Maria Rementeria 1927-2012

Posted on March 21st in Obituaries

Maria Rementeria, 84, died March 13 at Harney District Hospital.

She was born May 24, 1927, at their family farm in Serantes (Santurce), Spain, to Estanislao Urreta and Leoncia Casi. She was the fifth of eight children.

Maria, along with her two children, immigrated to the U.S. and in October 1961, came to join her husband in Burns, where she remained the rest of her life. She made various trips back to Spain to visit relatives and friends, but her home was in Burns.

One of her proudest days and greatest accomplishments was becoming a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process in 1978.

She was well known in the community for her cooking, in particular her Basque cakes and flan. Her family says she made the best blood sausages in the world.

She was very proud of her children and grandchildren and loved them very much.

Maria is survived by her children, Jose Rementeria and wife Kathy, and Maria Iturriaga and husband Claudio of Hines; and grandchildren, Luis Iturriaga of San Diego, Calif., Julie Rementeria of Salem and Nicholas Rementeria of Ashland.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Luis; four brothers; and two sisters.

Contributions in Maria Rementeria’s memory can be made to the Harney County Hospital Foundation or the Harney County Ambulance Fund in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720. Visit LaFollette’s Chapel’s website: to sign the guestbook and send condolences to the family.

Recitation of the Holy Rosary was held Friday, March 16, in the Holy Family Catholic Church and Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 17.

Clay Ellis Fox 1922-2012

Posted on March 21st in Obituaries

Clay “Hal” Fox, 89, of Rickreall died with his wife at his side March 12.

Born Nov. 28, 1922, in Tillamook, Clay grew up in Rickreall on part of the original donation land claim of his great-grandfather George Johnson Baskett.

Graduating from Rickreall High School in 1940, Clay went on to attend Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) and received his degree in education from Oregon State University, where he played basketball for Slats Gill.

After serving during World War II in the U.S. Navy, Clay eventually landed as a high school teacher and coach in Union. Before receiving his master’s degree from Portland State University and becoming principal of Camas High School in Camas, Wash., Clay was a beloved coach and teacher, leading teams to the state tournament and being a mentor of many students, both in and outside of school. His care and concern for his students and players continued on until the end of his life, and he maintained lifelong friendships with many.

Before he retired in 1977, Clay also was principal at Jordan Valley High School in Eastern Oregon as well as LaCenter High School in LaCenter, Wash. He and his family returned to Rickreall in 1991.

Clay purchased a small ranch east of Burns in 1979. He was a substitute teacher in Burns and Crane. He ran cattle and enjoyed hunting in the area for 17 years. His favorite hunting memories were with Carl Sheeon, Joe Cronin and Dick Hoffman. He loved the cowboy culture and admired the ranch and logging community.

To know Clay was to know his enthusiastic love for the outdoors and people. During his life he was unstoppable in his pursuit of being active. A true cowboy and sportsman, Clay loved horses, hunting, fishing and sports.

From setting a world record in boat racing, going on an unbelievable Yukon hunting expedition, competing in 100-mile endurance horse races to riding in rodeos, training many a bird dog and countless hours of coaching and teaching, he led an extraordinary life.

After meeting and marrying his wife of more than 40 years in 1971, the two pursued these passions together, touching many throughout each adventure. In his final years, Clay remained an avid hunter, rodeo fan and supporter of local high school and college sport teams.

Clay is survived by his wife, Lynne; sister June Tallman; three children, Dana (Jim) Akers of Portland, Clay “Ev” (Hope) Fox of West Richland, Wash., and Keli (Rob) Faw of Seattle, Wash.; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held at Rickreall Event Hall Saturday, March 31, at 1 p.m. For information and to confirm attendance, email clayfoxtribute@ Remembrances may be made in his name to the Polk County Historical Society, the Oregon Duck Hunters’ Association or the American Heart Association.

Irene S. Williams, 96, of Ontario died March 14 at an assisted living center. Services are pending at Lienkaemper Chapel in Ontario.

