Vernonia Area Obituaries

Daniel ‘Ward” Lowrance-Obituary

Daniel ‘Ward” Lowrance, 81 , a resident of the Vernonia community passed away Monday morning, June 30, 2014 at the Harmony Guest Home.

Memorial services will be held at a future date.

Dan was born on May 10, 1933, in Denver, Colorado.  He was one of four children born to Hershall and Blanche Johnson) Lowrance.   He was raised and received his education in Westchester, CA.

He enlisted into the US Navy and served his country during the Korean War.  He was honorably discharge in 1955

He met his future wife Marjorie Dorr through mutual friends and they were married in 1959, in Las Vegas, NV.  They made their home in Redondo Beach, CA until 1971, when they moved to Sacramento, Ca.  in 2005 they moved to Vernonia, Or, to be closer to their daughter, grandkids and great-grandkids Read More

Patricia E. Benedict-Obituary


Patricia E. Benedict, 58, a resident of the Vernonia community, died Friday morning, May 23, 2014 at her home in Vernonia.

A Graveside Service for family members only will be held on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. at the Bethany Bible Church Cemetery, 18245 N.W. Germantown Road in Portland, with Pastor Greg Allen, officiating.

PATRICIA ELAINE BENEDICT was born April 7, 1956 in Spokane, Washington and was the daughter of Elsie and the late Arnold Van Dyk. She was raised in Spokane Washington with her two sisters where she graduated Shadle Park High School Class of 1974.

She was united in marriage to Michael L. Benedict on December 15, 1982 in Portland, Oregon. Patricia gave birth to three sons and three daughters. The family made their home is the communities’ of Portland, Elsie, Manning and Hillsboro.  Patricia dedicated her life to serving God and being a homemaker for her family. She enjoyed cooking, baking for her family, being in her garden, playing piano, educating, raising, and supporting her children. She was passionate about ministering and praying for the elderly and sick. She and Michael moved to the Vernonia community late 2013 where they have lived since.

She was preceded in death by her father, Arnold Van Dyk, her daughter, Michelle Yend and her son, Christopher Patrick Benedict.

Survivors include her husband, Michael L. Benedict, of the family home in Vernonia, Oregon; her mother, Elsie Van Dyke, of Spokane, Washington; her five children, Matthew Benedict, of Hillsboro, Oregon; Michaela Wood, of Seaside, Oregon; Katelin Benedict, of Seaside, Oregon; Nicholas Benedict, of Hillsboro, Oregon and Casey Benedict, of Hillsboro, Oregon; and her two sisters and brothers-in-law, Marilyn and Darrell Rupnow of Spokane, Washington and Barbara and Mike Cournia, of Aloha, Oregon and four nieces and one nephew

Also surviving are her five grandchildren, Zane Benedict, Quinten Benedict, Natalie Hansen, Waylon Brown and Tristan Lamb.

The family suggests that remembrances may be contributions to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 9320 SW Barbur Blvd, # 140, Portland, Oregon 97219, in her memory.

To sign the online guest book or to send a condolence to the family go to

Fuiten, Rose & Hoyt Funeral Home in Vernonia is in charge of the arrangements.

Ileata Lawona Uerling-Obituary


Ileata L. Uerling, 44, a resident of the Vernonia community, died Saturday morning, May 17, 2014, at her residence.

Private Cremation Rites will be held at Hoyt Crematory in Forest Grove.

ILEATA LAWONA UERLING was born on July 30, 1969, in Portland, Oregon, daughter of Ileata (Martindale) and Lloyd Winningham. She attended grade school in the Banks community and high school in Washington.

She served as a caregiver, at first caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and who were disabled, and then later at the Veterans Hospital and CICU at Providence as a CNA. She retired in 2005 after getting divorced to spend more time with her children. After retiring she helped many troubled teens in the community, she served as a mother figure for many, and helped them to get back on their feet until she no longer could due to a severe decline in health. She spent her last years being cared for by a combination of caregivers and family, primarily her son and parents.

