Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Obituaries - August 3 edition

by: Submitted photo James Edward Bennett of Warren died July 22, 2011, at a care facility in Portland. He was 81.


James E. Bennett

James Edward Bennett of Warren died July 22, 2011, at a care facility in Portland. He was 81.

Mr. Bennett was born Nov. 8, 1929, in St. Helens to Jim and Roberta (Snider) Bennett, and was the youngest of three children.

He attended Yankton Grade School and St. Helens High School.

In 1954 he married Dorothy Brown in Hopewell, and they lived in Warren for 55 years.

Employed as an electrical service inspector for PGE for 37 years, he retired on Jan. 3, 1992.

A member of Warren Baptist Church, he was baptized on April 23, 2006.

Additionally, he was a member of the Employees Beneficial Association of PGE, and an OSU extension leader for five years.

His special interests included fishing, horses, golfing, bowling, work and outdoor activities with his kids and grandkids.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; children and spouses, Dan Bennett, Bob Bennett (Michelle), Jayme Frazier (Eric), Troy Bennett (Flavia), Stacey Lake (Shane), and Maria Broderick (Rodger); several foster children; 13 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by siblings, Elsie and Glenn Weatherby; and Dan Baumgardner.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, at Warren Baptist Church

Memorial gifts may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Rick A. Cole

Rick Allen Cole of St. Helens died July 24, 2011, at a hospital in Portland. He was 57. Mr. Cole was born Feb. 7, 1954, in Bellingham, Wash., to Charles and Jacqueline (Toner) Cole.

Educated at St. Helens High School, he finished his schooling in the USMC.

From 1986-1996 he was employed for JH Kelly in Longview, Wash., and then worked at Advanced Technology Group in Hillsboro from 1996 until 2009 when he retired.

Residing in St. Helens all of his life, he was a Christian who loved his garden and grandkids.

He is survived by his children, Whitney Cole of Hillsboro, and Zebulon Cole of St. Helens; four grandchildren; mother, Jacqueline Toner of Scappoose; and sisters, Connie Skelton of St. Helens, and Rita Rice of Grandview, Idaho.

Graveside service and niche inurnment were held July 28 at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Gretchen I. Gaston

Gretchen Irene Gaston of St. Helens lost her battle with cancer on July 26, 2011. She was 64.

Gretchen Irene was born April 20, 1947, in Seattle, Wash., the first child of James E. Schnittger and Mary Jane Broadfoot. Her sister, Martha was born four years later.

Over the years the family shuttled between the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast. After the death of her husband in 1956, her mother married Richard Graham Kirchner, the Equity Guest Artist at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in Ashland. In 1962 he adopted the girls and raised them as his own.

She went to St. Helens Hall beginning in 1965, and returned to the East Coast where she completed her high school education in 1967.

After attending Southern Seminary in Virginia for one year, she returned to the West Coast where she met and married Dan Lange on April 7, 1969.

Following several years in the Portland area, where she worked at a retirement home, the family moved to St. Helens where she opened her first business, Rock of Ages Record Shop. It was during this time that she began a life-long love affair with the town.

In 1979 she and several others created the local theater group, the Shoestring Community Players, and they performed children's plays at the fair.

At her insistence the family moved from St. Helens to Bend, in part so she could return to school. There she attended Central Oregon Community College where she pursued a theater arts degree. She also worked as the editor of The Broadside, the school's newspaper.

In 1986 she and her husband Dan parted ways and she began a new chapter in her life living outside of Sunriver.

Her career path changed as well, as she became a Radio Ranger at local country station KICE. This started a career in local politics as the radio's reporter for school board meetings. Every Sunday morning she would have an on-air shift and always played the song 'The Battle of New Orleans' by the Minutemen for her son, as it was the only 'country' song he liked.

In 1994 she returned to St. Helens where she worked at the St. Helens Café, also known as Jay's by the locals. It was at the same time that she met Bob Gaston; they were married in 1996. From then on, she never looked back.

Becoming involved in town politics, she decided to start a new venture with her longtime friend, Bill Cade. In 1998 Bertucci's was born and it became a focal point for local town news, as well as coffee.

In 2006 they closed the shop to allow her time to focus on other interests. Throughout the years, her support of the local theater scene was legendary and remained close to her heart.

In 2010 to continue helping and supporting the local community, she reopened Bertucci's to once again ensure a local meeting place for the talented artists.

She is survived by her husband, Robert; daughter, Anneliese; son, Jeremy; and sister, Martha.

A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday, Aug. 13, at McCormick Park in St. Helens.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Rebecca N. Marks

Rebecca 'Becky' Nichole Marks of Boise, Idaho, formerly St. Helens, passed from this earth on July 28, 2011. She was 36.

Becky was born Nov. 25, 1974, in Livermore, Calif., and spent her younger years in St. Helens, where she graduated from high school in 1992.

She spent time at Rick's College, University of Utah, and received a paralegal certification from Boise State.

For the past 10 years she was employed by URS in Boise.

She will always be remembered for her deep devotion to her family, beautiful smile, strong will, and attractive, loving spirit.

A beloved daughter, dearly loved sister, loyal friend, and a favorite aunt, she enjoyed being with family and friends and would give her last dime to help either.

She loved to dote on her nieces and nephews, and her two cats.

Only God knows the answers to why a life gets cut short, but we trust that she has entered into His rest that she so desperately sought. Words cannot describe the depth and breadth of our love for her and the hole that is left in our hearts.

