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Obituaries for week of 3-26-08


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   Howard Conlee
   Madras resident Howard Milton Conlee died March 17, 2008, at the age of 89.
   Mr. Conlee was born Jan. 11, 1919, in Grass Valley to parents Lester Roscoe and Alice (Rickett) Conlee. He graduated from Moro High School in 1937 and Berry College in 1944, attending a preflight college training program. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for combat missions flown as an aerial engineer and gunman of B-24 bombers flying out of North Africa.
   On Dec. 19, 1945, he married Dorothy Smith. They moved to Madras in 1950 from Bend and eventually bought the Madras Market from Everett and Alice Van Wert, renaming it Conlee's Thriftway. He ran the grocery until retiring in 1971.
   His special interests included most sports, hunting, fishing, golfing and gardening.
   Survivors included his wife, Dorothy Conlee of Madras; daughters and son-in-law, Susan Kay Shepherd and Mike Knebel of Portland, and Kathleen Ann and Douglas Nelson of Eugene; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one brother.
   A graveside committal will be held at 1 p.m., Monday, March 31, at the Moro Cemetery. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Jefferson County Historical Society or the Sherman County Historical Society. Arrangements are under the direction of Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home of Madras.
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   (PHOTO & more info coming)
   Shirley Culver
   Madras resident Shirley Maxine Culver died March 17, 2008, at her daughter's home in Metolius, surrounded by family. She was 79.
   Mrs. Culver was born Jan. 20, 1929, in Orting, Wash., to James and Ella Foster, a logger and seamstress, among the trees in the great Pacific Northwest, where she learned the value of hard work and to carry herself with dignity.
   As an adult, she found herself a single mother in hard financial times. Determined to make a better life for herself and her five children, she put herself through college and, using her talent as an artist, got a job working for Boeing as a technical illustrator.
   Some of her artwork can be seen locally. For over 40 years, she dedicated her life to serving God by religious studying and teaching at every opportunity. She had a razor-sharp intellect with an ability to cut straight to the heart of matters with an equally sharp tongue. Her life will be remembered as one marked by the love she had for God and people, and the love they had for her.
   She had lived in Madras since 1981, and was a member of the Madras congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
   Survivors include her sons, James Culver, Paul Culver and his wife Paula; daughters and sons-in-law, Mandy and Rodger Snyder, Nancy and David Cook, Barbara and Clarence Larson; sister, Phyllis Houghton; grandchildren, Jimmy, Christopher, Jesse, Julia, Joseph, Jakeh and Jordan Culver, Caleb, Darrin and Hannah Snyder, Brennan, Corby, Erin and Tyler Cook, Karri, Wesley and Galen Larson; 13 great-grandchildren; and seven nieces.
   She was preceded in death by her parents, a son Douglas Phillip, and a brother James Cope Foster Jr.
   A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., March 29, at the Culver Elementary school cafeteria. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Madras congregation of Jehovah's Witness.
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   James Dotson
   Former Madras minister, James W. "Bill" Dotson of Hood River, died March 14, 2008, of a heart attack at the age of 68.
   Mr. Dotson was born June 6, 1939, in Swisshome, Ore., to parents, E.G. Dotson and Effie Mae Dotson. On Aug. 30, 1958, her married his wife Peggy in Wenatchee, Wash.
   Mr. Dotson was a minister in Nyssa, Madras, Bend and in Washington until his retirement in March 2008. His special interests included gardening, storytelling, and the great outdoors.
   Survivors include his wife, Peggy Dotson of Hood River; daughters, Sheri Holcomb of Bend, Chris Oliveira of Seldovia, Alaska, and Vicki Gonzalez of Bend; brother, Russell Dotson of Joseph, Ore.; sister, Beverly Toll of Medford; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister.
   A memorial service was held March 20, at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Bend. Memorial contributions have been suggested to Philippines Mission, in care of First Missionary Baptist Church, 21129 Reed Market Road, Bend, OR 97702. Arrangements were under the direction of Autumn Funerals of Bend.
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   Richard Fortune
   Madras resident Richard Allen Fortune died March 18, 2008, at the age of 65.
   Mr. Fortune was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Portland, to parents Earl and Dorothy (Bradley) Fortune. He graduated from Benson Polytechnic School in Portland in 1961 and soon enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was employed by Portland School District for 30 years as a custodial engineer.
   On June 16, 1990, he married Connie Carroll in Reno, Nev. After his retirement in 1998, they moved to Madras.
   Mr. Fortune was involved with the NRA Youth Rifle Club and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Reserve, serving as a lieutenant for 15 years. He was also a former member of the Portland Elks Lodge. His special interests included camping, hunting, fishing, the outdoors, and photography.
   Survivors include his wife, Connie Fortune of Madras; daughter and son-in-law, Jean Richele and Dave DeFord of Portland; stepson, Mike Kloch of San Diego, Calif.; stepdaughter, Ginger Wilda of Culver; sister, Jean Baker of Gladstone; nieces, Stacey Baker of Portland, and Karen Fortune of Belleview, Wash.; nephew, Michael Fortune of Renton, Wash.; and four grandchildren.
   Memorial services were held March 25, at Bel-Air Colonial Chapel, officiated by Pastor Richard Burson. His ashes will be placed at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Alzheimer's Association. Arrangements were under the direction of Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home of Madras.
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   Helena McPheeters
   Culver area resident Helena E. McPheeters died March 18, 2008, at the age of 89.
   Mrs. McPheeters was born Dec. 21, 1918, in Boston, Mass., to parents Fred and Mary Jaworski. On Jan. 22, 1944, she married George C. McPheeters in Boston, Mass. They moved to Central Oregon to farm in 1944.
   She was a homemaker, a member of the Good Sams Club, and enjoyed camping, knitting, crocheting, and loved her family.
   Survivors include her son, William "Butch" McPheeters of Culver; granddaughters, Tonya Decker of The Dalles and Brenda Potampa of Culver; brother Frank Jaworski of Silver Springs, Md.; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and a sister.
   No services were held. Arrangements were under the direction of Redmond Memorial Chapel.
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   Ruth Mills
   Madras resident Ruth Carol Mills died March 20, 2008, at the age of 76.
   Mrs. Mills was born April 1, 1931, in Westport, Wash., to mother Lily Jarvi. She was married to Clinton Mills, who preceded her in death.
   She was employed at Weyerhaeuser Plywood in Longview until the mill closed. She then went to work in St. Helens until her retirement in 1993. In 2007, she moved from Clatskanie to Madras.
   Survivors include her children, Jody Alan Mills of Bend, Mitchell Mills of Kent, Wash., and Marry Mills of Laguna Niguel, Calif; and two grandchildren.
   Private family services were held. Arrangements were under the direction of Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home of Madras.