By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The Oregon Geographic Names Board (OGNB) held their summer meeting in Burns on Saturday, June 23, to discuss possible name changes in Harney and Malheur counties, as well as several other locations in the state.

President Sharon Nesbit reminded those in attendance that OGNB is an advisory board to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) and the BGN makes the final decisions on name changes or replacements.

During the public comment period of the meeting, several people spoke out against the proposed name changes in Harney and Malheur counties. The changes would remove the word “squaw” from each location while at the same time re-naming the location with a proposal from the Burns Paiute Tribe in their native language.

Some opposed to the changes felt the re-naming could hinder emergency situations, such as a Search and Rescue Operation.

Others felt that pronouncing the names could be problematic.

Greg Smith of Keizer, who also owns property between John Day and Baker City, stated that the OGNB was in error when they claimed that the word “squaw” must be eliminated because of a state law. “That is not true,” Smith said. “There is no mandate to get rid of that word and you’re confusing people. You need to step back and figure out what is law and what is not.”

Smith added that 44 other proposals were submitted by the public and they were all rejected by the board in favor of the tribal proposals.

The tribal requests are a response to 2001 Oregon legislative action calling for the elimination of the word “squaw” from Oregon’s place names.

Diane Teeman, a member of the Burns Paiute Tribal Council, said that the tribe was removed from the area in the late 19th century and had little or no input on geographic names despite the fact that they had lived in the area for centuries. “I appreciate that the name ‘squaw’ is to be removed,” Teeman said. “And the proposed names will continue to reflect our tribal history.”

Nesbit told the board that there were initially seven names up for consideration in Harney County, but they had received two new name proposals from property owners so they would not be acting on those two locations until the new proposals could be considered.

The board discussed whether they should recommend the tribal names or the English translation. Some felt that pronunciation of the names would be a hindrance, while others were somewhat offended by the idea of using the translation.

Teeman explained that the name proposals had been researched by tribal elders and the names were common-use names, most often derived from events or the visual aspect.

When it came to a vote, the OGNB voted to recommend the five name changes to the BGN. Those names are: Kaiba agai Creek (Mountain Trout Creek); Puhi-Pane Na-De Flat (pretty Blue Flat); Puhi-Pane Na-De Lake (Pretty Blue Lake); WogonagaT potso-na Flat (Whispering Pine Flat); and WogonagaT potso-na Spring (Whispering Pine Spring).

As for the 14 proposed changes in Malheur County, a motion was made to wait until the OGNB meeting in November to make a decision to see if any other proposals came in.

Several board members felt that people have had since 2001 to submit proposals and a delay wasn’t needed.

The board voted against delaying the recommendations and then voted in favor of sending them on to the BGN.

The board also voted to recommend one other name replacement, Téemux Creek, in Wallowa County. Other recommendations included High Lakes Pass in Klamath County, Little Elk Creek in Jackson County and Shadley Spring in Wasco County.

Carol Dunten of Drewsey asked the board to consider returning the Bartlett Spring name to what is now known as O’Toole Spring. The board agreed to gather more information before their winter meeting.

The board also deferred any action on the proposed name of “Silvertip Peak” in Wallowa County.

Nisbet announced that the group’s winter meeting was tentatively scheduled for Nov. 3 in Clackamas County.

Bill Myers, 64, of Klamath Falls died unexpectedly May 9 after launching his beloved drift boat on the Rogue River near Shady Cove.

He was born Jan. 24, 1948, in Corvallis to Doris and John Myers. He enjoyed a childhood full of camping trips, fishing, basketball, tennis and many other outdoor activities. He graduated from Corvallis High in 1966 and Oregon State with a degree in range management in 1971.

After college, Bill entered the Peace Corps and enjoyed his work in the deserts of Iran for more than two years.

Afterward he became a Farsi translator in Washington, D.C., and later on worked for the Earth Satellite Company doing remote sensing and mapping in California.

