Remembering Our Friends and Neighbors
Death Notices and Remembrances of people who were born in, grew up in, spent time in, or lived in Pomeroy, Washington, are offered as a public service at no charge by HistoricPomeroy.com. The notice should be sent to memories@HistoricPomeroy.com. One or two photographs may be attached to the email. We can accept notices from the family or from the funeral home. Notices and/or photos may be edited for space or editorial purposes.
Obituaries and Death Notices for 2021
Judith R. Crawford, 1948-2021
Judith R. Crawford, 73, of Pomeroy, died Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in her home. Richardson Brown Funeral Home of Pomeroy is in charge of arrangements.
Lavona "Joy" Norland, 1932-2021
Lavona “Joy” Norland, 89, of Pomeroy, died Sunday, February 21, 2021, at Garfield County Hospital. Richardson Brown Funeral Home of Pomeroy is in charge of arrangements.
Edith Cole, 1930-2021
On Sunday, February 7, 2021, Edith Marie Gentry Cole, a lifelong resident of Pomeroy, passed away peacefully at the home of her son, Gary Cole.
Edith was born May 21, 1930, the only child of Aquilla and Myrtle McMillan Gentry, at the Gentry farm home in Pomeroy. She lived in that home her entire life and graduated from Pomeroy High School in 1948. Her father died in 1941 when she was only 11 years old. Since her mother never drove, Edith was given a permit to drive when she was 13. She drove her mother to town to sell eggs and cream weekly. Edith assisted with the farm chores of milking cows, feeding and butchering chickens. She recalled they had very little money then, and was given 11 cents as her birthday gift.
Edith attended Washington State University one year, studying home economics before marrying Clarence Cole on November 6, 1949. They began farming the Gentry land and Myrtle moved into town.
Edith was a 4-H leader for cooking and sewing. During the ’60s and ’70s, neighboring farms were purchased and Pataha Creek Farms Inc. was formed. Clarence lost his life in a farming accident in 1985. Edith continued to manage running the farming operation. She fed the harvest crew for 65 years, providing two big meals a day. She raised a big vegetable garden and in later years became interested in growing chrysanthemums. She became a national chrysanthemum judge and an all-round flower judge, traveling to many area fairs and flower shows as well as national mum shows.
Edith and Clarence seldom took time away from the farm for pleasure, but they enjoyed the beauty of Hawaii while celebrating their 25th anniversary. Edith also traveled to Ireland with friends and to the East Coast a few times to visit her mother’s family.
Through the years she was a member of many organizations. She served as president of both Garfield County Pioneer Association and Pomeroy High School Alumni Association at which time the group authored the book “Century Farms of Garfield County” in 1989.
During the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial, she gave talks to schools and organizations giving the “true story” of Sacajawea, wearing a deerskin dress. In 1805, that expedition camped on what became her property.
In 2012, she received the Pomeroy Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award for her community activities and service. The Daughters of the American Revolution selected her for their “Women of History” award for her years of work with historical activities.
Edith holds current memberships with Pomeroy United Methodist Church, Daughters of the Pioneers, F.N. Chapter P.E.O., Garfield County Historical Society, Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum, Daughters of the American Revolution, Hi-Lo Chrysanthemum Society and All Seasons Garden Club.
Her greatest joy was her family which includes children Suzanne Grove and Gary (Janice) Cole; granddaughters Nicole Maltby and partner Jeremy Nagowski, and Kristen Maltby Hughes (Mike); great-grandson Cole and Hayden Hughes.
Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. February 24 at the Pomeroy Nazarene Church in Pomeroy.
Memorial contributions may be made to United Methodist Church c/o Charles Woody, P.O. Box 127, Pomeroy WA 99347 or Eastern Washington Ag Museum c/o Jay Franks, P.O. Box 326, Pomeroy, WA 99347.
Opal Griffin, 1924-2021
Opal Marie (Wade) Griffin, 96, of Pomeroy, passed away Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.
Opal was born May 25, 1924, the third child to Henry and Rena Wade in Pomeroy. On July 3, 1946, Opal married William “Bill” Griffin in Lewiston. They were blessed with three children. Rodney, Lynn and Jimmy.
Opal will be remembered for her sweet smile, big hugs and smooches for anyone who needed them. Her joy and happiness were contagious and will be missed dearly. Opal was a hard worker from an early age, from working for families on farms, cleaning and ironing at homes when she was married. One of her biggest accomplishments was being a CNA for Garfield County Hospital (GCH) and working for Dr. Weiland.