Maria Rementeria, 84, died the morning of March 13. She was born May 24, 1927.

Recitation of the Rosary will be Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, March 17, at 10 a.m.

Visit LaFollette’s Chapel’s website for more information:

Patrick R. Hickey, 65, of Sherwood died unexpectedly due to a heart attack Feb. 16. Pat had been working in Hawaii for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge system when this occurred.

Pat was born Oct. 2, 1946, in St. Maries, Idaho, to Frank and Doris Hickey. He was raised on his family’s ranch and logging operation. In 1960, his family moved to Boise, Idaho, where Pat attended junior high and worked with his father and uncles learning how to construct houses.

During his sophomore year in high school, Pat’s family moved to Harney County. During his high school years, Pat was involved in football, wrestling, track, woodshop and drafting. His time spent in woodshop and drafting led him to an interest in drafting his own house plans later. During the summers, he helped to support his family by working for local ranches doing irrigation and haying jobs and by working for the E.M. Hall Construction Company continuing to learn the trade of construction.

He graduated from high school in 1965 and went on to attend two years of college at Oregon State University for drafting and photography.

In July 1966, Pat was drafted into the United States Army and went through basic training at Fort Lewis, Wash., before being sent to Vietnam. Due to Pat’s construction experience, he was assigned as supervisor to a crew setting up company compounds. Pat returned to the United States in January 1968 and was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va., where he supervised operations on a large pile driving barge on the Potomac River constructing new docks. Pat was often quiet about his time served in the Army; however, his family learned after his death that he had been awarded medals for Good Conduct, a National Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal and a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Pat left the Army with an honorable discharge in July 1968 but remained in Virginia to work for Robert Rickter Construction, where he learned the specialty of masonry and worked on several large construction jobs before making his way back to Oregon and his family.

Pat joined the Oregon State Police in 1969 and was stationed in Ontario. During his time as a state police officer, Pat continued his education taking classes through Treasure Valley Community College in criminal justice.

Pat left the state police in 1983, after his father died, to move to Burns to help his mother run the family restaurant, the Silver Sage. During his years as owner of the Silver Sage, Pat was very active in the community.

Pat was an active member of the chamber of commerce, the fair board and the Lions.

In 1992, Pat went to work for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a maintenance mechanic and then operated the Buena Vista station. In 2005, Pat became the heavy equipment coordinator for Regions 1 and 8.

The first person to hold this new position, Pat coordinated the heavy equipment safety and training and identified the need for vehicle and equipment purchases and coordinated the deployment of the maintenance workforce on special projects.

Pat was more than anything a loving and wonderful husband to his wife, Debbie, and father to his son and two daughters. His three grandchildren were his joy in life.

Pat was preceded in death by his parents, Frank H. Hickey Sr. and Doris E. Hickey; and his older brother, Frank H. Hickey Jr.

Pat is survived by his wife, Deborah R. Hickey; son, Patrick R. Hickey Jr.; daughters, Lisa P. Dave (husband Terald) and Kelly E. Hickey; grandchildren, Bjorn Petersen, Saleena and Ty Englestadter and Leon Dave; nephews, Frank Hickey III, Robb Hickey and Skyler Hickey; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Friends of Malheur Refuge,” in care of the Malheur Refuge, 36391 Sod House Lane, Princeton, OR 97721-9502

A memorial service will be held March 10 at 4 p.m. at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Maintenance Building, 16507 SW Roy Rogers Road, Sherwood, OR 97140.

Thomas Lloyd “Tom” Schmidt, 64, died Feb. 29 at his home in Harney County.

Tom was born in Omaha, Neb., on June 20, 1947, to Boyd and Vivian Stone Schmidt.

He was the third of four children and spent his childhood in Omaha. After completing high school in Omaha, he spent four years with the U.S. Coast Guard serving his country. While he was stationed in Long Beach, Calif., he met and married Sondra Sue Williams in 1970.