Among her special interests she enjoyed horses, motorcycles, hot rods, and camping. She was also very family and church oriented. She attended the Vernonia Foursquare Church for many years under Pastor Paul Pastor, whom she was very close with.

Survivors include her parents, Lloyd Eugene and Ileata (Martindale) Winningham, of Vernonia, Oregon; her four children and their spouses, Corey Lee Kennedy, of Vernonia, Oregon, Cody Stevens and Brandy Winningham, of Vernonia, Oregon, Nichole and Wes Stalling, of Rainier, Oregon and Heather Uerling, of Rainier, Oregon.

 Also surviving is her one grandson, James Christopher Gabriel Winningham.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Ileata Winningham Sr. in her memory. Any contributions may be sent to 888 Jefferson Ave. Vernonia, OR 97064.

Tualatin Valley Funeral Alternatives of Hillsboro is in charge of the arrangements.  503-693-7965.

Norma E. Wolf-Obituary

Obit-Wolf-webNorma E. Wolf, a long time Vernonia resident, died Saturday, March 29, 2014 in Hillsboro, Oregon.

She was born December 5, 1927 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a young girl, of 16, and on her own, she enjoyed going to the movies about every night and went skating and to dances a lot.

Norma married Francis L. Wolf on May 6, 1946, they built their home together in Vernonia.

They enjoyed hobby work & camping together. Norma also enjoyed knitting, crocheting, sewing, cooking, and flower gardening. She also enjoyed having hobby day with her friends.

Besides loving her own hobbies and hobby days with her friends, she and Frank did just about everything together for 58 years.  They built their own home together and later in life they liked to build things together from wood, including bird feeders on poles, small standing reindeer, birds and more.   Norma would draw it and Frank would go to the shop and cut it out.  Norma would then either wood burn etch in the eyes and features or paint them.  No matter what the project was, they did it together. Read More

Kelly J. Ryan, Obituary

Obit-RyanKelly J. Ryan, 54, a resident of the Banks community, died Thursday, March 27, 2014 at his residence in Buxton, Oregon.

Private Cremation Rites will be held at Hoyt Crematory in Forest Grove.

KELLY JOHN RYAN was born on December 12, 1959 in Vallejo, California, the son of the late Robert S. and Francille (Abbott) Ryan.

In 1963 Kelly and his family came to Banks, Oregon due to their father’s Military Service in the Air Force and Army.

Kelly worked at the Banks Lumber Mill in his early years and eventually made his living in construction as a Plumber and also a Brick Mason. Kelly retired and worked as a ranch hand in Buxton where he lived.

Kelly is preceded in death by his parents, Robert S. and Francille Ryan. Survivors include his son Derrick Walker, of Portland, Oregon; his brothers Steven T. Ryan, of Portland, Oregon; his twin brother Chuck Ryan, of Vancouver, Washington, Danny Ryan, of Vancouver, Washington; and his sister Jessie Ann Lenz, of Forest Grove, Oregon. Kelly also had many nieces and nephews and was expecting his first grandson in April.

Among his special interests he loved being in the outdoors and enjoyed being around people. In his early years he competed in wrist wrestling, boxing, and enjoyed working out. Most of all Kelly enjoyed being with family and friends and talking about the good old days.

Please contact Fuiten, Rose & Hoyt Funeral Home to be made aware of future celebration of life service arrangements. 503-357-2161. To send the family condolences visit

Lorrina Maxine Heidloff-Obituary

Obit-LorinnaHeidloff-webLorrina Maxine Heidloff, 84, of the Vernonia community, has passed away.

At her home, on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 19, 2014, Lorrina Maxine Cannaday Heidloff passed from her family’s loving arms to the arms of her heavenly Father. Maxine was blessed with a gentle, peaceful passing from Pancreatic Cancer surrounded by loved ones.

Maxine was born October 13, 1929 in Grand Island, Nebraska and moved with her family to Oregon in the late 1930s. She met the love of her life, Allen, in Hillsboro, Oregon in 1946 and later that year they were married in Vancouver, Washington.