In 1979 he met the love of his life in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Margaret Ellen Hickey. Two years later they wed and shortly afterward moved to Eastern Oregon where Bill took a job working for the Soil Conservation Service as a district conservationist.

They made their home for the next 31 years in Eastern Oregon with stops in Heppner, Burns and Klamath Falls.

During this time they started a family and had three children, Alice, James and John. Bill loved being a father and spent years traveling all over the west coast for his children’s swim meets, basketball camps, football games, volleyball matches and track meets.

As anyone who knew Bill already knows, he loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He was an avid sports fan and always cheered for the Hornets, Grizzlies and, of course, “The Beavs.”

Bill also enjoyed traveling, both worldwide and statewide. Family trips included Mexico, Pesca Maya, Hawaii, South Africa, Alaska, Turkey, New Zealand and the Florida Keys. But it was his Oregon backyard that he loved the most, Steens Mountain, Rogue River, Deschutes River, Paulina Lake, Cape Lookout, Gold Beach, Mt. Bachelor, and the coastal rivers full of salmon and steelhead.

Most of all, Bill enjoyed sharing all of these experiences with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Margee Myers; daughter, Alice Rhoades, and son-in-law, Brad Rhoades; sons, James and John Myers; father, John Myers; sister, Janis Halsey, and brother-in-law, Mark Halsey; and brother, Robert Myers, and sister-in-law Patti Myers.

A memorial service was held at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Pius X Catholic Church in Klamath Falls May 14.

Paul John Arritola 1942-2012

Posted on April 11th in Obituaries

Paul John Arritola, 69,  died Sunday, April 1, in Klamath Falls.

He was born Sept.16, 1942, in Jordan Valley to Paul and Felicia (Madariga) Arritola. He graduated from Jordan Valley High School in 1960.

He was active in his community, a familiar face in sports and rodeo social circles. Known to many for his larger-than-life personality with his quiet demeanor and strong opinions. His voice will be missed in many arenas in many states.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Dan.

He is survived by his three sisters, four children and 11 grandchildren.

A celebration of life memorial service was held  April 7 at the Klamath County Fairgrounds in the John Hancock  Event Center. A separate service was held in Jordan Valley  April 9 in the elementary school with concluding services, at the Jordan Valley Cemetery.

His family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made in his name to Oregon High School Rodeo Association and to Klamath Falls Junior Rodeo group. Flahiff Funeral Chapels, 208-459-0833, is in charge of the arrangements.

Beulah Mae Corns 1932-2012

Posted on March 28th in Obituaries

Beulah Mae Corns died March 21.

She was born in Mill City July 17, 1932, to Melvin H. Wilson and Olive Mae Wilson.

Her family moved to Bend in 1943, where Beulah attended school within the Bend School District and graduated from Bend High in 1951. In 1956 Beulah moved to Juntura and worked at the Oasis Café and lived with Pearl and Nonnie Zink until she got her own place.

Beulah continued to live in Juntura until she met and then married her husband Harold H. Corns in 1958. They moved to Drewsey, where Beulah gave birth to Rebecca in 1959 and Wayne in 1960. In 1961 the family moved to Crane, where she gave birth to Nancy in 1962. They raised their children in Crane, Frenchglen and Burns. They then settled in Juntura, where Beulah lived until 2009, when she then moved to Burns until her death.

During Beulah’s lifetime she enjoyed cooking, baking and crocheting for friends, family and numerous fund raisers in the community.

Beulah was preceded in death by her father, Melvin H. Wilson; her mother, Olive Mae Wilson; and her husband, Harold H. Corns.

She is survived by her brother, Melvin L. Wilson, and his wife, Doris, of Klamath Falls; her sister, Thelma Bradetich of Bend; daughter, Rebecca Kraus, and her husband, Charles, of Newton, N.C.; her son, Wayne Corns, and his wife, Edie, of Burns; her daughter, Nancy Harper, and her husband, Jerry, of Paradise Valley, Nev.; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, March 29, at 11 a.m. MST at the Juntura Bible Chapel, followed by a graveside service and a reception back at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of choice.

