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Obituaries - March 28 edition


Harriet Douglas

Feb. 19, 1928-March 21, 2012

Harriet Rachel (Williamson) Douglas, a resident of Sauvie Island for 60 years, passed away peacefully at home on March 21 surrounded by her family. She was 84.

Harriet was born Feb. 19, 1928, in Winegar, Wis.

She received her B.S. degree in nursing from Walla Walla College and her Master's degree in public health from Loma Linda University and worked as a registered nurse at Physicians and Surgeons Hospital and Portland Adventist Medical Center.

Leslie Douglas, who farmed with his brothers on Sauvie Island, married her in 1952. They were happily married for 44 years. He preceded her in death.

She loved living on the farm with her family. She also loved her Lord, her church, her family, her TOPS Club, playing Mexi-train, and going on mission trips. She traveled to Russia, India, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, and the Philippines providing health care and teaching children about Jesus.

She will be remembered for her love of people, her community service work, and her cinnamon rolls. She was a Grand Marshall of the St. Johns Parade in honor of her many years of volunteer service for the people of North Portland.

She loved her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren, and they adored her as well. In addition to their own children, she and her husband often welcomed other children into their home as family. Her big heart had room for all, and no one was a stranger.

She is survived by her sons, David and Jeffrey; daughters, Becky Rae, Jodi Douglas, Annie Dettwiler, Laurie Lydie, and Marlyn Rogers; 14 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; brothers, Vern and Jim Williamson and Larry Vernon; and sisters, Sarah Adkins and JoAnn Satalich.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the University Park Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4007 N. Alaska St., Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to her favorite charity, The Community Food Bank at the church.


Kirby Ford

Feb. 14, 1935-March 20, 2012

Kirby E. Ford of Warren passed away March 20 at his home. He was 77.

Mr. Ford was born Feb. 14, 1935, in Protem, Mo., to Lawrence B. and Arkie H. (Thornton) Ford, and was the sixth of 10 children.

His family moved to Yakima, Wash., when he was about 8 years old and this is where he graduated from high school.

In his younger years he traveled around the country working as a truck driver, and operated a rock crusher. He also was a golden glove boxer and was active in drag racing as a driver.

In 1960 he moved to Florence where he met and married the love of his life, Joyce Sprouffske. They wed on Oct. 23, 1960.

His family moved several times due to his profession, including living in Oregon, California and Washington.

For the last 29 years they resided in Newcastle, Calif., where he was the finishing/shipping consultant for Louisiana Pacific, among other companies. In 1986 he retired.

Enjoying sports, he played softball and was a fast pitch pitcher and catcher. He also kept up with and went to local high school football games.

In 2004 he and his wife moved to Warren.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Joyce; children, Gene Ford, Lynn Lamance of Grove, Okla., and Joseph Ford of Crescent City, Calif., five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and siblings, Nadine Wandler of Yakima, Wash., Sue Hill of Yakima, Marcella Carter of Walnut Creek, Calif., Barbara Lowrie of Glenoma, Wash., and Peggy Meikle of Yakima.

A Mass of Christian burial was held March 24 at St. Frederic Catholic Church in St. Helens.

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


Shirley Somerville

Aug. 21, 1942-March 26, 2012

Shirley Mae Somerville of Warren died March 26 at Meadow Park Specialty Care Center in St. Helens. She was 69.

Shirley Mae Yingst was born Aug. 21, 1942, in Buhl, Idaho, to Olnia William and Imogene (Allred) Yingst.

In 1960 she graduated from Buhl High School and went on to attend Twin Falls Business College. Upon completion of her education she moved to Pocatello, Idaho, and began work for the Railroad Retirement Board and FMC Corporation.

While attending evening classes at Idaho State University in Pocatello, she met Dallas Somerville and they were married in September of 1963.

In 1972 they moved to St. Helens. She never met a stranger and it was no problem fitting in. She soon made many life-long friends. With her friendly and fun-loving personality she was always up for anything.

She immersed herself in community activities. She was president of the Lutheran Church Women (LCW) for two years, taught Sunday school at First Lutheran Church, trained acolytes, coordinated the Mother-Daughter Tea at the church for several years, taught aerobics classes, delivered Meals on Wheels and sang in the church choir.