He had a long career in the ceramic tile industry. After 25 years, his knowledge was recognized and sought out across the entire nation. He was able to start his own store in 1989, which was an instant success. Unfortunately, he had to close the doors due to his declining health, but he left with many friends in the industry. In 2005, Tom and his wife, Sondra, moved to Harney County where they built a ranch for their retirement.

Tom was exceptionally proud of his children and their accomplishments, and to him his grandchildren were the greatest. He loved hunting, fishing and running his team of Siberian huskies in harness. He loved his animals, especially his big, old quarter horse Ben and his two Australian shepherds.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Linda.

He is survived by his wife, Sondra; daughter, Melissa and husband Art Laffer of Nashville, Tenn.; son, Steven of Bend; four grandchildren, Isabelle, Arthur, Amelia and Juliette Laffer; sister, Kathy Cline of San Diego, Calif.; and brother, Dale of Phoenix, Ariz.

LaFollette’s Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Donald “Ray” Cornwall, 85, died Sunday, Feb. 19, at his home in North Logan, Utah.

Ray was born Jan. 27, 1927, in Emmett, Idaho, the fifth of seven children born to Nellie Mae and Joseph Alexander Cornwall.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country aboard the USS Kula Gulf during World War II.

Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Ray moved to Hines and began his life’s career with Edward Hines Lumber Company.

Ray met Anita Miller in Burns. They were married July 1, 1951, in Hines. They had five children: Nancy, Ronald, Raynae, Gerald and Robert.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Ronald; brothers Robert and Ernest; and sister Roberta. He is survived by his wife, Anita; sister, Shirley; brothers, Keith and Jerry; daughters, Nancy Woller of Methuen, Mass., and Raynae and Mark Torkelson of Logan, Utah; sons, Gerald and Stacey of Kent, Wash., Robert and Shari of Orem, Utah, and daughter-in-law Sue (Ronald deceased) of Renton, Wash.; 16 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LaFollette’s Chapel was in charge of funeral arrangements. Visit to send your condolences to the family and sign the guestbook.

Novella Hammack 1931-2012

Posted on March 7th in Obituaries

Novella Hammack, 80, a long-time Prineville resident, died March 1 at Pioneer Memorial Hospital.

Novella was born in Hines March 23, 1931, to Arthur and Helen (Jones) Van Alstine.

She attended and graduated from Burns High School with the class of 1949.

She met her future husband, Willard Hammack, at the Burns bowling alley. They were married in the Lutheran Church in Hines Oct. 29, 1950. They had three daughters. Novella later went to Portland Oregon Vocational, training as a secretary.

Novella worked for Harney County Extension Service in Burns. Later, in 1967, she moved to Prineville and became co-proprietor of the Tastee-Treat. After selling that business in 1972, she worked for several years at the First Interstate Bank (aka Wells Fargo) as vault teller.

Novella enjoyed the outdoors and especially fishing trips to the Owyhee River. She was especially fond of birds and had many bird feeders and bird houses around the yard at which she could watch them congregate. Novella enjoyed sewing and tole painting. She enjoyed watching the sports channel and playing cards with her family, especially pinochle and cribbage.

As a long-time member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, she was active as the church secretary for several years and with the Ladies Aid & Circle groups. She volunteered and baked homemade goodies for bake sales to support the church needs and charities.

She was a loving caregiver and looked after her aging father for several years prior to his death. She could regularly be seen at the Crook County Senior Center lunching with him.

Novella is survived by her husband, Willard; brother, Arthur Van Alstine of Oregon City; daughters, Patricia Jones (Claire) of Huntsville, Ala., Jenifer St. Mars of Vancouver, Wash., and Sharen Nelson of Prineville; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Prineville on Wednesday, March 7, at 11 a.m. Pastor Barbara Punch will officiate.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers in her behalf may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association — Central Oregon Chapter, 1135 SW Highland Ave., Redmond, OR 97756.

