Florence Oerke 89, passed away Wednesday, July 14, 2004 at Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin.
She was born November 4, 1914 at Pigeon Falls in Trempealeau County to Albert and Nora Johnson. She married Gerhard H. Oerke on June 15, 1929 at Pigeon Falls, Wisconsin. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband who passed away July 8, 2000.
Mrs. Oerke is survived by a sister, Myrtle Smith, LaCrosse WI, three daughters, Sondra (Charles) Destival, Ridgefield, CT, Karen (William) Gardner, and Nora (Richard) Foss, both of Whitehall; and a son, David (Julie) Oerke of Challis; one niece, Barbara Baker, one nephew, Gordon Smith, both of WI; 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Most of her married life was spent in Pigeon Falls where she was a member of the Lutheran Church and taught Sunday School many years and was active in Ladies Aid. She knew her Lord and loved and served Him faithfully.
Her family was very important to her and she showed it in many loving and faithful ways. She had a special place in her heart for children and the beauties of God’s creation. She taught us about trusting God for everything and we are forever grateful for her steadfast prayers for her family and any other people as well.
Funeral service was held Saturday, July 17 in Whitehall, Wisconsin. Burial was in the Pigeon Falls Cemetery.
A celebration of life was held May 24 for Helen E. Nelson of Creswell, Oregon who died May 20 of age-related causes. She was 85.
Nelson was born May 18, 1919, in Idaho to Daniel Hice and Edith Meyers. She married Sigurd Nelson in Idaho in June of 1940. He died January 31, 1973.
She graduated from Challis High School. She settled in this area in 1957.
She worked at the Creswell Poultry Center and at the Eugene Cannery. She attended the Creswell Presbyterian Church.
She enjoyed playing bingo and buying lottery tickets. She also enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She especially enjoyed playing cards with her grandchildren.
Survivors include a daughter, LaRue Broughton of Dorena, Oregon; a son, Harry of Cottage Grove, Oregon; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grand-children. A son, Wallace (Boone) died in 1999.
The celebration of life was held at the Creswell Presbyterian Church. Inurnment was at West Lawn Memorial Park in Eugene, Oregon. West Lawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Eugene, Oregon was in charge of arrangements.
Dale Ellis Gossi
Dale Ellis Gossi, died June 8, 2004 in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Dale was born November 28, 1925 in Clayton, Idaho to Raymond and Eva Ellis Gossi. He was raised and attended school on the East Fork of the Salmon River. He remained in this area throughout his entire life.
He was involved in ranching most of his life. When he did decide to find outside work, he thought that he would give the Clayton Silver Mine a try for a week. He ended up spending several years there. Dale was a jack of all trades. There wasn’t anything that he couldn’t figure out whether mechanical or leatherwork. Whenever you had a problem or needed help, you just called Dale.
Dale and his brother Don spent many years hunting for big game in the Salmon River Country. Those two knew the backcountry trails as well as anyone. Later came ATVing and hunting horns. Dale did it just for the enjoyment of being outdoors. When wintertime came around Dale spent his hours putting together jigsaw puzzles. After he completed them, he glued them together so they wouldn’t come apart again.
His parents and brother Don preceded him. Numerous cousins survive him. Dale’s family would like to express gratitude to everyone who looked in on Dale and were his “special” friends.
Services were held June 12 in Clayton. Donations can be made to your favorite charity in Dale’s name.
Rita Allen, 77 years young, passed away June 5, 2004, at the Lost Rivers Hospital in Arco, after a long illness and complications due to stroke.
Rita was born September 24, 1926, in Erie, Pennsylvania, to George and Mary Becker. She graduated from Strong Vincent High School in 1944, and went to work at the General Electric Plant in Erie.
She married John R. Allen and had two children. Rita ultimately went into electronics assembly at Erie Technological Products, where she worked for a number of years. After her divorce, Rita moved to San Jose (Cupertino), California, where Powell Electronics employed her until her retirement at age 66.
Rita then moved to Winnemucca, Nevada, to be near her daughter, Michelle. Rita and Michelle eventually returned to Challis in 1996, where Rita enjoyed her retirement with many friends. Illness struck three and a half years ago, causing her to live out her remaining years in the loving hands of the caregivers at the Lost Rivers Living Center in Arco.
Anyone who knew Rita, knew of her love of football; she was a diehard fan of the Cleveland Browns, over the years enjoying many friendships with the team players and attending multitudes of games.
One of Rita’s fondest memories was having lunch with Brian Sipes (quarterback). She loved to travel and to meet new people. Rita lived life to the fullest.
