerry married Marsha Carly in Union, and had two sons, Brian James and Bradley (Brad) Ray.

He married the love of his life, Darlene Ann Lissman, after a planned date set up by his sister, Joyce, and they married after dating for four months on July 3, 1976, in Burns. He had a logging accident 10 days before they were to get married, and so Darlene had to do all the driving during their honeymoon. He tried to talk Darlene out of marrying him after the accident, but was told he wasn’t getting out of it so easy. Jerry was unable to work after the logging accident.

Jerry and Darlene had two children, Kimberly Dawn Needham/Jones/Male and Bill Earl Needham. That same year, the two older boys came to Burns to live with them, and that was a great joy for Jerry to have his family together.

He always enjoyed all the sporting games, teaching hunter safety, and coaching baseball. He also enjoyed going hunting, fishing and camping with his family. He never knew a stranger, and always had family, nephews, and anybody else that wanted to go was always welcome to go along with him or his family. His favorite place to go camping and hunting was the Cove and Ladd Canyon area. He enjoyed the great outdoors. He always said he had nine lives and that he had used up 13 of them.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 37 years, Darlene A. Needham of Burns; sons, Brian, and wife, Kim, of Hines, Brad, and wife, Becky, of Mill City, Bill, and ex-wife, Becky; daughter, Kim Jones/Male, and significant other, Matt; grandchildren, Brianna, Jake, R.J., Sarah and J.J.; great-grandson, Maddox; sisters, Joyce Olsen, and husband, Ron, Judy Foster, and husband, Kevin; many nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and many friends, including Darlene’s family: father, Ray; sisters, Nila Rae, Carolyn, Sylvia; brothers-in-law, Bill Gubser and Jerry Wilcox; and brother, Dan Lissman.

He was preceded in death by his father, Bill; mother, Bettie, brother-in-law, Kris Lissman; mother-in-law, Nadine Lissman; a set of twin grandchildren, and many uncles and aunts.

There will be no service at his request.

Contributions in his memory may be made at LaFollette’s Chapel to help with cremation and other expenses.

Al Bonson 1957-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

OBIT Bonson webAl Bonson of Burns  passed away Nov. 2

Al had a great love of stories, whether reliving the events in one of his tall tales or listening to adventures told by family and friends. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. Like all true fisherman and storytellers, the facts might be slightly exaggerated and bent over time, but they were real and were a doorway into the man we knew and loved.

Al was born September 1957, in San Diego, Calif., the second son to Norman and Donna. This is where his journey began. Not all chapters in life begin and end in the way we foresee them, so Donna was soon caring for her young family and looking to the future.

Donna met and married Larry Root in 1961, and soon settled in Idanha. An idyllic time and place with boundless opportunity for a growing family of young boys looking for adventure. It was a like a page from Tom Sawyer for Al and his brothers, Norm, Craig, Andy and Hoot. Fishing and playing on the river banks and in the woods were some of Al’s fondest memories as a young boy. Al always had a close relationship with all of his brothers and family.

A change of jobs in 1970 meant a move to Burns for the family, and a new set of friends for Al. Many of these friendships from elementary and high school became life-long relationships. Al was a loyal friend, quick to tease and just as quick to help you when you were down.

After graduating, Al worked several jobs, including one at Edward Hines Lumber Mill. In 1986, Al began working for his brother, Andy, alongside his father, Larry, brother, Hoot and Uncle Dave, at Andy’s new company, Andy’s Custom Work. Hard work and long hours spent haying and farming in Burns and Christmas Valley were just fine with Al, but helping teach his nieces and nephews along the way were the times he treasured most. Al was great with kids; he was tough, but always loving.

Around this time, The Powerhouse Restaurant hired a new waitress; a new girl in town with red hair and an outlandish laugh. It was there that Al and Steph met for the first time. They began dating in 1989, sharing many passions, including family, travel, music and Oregon Duck football. Ten short years later, they realized they were perfect for each other. They married in the spring of 1999.

Al and Steph traveled throughout their marriage. Family and friends joined them on trips from the Costa Rican jungle to the Caribbean seas. He lived for adventure, grabbing life with both hands and squeezing everything he could out of it. And he encouraged others to do the same. Oregon Duck football was a venue for sharing time with others. He and Steph loved tailgating at Autzen Stadium with family and friends. A mention of Oregon could cause you to lose hours debating the merits of his favorite team.

As much as both Al and Steph loved to travel, they equally loved living in Harney County. The people and the country are amazingly beautiful. The sense of community and fellowship here is a true blessing.

When Al faced the illness that threatened his health and future, he battled it like a warrior poet. Against incredible odds, he chose to hope and live each moment. He spent this time as he did his life, having adventures and spreading love. While he lost his battle with the illness in the end, his life came full circle. Those people whom he loved so much stepped forward to be at his side, with hearts as large as his and encouragement along the way.

Al was preceded in death by his dad, Larry Root; nephew, Brandon Bonson; and many cherished family and friends.

Al is survived by his wife, Steph Bonson; mother, Donna Root; brothers, Norm Bonson, Craig Bonson, Andy Root and Larry Root; sisters-in-law, Mary Bonson, Teri Bonson, Jana Root and Dawn Root; 16 nephews and nieces; 16 grand-nephews and nieces; many uncles, aunts and cousins; as well as friends who are loved like family.

Mary Jane Fine 1923-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

OBIT Fine webMary Jane Fine, 91, a longtime resident of Harney and Grant counties, passed away of natural causes Nov. 10 at Blue Mountain Care Center in Prairie City.