Maxine had a creative spirit and after graduating from Hillsboro Union High, and having her three daughters, she continued her education and graduated from Phagans School of Beauty, in Portland, Oregon. She was employed as a cosmetician in the Hillsboro area for several years and remembered her clients fondly throughout the years. Read More

Gerald (Gil) Frank Ceballos-Obituary

Obit- CEBALLOS-Gerald-F_PHOTO-webGerald (Gil) Frank Ceballos

November 21, 1947 – March 29, 2014

Gerald was born in Portland and raised in Vernonia, Oregon, by his parents Sam Parcon and Julia Winnifred (Bradshaw) Ceballos, with his two siblings Sam and sister, Loritta (Rita).

Gerald’s mother, Winnifred, died soon after younger brother, Sam was born and their father Sam, now a single parent raised his children while working full-time at the lumber mill.  In Vernonia, they were living in what were known as the “camp.” Even though the “camp” in Vernonia was designed to segregate the community, the Ceballos Family thrived there.

Gil decided not to graduate with his high school class and joined the Army before he finished his senior year; however, he was able to complete his G.E.D.  Gerald was trained and assigned to Special Forces as Green Beret. He was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where he did his Basic Training and was later sent to Fort Benning, Georgia for Airborne training, then to Fort Lee, Virginia to Quartermaster School, then to Okinawa, Japan where he was a “rigger” folding parachutes into their pouches.  Gerald saw action for two years doing reconnaissance in Cambodia and Laos.  He achieved the rank of Specialist 4. Read More

Cletus Richard “Dick” May- Obituary

Obit-Dick May-webCletus Richard “Dick” May, died at home on March 22, 2014 in Salem, OR, losing a two and a half year battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was born in Yakima, WA on Sept. 23, 1930 to Willis Richard May Jr. and Dessie Frances Vinson. He was the middle child of seven and always claimed that middle children were the best adjusted.

Dick graduated from Vernonia High School, Class of 1950, and joined the Navy in 1951 during the Korean Conflict. He spent most of his service years aboard the USS Lewis Hancock serving as Quartermaster. At one point his ship left Korea and embarked on a world Goodwill tour visiting 27 countries. After spending four years, 1950 to 1954, in the service, he came home and went back to work at the Oregon- American Lumber Mill in Vernonia, OR. Read More

Charles “Buster” Franck-Obituary

Obit-FRANCK-webMarch 21, 2014 marked the end of a full life for Charles “Buster” Franck, 91, a resident of Forest Grove, Oregon.

Charles was born on September 3, 1922 in Cornelius, Oregon,  son of the late John Martin and Bessie M. (Rutledge) Franck. He was raised and received his education in the Forest Grove community. Following high school, he worked in the shipyards for a few years before being drafted into the United States Army.

He was united in marriage to Ilene Savage on March 30, 1948 in Vancouver, Washington. Later this month they would have celebrated their 66th Wedding Anniversary. Following their marriage they made their home in Gaston, Oregon until 1956 when they moved to Forest Grove, where they have resided since. Read More

Darrell Eugene Rush

Obit-DarrellRush-webDecember 3, 1933 – March 19, 2014

Darrell E. Rush, 80, of Seaside, died March 19, 2014 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

Darrell was born to Harvey and Irma Rush on December 3, 1933, in Fort Collins, CO. He graduated from Tillamook High School in 1951 and joined the Air Force in 1952, where he spent 4 proud years and worked his way up to Staff Sergeant.

Upon returning to Tillamook, Darrell met and married his wife, Evelyn Hiebert, and they later relocated to Seaside, OR.

Darrell had a long and successful career in the grocery business and was very proud of his accomplishments as a store manager. Over the years, he was a member of the original Board of Directors for the Seaside Convention Center, playing a role in its planning and construction. He was actively involved with the Seaside Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Seaside Elks Lodge and the Astoria Golf and Country Club. Darrell enjoyed coaching his two boys in Little League Baseball as well as attending school events of his three children. He was an active member of the Assembly of God Church in Seaside, serving as Deacon until his death. Read More