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Obituaries - Feb. 8 edition


Loren Cramer

Loren Cramer of Scappoose passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 28, 2012. He was 41.

Loren was born July 20, 1970, in Hillsboro to Roger and Karen Cramer. His parents soon moved to Stanwood, Wash., where he was raised.

In 1988 he graduated from Marysville High School, and then attended college at Central Washington University where he met Julie and went on to earn degrees in both chemistry and physics.

On June 14, 1992, he and Julie married in a small ceremony on his uncle's wheat farm in Dodge Junction, Wash.

He was later accepted into graduate school at Washington State University and was awarded his Ph.D. in material science in 2004.

After graduating, he secured a position with Intel and moved back to Hillsboro.

In August of 2005, he and his wife bought their little house in Scappoose and filled it with friends, children and laughter.

He was the best of men; someone who touched lives no matter where he went. In addition to his two children, he served as a father figure to several children whose fathers had passed away or were uninvolved in their lives. He and his wife called them their 'yahoos.' Their home was always full of noise and laughter, and was a place where these children knew that they were safe, loved, and valued. He spent a significant amount of time working with these children to teach them the values and skills they would need to become strong men and women. He will be greatly missed.

He was closely involved with a local Kung-Fu club, Columbia Christian Martial Arts. He attended classes three times per week with his boys and the 'yahoos.' He always made sure the kids that he worked with had a ride to class, the uniforms and equipment they needed, and that a way could be found to pay their monthly dues or tournament fees when money was short. He was promoted to his purple belt on the Wednesday preceding his passing and was very proud of his accomplishment.

He was also part of a group of good friends who played racquetball several times per week at Columbia City Sports and Recreation. He was very active with this group and was always encouraging new people to come and play. His favorite court is to be named in his honor.

He touched lives wherever he was and was always doing things for others. Whether it was the yearly 4th of July or 'just for the heck of it' barbeques that he and his wife put on for all of their friends and co-workers, or just lending a hand with fixing a computer, helping someone move, or one of the other many things that people relied on him for, he always made people feel that it was never a hassle or an imposition and that he was genuinely glad to help.

He was not a man who preached about what needed to be done and then waited for others to do it. He didn't preach, he just did what needed to be done for no other reason than it was the right thing to do.

He will be remembered for the impact that he had on so many people's lives.

He is survived by his soul mate and wife, Julie, and sons, Brennen and Cameron, of Scappoose; parents, Roger and Karen Cramer, of Stanwood, Wash.; sisters, Lynese Cramer and Angela Cramer, both of Stanwood, Wash.; and brother, Rod Cramer of Moses Lake, Wash.

A celebration of life gathering will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Columbia Funeral Home, 681 Columbia Blvd., St. Helens, 503-397-1154.

Reception and fellowship will follow at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, 51555 S.W. Old Portland Rd., Scappoose.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Frank Criscenti

Frank D. Criscenti of St. Helens died Jan. 30, 2012, at his home. He was 80.

Mr. Criscenti was born Jan. 13, 1932, in Detroit, Mich., to Dominic and Frances (Barressi) Criscenti.

He attended elementary school in Michigan, later moving to California and graduating from San Diego High School in 1949. He received his Associates degree in Azusa, Calif., in 1982.

On May 6, 1967, he married Sandra Sleight Gates in West Covina, Calif.

For 21 years he worked as a supervisor of vocational instruction for the California Department of Corrections, retiring in 1995.

They moved from Sacramento, Calif., to St. Helens in May of 2004, and were members of St. Frederic Catholic Church.

Among the things he enjoyed were duck hunting, fishing, bowling, gambling, gardening, and dogs.

His greatest delight was spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Sandra Criscenti of St. Helens; children and significant others, Frank Criscenti (Lynne) of Redwood City, Calif., Don Criscenti of San Francisco, Calif., Frannie Skaates (Heather) of Sonoma, Calif., Rosalie Criscenti of Jamaica, Stephen Gates (Vicki) of Winchester, Calif., and Dominique Earl (Adam) of Scappoose; 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brothers, Tony Criscenti of Hemet, Calif., and Dominic Criscenti (Sharon) of Portland; and nieces and nephews, Dominic, John and Diane, Emmy and John, Betsy and Donald, Gina, Julie Anne, and Cheryl.