Mary was born Jan. 25, 1923, in Chicago, Ill., to Leonard and Edna (Sarre) Johnson. Mary grew up in the hard times of the Depression years.

At age 14, with a work-for-room-and-board arrangement, Mary left Illinois with her aunt and uncle, Bill and Mae Taber. Traveling in the back of a pickup truck, Mary reached the end of the journey when they arrived at Steens Mountain. Mary and the Tabers first lived along Indian Creek, then on a homestead near the Blitzen River. It was there, she always said, she learned the value of hard work by helping them build fence, cutting wood, packing horses, and assisting with the Taber’s hunting and fishing guide service.

In 1941, Mary and a girlfriend moved to Portland, to work on ships at the Kaiser shipyards. After the war, Mary returned to the Burns area.

Mary wed Clifford Fine in 1948. They lived and worked at Roaring Springs and Three Mile ranches in Catlow Valley just south of Frenchglen. During that time, their two children, Joseph Mark and Sally, were born. After 12 years, Mary and Cliff purchased a ranch and moved the family to the Double O Valley, 45 miles southeast of Burns.

In 1980, Mary and Cliff moved to Grant County, where they purchased a ranch outside of Dayville on the south fork of the John Day River. Ten years later, they scaled down their ranching operations and moved to Mount Vernon. After Cliff’s death in January 1992, Mary, along with Sally’s help, continued the ranching operation on a smaller scale. Six months later, Mary became seriously ill, which forced the sale of the last of their cattle. Mary pulled through the medical crisis, and stayed the rest of her years in her Mount Vernon home.

Mary is survived by son, Joseph Mark Fine; daughter, Sally Fine; granddaughters Tamora Fine and Shyanne Fine; two great-granddaughters; cousin, Etta Mae Critchlow; sister-in-law, Mildred Fine; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford; and brother, Donald Johnson.

A graveside service was held Nov. 17 at the Burns Cemetery in Burns. A reception was held at the Burns Elks Lodge following in the Service.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Harney County Senior and Community Services  Center through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

Beth Asmussen Jamison 1954-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

OBIT Asmussen webBeth Asmussen Jamison, 60, passed away Nov. 11 at Harris Hospital in Bremerton, Wash., following a recent illness.

Beth was born July 29, 1954, in Seoul, Korea, and was adopted into the loving family of Larry and Bethel Asmussen in 1956.

She attended Hines Grade School and Burns High School. Beth was dearly loved by all who had the privilege to know her.

She is survived by her parents; sons, Zebulah Nelson of Pahoa, Hawaii, and Luke and Ivan Wesson of Bremerton, Wash.; brothers, Clifford Asmussen and his wife, Peggy of Burns, and John and his wife, Jennie Asmussen of Bend; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.


Wayne Jackson Blaylock 1930-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

Wayne Jackson Blaylock, 84, passed away Nov. 7.

Wayne was born Oct. 31, 1930, the youngest son born to William (Bill) and Minnie (Rogers) Blaylock, and third generation farmer/rancher of one of the first pioneer families to settle on the confluence of the middle and south forks of the Malheur River in the 1800s, and was the last Riverside resident of those pioneer families.

After graduating from Crane Union High School, he was inducted into the Army, even though he told them he had cataracts, and received a medical discharge.

He was a life member of the Burns Elks Lodge.

Along with his ranching and farming, in 1959 Wayne became a third-generation postmaster at Riverside and moved the post office back to the ranch where it had been a half-century earlier. Wayne retired Oct. 15, 2005, and the Riverside Post Office was closed.

Wayne loved to hunt and fish, and sit around the kitchen table playing poker and sharing tall tales with family and friends.

He is survived by sisters, Ruth Duncan and Rose Blaylock; nephew, Rod Duncan; great-nieces, Lika Shapiro and Alina Marston and her children, Luke, Michael and Anna Rose; and long time friend, Cora Agee.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Floyd and Cliff; and nephew, Doug Duncan.

Wayne wanted to be cremated and his ashes buried in the Blaylock/Riverside cemetery on the family ranch. At his request, no service will be held.

Remembrances may be made to the Elks Eye Clinic, Casey Eye Institute, 3375, SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97239.

LaFollette’s Chapel is in charge of arrangements, P.O. Box 488, Burns OR 97720.


Ella Margaret Ivers Gates-Molsen passed away Oct. 19.

She was born March 24, 1923, in Albany to Emma Marie Engel and William Fredrick Ivers.

Her mother was born in Missouri and her father in Germany.

She attended Corvallis High School and graduated in 1941, where she met and later married her first husband, Robert Gerald Gates. He passed away May 22, 1976.

She later met and married Eric Carl Molsen.

She was an excellent housekeeper and baker. She was known by all for her friendly hospitality and her pies.

She lived the first part of her life in Corvallis, and later, after traveling with her second husband as “Snow Birds,” settled down in Arizona City, Ariz., where her second husband passed away Feb. 13, 2011.

A couple of years later, she moved to Burns to live with her only remaining daughter, Janell Buermann.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert “Bob” Gates; second husband, Eric Molsen; daughter, Cheryl Neschke; and son, Robert Dennis Gates.

The last few days of her life were spent at The Aspens, where she had excellent care, and loving hospice attention to help her pass on peacefully.


Whaddya Think?

Which is your best physical feature?

Loading ... Loading ...

Destination Harney County

Destination Harney County 2012


Litehouse Technology

Litehouse Technology Logo

Ruthie's In His Image Photography

Ruthies In His Image Photography

Map of Burns