Opal is survived by son Rodney Griffin; daughter Lynn Shawley; daughter-in-law Debbie Griffin; six grandchildren Clint Griffin, Marci (Jared) Coffman, Derek (Tracie) Shawley, Deron (Nicole) Shawley, Cricket Griffin (Dan) and Keri Griffin; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson and nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials can be directed to the Methodist Church of Pomeroy.
Judith Marie Orvis, 1940-2021
Judith Marie Orvis passed away at the age of 80 at home in Canby, Oregon, surrounded by her family on February 6, 2021, after a short, but hard battle with cancer.
Judith was born to Dale and Helen Turner in Lewiston, on May 3, 1940. She graduated from Pomeroy High with the class of 1958 and went to Whitworth College for two years. She was a member of the Eagles Lodge for over forty years, loved to fish and loved spending time with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Judy is survived by her brother, Jack Turner, and sister-in-law Gayle Turner; her sons: Bill and Tim Orvis, and daughter Barb Downie; grandchildren: Holly Thompson, Kayli Orvis, Nicole DeNoble, Kelli-Jo Weisz and Helen Orvis; and great-grandchildren: Bryce, Brook, Blake, Rylee-Dale, Abby Ann, Aaron and Emmalin.
Donald W. Parker 1933-2021
Donald W. Parker, formerly of Walla Walla and Pomeroy, passed away February 3, 2021, at Hospice of The Valley, Surprise, Arizona, surrounded by family and friends.
Don was born on March 19, 1933, in Pomeroy, the son of Wylie and Celeste Parker. He was the oldest of two children and 18 cousins. He grew up in Pomeroy and graduated from Pomeroy High School in 1951. Don attended Whitman College where he participated in football, baseball and lettered in basketball. He was a unanimous All NW Conference selection for basketball. Don was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. His college years were interrupted when he was drafted into the Army.
Upon his return to the Whitman campus he met his future wife Caroljean Ronald. Following their graduation from Whitman College in June of 1957, Don and Jean were married. The two began their married life as teachers in Bakersfield, CA and later moved to Hermosa Beach, CA where Don worked in real estate. In 1959 they returned to Oregon where Don was employed with Business Men’s Assurance Co. His passion for coaching and mentoring young men began in 1964 when he accepted a teaching and Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coaching position at McLoughlin High School (Mac-Hi) in Milton-Freewater, OR. He had many successful seasons at Mac-Hi and in 1969 he was hired as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Walla Walla Community College. The years at WWCC were exciting and successful times. The gymnasium became affectionately known as “Parker’s Pit” and the fast paced style of basketball became known as “Go-Go Basketball.” Crowds enthusiastically watched his teams play and Don coach in his most colorful way. His success led to his induction into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 2009.
Don left coaching in 1976 but remained employed at WWCC as the Plant Facilities Manager overseeing the move to the Tausick Way campus. He was instrumental in acquiring the geodesic dome which houses the indoor recreational facilities on campus. In 1980 he started his own roofing and environmental liner company, NW Sealants. He sold his business in 1995 and began embracing his new roles as an avid golfer, gardener, chef, sports enthusiast, and the proudest “Gpa,” “Pa,” and “Grandpa Don” to his seven grandchildren. Don continued his involvement in basketball as a volunteer coach at several high schools in the Phoenix valley. He was a mentor to many coaches at all levels of competition.
In 2007 Don was diagnosed with Waldenstrom Lymphoma. In 2013, after a lifetime in Walla Walla that included college, raising a family and remaining active in the Walla Walla community, Don and Jean moved permanently to Arizona so he could be near his physicians at the Mayo Clinic. In his later years he lost the function of his kidneys and became a courageous dialysis patient. He became known for exercising during his treatments and encouraging other patients to do the same. He was dedicated to fighting the good fight with his health and did so up until the end of his life.
Survivors include his wife, Jean of Peoria, Arizona; daughters, Bonnie Ness (Brad), Beth Over (Larry); son, Jeff Parker (Carrie); sister, Janice Danford; and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date in Walla Walla. A private graveside service will be held in Pomeroy. Contributions in memory of Don may be made to Walla Walla YMCA Youth Sports Program (WWYMCA, 340 S. Park, Walla Walla, WA 99362 or online at www.WWYMCA.org).
Helen Jeanine Perry, 1937-2021
Helen Jeanine Perry, 83, of Pomeroy, died Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at Riverview Residential Home in Clarkston. Helen was born June 27, 1937, in LaGrande, Oregon. She was one of 5 children.
