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Obituaries for Sept. 17

Ellen L. Stewart

July 8, 1924-Sept. 15, 2011

Former Gresham resident Ellen L. Stewart, 87, died Thursday, Sept. 15.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19, at Sandy Funeral Home, 39551 Pleasant St., Sandy. A private burial will be held at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Ellen was born July 8, 1924, in Harrison, Ark., to James and Sarah (Kent) Fagan. When she was a young child, the family moved to Kansas where she was raised and educated. As a teenager, she worked for Wilson Packing House.

In 1946, Ellen moved to Oregon and settled in Gresham. She worked at Zim's 12-Mile Corner as a clerk. In 1962, Ellen moved to Sandy, where she began working at Sandy High School as the head cook. She retired in 1979. She was previously married.

In 1969, Ellen married James D. Stewart. They made their home in Sandy.

Ellen enjoyed spending time with her family and always looked forward to all the 'get togethers.' She also enjoyed camping, fishing and gardening. She was a life member of the Sandy Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary Post 4273. She volunteered at the Sandy Senior Center and the VFW Auxiliary. She had a great love for both people and pets.

Survivors include her sons, Dan Gannon of Milwaukie and Owen Gannon of Gresham; daughters, Janet Morrow of Portland and Shirley Moffet of Gresham; two sisters; one brother; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her husband on Aug. 25, 1974; her daughter, Judy Walker; and her great-granddaughter, Kaelyn Coday.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Sandy Senior Center, 38348 Pioneer Blvd., Sandy, 97055; or the Sandy VFW Ladies Auxiliary, 38452 Proctor Blvd., Sandy, 97055.

Sandy Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Walter 'Wally' Kellogg Thorsell

Sept. 29, 1926-July 30, 2011

Gresham resident Walter 'Wally' Kellogg Thorsell died Saturday, July 30. He was 84.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 507 W. Powell Blvd.

Wally was born Sept. 29, 1926, in St. Paul, Minn., to Walter and Myrtle Thorsell. Wally graduated from Marshall High School. After completing his military service, serving in Japan after World War II, Wally received his bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota. After graduation, he earned his funeral service and embalming licenses from the University of Minnesota. He then worked as an executive in the Boy Scouts of America in Jamestown, N.D., and Minneapolis, Minn.

Wally began teaching at the University of Minnesota in 1956 as an assistant professor and administrative assistant in the mortuary science and anatomy department.

In 1964, Wally was hired as facility chairman at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., where he was asked to establish, develop and manage the funeral service education program. While at SIU, he earned his master's degree in education with a concentration in human learning. In 1969, the recently established Mt. Hood Community College asked Wally to begin a funeral service education program. At the time it was created, it was the only funeral service education program in a public school on the West Coast. Wally taught at Mt. Hood until his retirement in 1990.

Wally liked to be active and enjoyed traveling, spending time with his neighborhood association, at his church and church choir and with his family.

Survivors include wife, Arles; sons, Kellogg Thorsell of Gresham and Brian Thorsell of Vancouver, Wash.; sisters, June McGrath of Willmar, Minn., Ann Maland of St. Peter, Minn., and Myrna Wolf of Phoenix, Ariz.; and brother, Mark Thorsell of Golden Valley, Minn.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge.

Bateman Carroll Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Robert 'Bob' Lewis Fowler

March 16, 1928-June 28, 2011

Fairview resident Robert 'Bob' Lewis Fowler died Tuesday, June 28. He was 83.

A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at 315 Cedar St., Fairview.

Bob was born March 16, 1928, in Sanish, N.D., to Harry and Ethel Fowler. The family later moved to Portland and Robert attended Benson Polytechnic High School.

Bob was previously married. On June 18, 1977, he married Hazel (Kagel) Cox. She preceded him in death.

Bob was a journeyman carpenter. He was master mason for a steel-based bridge built across Beaver Creek to the Sandy River Front RV Park in Troutdale, according to a profile in the Dec. 2, 2009, issue of The Outlook. He built up the understructure that supports buildings in the Northside Redevelopment Project, which transformed Troutdale's downtown business district in the 1990s.

As head of the fabricating division at American Timber and Trading Co., Bob worked on the Baker Dam spillway, as well as on bridges in Montana and Fisherman's Terminal in Seattle. In Oregon and Washington, he worked on a number of fire lookout towers.

Bob resided in Fairview for 30 years. His hobbies included tending to lawnmowers and a score of vintage clocks.

His son, Danny Fowler, preceded him in death.

Survivors include his daughters, Carol Holifield of Portland, Beverly of Ohio, Donna Sellers of Stanwood, Wash., and Debbie Spokley of Everett, Wash.; sons, Bruce Fowler of Portland and Mark Fowler of Portland; stepson, Dan Cox of Milwaukie; stepdaughter, Laurie Cox of Lake Tahoe, Nev.; and sisters, Nellie Finley of Tigard and Marcia of the San Juan Islands.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Oregon Humane Society, P.O. Box 11364, Portland, 97211; or to Lions Vision Gift, 2201 S.E. 11th Ave., Portland, 97214.

Rose City Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Elma June Breninger

June 25, 1941-Sept. 3, 2011

Gresham resident Elma June Breninger died Saturday, Sept. 3, in Clackamas. She was 70.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at Good Shepherd Community Church, 28986 S.E. Haley Road, Boring.

June was born June 25, 1941, in Crab Orchard, Tenn., to Clifford and Ida (Watson) Hamby.

June married Lonnie Breninger on Aug. 19, 1974, in Crab Orchard.

June worked as a teacher from 1966 to 2011. Her ability to minister to and counsel others influenced many over the years; people who knew her knew her as a 'woman of God.'

Survivors include her husband; son, Andy Breninger of Hillsboro; sisters, Jeanette Hamby of Rockwood, Tenn., and Geneva Higginbotham of Knoxville, Tenn.; brother, Robert Hamby of Knoxville; and two grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be made to Tree of Knowledge Preschool, 24457 S.E. Stark St., Gresham, 97030.

Affordable Funeral Alternatives is handling arrangements. 

Honey Joan Durbin

Oct. 31, 1932-Sept. 13, 2011

Corbett resident Honey Joan Durbin, 78, died Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Portland.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at First Baptist Church, 224 W. Powell Blvd.

Honey was born Oct. 31, 1932, in Chicago to Charles and Hattie Graves. She attended Proviso High School in Maywood, Ill.

Honey did clerical work. She was divorced. She was a member of the choir at First Baptist Church and loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Charmaine Blossey; and by her brother, Charles Graves.

Survivors include her daughter, Charmaine Weaver of Corbett; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.