This week’s obituaries – July 12

Billie Mae Moore
September 2, 1931 –
June 18, 2017
Billie Mae Moore – Mae as she was known to many – passed away on June 18, 2017, from complications of endometrial cancer.
Billie Mae was born in Boise, Idaho on September 2, 1931 to Violet Eva Hills Moore and William Jennings Moore. She spent her early years at the Holcomb Guard station on the Boise National Forest where her father was the ranger. Her father bought land in Vale, Oregon where starting from nothing they built a ranch and moved into the house in 1939.
Billie Mae remembered that at 7 years old the sagebrush in Vale was as tall as she was. Here she developed her love of horses and the outdoors.
In the late 1950’s she moved to Yakima to be with her father’s sister Margaret Hoffarth and began her career as a caregiver, working for several prominent Yakima County residents. In her free time she was an avid hiker and particularly loved exploring Eastern Washington with her good friend Bob Hileman.
Billie will be remembered as a protective, loving caregiver and a fiercely independent woman. She is survived by two sisters and a brother, Carol Coy of Aloha, Oregon, Mary Panzeri of Marsing, Idaho and Leonard “Bill” Moore of Vale, Oregon. She also leaves behind a special cousin, Sherry Jones.
Bonnie and Krista at Quality Medical Care and Colleen Foreman at Northstar Lodge Cancer Care Center deserve special thanks for their care of Billie. In her last months of life she received loving care from Virginia Mason Memorial Hospice, with extra thanks to nurses Natalie and Emily.
At Billie’s request there will be no funeral. Her ashes are to be spread in one of her favorite outdoor locations, and a marker will be placed in Terrace Heights Memorial Park, Yakima, WA. Condolences may be sent to Rainier Memorial Center, 2807 Terrace Heights Dr. Yakima, WA 98901; www.rainiermemorial.com. Please consider a gift in Billie Mae’s name to Cottage in the Meadow or to Memorial Hospice under the Compass Care Program.

James M. Blackwell
July 13, 1921 –
Dec. 12, 2016
Jim passed away peacefully at Lakeview Terrace in Boulder City, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2016, at the age of 95.
He was born July 13, 1921 in McCall, Idaho, to George Blackwell Sr. and Rosa C. Blackwell of McCall. He attended McCall High School and Boise Junior College. After graduation, the looming war in Europe and the Pacific sent him on a different course. He was in the Army Air Force and flew many planes and was an instructor on the B-29. He continued in the Air Force after WWII in the Reserves and qualified in many different aircraft (B-29, P-51, C-47, Helicopters, the Albatross Flying Boat).
Jim loved to fly and was a great instructor. He also was a commercial airline pilot with TWA, Empire Airlines, Hughes Airwest, Bonanza, Republic, Northwest. He flew DC-3’s to F-27’s to DC-9’s. He retired from Northwestern Airlines in 1981.
He also helped his father with the Blackwell Diary of McCall before the war. He operated the airports and flight schools of Vale and Ontario, Oregon after the war. He started flying for TWA in the early 1950s, based in Kansas City, Kansas. After two years, Jim and family moved back to Boise, Idaho, as he missed the mountains. Flying for Empire, which merged and changed names as the airlines grew and more people were flying. During this time Jim was the ALPA representative.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman, he loved to hunt and fish, from Idaho to Oregon and Alaska. The Idaho Wilderness area with his sons, any place where there were fish to catch or birds to hunt.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years Charlene, sons Joe (Cindi) of Vancouver, Wash., Mitch (Margaret) of Atlanta, Ga.; stepson Ross (Carol) of Bend, OR, and stepdaughter Jeanine (Mike) of Fairbanks, Alaska; grandchildren, Cotten, Genevieve, Judd, Mike, Dan, Jennifer, Gary, Kristen, Jason, Scott, Teal, Kelly, Matt, Eric and Nicole; and 21 great-grandchildren.
After his retirement, he and Charlene traveled North America in their RV, from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the Grand Canyon in Mexico to Alaska and many more places in between.
His internment will be at 11 a.m. on July 13, 2017, his 96th birthday, at Kohlerlawn cemetery in Nampa, Idaho.

William Gerald Johnson
Sept. 11, 1927 – Nov. 17, 2016

William Gerald Johnson died Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 of heart failure and natural causes after battling a heart condition for many years.
Born on a small farm in Vale, Ore., to Patrick Henry Johnson and Bessie Marie Johnson. William Gerald Johnson was a child of the Great Depression and raised in meager conditions. Like many rural Americans living during this period, he and his family came to depend on the land for survival.
During the height of the Depression, Gerald and his father took to living in an abandoned boxcar on the outskirts of the city for several winters. Gerald said it was so cold the two relied on bags of seed to provide insulation over their bedding.
Patrick owned real estate in Vale before the Depression, but lost nearly everything and was only able to purchase a small tract of scrub land outside of the city once the Depression ended. As a young boy, Gerald and his father worked many seasons ripping sagebrush from the land with a team of Percheron horses and mules until the two were able to raise a sale-able crop.
Gerald lived and worked on the farm with his dad until he completed high school. To avoid being drafted into WWII, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during his last term of school. Following a brief stint stateside for basic training and coursework in aircraft firefighting, Gerald was shipped to Tokyo, Japan (Haneda AFB – 1503rd Air Transport Wing) just as WWII was winding down. Over the next five years Gerald attained the rank of Technical Sergeant and served as the AFB Safety Manager. His base provided support throughout the Korean War which lasted the majority of his tour of duty. Gerald’s Wing played an instrumental role in transporting soldiers and ammunition into Korea and flying injured soldiers back to Haneda AFB for hospitalization in Tokyo .
After the war, Gerald returned to Oregon to pursue what became a life-long career in sales. He found work selling mens’ clothing to stores based throughout Oregon early on. Over his 45 years in sales, Gerald landed top positions as the Northwest territorial representative for Eloesser Heynemann, Can’t Bust ‘Em; Robert Bruce, Arnold Palmer sportswear and Knights of the Round Table – among other lines. For over 35 of those years Gerald worked as a loyal representative for the Robert Bruce Corporation and twice won the National Salesman of the Year award. He served as president of the Pacific Northwest Mens’ Apparel Club (PANAMAC) and became a well-known fixture in downtown Portland and in hundreds of mens’ stores that once dotted the Northwest territory. Featured in an Oregon Journal article, Gerald’s name became well-known in many Northwest business circles. The article, written by Doug Baker, was titled “Last of the 5 percenters” and provided readers with an inside view of sales and how it was changing. Gerald was a life-long Mason and strongly supported this organization for over 50 years.
A loved father, Gerald was married twice and had two daughters from his first marriage and two daughters and a son from his second marriage. His children will remember him as someone who always supported them in whatever life endeavors they pursued and was never short on good advice to help them achieve their goals. He is survived by his four daughters, Jana Klass, Mechanicsburg, PA; Darcia Johnson, Meridian, ID; Susanne Cox, Seattle, WA; Heidi Johnson, Juneau, AK; and one son, Eric Johnson, Seattle, WA. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Brittany Klass, Mechanicsburg, PA; Tate and Eva Goering, Juneau, AK and Sean and Anna Cox; Seattle, WA.
A graveside memorial is planned for 9 a.m., Sunday, July 23, 2017, at Valley View Cemetery in Vale, OR. A memorial service will follow, at 12 p.m., at the Boulevard Grange Hall in Ontario, OR.