The latest obituaries and death notices for Malheur County

Norman Neil Bryson (Neil)

August 3, 1930-January 19, 2019

Neil passed away peacefully in his sleep on Jan. 19 at the age of 88, from causes incident to age. Neil was born Aug. 3, 1930, to Allen and Corilla Bryson. He grew up in Bountiful, Utah, and helped his father grow produce and sell it at market.  

He started working for Coy Hayward at the tender age of 8 years old after school, standing on a wooden orange crate in the meat department, wrapping meat. He also worked for many years with horses, breaking them, training them and getting them ready for show. He had a great love for animals, especially horses, and loved every minute he got to spend with them. He graduated from Davis High School.

He married Janet Bird and they had eight children together. Neil and Janet later divorced. Neil served his country in the Air Force during the Korean War as an airplane mechanic. After his time in the Air Force, Neil continued his career in the grocery business, working many years for Safeway as a store manager in Ontario. In his later years he returned to work at that same store, though it was then Red Apple.  

Neil married Maxine Hiatt Ray, combining their families for a total of 12 children. Neil and Maxine made their home in Vale, where they owned and operated Neil’s Fine Foods for 29 years. Many of their children and grandchildren worked in the store, where they learned by Neil’s example to be good workers and have good work ethics.

Neil was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served faithfully in many callings throughout his life including Bishoprics, ward missionary, High Counselor, many teaching positions, and was a devout home teacher. He and Maxine served a two-year mission in Nigeria and had great experiences in Africa. After returning home from their mission, they served together in the Boise Temple for four years.

Neil continued to work at the Red Apple, and did not retire until he was 83 years old. Even after he retired, he grew corn in his garden and donated it his friends, neighbors and the nursing home in Vale. He had a great love of children and delighted in making them giggle by barking like a dog, whinnying like a horse, yodeling, and always had an all-day sucker for them when they came into his store. He was deeply loved and respected by his community, and especially by his children. 

Neil is survived by his daughters Lori Ohumukini and Valerie Brinton; son Russell Bryson; stepsons Gordy, Perry, and Wade Ray; stepdaughter Lori Moore; brothers Wally, Dean, and Wayne Bryson; sister Julie Hart; and numerous grandchildren. Neil was preceded in death by his loving wife, Maxine; sons Douglas, Benjamin, David, James, and Coy Bryson; sister Afton Smith; and brothers David and Newell Bryson. 

A viewing will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Vale from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Feb. 2, with funeral services at 11. Internment at Valley View cemetery, Vale. The family would like to thank Signature Hospice for their help in caring for Neil over the last few months.


Lois M. Boenig

March 19, 1921~ January 19, 2019

Lois M. Boenig, 97, of La Grande, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 19, at St Luke’s Medical Center, Meridian, Idaho. Lois was born on March 19, 1921, in Springfield, Oregon, to Glenn and Dora Jane (Burch) Neilsen. She had resided in Marcola, Nyssa, and La Grande. She attended grade and high school in Marcola, and while in high school, she played women’s basketball and her team won the Mythical Allstar Team, Lane Co. “B” League Basketball championship in 1937 and 1938. While attending University of Oregon, she enjoyed swimming and playing field hockey.

She married Leonard W. (Bill) Stoneberg, of Coburg, with whom she had three children, Knute (Kay) La Grande, Neil (Joyce), from Portland, and Karen Stoneberg Glenn (Larry) of Nyssa. She was married to Elmer Doney; then Eric Boenig of Nyssa in 1958, and moved to his farm. 

Lois was a Eugene Hotel waitress in the 1950s, a nurse’s aid in the late 1980s, a homemaker and mother. She enjoyed playing the piano, arts, crafts, knitting, rug making and buttons. She won several awards for her rugs and poetry at Union County and Malheur County Fairs. She was a member of Eastern Star, Garden Club, Oregon Trail Grange, and local Button Club.

Lois is survived by her three children: Knute, Neil, Karen and their spouses; stepdaughters, Betty Ann von der Hellen (Ron), Central Point, Oregon, and Anita Boenig, Ontario; half-sister, Jean Brown (Bob), and half-brother William (Bill) Neilsen; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; and Al Tomlin, a wonderful friend. She was proceeded in death by husbands L.W. (Bill) Stoneberg, Elmer Doney, and Eric Boenig; her brother Alton Neilsen; half-brother Terry Neilsen; and stepson Robert (Bob) Boenig or Roseburg.