A funeral service was held Feb. 3 at the Columbia Funeral Home in St. Helens.

Committal service and vault interment were at Columbia Memorial Gardens in Scappoose.

Memorial gifts in his name may be made to the Columbia County Humane Society.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Joene Grant

Joene Marie Grant of Hillsboro died Jan. 26, 2012, in North Plains. She was 51.

Joene was born May 11, 1960, to Norma Irene Parks and Ronald Dean Grant in St. Helens, and was raised in the Scappoose/Hillsboro area.

In 1988 she graduated with honors from PSU with a degree in linguistics.

In the early 1990s she taught Spanish at PSU and worked for nearly 20 years at the Hillsboro Public Library.

She also volunteered as a Spanish interpreter for the Essential Health Clinic.

She was a beloved mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunty and friend.

She will be remembered for her great kindness, generosity, love and devotion for her family and friends, and will be missed beyond words.

She is survived by her daughter, Tansey Lee Grant; grandson, Owen Grant; father, Ronald D. Grant; step mother, Marjorie Grant; step father, Tim Valpiani; sisters, Holly Ellis and Susan Rodriguez; brothers, Tony Grant, Dennis Grant, Stan Grant and Stuart Grant; nieces, Shaila, Olivia, Kristin, Emili and Katy; nephews, Donavan, Andrew and Brady; and dear friend, Heath Kohlmeyer. She was preceded in death by her mother, Norma I. Parks-Valpiani.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Scappoose Senior Center, 33342 S.W. Meadow Drive, Scappoose. A potluck will follow.

Grace Hackenberg

Grace Hackenberg of Scappoose died Jan. 30, 2012. She was 79.

She was born Dec. 22, 1932.

She is survived by her husband, Bill; son, Ron; and daughter, Carol.

Kenneth Hamilton

Kenneth Arthur Hamilton of Portland died Jan. 4, 2012, at his home. He was 57.

Mr. Hamilton was born Feb. 1, 1954, in Longview, Wash., to Franklin A. and Winifred S. (Burnett) Hamilton.

He lived in Castle Rock, Wash., for a time until moving to St. Helens in 1963, where he attended and graduated from St. Helens High School in 1972.

For the past 27 years he resided in Portland.

He worked as a vibration analyst for Reed Electric Co. for seven years.

His interests included anything to do with technology and remodeling his home.

He was a member of the Elks, American Pool Association and a scuba diving team.

He is survived by his children and spouses, Kenneth A. Hamilton Jr. (Stacey) of Mead, Wash., and Amy Hamilton (Katie) of Portland; grandchildren, Aryeana, Josiah, Connor, Kenneth Hamilton III, Alyssa Childers, and Mitchell Hamilton; and sister, Patti Jauron of St. Helens. He was preceded in death by his nieces, Angela, Terri Davis, and Sheena Wallace; and nephew, Scott Jauron.

Nicheside service and inurnment were held at Columbia Memorial Gardens in Scappoose.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.

Arnold Gunnar Levin

June 5, 1932-Jan. 31, 2012

Reverend Dr. Arnold G. Levin, age 79, of Andover, Minn., formerly of Rock Island, Ill.

He graduated from the University of Oregon, Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, was ordained an ELCA Lutheran Pastor in 1960, and served Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Portsmouth, N.H.

After receiving his Doctorate of Theology from Harvard in 1966, he accepted a teaching position at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. He taught in the Religion department for 32 years.

Retiring in 1998 he moved to Andover, Minn., to be near family.

He leaves behind his wife, Gloria of 54 years; his four children, Lori (Gary) Westerlund of Seattle, Lynn (Rod) Schaefer of Andover, Minn., Sheryl (Phil) Lundahl of Seattle, and Eric (Barbara) Levin of N.C.; his 10 grandchildren; and his sister, Mary Ann Hammerbeck of Oregon.

He was a gentle man of great knowledge and integrity who made a difference in the lives of many.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Zion Lutheran Church, 1601 4th Ave. S., Anoka, (763-421-4656) with visitation starting at 10 a.m.

