The latest obituaries and death notices for Malheur County

Warren G. (Jerry) Auyer

January 4, 1930 ~ May 19, 2020

Jerry Auyer died May 19, 2020 in Kennewick, Washington. He was born on January 4, 1930, in Syracuse, New York, to Warren H. and Barbara Walter Auyer. He graduated from Baldwinsville Academy and Central School in 1948 and Syracuse University in 1952.

His 43-year newspaper career began with employment as an advertising sales rep with Brown Newspapers in Baldwinsville, New York, and included newspapers in Flagstaff, Arizona, and The Dalles, Oregon. In 1966 he and wife ZaDean Pearson Auyer purchased The Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon, which they published for 30 years before selling in 1996. He was a familiar sight on his bicycle, peddling around town with his camera and notebook collecting news stories and selling advertising.

These 30 years were transition years for newspapers. He took the Malheur Enterprise from “hot type”, the old linotype, through the very early years of “cold type” or the computer-generated production of today. The early equipment for small newspapers was very rudimentary.

Jerry was very active in the Vale community, participating and leading, Lions Club, Vale Chamber of Commerce, Sports Inc., and Vale Rodeo Board. He was Grand Marshal of the 1999 Vale July 4 celebration. As “Scoop” he was an avid supporter of the Vale Vikings and the schools.

A golfer since a teenager, after selling the newspaper the Auyers moved to Purple Sage Golf Course so they could enjoy golf every day. They later moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas, a golfing community not far from the home of daughter Kelli. In 2015 they moved to Kennewick, Washington, again near Kelli.

Jerry and ZaDean were married on October 11, 1958, in Flagstaff, Arizona. The couple has one daughter, Kelli Auyer Stephenson, Hermiston, Oregon, and grandson Michael Banks, Joplin, Missouri.

Lillian Wilkins

January 31, 1929 ~ May 12, 2020

Lillian Wilkins, 91, of Vale, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Tuesday, May 12. She was born January 31, 1929, in Last Chance, Colorado, to Frank and Marie Syrovatka, and had one sister, Mary Ann.

After spending her early years in Eastern Colorado, the family moved to Eastern Oregon and settled in the Willowcreek area. She graduated from Vale High School in 1946, attended Marylhurst College in Portland and graduated with her teaching degree in home economics. 

While teaching in Enterprise, Oregon, she met Dale Wilkins who was then working in the film business selling movies with Universal Pictures. They married in 1957 and lived in Portland, Oregon, for two years before moving to the Vale area where she taught at Vale High School. Throughout her career, she also worked as a biology lab teacher at Treasure Valley Community College and again at Vale High School as a special ed assistant.

She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and was active in the community and school events. Her grandchildren were the highlight of her life and she enjoyed watching and being involved in all of their activities.

Lillian was preceded in death by her husband Dale; parents, Frank and Marie; sister, Mary Ann Erstrom and brother in law, Swede Erstrom. She is survived by her daughter, Denise Ditsworth (Brad), Las Vegas; and son, Robert (Tonya), Kennewick, Washington; grandchildren Meghann, Colin, Ashli, Hailey; and great- grandchildren Quinn and Emersyn.  

The family would like to extend deepest thanks and appreciation to the staff at Pioneer Assisted Living as well as Signature Health Care for the wonderful care and compassion given to our mother these past three years. Due to Covid restrictions, a private family service was held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Vale on Friday, May 15, and burial was immediately afterwards at Valley View Cemetery.


• James E. Cox, 67, of Ironside, died May 15 at home. Lienkaemper Chapel, Vale. 

• Wanda M. Ford, 82, of New Plymouth, died May 19 at her home in New Plymouth. Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel. 

• Linda Ann Cloud, 77, of Payette, died May 19 at her home in Payette. Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel. 

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