No service is planned at this time.


Colleen Dawn Bonnell,

November 14, 1960~ January 20, 2019

Colleen Dawn Bonnell, age 58, of Payette lost her battle with Myasthenia Gravis Sunday Jan. 20 in Boise. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at R & L Event Center, 633 2nd Ave. S., Payette. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery. A Visitation will be at 10 a.m. at the R & L Event Center. Condolences may be made to Colleen’s family at www.shaffer-jensenchapel.com. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, Payette.

Colleen was born on Nov. 14, 1960, in Ontario, Oregon, to William and Rosemary Bonnell.

Colleen committed life to being a librarian, working both in Payette and Ontario Public Libraries. She used her skills as a Master Librarian at the Payette Library and was responsible for the construction of the library expansion. Colleen took great pleasure in finding the right book for her friends and patrons.

Colleen is survived by her mother Rosemary; her sister Jennifer; two brothers James and Mark (Courtney); nephew Phoenix; Anna (honorary daughter); and her cousins and friends.

She is preceded in death by her father William and brother Johnnie.

Colleen was dearly loved and those who knew her were truly blessed. God Bless.


Susan Lee (Szekely) Oft 

February 8, 1950 – January 25, 2019

Teacher, farmer, artist, mentor, librarian, rancher, gardener. Loving wife, sister and Auntie; lover of dogs, cats, calves, basketball, tennis and antiques. Our Susie was all of these and so much more. Although she lost her hard-fought battle with cancer on Jan. 25 it was one she took on with unwavering graciousness. Her spirit remains with us and always will.

Susie was born to Gene and Lena (Schneider) Szekely Feb. 8, 1950, in Portland Oregon. She was raised in a loving Catholic home and attended Holy Family Grade School and Marycrest High School. Then it was on to Portland State College and a degree in elementary education. Her first teaching job was at Lynch Terrace Grade School in Portland. Through her future sister-in-law she met the love of her life, Terry Oft, during a snow storm. After marrying and moving to the Treasure Valley she began her new teaching career at Fruitland Grade School, and was a finalist for the Idaho Teacher of the Year award in 1980. She later moved on to Fruitland High School where she was the librarian, yearbook advisor and class advisor, and received the FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer Award in 2002. For 30 years she kept score for the Fruitland Boys freshman and varsity Basketball team – by our calculations, over 600 games! After retiring in 2007 she became Terry’s invaluable partner on their growing Angus ranch. In 2015 they began building the house of their dreams; Susie’s artistic and loving touch can be felt throughout their home. In spite of all these achievements and accolades, Sue remained selfless and soft-spoken; living a life that was thoughtful and positive. She was focused on doing everything she could for her family, friends, students and neighbors. Sue was never happier than when her family came to visit, which provided lasting memories through generations.

It was in the bedroom of her lovely home where she passed on to a much better place, surrounded by her loving but devastated family. Terry was the valiant caregiver who never left her side, making sure she was comfortable at all times. 

Survivors include her husband Terry; mother-in-law Betty and brother-in-law Mike (Kay); brothers Kal Szekely (Kathleen) and Gene Szekely (Shelly); sisters Mary Martin (Randy), Judy Morgan (John), Shirley Szekely (Jack) and Stephanie Blanchard (Jeff); nine nieces and nephews, eight great-nieces and nephews, and many cousins, plus scores of beloved students and athletes she took under her wing. Not to be left out is her passel of pets: Nelson, Daisy Mayhem, Nippy, Frank, Bushka and the mutt dug boys: Angus and Elliot.

Remembrances may be sent in Sue’s name to Treasure Valley Community College. The family and Team SOft sends gratitude and love to Jerrimi Helmick and the entire staff at Mountain States Tumor Institute in Fruitland for their unwavering support and compassion. Celebration of life to be announced at a later date.


• Norman Neil Bryson, 88, of Vale, died Jan. 19 at home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Vale. 

• Walter Watkins, 79, of Mann Creek, died Jan. 21. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Payette.

• Wayne W. Robb, 88, formerly of Adrian, died Jan. 23 in California. Lienkaemper Chapel, Nyssa. 

• Carlos Flores Cuevas, 67, of Nyssa, died Jan. 24 at his daughter’s home in Boise. Lienkaemper Chapel, Nyssa. 

Robert “Bob” Morcom, 99, of Nampa and formerly of Vale, died Jan. 28. Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel.

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