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Obituaries for the week of 10-17-12


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   Timothy Steven Neilson
   July 11, 1978 - Sept. 29, 2012
   Timothy Steven Neilson, 34, was born in Madras on July 11, 1978, arriving on his grandfather Jerome F. Mannenbach's birthday. He died unexpectedly at his home in Grant County on Sept. 29, 2012, on acreage he loved, which overlooked the John Day valley.
   Tim grew up in Madras, being baptized and growing in his faith at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. He graduated from Madras High School in 1996, then from Oregon Health Science University-LaGrande campus in 2000. He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Family Nurse Practice, and a doctorate degree through OHSU in 2011, never interrupting his provision of care to his patients. He loved each patient and had a great passion for learning.
   The love of his life, Emma Leigh Neilson, was born three days after his birthday in 2003.
   Growing up, he was known for his kind, caring heart, his faith in God and ministering through the Baker Diocese Youth Camps, his wicked sense of humor, and for being a true and faithful friend, brother, son, cousin, uncle, and dad.
   He was gifted musically, learning to play piano, guitar, French horn, and adding banjo, fiddle, harmonica and other instruments through the years. Music, friends, and family fed his soul.
   He discovered and relished rugby in his adult life, forming a special bond with his teammates, and continued playing until his death. He was an avid Oregon Duck fan, enjoying games with family and his "brotherhood" of friends he met in college.
   He was loved for his compassion and professional skills in Pendleton, LaGrande, Walla Walla State Prison, and Grant County. Always advocating for his patients and the quality of rural health care, he displayed excellence in listening to, diagnosing, and treating each patient with dignity and respect, regardless of age or economic status. He treated coworkers with that same respect.
   Survivors include his daughter, Emma of Camas, Wash.; parents, George and Ann Neilson of Madras; his brother, Joel R. Neilson of Houston, Texas; his sister, Manda L. Currier and her husband Donald Currier; nephews, Neilson Robert and William Donald of Algonquin, Ill.; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, and cousin Adrian Irwin. He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed.
   A recitation of the rosary was held Oct. 7, and Mass of Christian burial was held Oct. 8, both at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Madras.
   In lieu of any other remembrance, if it be your wish, the family requests that donations be made to an account at U.S. Bank in John Day, to support nursing scholarships to be given in his name for Grant County residents who wish to pursue the nursing profession.
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   Joyce Richards
   October 11, 1921 - July 1, 1912
   A celebration of life for Joyce Richards, who passed away July 1, will be held Oct. 20, from 1-3 p.m., at 700 S.W. Belmont Lane in Madras.
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   Tom Ross Turner
   March 17, 1949 - October 8, 2012
   Tom Ross Turner, 63, passed away Oct. 8, 2012, at the East Cascade Retirement Center in Madras, following his struggle with cancer.
   He was born in San Diego, Calif., and was raised by his father since he was 5 years old.
   Living a full life, he made his first parachute jump at 16, raced motorcycles and could have made it as a pro but gave it up to do a hitch in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
   Tom was a Vietnam veteran who served four years. During his time in the Navy, he held a belt in Kempo Karate and was a boxer who was never defeated in the approximate 17 fights he participated in. In his last fight, his determination shone through as he broke both hands on a Marine and still won.
   After returning from Vietnam, he joined the Navy rodeo team. After leaving the service, he was a bronc and a bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and even went to rodeo clown school.
   Tom was a true country man who never did take to big cities, traffic or new technology.
   Along with being a damn good diesel mechanic, father and sportsman, he loved his kids, hunting, NASCAR and drag races, but had a passion for fishing, making custom fishing rods and telling a good story. He was a man generous with his time to his community and friends as an Elk's Lodge member and as a city council member in Alpine, Wyo.
   He lived, loved and fought, and has seen the end of the war we call life.
   He leaves behind his older brother, Jim Turner; four daughters, Marcy Willis, Debbie Merica, Lacey Georgeson and Ivie Turner; two stepchildren, Rhonda Anderson and Brandon Harbart; seven grandchildren, Jacob Willis, Felipe Cortres, Katarina Merica, Ashley Harbart, Landon Harbart, Jacob Harbart and Gabriela Anderson; and two nephews Jason and Dale Turner.
   At his request, no services will be held.