The latest obituaries and death notices for Malheur County

James Rowley Blackaby

Nov. 10, 1921 ~ Dec. 31, 2019

James Rowley Blackaby passed away in Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 31 at the age of 98. Jim was born on Nov. 10, 1921, to Earl and Bertha Kincaid Blackaby and grew up in Ontario, Oregon. In 1939 he attended University of Oregon, where he became an ATO and devoted Ducks fan, before transferring to University of Washington to pursue his interest in aerodynamics. At UW he met Mif Bendix, and the two were married on Jan. 30, 1943. After serving in the Army during World War II, Jim returned to Seattle to finish his degree.

 In 1947, he accepted a job with NACA at Ames Research Center and moved his young family to Palo Alto. Jim began his career conducting research in the wind tunnels at Moffett Field. When Ames became part of NASA in 1958, Jim joined the Life Science Division. He was involved in the very earliest space flight research and technology for Project Mercury, Project Gemini, and the Apollo program, developing spacesuits and designing astronauts’ life support systems. He holds a patent for “the Blackaby Backpack,” a portable unit that enables astronauts to venture outside an orbiting spacecraft. 

In 1976 Jim retired from NASA to pursue traveling, gardening, and antique car restoration. He and Mif moved to Los Altos Hills and designed a noteworthy herb garden, grew test roses, and maintained an apricot orchard. They were active in the Rolls Royce Owners’ Club and the Bentley Drivers’ Club and enjoyed touring with the Northern California group. In 1986, Jim and Mif returned to their Pacific Northwest roots, relocating to Tigard. Jim stayed at the home they built on Bull Mountain until In 2001, when he moved to Terwilliger Plaza. As a Willamette Valley Vineyards founder, Jim helped out at the winery for many years, and he was a faithful volunteer at the Oregon Historical Society until the time of his death. 

Jim was predeceased by his wife, Mif; his son, Jim; and infant son, Tom. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Blackaby; granddaughter, Rudy Shaffer; son-in-law, Jeff Shaffer; and grandson, James Blackaby. He proudly held the title of pater familias to nieces and nephews on both sides of the family and was delighted to preside over four generations of Blackabys. He will be remembered by all for his quiet, thoughtful, loyal, funny, and generous spirit. 

A celebration of Jim’s life was held Jan. 9 at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 11265 SW Cabot Street, Beaverton, OR 97005. Donations in Jim’s name may be given to the Treasure Valley Community College Foundation, 650 College Blvd, Ontario, or a charity of your choice.


Kathy Ann Noblit

September 12, 1960 ~ January 7, 2020

Kathy Ann Noblit, a longtime resident of Vale, passed away on Jan. 7 at the age of 59 in Boise, Idaho.

Kathy was born to Clara Mae McConathy in Chiloquin, Oregon on Sept. 12, 1960. In 1968, Kathy and her family set down roots in Vale, where Kathy primarily resided the rest of her life. After graduating from Vale High School in 1978, she worked many years on and off working in the agricultural field. Kathy loved all animals. She later majored in animal science at Treasure Valley Community College, where she attended from 2011-2013. Kathy was passionate about volunteerism, giving her time over the years to the Oregon Food Bank, Ontario Recreation Department as a soccer coach, Four Rivers Gleaning Association, Girl Scouts and more. Ultimately, Kathy’s pride and joy were her two daughters, who she raised with great love and devotion. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a big heart for her friends and family, and love and pride for her girls that was unparalleled.

Kathy was preceded in death by her mother, Clara Mae McConathy; grandmother Mary McConathy; grandfather Samuel McConathy; sister Jo Ann Nelson; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Surviving are her daughters, Nedra El-Mansouri (Yusef) and Devan Noblit; brother Jack Noblit; sisters Dee Stone and Julie Murray; and many nieces and nephews. Kathy also leaves behind her beloved community of friends and her pet cats.

A memorial service will take place on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Grange Hall in Vale. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Vale Food Pantry, Oregon Food Bank, or a local animal shelter.


