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Obituaries March 21

Birtha June Bates

June 3, 1932-March 15, 2007

Former Gresham resident Birtha June Bates, 74, died Thursday, March 15, at her home in Portland.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 23, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 400 S.W. Walters Drive, Gresham.

Birtha was born June 3, 1932, in Iliff, Colo., to John and Mabel (Gottman) Norris. The following year, she moved with her family to Oregon. She was raised in Sandy, Boring and Gresham, and attended Hillsview Grade School. After completing the eighth-grade, she quit school and worked on a farm to help support her family.

On Aug. 14, 1950, Birtha married Tillman Bates in Stevenson, Wash. They lived in Kelso, Wash., for a short time before returning to the Sandy and Gresham areas. They later divorced.

Birtha held several jobs to help support her family and started an adult foster care home in 1980.

She enjoyed fishing, playing poker and spending time with her family and friends.

Birtha was preceded in death by her sons, William Bates and Tillman Bates Jr.

Survivors include her sons, Rodney Bates of Lincoln City and Dennis Bates of Portland; daughter, Kate Fischer of Portland; brother, Walter Norris of Sandy; sister, Clara Lloyd of Boring; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Sandy Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Violet Esther Okell

Oct. 15, 1931-March 15, 2007

Violet Esther Okell, 75, a resident of Boring, died Thursday, March 15, at her home.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 23, in the East Hill Church Youth Center, 50 N.W. Fifth St., Gresham.

Violet was born Oct. 15, 1931, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to George and Vera (Vinson) Winchell. In 1947, she moved to Portland, and in 1949, graduated from Jefferson High School.

On Sept. 11, 1950, Violet married Marshall 'Mickey' Okell in Portland. She was a homemaker.

Violet was a member of East Hill Church, where she was part of the Seasoned Saints and women's Bible study groups for many years.

She enjoyed trips to the Oregon Coast and to Hawaii.

Survivors include her husband of Boring; daughters, Sharon Richards of Union, Terri Ely of Groton, Conn., Debi Christie of Boring, Maureen Lukens of Gresham and Denise Warlen of Centralia, Wash.; son, Kevin Okell of Seaside, Calif.; sister, Shirlee Watson of Tucson, Ariz.; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of one's choice.

Affordable Funeral Alternatives is handling arrangements.

Lloyd Kenneth Eckhardt

July 1, 1928-March 13, 2007

Gresham resident Lloyd Kenneth Eckhardt, 78, died of leukemia Tuesday, March 13, in Portland.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Gresham Memorial Chapel, 257 S.E. Roberts Ave. A reception will follow.

Lloyd was born July 1, 1928, in Odessa, Wash., to George and Anna (Wilman) Eckhardt. He was raised and educated in Odessa.

On April 11, 1952, he enlisted in the Army. He was honorably discharged March 24, 1954, and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

Lloyd was a merchant seaman. He later worked for Berkenwald Manufacturing and Swift/Reichold Manufacturing. He retired in 1988.

On Feb. 5, 1966, Lloyd married JoAnne Huebner in Portland.

He enjoyed fishing, being near his family and spending time in Palm Springs, Calif.

Lloyd was preceded in death by his son, Timothy Eckhardt, in 1998.

Survivors include his wife of Gresham; daughters, Teri Topf of Boring and Tami Johnson of Beaverton; sister, Delores Bushong of Ontario; and two granddaughters.

Memorial contributions can be made to Oregon Health and Science University Foundation, OHSU Cancer Institute, 1121 S.W. Salmon St., Suite 200, Portland, 97205-2021, or Mt. Hood Hospice, P.O. Box 1269, Sandy, 97055.

Gresham Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

John Martin Kotzian

Feb. 27, 1945-March 17, 2007

Former East County resident John Martin Kotzian, 62, died Saturday, March 17, in McMinnville.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 400 S.W. Walters Drive, Gresham.

John was born Feb. 27, 1945, in Chicago to Andrew John and Elizabeth (Shupe) Kotzian. He was raised and educated in Fort Worth, Texas, and Blackfoot, Idaho, where he graduated from Blackfoot High School in 1963.

