Obituaries for week of 9-19-12
Arthur William Chamness
November 4, 1914 - September 11, 2012
Longtime Jefferson County and Madras resident Art Chamness died Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, of natural causes, at the age of 97.
In 1950, Chamness moved his family to Madras from Redmond to farm in the Mud Springs area north of Madras. Chamness was also well-known for being the founder and owner of Chamness Seed, a significant custom processor of harvested grass and other seed crops from farms around the area.
Chamness Seed was formed in 1958. Chamness was well-known in the grass seed industry in the state, serving one year as president of the Oregon Seed League. He was often called on for planting advice by farmers and ranchers.
Chamness came from a long line of Oregon pioneers when Israel Chamness came to Oregon on the Meek Wagon Train in 1845 from Indiana via Missouri. Israel homesteaded and ranched in the Silverton area. Chamness was born Nov. 4, 1914, in Goldendale, Wash., to parents Guy and Iris Chamness, joining an older half-sister Helen. Younger brother Wallace was born two years later. His mother died of influenza when Chamness was 6 years old.
His family moved to the Blue Mountains to ranch in Northeastern Oregon, before relocating to Wasco, Ore., where his dad opened a barber shop before moving to Silverton, where his dad had an auto body shop.
Chamness attended high school in The Dalles, and graduated from Hermiston High School, where his mischievious activities included stealing watermelons from a farmer's field.
An accomplished athlete, he played football, basketball, and baseball while attending school. After graduation, Chamness took up boxing, first as a hobby, and once took on an ex-pro in a boxing exhibition at a county fair in Eastern Oregon where he is said to have recorded a knock out in the first of what was intended to be a three-round fight. The winner received $10. Later on, he turned professional, and had three professional fights where his record was 2-1.
He and his brother Wallace moved to Portland in 1933 to seek work during the Depression. Work was hard to come by so the brothers worked at various jobs before finding permanent employment at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland.
While in Portland, Chamness met his future wife Evelyn McLachlan, whose parents owned the diner across the street from the Heathman. Evelyn's family had just moved to Portland after farming a large wheat ranch near Moro in Sherman County. The two were married Dec. 15, 1937.
Chamness was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. He served with the military police in New Guinea and the Philippines, while rising to the rank of sergeant.
Chamness was honorably discharged in 1945, before becoming a partner in Chamness Glass and Paint in Redmond, with his dad and stepmother Eva. He sold his interest in 1950 to purchase the Madras area farm on Fern Lane, fulfilling a lifelong dream of farming and ranching.
Chamness was active in the Madras community, serving on various agriculture and United Methodist Church committees. He was a strong advocate for higher education, serving for several years on the Jefferson County School Board, including one year as chairman. Although Chamness did not have an opportunity to attend college, his boys were the first generation of college graduates in the Chamness family.
He was an avid fly fisherman who tied his own flies, spending as much time as he could on the Deschutes River with his boys and friends. He enjoyed hunting, where he honed his shooting skills in the off season by targeting rock chucks.
Art and Evelyn raised three boys, Wally born in 1939, Dan in 1946, and Mike born in 1949. Chamness was quoted in a newspaper feature article in 2000, "Of all the crops I raised while farming, the best crop I ever raised was my three boys."
Chamness is survived by a younger half-sister Dorothy of Terrebonne; his sons, Wally, Dan and Mike Chamness; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Evelyn Chamness; by granddaughter Angela; by his mother and father; by his brother Wallace; and by his older half-sister Helen and younger half-sister Ellen.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Madras United Methodist Church, 49 N.E. 12th St., Madras. Memorial donations may be made to the Chamness Scholarship Fund in care of Columbia State Bank. Arrangements are under the direction of Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home of Madras.
Lois Jeanne Fifield
January 19, 1931 - September 1, 2012
Former Madras resident and longtime senior center director Jeanne Fifield passed away Sept. 1, in Salem. In keeping with her wishes, there will be no services. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Jefferson County Senior Center, or Keizer/Salem Area Seniors.
Terrance (Terry) Orey Gray
March 12, 1943 - September 15, 2012
Former Madras resident Terrance Gray, of Salem, passed away Sept. 15, 2012, in Central Point, Ore., at the home of his son Kip Gray.
There will be a celebration of life gathering at the home of Rob Galyen, 2741 N.W. Highway 26, Madras, on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2pm. Contact Karen Gray Cox 541-389-3554 for more information. Donations to the Jefferson County Humane Society in Terry's name have been suggested.
James Stewart Hegwood
May 27, 1951 - September 13, 2012
James Stewart Hegwood, aka "Hogweed", of Crooked River Ranch, passed away peacefully on Sept. 13, 2012, at the age of 61.
He was born in San Angelo, Texas, the son of Johnnie and Eva Hegwood, and was the oldest of three boys. Jim honorably served in the U.S. Army for two years as a key punch operator and one year as a standby reservist. He was decorated with the National Defense Service Medal as a sharpshooter. Jim's passionate propensity for guns and shooting led him to attend gunsmithing school in Denver, Colo.
As a metering and electronics inspector for Cascade Natural Gas Corporation, with 32 years in various capacities, Jim was respected by his coworkers and supervisors for being dependable, thorough, meticulous, and accurate in his work.
Jim is survived by his wife Maureen of Crooked River Ranch, his mother Eva and brother David of San Angelo, Texas; and daughter Jessica Baker of Blue Springs, Mo. He was preceded in death by his father, Johnnie, and brother, Perry.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m., at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 450 S.W. Rimrock Dr., Redmond. Sign the online guestbook at www.redmondmemorial.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Redmond Memorial Chapel.
Damien Phillip Plazola
November 21, 1986 - September 9, 2012
Damien Phillip Plazola passed away Sept. 9, 2012, at the age of 25.
He was born Nov. 21, 1986, in Madras, to Oscar Plazola and Silvia Navarro. He attended school in Culver and Madras and worked all over the tri-county area, Alley Farms being his most recent employer.
Damien's hobbies included cooking, skateboarding, shooting, and just about anything that involved the great outdoors. Even working was fun to him, as long as it was outside. But most of all, he loved hanging out with family and friends and being his "hillbilly" self.
Damien is survived by his parents, Oscar Plazola and Silvia Navarro; stepson, "Little Tommy"; eight siblings, Desmond, Dyklecia, Brittany, Daniel, Oscar, Hector, Monserrat and Angelina; grandparents, Maria and Reynaldo Plazola, and Guadalupe Navarro; and great-grandmother, Maria Villareal. Also, two nieces and a nephew, 57 cousins, 38 aunts and uncles, and numerous great-aunts and great-uncles also survive. He also leaves behind his beloved dog "Kilo."
He was preceded in death by his cousin, Gabriella Holcomb-Navarro; his grandfather, Santos J. Navarro; and an uncle, Jose Plazola.
Funeral services were held Sept. 13, at Living Hope Christian Center in Madras. His final resting place was at the Mount Jefferson Memorial Park Cemetery in Madras.
Pablo Alexander Romero
April 19, 1951 - September 6, 2012
Former area resident Pablo Alexander Romero of Denver, Colo., passed away Sept. 6, 2012, at the age of 61. He was born April 19, 1951, in Springer, N.M., to Steve and Cleo Romero. A viewing was held Sept. 14, at Newcomer Funeral Home in Lakewood, Colo., and private family services will be held.
Peter A. Ross
September 24, 1937 - September 7, 2012
Peter A. Ross, a longtime resident of Mitchell, passed away on Sept. 7, 2012, at the age of 74. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m., at the Assembly of God Church in Mitchell, Ore. Arrangements are by Prineville Funeral Home.