She is survived by her parents, Johnnie and Marsha Marks; sister, Melissa Carr (Brad); brothers, Brian (Jody), Danny, and Josh (Jamie); and nieces and nephews, Sam, Jacob, and Elizabeth Carr, and Calvin, Lana, Susanna, Hazel, Griffin, Rylee, and Emma Marks. She was preceded in death by her younger brother, Ben Marks.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Columbia Memorial Gardens in Scappoose. All who know and love her or her family are welcome to attend.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Louise Russell

Louise Russell of Scappoose passed away July 28, 2011, at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland. She was 78.

Luella Louise was born July 23, 1933, in North Platte, Neb., to Clyde Allen and Mary Elsina (Collins) Pugh, and was the eldest of six children.

Her family moved to Scappoose in 1942, and she graduated from Scappoose High School in 1951.

After working for Montgomery Wards from 1950-1980, her career took on special meaning as she began working at Zell brothers in Portland. She was recognized with awards for her outstanding sales. China and crystal were items that she enjoyed presenting, and she excelled in customer service as well.

She and her first husband, Conrad 'Connie' Yost were married for 25 years and were active in the PTA, the First Congregational Church of Scappoose, Boy Scouts and other activities involving their children, until his death in 1978.

On April 19, 1981, she married Doran in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. They traveled extensively, enjoying their pugs, especially Charlie, Louise's favorite, family camping, fishing together and the good life.

Her family will sorely miss her. They so enjoyed her crafts, baked cookies, camping and her special type of flare. The family has quilts that were made especially for them as it was her passion. She so enjoyed the presence of her family and was appreciated for her family spirit.

Battling ovarian cancer for over 11 years, she was admired by many for her courageous battle and unwavering will to live. She reached out to many other cancer patients and was a bright light for them.

She is survived by her husband, Doran of Scappoose; children, Randy Yost of Roseville, Calif., and Joann Platt of Sheridan; grandchildren, Cori, Derek, Rebekka and Randall, great-grandchildren, Coyote, A.J., Conrad, Julie, Allison and Mirabelle; and siblings, Albert Pugh of Scappoose, Jerald Pugh of Woodland, Wash., Nina Miller of Brewster, N.Y., and Bill Pugh of Scappoose. She was preceded in death by her brother, Richard Pugh, and half siblings, Cecil Pugh, Oliver Raye, Maxine and Geneva.

A celebration of life gathering was held Aug. 2 at the Scappoose Senior Center.

Memorial gifts in her name may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Henry J. Schmit

Henry J. Schmit left this world for God's kingdom on July 24, 2011, joining his bride of 50 years who preceded him in death. He was a lifelong resident of Scappoose.

Henry was born in Gresham, Ore., on Oct. 18, 1921, to Jacob and Antonia Schmit.

At the age of 2, his family moved to Scappoose where they bought 20 acres off Coal Creek Road. There they built a two-bedroom home for all seven of them to live.

Henry grew up during the Depression. He worked hard on his dad's farm and had different jobs to help provide for the family, which prompted him to quit school after the 8th grade.

In 1942 he enlisted in the navy to serve in World War II. He was a Gunners Mate on a merchant ship. He was then transferred to the freighter S.S. Cape Porpoise in December of 1942, heading toward Liverpool, England. While serving in the navy, he covered many bodies of water, and eventually was assigned to a Destroyer Escort, the U.S.S. Barber DE 161.

On the navy ships, he began cutting hair for the crew to earn extra money. He acquired a respectable reputation from his crew mates and officers as a quick fisted and fast footed boxer. Henry continued his service in the navy until he was discharged in 1945. He returned home to his parents for Christmas within hours of his brothers who had also returned from war. He referred to this as one of his happiest Christmases.

In 1946 he built a two-bedroom home on his parent's property with the use of his father's hand tools. This house on Coal Creek Road is still standing and occupied today.

During this time in his life, he met his future bride, Victoria Taraba of Chicago, Illinois, on a blind date in Portland. They married on June 25, 1949, after a long distance courtship. In Scappoose they started their life in his newly built home.

Following an accident at work, he enrolled into barbering school and opened his own barbershop in Scappoose. Hank's Barber Shop was the only barber shop in Scappoose for many years.

In 1958 they moved their family to their new home off J.P West Road. During that time he helped establish the first Scappoose Pow Wow festival and also served as a city councilman for two terms.

In order to provide for his growing family he began selling real estate. With his honesty and integrity, his word was as solid as a hand shake.

Henry had many interests in his life, especially hunting, fishing on the Columbia River, gardening, tending to his livestock, and dancing at social events.

Henry was extremely devoted to his family and faith. He will be missed by many in this community and will forever be in our hearts and our memories. His stories by his children and grandchildren will be remembered and shared for generations to come.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Victoria; and his eldest son, Michael.

He leaves behind his brothers, William and Albert; seven children, Linda from Denver, Colo., Laura McCarthy from Scappoose, Marita from Portland, Robert and his wife Lori from Troutdale, Natalie Trtek and her husband Gary from Scappoose, Ann Andreotti and her husband Robert from Scappoose, and LaVonne Lalande and her husband Jeff from Scappoose; 17 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Rosary was recited July 29 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Scappoose.

Funeral mass was July 30 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Rest in peace our loving father. Give Mom and Mike hugs and kisses as you unite with them in heaven. We will miss you always and forever. -Your loving children