After his graduation, John moved to Portland. He was a Merchant Marine, and in 1967, he joined the Air Force and served in Vietnam.

John was a member of Mill Park Baptist Church in Portland.

Survivors include his brother, Terry Kotzian of Portland; and sisters, Diane McCraw of Lebanon and Linda Thompson of Alcester, S.D.

Macy and Son Funeral Directors in McMinnville is handling arrangements.

James 'Jim' Edward Berney

Dec. 31, 1937-March 15, 2007

Troutdale resident James 'Jim' Edward Berney, 69, died Thursday, March 15, in Portland.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 22, and 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. Friday, March 23, at Gresham Memorial Chapel, 257 S.E. Roberts Ave.

A funeral and a reception will follow, beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, March 23, also at Gresham Memorial Chapel.

Jim was born Dec. 31, 1937, in Medford to Edward 'Ted' and Lou Ella (Ponath) Berney. In 1938, he moved with his family from Eagle Point to the Berney family farm in Springdale. He attended Springdale Grade School and graduated from Corbett High School in 1955.

Jim continued his education at what is now Oregon State University in Corvallis, where he was a member of the Engineering Council and President of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1959, and a Master of Science in 1961, both in agricultural engineering. Then, in 1966, he graduated from the Young Life Institute with a Master of Arts in biblical and youth studies.

On Sept. 3, 1960, Jim married Margery Ann Black in Richmond, Calif. They made their home in Richmond, where they lived until 1974. They then moved to Altadena, Calif. During that time, Jim worked in various capacities for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of USA, most recently as the organization's western regional director.

Then, in 1981, Jim and Margery moved to Toronto, Ontario, in Canada, where he served as president of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. He moved to Penticton, British Columbia, in Canada, in 2005, and served as president emeritus of the fellowship. He retired in 2002.

In 2005, Jim returned to Springdale, where he lived on the family farm.

He enjoyed traveling and reading.

Survivors include his wife of Troutdale; daughters, Christine Berney of Gresham and Sarah Johnson of Costa Mesa, Calif.; sister, Barbara Goertz of Troutdale; brother, Edward 'Ted' Berney Jr. of Bremerton, Wash.; and one grandchild.

Memorial contributions can be made to the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada, 64 Prince Andrew Place, Toronto, ON, M3C 2H4, Canada, or to the Northwest Cancer Specialists Foundation, 439 N. Broadway, Portland, 97227.

Gresham Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Charles 'Chuck' M. Christie

Sept. 12, 1934-March 19, 2007

Gresham resident Charles 'Chuck' M. Christie, 72, died Monday, March 19, at his home.

A wake will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the home of Don Christie. Everyone who knew Chuck is welcome to attend.

Chuck was born Sept. 12, 1934, in Wetmore, Kan., to Clement and Emma (Wahl) Christie. In 1946, he moved with his family to Oregon, where he attended the Orient schools.

In 1951, he enlisted in the Navy and served outside of Korea during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1954.

In July 1955, Chuck married Dorothy 'Dotty' Knapp in Gresham. They made their home in Fairview.

Chuck was a carpenter and welder before taking a job as a truck driver for Airgas. He retired in January 2000.

Chuck served as president of the Tri-County Baseball Association and coached his sons' teams.

He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed camping. He and Dotty served as camp hosts and volunteered more than 1,000 hours for the Oregon Parks Department.

Chuck was preceded in death by his son, David Christie; and brothers, Don and Robert Christie.

Survivors include his wife of Gresham; sons, Ed Christie of Boring, Don Christie of Gresham, Dan Winfree of Portland and Bill Gillman of Gresham; daughters, Sue Winfree of Portland, Debi Christie of Boring, Suzie Christie of Gresham and Kelley Gillman of Gresham; brother, Harold; sister, Rosie; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to Providence Hospice, 1235 N.E. 47th Ave., Suite 148, Portland, 97213.