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Obituaries, March 21

The following obituaries appeared in the March 21 edition of The Post:


Birtha June Bates

June 3, 1932-March 15, 2007

Former Sandy 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 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.