Helen was an adventurous young woman traveling to Seattle, working for the phone company, flying in airplanes, and eventually marrying Raymond Perry. During their 30-year marriage, Helen raised her three sons Douglas, Donald, and Dean in Waitsburg, Washington. The boys kept her busy with never a dull moment.
She loved to fish, was a great cook, and enjoyed spending time in the family garden. After her children left home and Helen turned 50, she returned to college and remarkably became a registered nurse. She spent many years caring for her patients in Washington and Montana before settling in Pomeroy. for a peaceful retirement. She loved reading, putting together puzzles, and her cats.
Helen attended church at Pomeroy Christian, and she treasured the time she got to spend with her sons and grandson. Helen fought a brave battle with Cancer and even beat the odds by beating Covid!
She was preceded in death by her son Douglas and her sister LouAnne. She is survived by her sons Donald Perry and Dean (Cheri) Perry, her only grandchild Tyler Perry, her siblings David (Lita), Mary, and Susie. Helen was loved and her family is comforted to know they will see her again in heaven.
Janice E. Haase
Janice E. Haase, Colfax native and former Asotin resident, passed away Sunday, January 10, 2021, at the Garfield County Memorial Hospital. She was 87.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. January 23 in the chapel of Bruning Funeral Home in Colfax. Burial will follow at the Colfax Cemetery.
Janice was born August 4, 1933, in Colfax to James and Katherine Thompson Shaw. Her mother and father operated the Table Service Grocery store on Main Street in Colfax for many years. Janice attended Colfax schools and graduated from Colfax High School. She worked for many years as a waitress at Pete’s in Colfax. While there she met Herbert Haase, of Washtucna, and they were married on Dec. 10, 1967, in Coeur d’Alene. Janice had been married before and she and Herb moved with her four children to Washtucna, where she kept very busy as a homemaker and mother. Janice worked as a cafeteria assistant in the Washtucna school and later at the drive-in and café in town for many years. She liked spending time with the family and, as it continued to grow, she especially enjoyed her grandchildren. Herb kept busy working and puttering so Janice found plenty of time to work indoors or watch TV; she especially enjoying her Westerns or the Turner Classic Movies.
They moved to Asotin in 1998, and she went to work at Albertson's in Clarkston. They had a small cabin in the Blue Mountains near Pomeroy and spent many days at the cabin. About four months ago, they moved to the cabin near Pomeroy.
Janice is survived by her husband, Herbert; three children, James Grant, of Florida; Joseph, of Portland; and Jeannine Parkins, of Lind; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She also leaves several cousins in the area, including Jim Krouse, of Colfax.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Julie and by a son, Jay as well as her parents.
Delbert Grant Boyd
Delbert “Del” Grant Boyd passed away Monday, January 4, 2021, just shy of his 78th birthday.
Delbert was born January 12, 1943, in Pomeroy and lived near Pomeroy his whole life. He married Patricia Rich on December 23, 1971, and they just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. He was dad to Daniel (Jamie) and Darin (Christy) Boyd and “Uncle Daddy” to Kenny Kazda, and thought of Brian Blimka as his son. He was Grandpa to Hunter, Jacop (Danielle), Dakota Christensen, MiKayla (Craig) Rasmussen, Dylan Roediger, Michael (Alyssa), Kaitlyn Warford, Corey Weld and Joshua, and Great-Grandpa to Anna Jo Rasmussen.
He is survived by brothers Frances Boyd and Mike (Andy) Petrusky and sisters Carmen (Art) Lucero and Margaret (Steve) Kazda and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceeded in death by father and mother James E. Boyd and Elmira M. Hill Boyd; brothers and sisters James Riley, Ronald R., Charles R. Boyd, Steven Petrusky, Virginia Mae Gripp and Nita Kay Blimka.
Delbert graduated from Pomeroy High School in 1963. He then valiantly served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam conflict on the USS Diamond Head from 1964 to 1968.
He worked at Pomeroy Grain Growers and Pomeroy Warehouse and Feed as a warehouseman and semi-truck driver. He loved the mountains and outdoors, fishing and hunting, fast cars and truck-driving. He didn’t know a stranger and enjoyed visiting and storytelling. Del was considered “friend” by many and will be missed by all.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Merchant Funeral Home. A graveside ceremony was held January 9, 2021, at Pomeroy City Cemetery.