A memorial service will be held at Ascension Chapel at Augustana College, 639 38th St., Rock Island, Ill., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 26, at Bethany Lutheran Church followed by a committal graveside service at Bethany Memorial Cemetery in Warren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Zion Youth Scholarship Fund or Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.

Juanita Riddle

Juanita Betty Riddle of St. Helens died Feb. 2, 2012. She was 81.

Juanita was born Jan. 5, 1931, during the Great Depression in Athens, Ala., to Earl Newton Legg and Betty Beatrice Berzette.

Raised on a farm by a hard-working, resourceful family, the youngest daughter learned the values and self-reliance that guided and grounded her through life.

She was always ready to make a new friend, and even without the power of speech in the last few weeks of her life she continued to draw people to her, who cherished her kind spirit.

She endured the bitter dissolution of two marriages, and the tragic widowhood of a third marriage with admirable dignity and resourcefulness.

While living in her beloved San Antonio, Texas, she established a specialty food product, B.B. Berzettes Lone Star Caviar, marketing and producing an outstanding product independently, with an 'un-retractable commitment.'

She ran her own antiques and collectible business in San Antonio, as well, where she made treasured lifelong friends.

For a brief time, she lived in Mexico, and her love of the culture and music of that country was reflected throughout her adult life.

She wrote two books of historical fiction, learning to use the computer, through trial and error, and tenaciously weaving through the maze of publishing, with characteristic self-reliance.

She enjoyed an independent and fulfilling life, made new friends, continued educating herself, and advocated for those who had no voice.

Oregon was her home since 2007.

She is survived by her beloved brother, Kedrick Legg and his family of Decatur Ala.; her only child, Ann Mathers and her husband Rob of St. Helens, and grandchildren, Kayt and Luke Mathers; and the daughter and son of her pre-deceased sister, Bernice Cirillo of Houston, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, her family suggests donation to the nonprofit advocacy groups, Columbia County Women's Resource Center, P.O. Box 22, St. Helens, OR 97051, http://www.noexcuse4abuse.com, or Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104, http://www.splcenter.org/.

Adam Joseph Sallee

Adam Joseph Sallee died peacefully in his mother's arms on Jan. 28, 2012, at Seattle's Children's Hospital. He was only 19 months old.

This special little boy came into this world on June 6, 2010, at OHSU in Portland.

He was beautiful, but his tiny little heart had a defect called Hypo-Plastic Left Heart Syndrome. He received a first class helicopter ride up to Seattle's Children's Hospital where he was cared for and genuinely loved by all the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff. His parents, Jason and Casey (Varner) Sallee, and his big sister, Ella, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle to be near him.

The family's wish came true a couple of months ago, when Adam received his heart transplant. He grew stronger, his blue eyes twinkled, and he entertained everyone with his goofy laugh. Unfortunately, for reasons, that probably only God knows, he developed an infection and was taken to heaven.

Adam is survived by his parents, Jason and Casey, and sister, Ella, of St. Helens; paternal grandparents, Caleo and Sandy Sallee; maternal grandparents, Sam and Sheila Varner; aunts and uncles, Samantha Varner, Heather Varner, Mike Varner, and Michael and Joyce Sallee; great-grandparents on both sides of the family; and lots of cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the Columbia Funeral Home in St. Helens.

Please bring a new children's toy to donate in Adam's memory to the Seattle Children's Hospital where he lived most of his life.

Jacqueline VanDolah

Jacqueline 'Jackie' Mary VanDolah of St. Helens passed away Jan. 31, 2012, in St. Helens. She was 88.

Jackie was born July 5, 1923, in Bellingham, Wash., to Jack G. and Magalene (Folynski) Toner, and was the younger of two children.

She spent most of her life in Washington.

Among the things she loved were music, raising flowers in her garden and animals.

She is survived by her children, Connie Skelton of St. Helens, Rita Race of Grand View, Idaho, Patsy Higman of Lynden, Wash., Melvin Hewitt of Bellingham, Wash., and Ronald Baldie of Vancouver, Wash.; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Melvin.

Private inurnment was held at Columbia Memorial Gardens in Scappoose.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.columbiafh.com.