By John L. Braese
Fred Kochis returned Sunday to the once-thriving Malheur City.
He was brought in an urn by relatives from Nevada, returned to the piece of land he cared for and where he wanted to spend eternity.
The relatives carried the urn up a hill at the Malheur City Cemetery, placing it in the ground in a private ceremony.
After saying goodbye, the family drove the quarter mile to the Malheur City Convention Center to join others who have also laid to rest family members.
Gathering around home-prepared food from all that attended, the family shared and listened to stories about Kochis in an annual rite in a town long gone to history.
Kochis grew up in Malheur City and joined the Merchant Marines at 16, trading a bottle of wine with a stranger in Portland for a counterfeit proof of age . . .