Mary Yeteve Ackerman died on July 30 in Klamath Falls.

She was born on July 29, 1920, in Burns, to Clarence Nelson and Zella May (Irving) Young.

She was married to Robert (Bob) Henry Ackerman.

Ackerman enjoyed knitting, sewing, gardening, painting and drawing. She was a devoted mother and wife, and an independent soul.

Ackerman is survived by children,  Robert Young Ackerman, James Nelson Ackerman, Marga Rita Smith, Cyna Lisa Ackerman and Paul William Ackerman; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

No formal services will be held.

June Darlene Pitts Moon, 79, died on May 13 in Burns.

She was born on June 21, 1931, in Independence, Kan., to Ernest and Goldie Pitts.

Moon moved to Oregon from Kansas in 1944, when she and her brother, Orville, moved in with their Aunt Leona in Klamath Falls. She attended school there, graduating from Klamath High School. While living there, Moon worked in several jobs including at the historic Twin Theaters movie house. While at the theater, she met her soon-to-be husband, Joe Moon, who was attending college at OTI. They were married on July 23, 1950, in Klamath Falls.

Moon and her husband made their home on the Moon Ranch in the Double O Valley, until Joe was inducted into the army in 1955. After he got out of basic training, the couple moved to Seattle, Wash., where they lived until 1957. Following his discharge, Moon and her husband moved back to Double O, where they took over the ranch and started their own family — son, Donald; daughter, Barbara; and son, Geren.

Moon enjoyed working the ranch beside her husband and family. She especially enjoyed her sheep, dogs, cats and watching grandchildren grow; not necessarily in that order.

During spring turnout, Moon was often found walking behind the herd, pushing baby calves out to spring pasture. When asked if she needed a horse, she would reply, “Then who would bring the truck?”

When she wasn’t helping push calves, Moon could be found in her kitchen. She loved to cook; and she loved big brandings when neighbors and friends came to help. She also enjoyed cooking at the holidays with homemade rolls, candy, pies, cakes and more. No one ever left her table hungry.

Moon was a dedicated, strong individual. When her husband was diagnosed with multiple-sclerosis, she cared for him until his death. She also cared for her mother-in-law, showing endless love for her family.

Moon is survived by her brothers, Orville Pitts and wife Betty from Doris, Calif., and Kenny Pitts and family; son, Geren and friend Candace from Double O; grandchildren, Josh, Miranda, Jeanne and Chrissy Moon; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Goldie Pitts, brothers, Donald and Marvin, son, Donald, daughter, Barbara, and husband, Joe.

A funeral service was held at LaFollette’s Chapel on Friday, May 20, with committal in the Burns Cemetery.

Contributions in her memory can be made to the Harney County Senior Center, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

Bobby Dean Ellis 1931-2011

Posted on April 27th in Obituaries

Bobby Dean Ellis, 80,  died on April 18 at Catabaw Valley Care Center & Hospice, N. C.

He was born March 8, 1931, in Greensboro, N.C., to Lonzo and Lillie Ellis. He was one of 13 children.

Ellis grew up in Hickory, N.C. At the age of 21, he was drafted into the army and served a year in the Korean War as a lineman.

In 1959 Ellis came to Oregon. In 1961 he met and married Karen Everhart (Spease). Together they had four children — one daughter and three sons.

Ellis worked for Edward Hines Lumber Company for 24 years as a choker setter and heavy equipment operator. He also drove a logging truck for Lt&L Logging Company for a few years. He retired at the age of 62.

Ellis enjoyed his salvage yard, gathering old cars and working on them.

He also enjoyed hunting with his family, camping, woodcutting and the Demolition Derby of Harney County, Klamath and John Day.

