Obituaries for week of 10-31-12
Edward "Ed" Gene Brown
December 25, 1966 - October 16, 2012
Former Madras resident Edward "Ed" Gene Brown of Sunriver, died Oct. 16, 2012, at Oregon Health Science University in Portland after a brief battle with leukemia.
Ed was born on Dec. 25, 1966, in Redmond, to Howard and Alma (Minks) Brown. He grew up and attended school in Madras and graduated from Madras High School in 1986.
After high school, Ed attended the Job Corps in Astoria. When he graduated from the Job Corps, Ed returned to Central Oregon and went to work for Sunriver Resort where he was employed until his death.
Ed enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He also liked to camp, hike, fish, travel, work in his yard and play with his dog "Bailey."
Survivors include his sisters, Bonnie and Cherie; his brother, Ron; his sister-in law Bonnie Rae; and his nephew, Riley. He was preceded in death by both his parents.
A celebration of Ed's life will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m., at the Great Hall in Sunriver.
Henry Ervin Stensgar Jr.
April 24, 1924 - October 7, 2012
Madras resident Ervin Stensgar Jr. passed away Oct. 7, 2012, at his home from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure. He was 88.
He was born Henry Ervin Stensgar Jr. on April 24, 1924, to Alice Somday and Henry Stensgar in Inchelium, Wash. Ervin grew up on the Colville Indian Reservation with his four brothers and two sisters.
He attended the St. Mary's Mission boarding school near Omak, Wash. In his youth, he hunted the area known as Rattlesnake and the "Airport." In an era before the Columbia River was dammed, he fished for migrating salmon on the San Poil River.
He worked a variety of jobs, including as a ranch hand on his grandfather Joseph Somday's ranch near Curlew, Wash., and claimed to be self-employed.
In 1941, while working as a tail sawyer at the sawmill in West Fork, Wash., he helped dismantle and move the sawmill and lumber camp houses to Warm Springs. He went to Warm Springs and worked on the green chain until leaving for the military during World War II.
Ervin joined the U.S. Navy on Dec. 4, 1943, and served as a gunner's mate third class on the destroyer escort USS Malloy. He was honorably discharged April 14, 1946, but not before meeting his future wife, Julia Jenny Pianko, the daughter of Polish immigrants, while on leave at Newark, N.J. Ervin and Julia were married on Feb. 28, 1947, in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, by a justice of the peace. Family members were told that Idaho was the first state, west of New Jersey, the would legally allow an Indian to marry a white woman.
The newlyweds returned to returned to the Colville Reservation; then in 1948, they moved to Warm Springs, where Ervin went to work on a "temporary" basis at the Wilson Lumber Co. He ended up working at the sawmill for the next 42 years, retiring in 1989. Although he was promoted to the level of a production foreman, millwrighting was the job he most enjoyed.
Ervin and Julia raised the four children at the mill camp in Warm Springs until the camp was flooded out in 1964. Their house with knotty pine interior and a ball field as a back yard was lost in the flood. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs purchased the mill in 1967 and moved the plywood plant to its current location.
The Stensgar family moved to Adams Drive in Madras the winter of the flood, and it was there that Ervin discovered the game of golf. On any given day, you could find Ervin at the Nine Peaks Golf Course. Those that knew him, know his drives never deviated from the center of the fairway, chip shots were crisp and his putts were sure and certain. His score was often less than his age. If Ervin loved anything more than golf, it would be his great-grandson and sidekick, Chase. The two were inseparable. Not many of us find our "slice of heaven on earth," but for Ervin, a warm sunny afternoon teeing up on the sixth hole at Nine Peaks with Chase was close enough for him.
Coping with heart trouble, Ervin was never one to complain, even though he was tethered to an oxygen machine. He stayed close to home the last few years, where he was well cared for by his loving and attentive daughters.
Many will remember Ervin as the guy repairing the machinery at the mill, before it broke. He was the guy who lent you $5 for gas money when you didn't have it, who you forgot to repay; the guy who worked all day at the Warm Springs sawmill, then spent the evening welding the fence together at the Papoose baseball field. He was the guy in the bleachers filming all of the Little League baseball games; the guy you thought worked at Nine Parks Golf Course because he was always pruning the trees with his "old Henry" pocket knife and removing buckets of rocks from the fairway. He was the guy, who like his mother always said, "If you can't come visit me when I am alive, don't bother coming to my funeral." So, if you made the long trip to Madras to visit, he is the guy who cherished your visit and his time with you and your family.
Ervin was quick to smile, slow to anger, and generous to a fault. Everything reminded him of something, and he was always willing to share a story if you had the time. He was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and will be loved and missed dearly by his family and all who had the pleasure to "tee off" with him.
He is survived by his daughters, Susan Ooten and her husband Brad, and Michelle Stensgar, all of Madras, and Valerie Stensgar-Maul and her husband Peter Maul of Missoula, Mont.; his son, Joseph Stensgar and his wife Jean, of Gig Harbor, Wash.; sister, Irene Woody, of Nespelem, Wash.; grandchildren, Sonya (husband Chris) Frisina of Los Angeles, Shane (Jill) Ooten of Lander, Wyo., Chad Ooten (Michele) of Yakima, Wash., Justin Stensgar of Gig Harbor, Wash., Jennifer Bunch (Jason) of Gig Harbor, Wash., Angela Mendez (Luis) of Bend, Ali Alire (Travis) of Madras, and Coley, Alan and Paige, all of Missoula, Mont.; and great-grandchildren, Lux, Ava, Beckett, Harlee, Liv, Joseph, Josh, Jayden, Jillian, Chase, Mikayla, Chazmyne, Keziah, Troy, Kairi, and Tate.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife in 1995; his brothers, Ernie, Jess, Richard "Rich," Charles "Mick;" and sister Catherine "Kitty" Campbasso.
Funeral services were held Oct. 12, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Madras under the direction of Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home. Burial was at the family cemetery in West Forks, Wash. Memorial contributions have been suggested to Mountain View Hospice in Madras, and the Jefferson County Kennels for the care of dogs.