The latest obituaries and death notices for Malheur County

Gary E. Smith 

April 18, 1940 – July 23, 2018

Gary Eugene Smith, 78, of Brogan, passed away on Monday July 23, in a Portland hospital with family by his side. Gary was born April 18, 1940, in Ontario, Oregon, to Eugene and Elizabeth (Lequerica) Smith.

Gary graduated from Vale Union High School in 1958 as a multiyear letterman in three sports and attended Boise Junior College, where he played football on a Junior College National Championship team. He transferred to Oregon State University, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. While at OSU, Gary married his high school sweetheart, Myrna Pershall of Willowcreek, and they had three children, Thad, Stephanie and Elaine. Gary received his Doctorate in Animal Nutrition from Purdue University. He subsequently taught Animal Science at the University of Wyoming, becoming internationally recognized for publishing nearly 50 research papers and speaking at Cambridge University in England. Gary moved to New Jersey in 1970 to work in animal research at Merck and Company. He returned to Brogan in 1979 to help his parents run the family ranch and he quickly became an active member of the Brogan and Vale communities. In 1982, Gary married Marjorie Wetjen, who brought three daughters to his family.

Gary was preceded in death by his grandparents Smith and Lequerica and his parents. He is survived by his wife Marjorie; son Thad (Rebecca) Smith of Grayslake, Ill., daughters Stephanie (Ross) Smith of Bloomington, Ind., and Elaine (Padmadharni) Smith of Stockton, N.J.; Meredith Studdard of Vancouver, Wash., Jennifer (Erik) Jacobs of Wilder, Idaho, and Stephanie Wetjen of Portland; and 11 grandchildren.

We will remember Gary for his zest for life, his abundant enthusiasm, his wide-ranging intelligence, and his wonderful sense of humor. He admirably lived life on his own terms while also managing to be generous with his time. Anybody who traveled with him to town would find themselves witness to spontaneous conversations with one acquaintance or new friend after another. He loved taking drives in Willow Creek Canyon and rooting for Boise State and Oregon State teams. His commitment to fundraising for his home town’s fire department, Japanese garden and community park led him and wife Margie, along with Richard Chubb, to establish Brogan’s “Nutty” Brunch and International Cow Pie Toss.

A celebration of Gary’s life will be held on Saturday, August 18, at 11 a.m. at the Vale Fire Hall in Vale. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Vale Rural Fire Protection District, P. O. Box 325, Vale, OR 97918 or the Vale High School Alumni Association for student scholarships, P. O. Box 274, Vale, OR 97918.


Martha L. Smit

Mar. 15, 1928- Aug. 2, 2018

Martha was born to Frank and Myrtle (Plant) Linville Mar. 15, 1928, in Albany, Oregon. The family moved to Little Valley, Oregon, in 1934, and then to Westfall, Oregon in 1943.

Martha met John Smit, the love of her life, at Westfall. They were married April, 23, 1946, in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Vale, Oregon by Father Tye. They were blessed with four children: Pete, Gary, James and Susan.

John and Martha ranched for 34 years at Westfall, where they raised their family. They sold the ranch in 1979 and moved to Vale, where they lived until they needed the care of a assisted living facility in Ontario.

Martha is survived by Gary and Keiko Smit of Spokane, Wash.; James and Paula Smit of Fruitland, Idaho; Susan and John Novak of Prineville; four grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her brother Jack Linville, sister Katherine Stumpf, and sister-in-law Nadine Smit.

Martha was preceded in death by her husband John, son Pete, grandson Joe Brotherton, brothers Jim, David, sister Dorothy White, and her parents.

Service will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 10 at St. Patrick’s Catholic in Vale, with viewing at 9 a.m.. Interment will be at Valley View Cemetery following the service. There will be a dinner afterward in the Parrish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.


• James Samuel “Jim” Cody, 93 of Ontario, died July 30 at a local hospital. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario. 

• Diana R. Heffley-Melody, 39 of New Plymouth, died July 27 at a local hospital. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario. 

LEARN HOW TO PLACE AN OBITUARY: Contact Autumn Butler, Enterprise office manager, at [email protected] or call 514-473-3377.