Ellis is survived by his daughter, Janet Frazier of Lewiston, Idaho; three sons; Robert Ellis of Chandlier, Ariz.; Tony Ellis of Bend and Brady Ellis of Burns; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Ellis was preceded in death by his parents and four of his siblings.

Bass-Smith funeral Home in Hickory, N.C., was in charge of cremation arrangements. A private family service will be held at a later date in Burns.

Audrey Whiting Grisel Olson died on Dec. 17, in Klamath Falls. She was born and raised in Harney County

Steven James Wagner, 56, died on Dec. 23.

He was born on Nov. 27, 1954, in Prairie City, to Dorothy and William (Bill) Wagner.

Wagner lived the first years of his life in John Day  with his parents and siblings, Lanette, Kerry and Mark, until moving to Burns. He graduated from Burns Union High School in 1973.

After high school, Wagner attended college for a short period of time and worked for the U.S. Forest Service. He began working at Wagner’s Furniture in 1977 until 2003, when he began working at the Oregon Youth Authority.

In March 1979, he married Sharon Watkins and they had four children, Amanda, Jim, Jennifer and Emma. He had two grandchildren, Ava Bunger, and Liam Shepherd, and was awaiting the birth of his newest grandchild any day.
Wagner delighted in watching his children’s successes throughout their lives, especially their sporting events. His children and grandchildren were the love, pride and joy of his life.  He will be remembered as an easy-going, loving man with a unique and wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

Wagner is survived by his wife, Sharon;  children, Amanda Bunger and husband and Brent of Klamath Falls, Jim Wagner and wife  Miranda of Burns, Jennifer Shepherd and husband  Josh of Mt. Angel, and Emma Wagner of Reno, Nev.; and grandchildren, Ava Bunger, Liam Shepherd and soon-to-be born, baby Wagner. He is also survived by his sister, Lanette Howard of Ogden, Utah; brothers, Kerry Wagner and Mark Wagner of Burns; stepmother, Patti Wagner; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Dorothy and William (Bill) Wagner.

A celebration of  Wagner’s life will be held at Pioneer Presbyterian Church on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Burns High School sports program or the Hi-Desert Swim Team, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

George Harald Nobel 1936-2010

Posted on November 17th in Obituaries

George Harald Nobel died on Nov. 8, in Burns.

He was born on Feb. 22, 1936, in Ross, Calif., to Frank and Bertha Nobel.

As a young boy, Nobel moved to Burns with his family. After graduating from Burns Union High School in 1954, he worked at Edward Hines Lumber Company for a couple of years.

In 1958, Nobel enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he received a Rifle Sharp Shooter award. After leaving the army, he returned to Burns, where he met his wife, Patricia Thompson. They were married on July 8, 1963, in Carson City, Nev.

Nobel worked the green chain in the sawmill, and as a forklift mechanic for 31 years for Edward Hines Lumber Company and Snow Mt. Pine. After retiring from the mill, he spent several years building fence for the U.S. Forest Service, and logging with his son, Bob.

Nobel was very active in the community. He served on the Hines City Council and was a life-long member of the Burns Elks Lodge #1680.

From his life-long home in Hines, Nobel enjoyed going hunting, fishing, camping, doing wood work, working in his yard and being with his friends. He will be remembered as a great husband, father and friend.

Nobel is survived by his daughter, Regina Nobel of Hines; son, Bob Johnson and wife Debbie of Burns; nephew, Fred Thompson of Washington; brothers, Joe Nobel of Eugene, Ernie Nobel of Klamath Falls, Carl Nobel of Sterling, Alaska, and Ben Nobel of Oroville, Calif; and sister, Linda Reynolds of Hines. He is also survived by grandchildren, Ty Johnson of Burns, Samantha Gillespie of Corvallis, and Derek Nobel-Woodfin of Hines.

A memorial service for Nobel will be held on Nov. 20, at 3 p.m. at the Burns Elks Lodge. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Harney County Home Health and Hospice, or the Burns Elks Lodge #1680, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

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