Because of her love for children, she volunteered countless hours as a duty aide and playground supervisor at McBride Elementary School. Much of the A/V and playground equipment for the school was made possible through the fundraising efforts organized by her.

She also found time to serve as neighborhood captain for the American Cancer Society and actively participated in the PTA.

An avid gardener, her herb garden was the envy of everyone.

She loved to knit and crochet; loved animals of all kinds and rescued numerous cats and even a baby duck, enjoyed canning delicious jams and jellies from fresh-picked berries every summer, and preparing and attending large family dinners.

Truly a very giving, kind and loving person, with her big, wonderful smile she always made you feel welcomed.

She is survived by her husband, Dallas Somerville of St. Helens; daughter, Kathi (Kevin) Sanders of Beaverton; son, Jim Somerville and Curren Trusty of Pasadena, Md.; grandson, Aidan Somerville; a granddaughter on the way; four grand dogs; sister, Nadine Yingst of Boise, Idaho; and brother, Max (Jan) Yingst of Twin Falls, Idaho. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Viewing will be held from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, at the Columbia Funeral Home in St. Helens.

A funeral service will be at noon Thursday, March 29, at First Lutheran Church, 360 Wyeth St., St. Helens.

A graveside committal service will follow at Bethany Memorial Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Columbia County Humane Society or St. Helens Senior Center.

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


Gale Stephens

Nov. 30, 1964-March 19, 2012

Gale Allen Stephens of Puget Island, Wash., formerly Scappoose, passed away March 19 at his home. He was 47.

Mr. Stephens was born Nov. 30, 1964, in Redmond to Gale and Elizabeth (Short) Stephens.

Raised in Scappoose, he graduated in 1983 and was a state wrestling champion.

A certified farrier, he enjoyed his work and taking care of challenging cases with horses which could have had a poor outcome if not for his expertise. He was well respected in his field. He also enjoyed the year he travelled the rodeo circuit with his beloved horse of 27 years, Stomper.

In 2005 he married his wife, Katie Ostervold and they enjoyed the outdoors together biking and kayaking.

He loved team roping and shooting, as well.

He is survived by his wife, Katie, and daughter, Montana Stephens at home; mother-in-law, Jacquelyn Ostervold of Puget Island; half siblings, Eli, Lisa Jo, Davey and Tommy; and a large extended family. He was preceded in death by his half brother, Billie.

A memorial service was held March 25 at St. James Episcopal Church in Cathlamet.

Memorial gifts in his name may be made to ECAN, Esophageal Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 243, Stevenson, MD 21153.

Arrangements were by Dowling Funeral Home.


Ronald Van Ortwick

Dec. 1, 1950-March 13, 2012

Ronald Edward Van Ortwick of Warren passed away March 13 at Community Home Health and Hospice in Longview, Wash., following a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 61.

Mr. Van Ortwick was born Dec. 1, 1950, in Wheatland, Wyo., to George and Adreana Van Ortwick. He grew up in the St. Helens area with his brother and three sisters. As a teenager, he enjoyed and excelled at roller skating at the local rink.

As a young adult he met his wife, Jan, and they married on June 2, 1973. Together they had four children.

He worked in the auto body repair and paint business for many years, during which he owned his own body shop, Velvet Touch. After leaving the repair industry he became a truck driver. Together with his wife, they started MAJ trucking.

Among the things he enjoyed were racing cars, fishing, camping, tinkering on various projects around the house and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

He was generous with his family and would do anything he could for his children.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jan; daughter, Angela and her boyfriend Joshua Russell; daughter, Staci and her husband, Tom Fischer; son, Scott and his wife Melissa; son, Jake and his wife, Jess; grandchildren, Mercedes and her boyfriend Bud Reid, Jessica, Andrew, Lexus, Jared, Tallen, Deegan, and Brycen; great-grandchildren, Taylen, Harmony, and Gavin; sisters, Connie Parr and Christine Hurliman; brother, Rick Van Ortwick; many cousins; and faithful companions, Biscuit and Max. He was preceded in death by his mother, Adreana; father, George; and sister, Jean.

A memorial service was held by the family on March 24.