Her father and mother, George and Mary Becker, from Erie, Pennsylvania, a brother, George, from Akron, Ohio, and the father of her children, John R. Allen, preceded Rita in death.
Two daughters survive her, Michelle Allen-Hammond, of Challis and Jackie Allen, of San Diego, California, also four grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind many good friends and ‘adopted kids’ that knew her as “Mom.”
All who had the pleasure of meeting her loved Rita, as she did them. She was a very warm and caring person, always there to help if she could, even if it was simply a smile or sympathetic ear. We will all miss her deeply.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations be made in memory of Rita Allen to the Challis EMTs and to the Lost Rivers Living Center in Arco.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in Challis.
Frank Burstedt, 89, passed away May 24, 2004 at the University of Utah Medical Center from complications of a stroke. Frank was surrounded by his beloved family at the time of his passing.
Frank was born on April 26, 1915 in his family’s home in Challis, Idaho. Frank was the son of Seth and Mollie Burstedt. Frank lived most of his life in Challis and the surrounding area. He loved his family, his home, his community, and his country.
After Frank graduated from Challis High School he attended the University of Idaho graduating in 1936 with a degree in animal husbandry. It was also at that time that he married a very special Enid Dickson. Frank and Enid were able to spend 68 years of marriage.
Frank’s first job after returning home from college was as Deputy County Recorder for Custer County. He also spent time working as a cashier in the first bank in Challis, the Custer County Bank.
In 1943 Frank left his family to serve his country during WWII. He served as a Navy Storekeeper 1st Class in the Pacific, serving on Bougainville, New Guinea, and Mannis Islands. Frank returned in November 1945 to his wife and three children, Idonna, Carl, and Joel. Frank and Enid at that time decided to purchase the family ranch, the Salmon River Hereford Ranch, and they spent many happy years there raising purebred Hereford cattle and two new additions to the family, a son Raymond, and a daughter Lou Ann.
In 1965 Frank and Enid sold the family ranch and Frank became president of Custer County Bank in Challis, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. After retirement Frank and Enid enjoyed many happy years with family, friends, and the community of Challis.
Frank loved to bowl, golf, fish, and watch any type of sports on TV. Frank was a member of the Idaho Masonic Lodge, Florence Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Yorkrite Masons, the Idaho Shriners, and Philip Kirk Post Number 109 of the American Legion.
Frank is survived by his wife Enid, his son Raymond his wife Teri and their family, his daughter Lou Ann Roberds and her husband Bill and family, his daughter-in-law Susan Burstedt and her family, and the surviving children of his daughter Idonna Carlson, Chris, Sue, and Scott, along with many special grandchildren and great-grand-children, all of whom brought much joy into his life.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Seth and Mollie Burstedt, two sons, Joel and Carl, and one daughter, Idonna Carlson.
The family suggests donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Idonna Carlson Memorial Scholarship Fund at Challis High School.
Frank was a man of honesty, integrity, and compassion. He will be remembered and loved by his family as they strive to live the example he set.
Harrold L. Sweeney
Harrold L. Sweeney, 83, passed away of natural causes at his home in Boise May 20, 2004.
Harrold was born on Jan. 14, 1921 to Lloyd and Gladys Sweeney in Diamond, Ore. The family engaged in ranching in the Trout Creek, OR area until shortly after the end of World War II, when they moved to Winnemucca, NV. Harrold owned the Grass Valley Ranch until its sale in 1960, when he relocated to the Pahsimeroi Valley near Challis. He ranched in that area until his retirement at age 50. Thereafter he resided in the Boise and Garden Valley areas.
On Jan. 15, 1973 he married Louise. They enjoyed traveling and houseboating. Harrold was also an avid gardener and woodworker. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 68 years and was also in the Shrine and Eastern Star. Until his recent move to Boise, he was a member of the Crouch Community Church.
Harrold is survived by his wife Louise Sweeney, his son and daughter-in-law Allyn and Mary Sweeney, granddaughter Elizabeth Sweeney, stepsons Herb and Alan Sweeney, and stepdaughters Eileen Sweeney and Karen Lockwood.
Services were conducted Monday, May 24 at the Crouch Community Church in Garden Valley. Pastor Brian Smith officiated. Graveside services followed at Dry Creek Cemetery
in Boise. Services were under the direction of Potter Funeral Chapel, Emmett.
Those wishing to give in lieu of flowers may send donations to the Intermountain Unit of the Shriners Hospital, Fairfax Ave. and Virginia St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84103 or to the Idaho Youth Ranch.