Dolores Mary Mark Weideman

July 7, 1933 ~ December 29, 2019

Dolores Mary Mark Weideman passed away Dec. 29 at her home in Vale. She was 86 years old.

Dolores was born July 7, 1933, in Ransom, North Dakota, to Andrew Mark and Margretha Christmen Mark. She was the fourth of six children. Dolores moved with her parents, three brothers and two sisters to Hood River, Oregon, in 1937. In 1950 she met George Weideman and they were married on Nov. 25, 1952, in Honolua, Maui, Hawaii Territory, where George was stationed. In 1955, they moved to the Springfield, Oregon area and lived there until 1974 when they moved to Vale.

Dolores was an LPN and worked for many years as the traveling nurse for Malheur County. She also worked several years at Pioneer Place.

Dolores is survived by her five children: Loren (Kelly), Mike (Jacki), Janet (Dean), Robert and Joann (Rod); 20 grandchildren; 50 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; her twin brother Donald; and sister Karen.

She was preceded in death by her husband George, grandson Luke, parents, one sister and two brothers. At her request, there will be no funeral or graveside service. She is interred at Valley View Cemetery in Vale.


Glenna Murdock Coleman

October 8, 1931~ January 8, 2020

Glenna Murdock Coleman, 88, passed away Jan. 8, 2020, at St. Lukes Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

She was born Oct. 8, 1931 in Nampa, Idaho, and lived there until her mother died when she was 8 years old. Glenna, along with four siblings, went to live with their aunt and uncle in Wilder, Idaho, where they attended school until 1947, when they moved to Harper to live with their dad. She graduated from Harper High School in 1949 and married Frank Coleman in June of that year.

In 1956, she started with the US Postal Service as a leave replacement for the postmaster, later becoming a rural mail carrier in Harper and transferred to Ontario in 1980. In 1982, she was awarded rural mail carrier of the year for the state of Oregon. She loved the job and the people on her route and retired on Jan. 2, 1998, after 38 years of service.

Throughout her life, she was involved in various activities such as providing hayrides for her children and their classmates, Harper Ladies Club, 4-H leader and TOPS. She especially enjoyed planting flowers in her yard and tending the lilies in her pond.

Glenna is survived by three children Donald (Susan) Coleman, Debra (Rod) Showalter and Diane (Albert) Valenzuela, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Husband Frank preceded her in death in March 2016.

Services will be held Friday, Jan. 17, at the Christian Church, 450 A Street W. in Vale, with viewing at 10 a.m. and services at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Valley View Cemetery at 2 p.m.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Children’s Hospital.


• Lena J. Magnuson, 66, of Ontario, died Jan. 4, at her home. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Ontario.

• Judith L. Bishop, 78, of Ontario, died Jan. 3, at home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario. 

• Jake Elfering, 93, of Ontario, died Jan. 6, at a local assisted living facility. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario. 

• Violet LaVelle “Vi” Nelson Fields, 101, of Vale, died Jan. 4, at her home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Vale. 

• John Vincent Penne, 78, of Vale died Jan. 1, at his home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Vale. 

• Mary E. Huffaker, 71, of Ontario, died Jan. 7, at her home. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Ontario.

• Luis Vendrell, of Ontario, died Jan. 7, at home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario. 

• Doni “Don” Michael Roumagoux, 72, of Fruitland, died Jan. 7, at home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario. 

• Lorena M. Nelson, 100, of Ontario, died Jan. 9, at St. Alphonsus Ontario. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel Ontario.

• Roberta Bickmore, 88, of Vale, died Jan. 11, at St. Alphonsus Ontario. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Ontario.

• Michael Tannlund, 59, of Ontario, died Jan. 10, at St. Alphonsus Boise. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Ontario. 

• Wanda Rocks, 88, of Ontario, died Jan. 10, at a local assisted living facility. Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario.

• Bill Nielsen, 75, of Nyssa, died Jan. 10, at his home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Nyssa.

• June Woody, 89, of Weiser, died Jan. 12. Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel, Payette.

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