Arrangements are in the care of Prineville Funeral Home.

Visit: www.PrinevilleFuneral to share memories or express condolences by signing the online guest book.

Thelma Barnes Otley 1925-2012

Posted on February 29th in Obituaries

Thelma Barnes Otley, 86, died Feb. 23 at Harney District Hospital.

She was born on April 1, 1925, in Burns to Charlie and Fannie Holloway Barnes.

She was the third of six children and was raised on the family ranch near Frenchglen. She attended grade school in Frenchglen and would walk with her siblings 1 1/4 miles to school about every day. She attended high school in Crane, staying in the dormitory and not being able to come home very often because of the long distance and lack of transportation except for holidays.

After high school, Otley worked at the Edward Hines Mill as a switchboard operator before marrying her friend and partner Darrell “Red” Otley. They lived in Happy Valley all their married life until November 2011, when they sold their Steens Mt. Ranch and moved to Hines. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Dec. 21, 2011, at their new home in Hines that they purchased after the sale of the ranch.

She cherished her life on the ranch working hard to maintain that lifestyle. Otley was a dedicated, hard-working ranch wife and mother, raising her three children. She spent many years cooking large meals in the summer for the hay crew while raising a garden and nurturing her yard that she loved and reluctantly shared with the local deer. Otley also had a great love for “Red’s” paintings and was one of his biggest fans, encouraging him for many years.

Otley was the Diamond School clerk for over 30 years, was a member of the Sunrise Garden Club and volunteered much of her time to the Diamond Community by donating and sharing some of her favorite pies, salads and rolls for different community functions.

The past 16 months Otley lived in The Aspens in Hines but loved her new home in Hines and would go there as she could. She loved her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren very much.

Otley is survived by her husband, Red Otley; her three children, Janyce and husband Dan Courtney of Drewsey, Ross of Diamond and Rod and Debra of Burns; brother, Don “Jiggs” Barnes and wife Lucille of Burns; sisters, Fern Cagle of Hines, Jennie Otley of Princeton and Donna and husband Loren Jordan of Pilot Rock; grandchildren, Debbie and Kirk Mylander, Rena Sitz, Jeff and Jennifer Sitz, Shane and Crystal Otley, Sterling and Kim Otley, Morgan and Connie Otley, Lisa and Brenda Otley. Jamie and Mitch Siegner and family and Chad and Katie Courtney; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charlie and Fannie Barnes; sister, Jo Urizar; and son-in-law, James Sitz, Jr.

Contributions in Thelma Otley’s memory can be made to the Harney County Cattle Women Scholarship Fund or Water For Life in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720. Go to  www.lafollettes
to sign the guestbook and send your condolences to the family.

Funeral services will be held Friday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at the Burns Elks Lodge.

Judy Ellen Morris was born March 14, 1951, in John Day to Donald Priest and Shirley (Adams) Priest.

During her childhood Morris lived in Mt. Vernon and John Day.

After finishing seventh grade there, her next three years were spent in Burns, then she moved back to the John Day and Seneca area.

There she met and married the love of her life, Donny Morris.

After a logging accident that left her husband disabled, Morris moved to La Grande, where she graduated from business school and started her career in medical records, which led her and her husband to Cottenwood, Ariz., for many years.

After her husband died and she became ill, she moved back to La Grande to be close to her sisters, LaVon Johnson and Darla Thomas, who became close companions and great caregivers, along with one niece, Tony Sue.

Morris is survived by her sisters, LaVon Johnson and Darla Thomas of La Grande and Becci Freeman of Wasilla, Alaska; a brother, Jody Priest of Stevenson, Wash.; and many nieces and nephews.

Morris was preceded in death by a nephew, Joe Helton; her husband, Donny; and her parents.

Memorial services will be held at the Canyon City Cemetery at a later date.

Contributions in her memory can be made to McDonald House or St. Jude’s.

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